We listen to a lot of music here at Boutwell Studio. 8 hours a day in front of a computer, you have to have something to keep you going. So we crank the tunes all day long – which can make even the most extensive catalog get old quickly. So we’re constantly on the lookout for new good stuff – here are some albums I’ve discovered recently, which I didn’t know about 6 months ago, and now I can’t imagine life without…
Streetlight Manifesto – “Everything Goes Numb”
Tomas Kalnoky, who was the songwriting mastermind behind Catch 22′s “Keasbey Nights,” split from the band to form Streetlight Manifesto, and this is their first album of original tunes. Really strikingly different from anything I’ve ever heard. Catchy without being poppy, dark yet upbeat, and lyrically ambitious, this quickly became one of my favorite albums… well… ever. Worth the price for the first four songs alone. It’s Ska Noir. Really bitchin music. Go buy it.
The Polyphonic Spree – “Together We’re Heavy”
This is what we call our “hippy happy music.” Atmospheric, ambitious, and unabashedly optimistic. It’s rare to find new music nowadays that isn’t afraid to just be upbeat without also being irony. Everything today is so cynical, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the Polyphonic Spree is a real breath of fresh air. This is their second album, and I personally like the depth of the songwriting a bit more, but their first disc is pretty cool, too.
Less Than Jake – “B Is For B-Sides”
I’m pretty sure this was the stuff that didn’t make it onto “Anthem” from a few years ago. Which is really jacked up, because I’m having a hard time convincing myself it isn’t their best album, period. Make me wonder what kind of gems got chopped out of the rest of their catalog. It’s a harder-hitting album than their last few releases… just hits the ground running and never stops, and really captures the band’s energy. Love this disc.
Dimitri From Paris – “A Night At The Playboy Mansion”
Retro-funk-dance-lounge-groove. You can’t help but shake your rump. Makes you feel swanky even when you’re sitting in your PJs at 8am. It’s what disco should have been, but never was (not that I was alive for that, but I’ve heard stories…)
The Suicide Machines – “Destruction By Definition”
I think this was their first major-label album. This is a group that breathed new life into ska-core. And took it farther than Operation Ivy (RIP) Has a pop-punk-skater vibe, without being too MTV. I really like a lot of the tunes on this album. After this, I think the Suicide Machines got a little too hardcore, and the music got hard to listen to a whole album’s worth of. But “Destruction By Definition” is a rare blend of catchy songs and a bit of an edge. Cool stuff.
The Hippos – “Heads Are Gonna Roll”
Don’t really know how to describe this band. Super-duper catchy and poppy, but you’d never hear any of it on the radio. It’s almost TOO catchy for the airwaves. Ska with synthesizers, and a bit of Rivers Cuomo thrown in. Hard to stop listening to it, and definately bends genres. If you don’t like this album, you’re just a mean person with issues.
So go buy some new music!