Hello cheapskates! We’ve got a full and varied plate today. It’s like we walked down an alley and a dumpster diver came out of nowhere, handing us a platter of egg rolls, sirloin, crinkle-cut fries, and ground-up glass. Taste the rainbow!
“Cold Summer”—CJ Hilton. Paris’s brother made a song about spending his holidays in Siberia? Okay fine, this guy is not exactly Paris's bro. But he and Paris have one thing in common: I feel bad for them. CJ's mix of pop and jazzed R&B is kind of a disaster. Not only did his lover leave him, as he sings, but he can’t the syncopation right to save his life. The song struggles along, its worst part being the fact that while it tries to be energetic, it just can’t keep itself from being lethargic. A couch potato song. Two out of five stars.
Indie Download of the Week: “Can’t Go Home”—Good Old War. Starting with some pleasing guitar fingerpicking and good lyrics, if somewhat subpar vocals, this piece then jumps into a folky alternative acoustic run. The threepiece band sings about trying to let go of an old relationship but inability to compromise with the loneliness. Three out of five stars.
“Love Lovin’ You (feat. Keith Urban)”—Brandon Green. Disclaimer; I was raised on country. Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, or even old-timers like John Michael Montgomery and George Strait were regular radio performers in my dad’s pickup. In fact, I can imitate a country western singer like you wouldn’t believe. You’d say “DID YOU SWALLOW TOBY KEITH?” You know you would. I could be the next Scott McCreery. But do I like country? Not really. I think it’s fun to listen to sometimes, so if you feel the same way this is a great country song. I would recommend it to fans of Keith Urban except…I’m not really sure where he is in this song. Is he playing guitar? Is he that one backup vocal that you can kinda-sorta hear? Is he eating Fruit By The Foot in the studio while Brandon Green and his band performs? Maybe. I don’t know. Stop looking at me! Three out of five stars.
“Maria Marie”—Thieves Like Us. This song is that goth kid who has a British sense of humor, who cuts the sleeves off of his t-shirts which are the color of those orange OtterPops—you know, the ones nobody likes? He’s weird…but, well, you secretly like him. “Maria Marie, you’re cool as ice, Maria Marie take my advice—please stop calling me at night.” These lyrics pull you in and get you interested in this quirky song, and conglomerated with the dissonant yet immersive tones and beats of the indie/grunge mix, this song is really pretty great. Four out of five stars.
“Revival Mode”—Every Time I Die. Western Hardcore is all I can say. With lyrics like “four riders in a town with one horse,” “I had a lock on a dirty little secret | a raging bull who was fixed to fall out” and “I need to pay the judge,” you definitely get the feel of an Old West setting. The song is full of emotion and power and stuffed to the seams with bitterness, but it’s a sort of contrite, wry bitterness. On an unrelated note, is it funny how the name of this song and the name of this band seem to have a symmetry? Three out of five stars.
Are you a fan of any of these bands?