So I guess it can be the same format, people nominate an album, random number generator picks which is listened to each week and then people listen and review. Any album is free to suggest, any genre, just gives everybody a chance to explore their musical horizons
Me - Queens of the Stone Age - Era Vulgaris
IWCH2 - Jon Hopkins - Immunity
beatski - Various - Tidy Addict
Amnesiac - Hell Is For Heroes - The Neon Handshake
Donkey Toon -
ALF - Kodaline - In A Perfect World
Cal - Abdominal and the Obliques - Sitting Music
Little Lion Man - George Ezra - Wanted On Voyage (Deluxe Version)
Screaming Females - Ugly
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skalpel wrote:I'll review it.
The guitar tone is cool at times, but that's where the adulation ends for me. The vocals are... well, they're s*** aren't they? I wanted to say esoteric or acquired taste because it seems more polite, but the first would imply the involvement of some nuanced artistry or other, and the second that it's of decent enough standard as to eventually impress. Neither of those things are true, she is just a truly bad singer making short use of an ugly voice. The guitarist (is that also the singer, actually?) struggles to keep his/her solos in time with Louis Theroux's drumming which is off putting when trying to enjoy the few vocal-free moments. It was difficult at times to tell what the fundamental differences were between each track on the album, it was remarkably samey from start to end and this alas makes it a hard job to pick the best or worst points individually.
I genuinely listened to the whole thing and please believe (check my reviews in Album Swap if you think otherwise) that I did not want just to hate it on purpose.
Little Lion Man wrote:Screaming Females - Ugly -
The singer sounded okay for the odd verse in a couple of the songs but I generally wanted her to shut the f*** up. However the general sound of the band was decent enough to claw back some respectability in terms of the overall rating that I gave it
beardface wrote:The vocals are terrible. Ramone is this a troll?
CryMeARiviere wrote:Thought I'd already heard this and then I realised I'd already reviewed it for the Album Swap thread.
Still enjoy those three songs, the others are decent enough. I wouldn't really say her vocals grated as much for me as they seemed to for everybody else.CryMeARiviere wrote:Screaming Females - 'Ugly'
Definitely enjoyed this album, don't often listen to this kind of stuff (not really sure what it is but reminded me of Dinosaur Jr, to make a very vague comparison) but it had good riffs and solidly entertaining tunes. Highlights for me were Expire, Doom 84 and Something Ugly. It'll probably get another listen somewhere down the line
Donkey Toon wrote:Sorry for slow review Ramone, had problems with spotify originally, then forgot, then remembered again.
Screaming Females - Ugly
Hard album to review because there were aspects of it that I quite liked, but taken as a whole it left me cold. My biggest issue is the singer. Terrible voice, poor vocals, very little variance in delivery. Cal said something about better as an instrumental and I agree, every song without fail imo would sound better as an instrumental.
My next issue is the style. I like unique sounds and am not one to try and pigeon hole bands but to me they can't decide what sound they are going for. One minute they are pumping out a really nice punk riff, which I am enjoying immensely, but then the drums and bass keep going nicely along but the guitar transforms into the metal/heavy rock style that I refer to as "wanking the instrument" i.e. just playing at as fast as possible with some sort of frenetic noise coming out. I really hate that and would say that every song was at least partially ruined by that at some stage.
Highlights for me were the live version of Red Hand (despite the terrible sound quality) and High (despite the brief w***).
All in all I think they would be a much better band with a better singer/guitarist because the bass player and drummer were actually quite good.
I also listened to a few tracks from their Baby Teeth album and so far prefer that.
The Blue Aeroplanes - Swagger
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Half marks from me: I'm probably not going to listen to it again, but it was fun while it lasted.
The riffs are bouncy and jangly and pretty damn fun. The Applicant has probably the album's winning bit of fun guitar work with a riff it plays and revives once more somewhere in the middle. In fact the Applicant is probably the best track on the album for me. It's fun.
The vocals are probably going to be divisive, but I neither love nor hate them. I don't like them either, but I suppose late 80s alternative rock often had much worse vocals so it could have been a lot worse . When he actually sings though, instead of talking, it's quite annoying. Careful Boy, for example, had a nice opening, but was spoiled for me by his attempted singing. I'm the sort of person who likes an unpretentious singing voice, I take honest vocals over affectation any day, but this guy's singing voice just didn't cut it at all.
I was pleased to hear good use of a Hammond organ (it's hard to get me to dislike anything with Hammond Organ ) and it was nicely toned. It's also something of a rarity to hear a Hammond used in 80s or 90s music, it'd been pretty much muscled out by synths entirely. That's something which demands this band a pat on the back, they sound acoustic and (forgive the cliche) organic. In fact the album was pretty varied given the era too, I liked seeing them do something different with the last track there; it sort of stomps out grandly with the kind of self awareness that a final track on an album should have.
The poorest parts of the album were the ballads. They just didn't work, really. Take Weightless, for instance, the first track to really expose the vocals as the weakest point because everything else was formulaic and, well, dull.
Overall I'd say half marks and a stamp of average is a fair result to give from my position. I genuinely am heartened to hear the Hammond too; they obviously knew that 80s synths would soon sound even more ridiculous and dated.
Little Lion Man wrote:The Blue Aeroplanes - Swagger - 2.75 out of 5 (there's no quarter star smiley )
Reasonably enjoyable to listen to and the vocals are decent for the most part. May give it another listen at some point
I agree with pretty much everything that Skalpel said except for the part about the Hammond organ as I don't really know what it is
PS: Skalpel's in-depth reviews make mine look pathetic
Ramone wrote:The Blue Aeroplanes - Swagger
Well constructed and produced but ultimately pretty boring for me.
I think there's some pretty interesting guitar work throughout the album and I've got nothing against the sort of sound the album is going for but the whole thing sounds like a collection of R.E.M B-sides. None of the tracks stand out as something I'd want to listen to at a later date and I don't think I could tell you how any of the songs go after having listened to this only a few days ago. Having said that I think there was only one or two tracks where I didn't like the instrumentation.
The only part of the album I actively dislike is the vocals, their only saving grace being that they are almost lost in the mix a bit and aren't particularly distinctive on any of the songs. The half-sung style can work in moderation but it's pretty much the only sort of delivery the vocalist seems to have, at times it sounded like an Adam and Joe "Song Wars" entry (which is not a compliment if you're unfamiliar with the show). He also seems to be going for the stream of conciousness approach to the lyrics which made me hate the whole thing even more because it seemed like a complete affectation.
Overall, I think it's a fairly competent album let down completely by the vocalist.
CryMeARiviere wrote:The Blue Aeroplanes - Swagger
Can't really say much more than has already been said. There's solid instrumentation obviously, and I'm a fairly big fan of The Hold Steady so the rambly talk-sung vocals didn't really bother me all that much. I think the main thing though is that none of it really caught my attention. It kind of blends into one long song, which I guess at least means they've achieved a coherent sound for the album, but I couldn't tell you which song was which or even where it came in the album if you played me them again.
Overall, a solid jangly guitar album. I probably won't listen to it again but I can't say I didn't enjoy it as a sort of background soundtrack for my morning.