Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday February 27, 2003
Giraffe (Mute Records)
It's hard to classify Echoboy's Giraffe.
Is it electronica because of the utter lack of real instruments? Is it techno because of the drum machine that constantly plays the same beat over and over? Or, is it new wave, due to the fact that Echoboy stays true to his name and sounds like he is echoing nearly every singer from the Ī80s?
Whatever you want to call it, one thing's for sure: It's not a very good album. It seems as if Echoboy is trying to channel the spirits of singers past. On "Don't Destroy Me," you can hear Robert Smith trying to break free. "Lately Lonely" could have easily been performed by Tears for Fears. They probably would have done a better job too. Nearly every other song hearkens back to the days of Flock of Seagulls.
No one needs to hear that.
To give credit where credit is due, Echoboy was going for a specific sound and he achieved it. It also must take a high level of talent to be able to make all the music on the album alone. Artists like Moby and the Chemical Brothers have excelled at this form of music. Echoboy still has quite a way to go before he can be at their level. For as good as it sounds, or he thinks it sounds, it doesn't transfer well to live shows.
If Echoboy wants to be a success in the big world of music, he needs to drastically change his style. Maybe add a live band?
The Datsuns (V2)
Rock Īn' roll ÷ that's what this band does. They rock New Zealand's socks off. No need for Frodo Baggins or Gandalf. The Datsuns are just four guitar-heavy, screaming, amplified long-hairs who shout about God knows what. But who cares? It rocks.
Their sound is a cross between the new Queens of the Stone Age and AC/DC. When they start a song, they bolt straight for your jugular with nitrous-injected hyperactivity. Unlike Andrew W.K., however, they are not so unbearably overanxious to get you to soften up to them.
Also, no power ballads are included, not even with a song called "In Love." The song crushes verses with power chords and has a call-and-response screaming chorus. Excellent.
Don't try and seek the secrets of life in The Datsuns' lyrics. Try more to decipher actual words. They are singing English, even if it doesn't sound like it. Pop stars they are not; this band is supposed to be even better live.
Most people on this continent, however, have never seen them perform, mainly because their CD was released almost five months ago in many other parts of the globe. Maybe America just wasn't ready to get rocked by New Zealanders. That all should change as they embark on their North American tour in April, which makes stops just about everywhere except good ol' Arizona. Yeah!
From the Attic
The music industry is desperately looking for women that rock. It is so desperate that it will take nearly anyone. How else do you explain the success of Avril Lavigne?
What music execs may not realize is they already have what they are looking for, right under their noses. Sure, the Donnas are starting to get noticed ÷ finally ÷ but there is another, equally good, female-fronted band waiting for its chance at stardom.
With the release of From the Attic, Damone is poised to hit the big time. Their sound isn't anything spectacular; think Blink 182 with a sex change. This may turn some people off, but it really is a good thing.
Imagine a group of friends that want to put a band together. They only have the guitarist's garage/game room to play in. While they are practicing, other friends are in the middle of an intense Madden Football tournament. The band stops often, mostly to join in the gaming. That is what Damone sounds like. They sound like other rock bands should, like they are having fun.
From the Attic does have its weak spots, though, when the female lead isn't singing. And the song, "At the Mall," isn't nearly as inspired as the rest of the album. "I'm at the mall and I'm missing you, missing you," doesn't quite have the depth of a Bob Dylan lyric.
But depth isn't what Damone is about. If you want that, listen to Norah Jones. If you want fun, listen to Damone.
Lullaby for Liquid Pig (Ineffable Records)
There are slow love ballads. There are slow, sad songs, and Lisa Germano takes slow music to a whole new level. Halfway through the second song you will find yourself drifting into a peaceful slumber.
This would be fine if you were listening to Lullaby for Liquid Pig at home. But if you were, say, a music reviewer who listens to the music in his car, this could be very dangerous.
Looking at the back of the CD, it may be a surprise that each song hovers around the three minute mark. Each of those three minutes will be the longest of your life.
It may be just me, but I believe music should inspire creativity. It should get your blood flowing and your feet moving. Liquid Pig does none of that. It has already caused me to mention myself twice in this review.
Lets talk a little more about me. When I was a freshman in high school, my friends and I wanted to start a band. Our influences at the time were Metallica, Faith No More, and Nirvana. We were going to rock. We even had a name: Sexual Chocolate. We were going to start the Oregon music revolution. We had two problems though. One, we sucked. Two, we had one guy who wanted to play nothing but dark, slow music. We solved problem two by kicking that guy out of the band.
On "Paper Doll," Germano sings "Put me out of this misery." I say, save yourself the misery and avoid this album at all costs.