The Sea and Cake
Summer advice: sleep on the
hammock waiting for sundown
The Sea and Cake’s sixth full length is a 10-track chill out session and the perfect accompaniment to a sunny day. Hardly music to complain about, but it fails to startle the ears like drummer John McEntire’s other group, Tortoise. “Le Baron” name drops the laid back elements of summer – in fact, this LP never veers off far from the idea of keeping it simple and relaxed, pleasing the ear. However, as a sit down record this same mentality fails to keep the listener intrigued past track three – nothing more than thin indie rock and soft synth stylings from a band that is far more talented. But rest assured this is excellent background music to whatever you’ll be doing once school lets out. There’s even a cover of Bowie’s “Sound & Vision,” that exchanges the original’s rawness for modern spritz. Once the sun goes down, though, One Bedroom should be stashed away.
Summer advice: give and take a few
Black Eyes take the Dischord sound over the top. Present are the frenetic guitars and wildly inspiring drum beats, but gone is the subtle restraint that adds so much to many of Dischord’s finest acts (Q and Not U, Fugazi). Black Eyes throw rock ‘n’ roll right in your face and defiantly challenge you to do something about it. Two vocalists volley lyrics, one sounding like the singer from the Chromatics, and the other sounding like Todd from Le Shok. Allegedly, the lyrics are political and meaningful, but you wouldn’t know it without reading the liner. Just fight already.
The Stratford 4
Love & Distortion
Summer advice: pawn for beer
In 2000, the Stratford 4 released an LP called The Revolt Against Tired Noises. Three years later the four-piece have released a second LP full of tired noises. Essentially, this album is 10 tracks of uninteresting space rock, not Sigur Ros meets My Bloody Valentine meets Velvet Underground as Rolling Stone would have you believe. When the disc kicks off with “Where the Ocean Meets the Eye,” there’s considerable hope, but after several minutes of the same progression and a severe lack of melody, the Stratford 4 are easy to pass off. This is yet another group of hipsters ready to fool the critics and trick some play out of college radio stations (excluding our own). Love & Distortion is well produced and the music is not drivel, but it never goes anywhere. You’re left waiting for the band to rip into something fresh; instead, they’re moping around in a pop dream of boredom.
DJ Green Lantern
Invasion Part II: Conspiracy Theory
Summer advice: crash a house party
DJ Green Lantern may be the most talented mixtape DJ on the scene today. But on Invasion Part II: Conspiracy Theory his skills are merely used as a marketing tool for Shady/Aftermath records. Much of the album focuses on the growing beef between Murder Inc. and Shady/Aftermath, notably Ja Rule’s laughable diss songs towards Eminem, 50 Cent and the whole Shady/Aftermath crew. This tape is the outlet for their responses that includes a horrible remake of Makaveli’s classic “Hail Mary” by Eminem, 50 Cent and Busta Rhymes. When Ja Rule is your opposition, it doesn’t require much effort, but this invasion is paltry.
The Life & Art staff can be reached at HurricaneAccent@hotmail.com.