Moroccan Role: A Couple of New Releases of Note This Week:: 8/22

Moroccan Role

A Totally Kiler Music/MP3 Blog.

Friday, August 25, 2006

A Couple of New Releases of Note This Week:: 8/22

Chad VanGaalen - Skelliconnection

Singer-songwriter Chad VanGaalen's sophomore album was released this week on Sub Pop and this 15 track collection is all over the map stylistically. I caught the tailend of Chad's live set nearly a year ago at the Southgate House in Newport, KY when he was opening to Fruit Bats and Rogue Wave. Though I enjoyed his performance and really dig "Clinically Dead" and "Kill Me in My Sleep", I have not absorbed his debut Infiniheart in any real respect and this album marks my first substantial exposure to his music. I cannot say exactly how the new album compares to the debut, but I can definitely say there are some excellent tracks present on Skelliconnection.

VanGaalen employs a distinctively DIY approach to his art-- playing nearly every instrument on his records, recording the material in his "bare-bones" home studio, and even undertaking the illustration of the album artwork and his videos. I have only had the album a few days now, and I'm torn as to whether I prefer his more folk rock-orientated material ala the Neil Youngian "Graveyard" & "Mini TVs", his guitar-driven post-punk "Flower Gardens" & "Burn To Ash", his synth-pop explorations "Red Hot Drops", or his sublime stripped-down acoustic ballads "Sing Me To Sleep". Hell, my favorite track is probably "Dead Ends" and it doesn't fit into any of the above categories. His myriad of influences are readily apparent, but what makes this album special is that fact he transcends these influences (with little-to-no outside help) to create a work that is uniquely his own. HIGHLIGHTS: "Dead Ends", "Burn to Ash", "Sing Me to Sleep"

MP3: Chad VanGaalen - "Dead Ends"
MP3: Chad VanGaalen - "Sing Me to Sleep"
MP3: Chad VanGaalen - "Flower Gardens"

Buy the album here.

BONUS: A highlight from his debut Infiniheart -->
MP3: Chad VanGaalen - "Clinically Dead"

Snowden - Anti-Anti

Snowden's full-length debut saw its release on Jade Tree Records Tuesday. These guys are clear blogger favorites-- briefly skimming through could yield 7 tracks from Anti-Anti at the time of this writing. This Atlanta quintet specialize in melodic, occasionally dark post-punk. The title track is probably the most immediately accessible track here and so what if the intro sounds vaguely like Jimmy Eat World, I dig the songs not-so-subtle poke at hipster concert attendees who assume the requisite completely still with arms crossed stance. The subject matter is not always so light and these dudes are not afraid to tackle politically-tinged material. (see e.g., "Victim Card" & "Counterfeit Rules") So what exactly do they sound like you ask: Take 1 part dance-rock, add a healthy dash of Interpol and a pinch of the Cure, drench the whole thing in classic shoegaze elements (reverb, distortion, and ethereal effects) and stir liberally. HIGHLIGHTS: "Anti-Anti", "Black Eyes", "Counterfeit Rules"

MP3: Snowden - "Anti-Anti"
MP3: Snowden - "Black Eyes"
MP3: Snowden - "Counterfeit Rules"

Buy the album here.


Don't forget Ratatat's new album Classics hit stores this week as well. Click here for info about the album and a couple of killer MP3s.


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