Taking a Listen

by Heather MacIntyre

Glissade – Further

Personally, I’ve never been a fan of shoegaze but Glissade’s new album is pretty well rounded. Not every track just sounds like light electric feedback. It does, however, seem to fit a very typical ambient structure of one constant dry beat of percussion throughout some of the songs to prove that it is indeed a “song” and not just “noise.” A few of the tracks stand out, like “Distant Tidal,” which has more of a soundtrack build-up and a little more put into the drums. It’s a positive thing that Greensboro has become so diverse that we are able to possess an instrumental band in this genre of music, whether we have much of a market for them or not. This is great music to write to, drive to, bike to and sleep to (in the nicest way possible). You may, however, decide that it’s worth just listening to on May 10 at Solaris.

Rating: 3.0 records (out of 5)

Benj-O-Matic – The Infinite Amplification of Silence

Well, I’m not completely sure what the target audience is for this album. I have to admit that it’s very eclectic – a lot of tracks sound like they should be on separate releases. It seems like a collection for the mature mind with an immature heart from tracks that contain lyrics that make little to no sense, or just nonsense about… Gary Busey? A few of the tunes actually possess some enjoyable vocals and beats, but a lot of this album is hard to enjoy one after another. A little bit of country, a little bit of grunge, a little bit of rock and roll, and even some fast-paced singing and drumming that remind you of some post-punk band you never got into a decade ago. I suggest this for good drinking music at a bar or air guitar in the bathroom for the young at heart.

Rating: 2.5 (out of 5)

Magnetic Fields – Distortion

Just in case you haven’t been present for their career so far, Magnetic Fields, who released their most recent album on Nonesuch Records, have quite a past to live up to. Each release leaves the indie-enthusiast skeptic to wonder which year they will fail to live up to the expectations they set for themselves the CD before. Luckily, that time has yet to come. Multiple singers make it easier to hold your attention throughout the album and not drown in boredom of the same tone with different pitches. One of the tracks is sung in a Beach Boys mocking voice as a rebuttal to their classic hit, “California Girls.” The album continues their notorious classic sound of early ’60s pop rock, with more modern music, yet not overproduced. It’s a little messy, but the electro-pop arrangements really set the mood for careless relaxation and humor out by the beach when summer starts. However, I don’t suggest this album for those with intense sun-tanning on their beach agenda – but maybe for the bonfire afterwards, with friends drinking and dancing all night, sleeping on the sand.

Rating: 4.5 (out of 5)