Justice — Audio, Video, Disco
When I was listening to the record the first time, when I listening to it the first time and feeling generous, I thought to myself "Hmm, Justice seems to be traveling back in time with their electro music . . . the first record was like dance music meets late 80's metal [just give me that, for now], and now they've moved back to 70's arena rock . . . hmmm, very interesting, let's see where this goes."
Well, it doesn't really go anywhere, does it? And it never quite fills that arena, either.
At best, the good songs are bearable. While the record never ventures into anything too awful, the sin of the album is it just doesn't make you want to keep listening. 5, 6 songs in, you've really heard all you need.
I guess this record would be fine if it had been made by some other band, a band that didn't end their live set (as recorded in A Cross the Universe, at least) with a nearly unmixed mix of Master of Puppets.
Where's that band? Is there no Justice in this record?
Nero — Welcome Reality
I was going to say ". . . but for something that sounds like the old Justice, check this record out" as Nero competently employs the old Justice battle sound for the first half of the record . . . but then it degenerates into a tiresome backend of dubsteppery and samplish tomfoolery. Solution: Take the first half of Audio Video Disco and the first half of Welcome Reality, listen to them together, you'll have a decent dance record.
M83 — Hurry Up, We're Dreaming
The important thing to know right up front is that this is a double album. So, ask yourself, do you have a need for a double album's worth of triumphant, outer-space, Saturday morning* music?
The second thing you need to know is: It's a real good record.
It's interesting that a band with such a distinctive sound and track record of solid albums would put out such an exceptional record. It's like, just when you thought (read:I thought) all the M83 records were the same and that they reached their early apex with Don't Save Us From the Flames, it turns out they were just building up to this one. It's like if suddenly the Walkmen released a rock n roll masterpiece.
*Truth be told, the record sounds more like Saturday evening.
Real Estate — Days
If I'd written every record review that I should have written, two years ago I would have told you how much I loved Real Estate's first record. And now they have a second record! Which I like . . . but the first one, I like it best. There's some real nice songs on this record, likesay "Out of Tune" but the first album had "Atlantic City" and "Snow Days".
Man, "Snow Days." There's a song that really plucks at my guts.
(that's supposed to sound like high praise, but I don't think it reads that way. If you're going to click on one youtube link from this post, let it be one of those two above)
That said, wouldn't be surprised if Days goes all Grizzly Bear (Class of '09) or Beach House (Class of '10) on the 2011 best of lists, or in the hearts of 2011 music lovers. Haven't listened to Real Estate? Imagine a Beach House that doesn't sound like it's about to fall over, a Beach House that had something for breakfast.
Trash Talk — Awake EP
In 1998, Refused released their album "The Shape of Punk to Come." With the release of Trash Talk's "Awake" we now see that Refused were precisely thirteen years ahead of their time.
The remarkable thing about this short, solid record is how catchy it is. Not something you'd expect from something with so much screaming.
This record is an example of how I like my music to sound.