The Record Lounge: Reviews 11/10/2010 – Belle & Sebastian, Monster Magnet, Electric Wizard, White Drugs

I have been trying to play catch-up on album reviews. Here are a few notables from the past few weeks. If it looks like the 90’s in here, it sounds like the 90’s in here.

Belle & Sebastian – Write About Love

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Distributed by their late 90’s, early 00’s US home, Matador Records, (licensed from Rough Trade in the UK) Belle and Sebastian look to their own past for their future. In a return to form of sorts, their previous two long-players, 2003’s Dear Catastrophe Waitress and 2006’s The Life Pursuit had stylistically evolved some but in the process lost some of the charm I had fallen in love with, 1998’s The Boy With The Arab Strap, Write About Love recalls their pre-’03 output.

Reminding everyone why they loved them in the first place and why they are the standard by which Twee-Pop has been held to for the past decade and a half, Write About Love should be a welcome return to form by fans of that era of 90’s lilting indie fare. Standout tracks include the bouncy opening track “I Didn’t See It Coming”, “Calculating Bimbo”, the call and response feel of “I Want The World To Stop” and the almost swinging 60’s throwback of the title track, “Write About Love”.

Monster Magnet – Mastermind

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In almost an exercise in unflinching consistency, Monster Magnet’s 8th full length album Mastermind will not disappoint fans of the Red Bank, NJ’s Stoner/Psychedelic influenced rock. With little evolution since 1990’s self-titled EP, one always knows what to expect from Monster Magnet, and I think we’re all fairly happy with that.

On Mastermind, Dave Wyndorf leads his crew through 14 new songs about the future, the past, space, clichéd rock themes, power, and general mysticism – all of the themes we have come to expect from the two decade old, Hawkwind inspired heavy rock stalwarts. Standout tracks include, well, all of them. They all sound like un-yielding Monster Magnet songs. And thank God for that.

Electric Wizard – Black Masses

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It’s interesting to hear albums recorded entirely as an analogue format these days, without all the sterile  (pun unintended) wizardry of digital recording techniques. Black Masses, the Dorset, England doom metal quartet Electric Wizard’s 7th album sounds like a really great rip of an LP, which I would imagine is what it really is. Like their previous album, 2007’s Witchcult Today, Black Masses, was recorded entirely analogue. Their sludgy, seventies drenched stoner metal fits this format very well, but is probably best experienced on LP for that warm, bottom heavy sound.

White Drugs – Gold Magic

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One of my favorite record labels of the 90’s, Minneapolis’ Amphetamine Reptile, has released this little gem of an album from Denton, TX noise rock outfit White Drugs. Recalling the quality and style the label portrayed in an era when the label meant almost as much as the music as a stamp of quality and cohesion – if you liked what AmRep released, you pretty much took the plunge on whatever they endorsed – Gold Magic has such an urgency there are no gaps between songs. I don’t mean they flow nicely into one another, I mean you barely wrap your head around a songs end before you must switch gears into a new track.

Available only on LP format – limited to only 300 – a digital download is included as well. If you miss those noisy indie rock days of the early 90’s, take this one to heart: get the White Drugs album.

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~ by thesynaptic on November 10, 2010.

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