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04 May 2006

MOS Funnel, Rhythmic American Poetry (MOS Funnel) Rating: 8
Take out your Music Atlas and spread it across the floor. Over there, to your right, are Tom Waits, Johnny Cash, and the Stones. Mark those spots with an X. Look, down here, put an X on George Clinton. Put an X on Mellencamp. Over here, it's Hendrix. Mark an X there. Go left and you'll find Lenny Kravitz and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Now take a ruler and draw straight lines between all the X's and you'll have an idea of the musical territory MOS Funnel travels on Rhythmic American Poetry. MOS Funnel consists of vocalist and guitarist Joe Carrado, Ed Cullerton (drums), Justin Ringsak (horn, bass, and guitar), and Dan Huber (bass). This mixture of funk, rock, pop, and jazz -- as well as the use of two bass players -- is fresh and imaginative. Infectious songs like the rocking "Sleep in the Sand" and the swinging "Any Day Now" will have you hooked. Musically, they're not afraid to take chances (check the staccato piano and wiggling bass on "Strange Clockwork" or the complete musical about-face at 2 minutes and 58 seconds into "Comeir"). Lyrically, Rhythm American Poetry is aptly titled, with songs like "Apathy Apologies" and "Beautiful Not Saddened" that are lush with imagery. Joe Carrado's born-to-rock gritty vocals may be an acquired taste, especially on "Tattooed" -- at times, he's channeling Joe Cocker; other times, it's John Mellencamp or even Louis Armstrong's "What a Beautiful World". But take notice: Rhythmic American Poetry puts MOS Funnel's name on the map too. Make sure you mark it. [Amazon | Insound]
      — Quentin B. Huff
multiple songs: [MOS Funnel]
multiple songs: [MySpace]
"To the East": [MP3]

Megaherz, 5 (Eclipse) Rating: 6
It's easy to categorize Germany's Megaherz as nothing more than a Rammstein clone, and "Dein Herz Schlagt", the opening track on their new album, certainly doesn't do the foursome any favors, as it nails all the Ramstein clichés: simple, nu-metal riffage, industrial beats, a guy snarling menacingly in German. However, in addition to that simple industrial pop sound (which, admittedly, they do very well), the band toss in enough variety to set themselves apart from their fellow countrymen. They're no young pups, either, as this is in fact their seventh album (which originally came out in Europe back in late 2004), and they display impressive versatility on such songs as the surprisingly pop-oriented "Ja Genau", "Eigentlich" (during which Mathias Elsholz displays his excellent vocal range), "Zeig Mir Dein Gesicht", and the thunderous re-recording of their 1997 song "Gott Sein 04" which successfully attempts a similar epic sweep as Sisters of Mercy. A surprisingly enjoyable album. [Amazon | Insound]
      — Adrien Begrand
multiple songs: [MP3 and real audio streams]
multiple songs: [MySpace]

No-Neck Blues Band, Qvaris (5 Rue Christine) Rating: 8
Building a bridge between free jazz and a diluted version of stoner rock, No-Neck Blues Band's schtick is admirable strangeness. Like the evasive Castanets, and perhaps akin to Sonic Youth's most deconstructed moments, NNCK (as it's officially abbreviated, for whatever reason) delivers a set of noise both organic and invented, the result a mish-mash masterwork that blends the freedom of jazz with the concept of "found sound." Qvaris finds NNCK in an intensely spaced-out moment, stretching itself to the horizon with creativity and what feels like improvisational brilliance. Perhaps what's most remarkable, like in the sequence from "Boreal Gluts" through "Lugnagall," is the band's ability to completely lose itself in a moment and to feel its way back where it came from. In this sequence, representative of the album's functional knack for wandering, the synchronous gives way to series of percussive tracks -- each track blending into the next, mere musical moments -- only to reel back to a peaceful and pleasant climax and conclusion. At once eerie and completely intriguing, NNCK is a one of a kind musical experiment. It's not for everyone, certainly, but "enjoyable" is such a hard word, anyway. [Amazon | Insound]
      — Zack Adcock
"Live your myth in greasE": [MP3]
"The black popE": [MP3]

Karmadoa, Karmadoza (Gaia Disk) Rating: 5
Karmadoza claim that they sound like Black Sabbath meets PJ Harvey and who am I to argue, they are right after all. They sound almost exactly like the above artists with a little All About Eve thrown in for a sweetener. This Canadian quintet are not going to win any awards for originality but then I suspect that they are not trying. This five-track EP's opener "Divide" is really a strangely beautiful tune that is swathed in drop-tuned guitars and topped by Vicky Martell's sweet but powerful voice. It is hypnotic and sways before you in a trancelike state. Unfortunately, the rest of the EP doesn't quite follow up on this track's promise. That is often the trouble with bands that sound like other bands, they are often not like them in so many other ways. Where Black Sabbath and PJ Harvey were not content to follow and came up with something new and invigorating, Karmadoza seem happy to hang on to the coat tails of their heroes. [Amazon | Insound]
      — Marc A. Price
"Divide": [MP3]
multiple songs: [MySpace]

.: posted by Editor 6:29 AM

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