The Record Lounge: Reviews 7/16/2010

Hellyeah – Stampede
Korn – III: Remember Who You Are

Metal can be a funny genre. It can always be unfashionable and uncool, but it’s core (which is massive) audience rarely wavers (unless you cut your hair… right Metallica?). Unfortunately for people who like more than just metal, it can be a bit frustrating. This week we saw two big metal releases, the latest from Korn, and from Vinnie Paul’s (Pantera, Damageplan) latest project Hellyeah.

As a music lover, who happens to like metal as well, this is where I get furstrated and a bit confused. I have never been a big Korn fan, whatsoever. But I understood their appeal, especially around 97-98 with the disenfranchised youth of that time period. Working at a CD Warehouse at the time, those kids were everywhere, giant Jenco jeans, chains, Korn shirts, dog collars… afwul hair… it made sense. And that was 12-13 years ago. What can Jonathan Davis still be so angry about? Is his childhood still giving him nightmares? The latest Korn doesn’t sound much different form earlier Korn, but it just doesn’t seem to have a real place anymore. In 2010 Korn seem to be about as relevant as Kittie.

Hellyeah is a whole different kind of mess. This is derivative riff metal at its blandest. Vinnie Paul is a great drummer with a distinct style and sound, which isn’t evident here. This album comes across as something thrown together to get some product out and stay in the public eye for a bit longer. Nothing stood out on this release, setting it apart from nothing. If you need some sort of TX metal fix that bad, go buy Warbeast.

All that being said, the metal community will most likely embrace these records within their splintered genres. Korn will always be able to make music for the disenfranchised kid who always feels dumped on, and Hellyeah will quench the thirsts of those looking for a new metal album. These will both be fine records in any metal fans collection, but will never be a favorite album to anyone.

Stampede is available from
Korn III: Remember Who You Are is available from


Not many changes, if any in the third full-length from Sri-Lanka’s favorite female MC. Not as prevalent as on Kala, tribal drumbeats take a back seat to a larger, electronic based hip-hop beats. Whereas stylistically not too far from its predecessor, and just as interesting, MAYA appears to be more energetic and just a tad more mature, if not bolder, this time around. Standout tracks include “Born Free”, “XXXO”, and “Story To Be Told”.

MAYA is available from

Crowded House – Intriguer

The sixth album from Down Under’s Crowded House, and second since reuniting in 2006, is exactly what you want and expect from Crowded House – pleasant guitar based alternative pop, the kind that put them on the map 24 years ago. There’s really not much else to say here, no chances taken, no dramatic shift in style or form. Just good old Crowded House doing exactly what you want them to. I mean this as a compliment and endorsement. And not a back-handed one either.

Intriguer is available from

Sun Kil Moon – Admiral Fell Promises

Delicate guitars announce the arrival of San Francisco trio based Sun Kil Moon’s fourth full length release, Admiral Fell Promises. The former Red Hose Painters songwriter, Mark Kozelek, delivers this latest batch of nimble folk along with earnest and passionate feeling for the music, vocals as soothing as the instruments below them. Standout tracks include “Alesund”, “You Are My Sun” and “Sam Wong Hotel”.

Admiral Fell Promises is available from

School of Seven Bells – Disconnect From Desire

The sophomore release from former Tripping Daisy drummer/The Secret Machines guitarist Benjamin Curtis’ latest project, School of Seven Bells, is an exercise in electronic driven dreampop, with some shoegaze influences tossed into the mix. The New York based trio, comprised of Curtis and twin Deheza sisters, Alejandra and Claudia, formed as a side project from Curtis’ former band, The Secret Machines, only to become a full fledged act when Curtis defected to pursue School of Seven Bells full time in 2007. With Disconnect From Desire, School of Seven Bells has built on the more frenetic electronic energy of their debut, Alpinisms, toning things down a bit and settling into their sound. Standout tracks include “Dust Devil” and “Windstorm”.

Disconnect From Desire is available from


~ by thesynaptic on August 8, 2010.

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