Review Vault – Tin Pan Alley, Kausal, Komondor

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Tin Pan Alley – Palm Waves, Figures For Chants, Quotes And Noise Bursts

If Pavement, Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. would’ve made a record together, there’s a huge chance that it would’ve sounded something like this album. The only caveat is that the TPA hails from Poland, not US.

One can find elements of all three aforementioned bands scattered all over “Figures” –  there’s pleasant indie pop (“Capo”) and  not-so tender guitar freak-outs / noisy dissonance (“Mangrove Tunnel” / “Playground”). Then there’s an occasional left turn that the band takes on songs like “Sone” (with its distorted vocals/pounding drums ) and samples/electronic sounds/noises in songs like “The City And Man” and the closer “The Going From The World We Know”.

“Figures” is very well done even though at times it may come off sounding as a carbon copy of some of the 80s/90s American rock bands. Songs may require a bit more diversity and I hope to hear more of the band’s original ideas next time around, but “Figures” is very well produced, especially given that its a debut album.

Favorites: Capo / Sone / Playground

For Fans Of: Sonic Youth / Pavement / Dinosaur Jr.

Further Info:  Rate Your Music / Official Blog (in Polish only) / Facebook /   Last.fm

Reviews: Radio Wroclove

Other Recommendations: Top Surprise

Kausal – In Dead Cities (Version Studio)

Much like many other records in post-rock/metal genre, “In Dead Cities”, a debut album by Swedish band Kausal, seems to be about a search of balance between the quiet/serene and loud/violent. Songs on “Cities” show that the band decided to concentrate on atmospheric side of things, which may not have not been the best idea.

“Cities” starts out with two very strong tracks, which perfectly complement one another – “The Debt” and “We Steal Sunshine”. They’re both similar in the way that they start with tribal drumming, but former features quiet singing in the background and its a slow/atmospheric track, while latter is an instrumental and gets progressively heavier towards the end.

The rest of the songs on the album, however, don’t seem to be very distinct – the only exception is “Conquistador”, a semi-instrumental/heavy track with a Middle Eastern vibe.

While the album demonstrates a serious potential, there’s just not too many memorable songs to recommend it. At its core it doesn’t sound like an ambient album and the songs that work best on “Cities” are the ones that combine both rock/metal and ambient in equal measure (like the aforementioned “We Steal Sunshine”).

Favorites: The Debt, We Steal Sunshine, The Conquistador

For Fans Of: Isis, Neurosis, Red Sparowes

Other Recommendations: Auternus

Further Info: Official Site / MySpace / Last.fm / Rate Your Music

Reviews: Equivoke / TheSirensSound / NoiZine / Lukinzine (in Swedish only)

Komondor – A Giant Is Coming And The Giant Is Going To Kill You

And another band that intentionally misspells its own name…this one consists of a bunch of New Yorkers.

Komondor describe their music as “Eyehategod covering Thin Lizzy songs played backwards.” and/or “Daydream Nation with all the good parts taken out played (again) backwards with a man yelling on top of it”, which is fairly close to the truth. I don’t hear much of “Daydream Nation” influence in  “Giant”, to be honest, but that Eyehategod part is absolutely correct.

“Giant” is  30 minutes of crushing heavy/sludgy tunes with raspy vocals – probably not everyone’s idea of fun. But it also seems that the band is taking a piss out of rock’n’roll/metal, judging by album/song titles and the band name itself, which is good considering the amount of po-faced metal acts out there.

In the end, however, its hard to recommend this record to anyone but hardcore metal/sludge fans – the songs don’t seem to sound terribly different and vocals are far from being operatic, but you should know what you’re getting into if you’re familiar with those genres.

And more importantly – the whole album is available for download, free of charge! So get it while you can and feel free to make your own conclusions.

For Fans Of: Eyehategod

Further Info: Bandcamp / MySpace / Facebook / Last.fm

Other Recommendations: Fitful


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