This Way Comes
This is the musical equivalent of Jagermeister- an abundant stash of smooth licorice, straight out of the United Kingdom that sets a smoked -out vibe and then floats off into the night. A few guests drop by, like Raaka Iriscience of Dilated Peoples, playing lyrical Ninja Gaiden on Verbal Anime, and Britain’s Wildflower, who lends her sensuous ragga street smarts to Good Girl Gone Bad, but it’s The Herbaliser’s ambitious production that generates the true funk. Something Wicked begs for an entire listen, so pour down a shot from the dark green bottle, kick back and enjoy.
“This is that fresh, that fresh feeling.” Eels just wants to put out a good rock record and the band has, but it doesn’t sound so fresh, at least in the modern sense. The record shares a lot of similarities with some of Beck’s earlier work, especially on Teenage Witch, but then again so did their previous releases Daisies of the Galaxy and Electro-Shock Blues.
E, the mastermind behind the band, gets a lot of props from music critics and has a decent fan base in the independent music scene because his songwriting is rather catchy and clever. His lyrics are written with the same random “for the helluva it” pleasure that Ween is keen on delivering, except he often inserts pop cheesiness in place of that duo’s twisted humor.
Jungle Telegraph is wound up in a colorfully zany soundscape and Woman Driving, Man Sleeping has a calm desperateness that fits perfectly with the song’s theme.
However, by the last track, Souljacker clearly falls short of the band’s potential and leaves your soul in the same place it was before you pressed play.
There aren’t many groups that would try to rhyme over a ping-pong match, and of the ones bold enough to try it, the end result would probably come off like a pretentious hip hop novelty. When Anti-Pop Consortium does it on Arrythmia, they induce severe head nodding. Members Priest, Beans, M. Sayyid slice off some of the excess verbal intelligence they’re renown for, in favor of constructing a slightly more accessible album than last November’s EP.
Artistically, it proves a smart decision, because the brain absorbs the songs like a sponge. Some of the tracks, like Ghostlawns, would even be perfectly comfortable on a dance floor in a galaxy not so far away. Fans of their last full length, Tragic Epilogue, shouldn’t fret because the group still pines for abstract, tripped out innovation.
On Mega, Anti-Pop producer Earl Blaze gets an opera singer to blast out the song’s title and a skit entitled “Tron Man” finds Pimp Bot 5000 from Late Night with Conan O’Brien sampling “static from a Victrola.” Listen to this album on a stay-in night playing video games with your television on mute, the lights off, and the bass turned up to eleven.
Dimitri From Paris:
After the Playboy Mansion
Dimitri From Paris is a suave gentleman- and he has mixed two CDs, one that’s “laid-back” and one that’s “uplifting,” to pass along his etiquette of cool to all the SoBe regulars.
The enclosed booklet reads “After the Playboy Mansion, we’ll meet in the same room and crank up the music too loud. We’ll run a bath, empty the mini-bar, jump on the king-sized bed…we’ll dance until we’re out of breath.”
He is Hugh Hefner’s disc jockey of choice and his newest mix includes everything from disco oldies and new Alexkid to a house-samba track with De la Soul and Chaka Khan.
The dude has it made and he wants to “purify your mind, touch your soul, and give you the eternal joy and happiness you truly deserve.” This music is either “totally” you, your worst nightmare, or what you secretly dream about when you go clubbing in your sleep.
If you’re the latter, listen to it in your loft, staring at December’s Playmate on the ceiling, trying to remember if you locked the door.