Ratatat

Reviews: Quick Hits (Part 1)

Though we here at Rust Is Just Right try as hard as we can, it simply is not possible for us to review all the great new albums that come across our way.  However, since our goal is to highlight great music that you may have not discovered yet, we feel obligated to at least give a brief mention to some of the records that we have accumulated over the past few months that are worthy of your consideration.

Ceremony – The L-Shaped Man This album sounds like a lost collection of Joy Division/early New Order B-Sides, and I mean that with absolutely no snark at all.  That should come as no surprise, considering the band is named after the song that served as a bridge between the two bands, but this actually represents a shift in sound for a group that previously trafficked in a style closer to hardcore.  In other words, take every smartass remark made about Interpol and apply it to these guys, but we suggest that you refrain from over-intellectualizing and instead embrace the gloomy grooves.

Deradoorian – The Expanding Flower Planet Fans of the Dirty Projectors are well-acquainted with the beautiful, ethereal voice of former member Angel Deradoorian, and they should be delighted with her solo debut.  It is easy to get lost in the trippy, psychedelic journey that Deradoorian takes on this record, though at times it can make for a frustrating listen, despite the abundance of talent on display.

Ducktails – St. Catherine The side project of Real Estate guitarist Matt Mondanile shares many of the qualities that led fans to appreciate his main gig, namely easy-going vibes and slick, pretty leads.  However, Mondanile does get to indulge a bit and explore other sounds, venturing towards the synthpop side of the music spectrum.

Ratatat – Magnifique There is nothing quite like this distinctive instrumental duo, who blend electronic beats and catchy inventive guitar riffs.  For this go around, Ratatat shows off their sunnier side, incorporating elements of surf music into their trademark sound.  The album seems to drag on a bit longer than it should, but it would be hard to cut out any specific track, because that would mean missing out on some excellent hooks.

The Sonics – The Is The Sonics The garage-rock pioneers have returned with a vengeance, proving that the old guys still have the energy to blow the young folks out of the water, so to speak.  In other words, this is not your typical embarrassing reunion of fogies who are long past their sell-by date–there is some serious verve and passion to this record.

Catching Up On The Week (May 16th Edition)

The weather up here in the Pacific NW has decided to morph into summer early this year, but for those of you who aren’t as lucky, we have plenty of #longreads to keep you busy this weekend.

First, we have more drummer news.  We mentioned before on our Tumblr about the proposed Will Ferrell/Chad Smith drum-off, and now we finally have a time and place: Thursday, May 22nd on The Tonight Show.  Be sure to read this Rolling Stone article to catch up on all the hilarious trash talk.

As a musician, I’ve heard and shared my fair share of drummer jokes.  Here’s one of my favorites:

A new customer walks into the new store on the block that sells brains. There are three glass cases, each containing a nice wet quivering grey brain. The first one says “Doctor”, and it costs $10. The second says “Astrophysicist” and costs $100. The third says “Drummer” and costs $10,000. The customer is confused, and questions the salesperson. “I don’t get it…why would I want a drummer’s brain for $10,000 when I can get an a doctor’s for $10?”. The salesman replies, “Because it’s never been used.” 

Now, drummers may be able to claim to have the last laugh, as a new study shows that they’re intuitive problem-solvers.  The article then goes on to explain the importance of rhythm in learning and brain function, and is worth reading in full.  Kudos for drummers, but remember that guitarists are totally special too.

Wayne Coyne Trapped In A Ball

Wayne Coyne Trapped In A Ball

A couple of weeks back, we linked to an article which detailed some of the circumstances of Kliph Scurlock’s firing from the Flaming Lips, and we feel it would probably be good to link to an update on the reasoning behind the move.

In a recent post, we discussed the random brilliance of parts of the Godzilla soundtrack, and asked why aren’t there more songs with random Godzilla noises.  Apparently, we weren’t alone with such questions, and someone took it upon themselves to make sure that the world is filled with more Godzilla “remixes”.

This week, the AV Club had a couple of good appreciation pieces.  First, they updated their series “Fear of a Punk Decade” with a look back at 1998, mainly through the lens of the release of Refused’s seminal album The Shape of Punk to Come.  You can probably tell that we’re pretty big fans of Refused (take a look at our cover banner), so we’re always grateful for any mention of the band.  The other big event covered is the release of At the Drive-In’s In/Casino/Out, which mirrored Refused’s attempts to shape post-hardcore punk, and served as a glimpse to their magnum opus Relationship of Command which would be released a few years later.  Then there’s a piece on Ratatat’s self-titled debut, and how it would unknowingly influence alternative and electronic music later on in the decade.

Finally, Pitchfork has a couple of articles that I’m looking forward to reading this weekend, one an interview with Fucked Up as they prepare for the release of their long-awaited album Glass Boys, and the other an extended profile of Sharon Van Etten.