Posted by: Ryan Allen on July 3, 2008 at 12:00 pm

Supergrass, Diamond Hoo Ha (Parlophone, 2008)

MP3: “Diamond Hoo Ha Man”

Whether being depicted as teenage scruffs trying to avoid getting “caught by the fuzz,” or as other-planetary Major Tom’s, Brit-pop survivors Supergrass have always been cast as zany classic-rock revivalists that don’t mind hamming it up for the camera. Look to any of the group’s videos throughout their fifteen-year career, and you’re as likely to find them biking around town, sporting t-shirts with their names splayed on them (“Alright”), as you are watching them become elastic-limbed puppets (“Pumping On Your Stereo”), bop around on pogo-sticks (“Late In the Day”), or impersonate homeless guys (“Rush Hour Soul”). Where the band has succeeded, and perhaps where other Brit-rock contemporaries like Oasis and Coldplay have tripped up in the “personable” department, is that they’ve managed to be taken mostly seriously by not taking themselves too seriously — no wonder Dave Grohl is a big fan. So it should be no shock that in the video for “Diamond Hoo Ha Man” — the single from this year’s Diamond Hoo Ha — Supergrass assume the identity of fictional German two-piece Diamond Hoo Ha Men (with singer/guitarist Gaz Coombes as “Duke Diamond” and drummer Danny Goffey playing the part of “Randy Hoo Ha”). But don’t expect Kraftwerk-ian blips and bleeps; in both song and on film, we’re getting classic Supergrass. The riffs are heavy, still tipping it’s glitter-encrusted hat to the likes of 1970s glam-champions T. Rex and the Sweet, as we watch the boys — in character, of course — gallivant like the rockstars they are pretending to be (and are, at least in England). And yes, we know this is a record review, but it goes without saying that by using the video and single as evidence, Supergrass are comfortable being, well, Supergrass. Album highlights like “Rebel In You” — with it’s “Coming Read more

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Posted by: Ryan Allen on June 30, 2008 at 10:00 am

Wolf Parade, At Mount Zoomer (Sub Pop Records, 2008)

MP3: “Soldier’s Grin”

It’d be easy to evaluate At Mount ZoomerWolf Parade’s second act to their first, 2006’s Apologies to The Queen Mary — through the scope of an extremely successful band, following up an extremely successful debut album. On the other hand, it’s almost hard not to, as sophomore albums are generally sliced open with a slightly sharper edge of the sword the second time around. But the reality here is that even though At Mount Zoomer is technically Wolf Parade’s second record, it seems more like the fifth or sixth, considering band members Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner’s side-project addiction. At this point, any fan of Apologies to The Queen Mary has become well versed in each songwriter’s distinct style: Boeckner writes the jean jacket anthems; the dirty knees rockers that nod to Springsteen and Strummer, with songs full of sweat, jangley chords, triumphant melodies, and a scratchy delivery that speaks of countless nights spent smoking and drinking cheap whiskey. Read more

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Posted by: Ryan Allen on June 24, 2008 at 5:00 pm

We’ve been pretty curious about, Life Beyond Mars, the upcoming compilation collecting covers of David Bowie songs. Even more exciting, is that Detroit’s very own Zoos of Berlin (presented by Carl Craig, no less) Read more

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Posted by: Johnny Loftus on May 27, 2008 at 9:00 am

The Last Shadow Puppets, The Age of The Understatement (Domino, 2008)

Listen: “The Age of The Understatement”

Arctic Monkeys shouter Alex Turner joins with Miles Kane from the Rascals — no, not those Rascals, but a much younger and more likely bunch of scraggly-topped Brit rockers — and the result is The Age of The Understatement, the first output from their collabo as Last Shadow Puppets. And they sound a lot like Read more

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