Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Willy's #15 - 11

Halfway home....

15. Blitzen Trapper – Destroyer of the Void
After showing us the Wild Mountain Nation in 2007 and wowing me and the masses in 2008 with Furr, these NW reindeer trappers return with more of the same. D.O.V. doesn't have the immediate appeal of Furr, but it grew on me. The Black River Killer ep last year provides a good segue-way to this album. At times, this can feel like the Revolver to Furr's Rubber Soul if you follow me. "Dragon's Song" reminds me of Elvis Costello. The title track opens the album like a rock opera (much like "Sleepytime in the Western World" did in 2008), and "Heaven and Earth" sums it all up. DOV seems like an ode to the old west in all it's vast beauty but also the emptiness that can be found there, too. It's western like "True Grit" and "No Country For Old Men" just not as dark.

14. Wavves - King of the Beach
Nathan Williams, the one man tour de loser, is back and stoned as ever. He is one hyperactive user though playing more like a meth addict. I didn't care for the overfuzzed mess of his debut. I also didn't like his public fisticuffs with the Black Lips who I fully support. With the help of a quality producer in Dennis Herring (Modest Mouse, Hives, Fiery Furnaces, Ben Folds, Counting Crows, Elvis Costello), Williams finally has some constructive criticism to sharpen his sound. "King of the Beach" kicks you off in an instant and makes you reach for your shades. "Idiot" will have you having Incesticide-era Nirvana flashbacks. "Post Acid" just continues the party. Catchy pop punk abounds. More is to come with Best Coast...

13. She & Him – Vol. 2
Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward are back again with more reverbed retro cuteness for you to be bop to. "In the Sun" is so cute it can only be outdone by the companion video that is an Indie "Hit Me, Baby (One more time)". While it doesn't seem as original this time around, Vol. 2 still has things to say. The Skeeter Davis hit, "Gonna Get Along Without You Now", translates well with Zooey's wall of sound. Folky Doo-Wop is here to stay?

12. The Walkmen – Lisbon
The Walkmen are still putting out the same product year in year out. This is probably their least angry output (I think there is only the trademark growl/yell on 1 song?). "Angela Surf City" has that growl, but it's one of the catchier songs this year. There was so much "fun in the sun"/beach music/summertime music out this year? "Woe is Me" will make you tap your feet. "Victory" sounds like most Walkmen songs - full on Afghan Whigs as the house band in Beautiful Girls. (What? Watch the movie-you'll hear it...)

11. Devo - Something For Everybody
Can this be right? Yup. I bought this on a whim and was blown away. Every last song on here is catchy. You feel like pulling out your Thompson Twins tapes and popping in your VHS copy of Weird Science. It is all 80's and fun as can be. "Fresh" kicks it off like the opening credits to your favorite 80's movie. "Mind Games" is like you fused your Atari with a 4-Track to make a song. "Don't Shoot (I'm a Man)" is like the Revenge of the Nerds got back together for a corporate anthem for their office space. Listen to the first half of this album. If you're not bobbing your head at that point, check your pulse. Guilty pleasure, what?