Have you ever heard of Nintendocore? Well, it exists…and it’s weird. iamerror is a band that I accidentally found while browsing for free downloads at Last.fm. When I listened to their song Rainbow Road, which I think is a song from one of the Super Mario Bros. games–if my video-game addled, pre-pubescent brain was able to store and retain anything–I was amazed, one: by how mesmerizingly beautiful some of the ambience music in those old games were, and two: by how these guys (or guy, bio please) were able to warp it into some really cool stuff. I mean, my old favorite game, Balloon Fight, gets some attention here. That means something. What? I don’t know.
Their album Trout Yogurt blends grindcore vocals and percussion with 8-bit overtures, while their Demo ‘09 leaves out the vocals in favor for some awesome double-bass and smooth variations of the songs we really grew up with. By us I mean Generation Awesome, of course.
So I stumble upon this album and I listen to the first track, “Magic Show”, and I’m thinking: “Okay, there’s definitely an MGMT thing going on.” The track is brooding and expansive, with a heavy dose of electronica, rumbling, intermittent percussion, and a crescendo of layered vocals… it’s a great song. So we’re started off with that, and then the next song, “Halloween Mask”, comes on and the whole feel shifts. Now I’m thinking: ”Okay, there’s definitely a Shins thing going on.” Soothing acoustic guitars, pop-sensible lyrics, gripping hooks and perfectchoruses. Listening to the entire album I was impressed by their range; how they would seamlessly transition from rock tracks with heavy electric guitars to folky acoustic fireside sing-alongs a la Fleet Foxes. I think I even heard a banjo thrown in there somewhere. They manage to perfectly balance jubilance with melancholy, throwing just enough at you of each to keep you on your toes, wanting more, simple,
perfect tunes asking for nothing more than an open ear to please.
I recommend listening to this album straight through, when you’re hanging out, relaxing, looking for a little something to cheer the ears up. These guys know how to write some great songs. My personal favorite was “Haint in the Holler” (it’s not misspelled) a straight-forward, awesome song with a simple message and a powerful heart.
As the first installment discussing new music, I wanted to bring to the table something good to start out with. Something with promise. I envisioned discussing a band you’ve never heard about that would wind up becoming a hit one day.
In this vain, after a bit of searching, I was lucky enough to stumble upon the new self-titled album by The Love Language (Click this link and it will open a new window to their MySpace page. Listen to ”Providence”, it’s an excellent example of their music.) The album itself is great, 9 songs that include no filler, just good tunes with great hooks. They sound like a mix between The Arcade Fire (perfect mélange of layered instruments, tinkling piano faintly in the background, vivacious choruses, the melancholia of analog recording and timid production…) and The Cold War Kids (dissonant vocals, heavy tambourine, all as if played and recorded in a large room).
They are not as vocal driven as The Cold War Kids, though, which is great. The lead singer is often accompanied by others in a ghostly chorus, the thick fat of the vocals resting atop a simmering stew of guitars, pianos, drums, tambourine, a humming bass, at times all mashed up together to the point it’d be almost impossible to pick out a single instrument to focus on any more than a moment.
So I enjoyed the album and I definitely recommend it. My only criticism of the album is its terrible production. The band was good enough to pull off a great album, however, even with the cringing distortion during some of the shouted vocals and barely being able to hear the drums or guitars some of the time over the tambourine. Maybe that was their intention, which I hope wasn’t.
I can see this band having an awesome second album, with hopefully a better level of production. All the other pieces are already there.
Check out the band on Myspace for further info (their bio is hopelessly literary and unbalanced –loved it…brilliant).