As St. Patty's day approaches, I change up my listening strategy to power through any outstanding releases I intend to consider for my annual mix collection, so I got in a ton of first listens on some 2010 releases over last two days.
Here are my unvarnished, and most likely subject to drastic change, first impressions.
Ring - Glasser:
Love, love, love this girl Cameron Mesirow's voice. It's stunning from the album's opening note. Reminiscent of Bat For Lashes' Two Suns. Not as accomplished, but still sense there are some tracks here, especially Apply and Home, that I am going to love.
Nothing Hurts - Male Bonding:
Meh...Grungy no-fi punk out of UK, but definitely following lead of American acts like No Age. Too muddy to pick out any detail on first pass, though Weird Feelings and T.U.F.F. struck me as promising. Otherwise, not to optimistic on this one...I'm just not a fan of the most no-fi of these no-fi releases.
Comprehensive compilation for a little know, gone-in-a-flash 90s act that was one of only stateside contempories of My Bloody Valentine, Orchids, and all those other early UK shoegaze acts. Some nice tunes here, including four new tracks recorded specifically for this retrospective, but doubt it will appeal to many beyond ardent C86ers.
Everything In Between - No Age:
Surprise! Found myself really enjoying this one. Still think Dean Spunt has the worst voice of any singer in any contemporary band of note, but this album is more accessible, and less no-fi, than Nouns or Weirdo Rippers...band's starting to feel a bit Ramonesy, which is never a bad thing. Can't wait to give this one another go.
Epic - Sharon Van Ettan:
Very brief, seven track release from female folkie/singer-songwriter. Didn't seem as out-of-the-box original as some early reviews led me to anticipate, but definitely has some nice tracks. Save Yourself and Don't Do It, in particular, made strong first impressions. Think this will prove to be quite solid with repeated listens.
Didn't get this one at all. Is it punk? Is it pop? Is Fang Island a primarily instrumental Styx/Kansas tribute band? Felt very cheesy and insubstantial on first pass, but it's definitely different...gonna take time to make sense of this release.
Majesty Shredding - Superchunk:
Pretty sure I'm going to end up loving this one, Superchunk's first proper release in over a decade. Fantastic power-pop with a touch of that 90s hard-edge. Track Crossed Wires stood out, but found myself digging whole thing. Could easily see it ending up as my favorite power pop release of 2010.