It's easy to hum a Sweet Little Song

  • Artist: The Elktones
  • Album: Small Town
  • Year: 2002
  • Why I picked it up: It gave off really really strong country vibes, and I was in the mood for some good country (like, Willis Alan Ramsey) when I was buying.

The Elktones produce an upbeat poppyish country (not really so much the contemporary pop-country, but folksy country with a happy feeling) sound. It's very enjoyable and I do really enjoy listening to it. There are plenty of people out there who do not even want to give country music a chance (probably why this was in the bargain bin), but if they were to listen to something like The Elktones (while they don't play pure country, it is enough country to scare off the country-phobes) these people would find themselves enjoying the music, and may continue on to actually enjoy country and seek it out. With plenty of acoustic guitar, smooth vocals, solid percussion work, and a splash of electric guitar and banjo the Elktones made a very nice, enjoyable sound on this CD, which would definitely appeal to many of those who "can't stand country music."

The liner notes mention that no animals were harmed during the making of this album, which--while a nice sentiment--should not need to be stated. Are they suggesting that all the other albums I've bought were produced while the artists tortured little puppies? Makes me wonder what these Elktones were really doing...

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  • Artist: Red Animal War, Slowride
  • Album: Red Animal War|Slowride
  • Year: 2002
  • Why I picked it up: When I first looked at it it seemed like a rather boring cover, until I looked at the back cover and the inside of the insert. The album artwork and the CD artwork all had something relating to the Kennedy assassination, which was a cool concept for the album art.

Whoops, I accidentally bought a split EP, so there are two artists on this album, not one. Oh well, you guys are getting a special two-for-one edition of Igor and the Whale (which is good, since Igor doesn't seem to like to update over the summer). Red Animal War has a really nice sound, with punk rock vocals and catchy lyrics, sung along excellent guitar riffs, solid and varied drums, and a consistently strong (although subtle) bass line. Somewhat complimenting them, Slowride is a strong rock band, with good driving guitars, steady drums, and a nice bassist and singer. The problem is that the way the EP is laid out--with the tracks by each artist alternating one after another--makes the Red Animal War tracks way overshadow the Slowride tracks. The Slowride tracks aren't bad, it's just that when the were played between Red Animal War tracks they don't stand out enough on their own.

I really enjoyed Red Animal War (it was very tough to choose a standout track among their three, I liked them all), I hope to get more of their stuff sometime.

Red Animal War
  • Standout track: Dear John
  • MySpace: Slowride
  • Rating: 3/5

  • How much I would've paid: $6 (mostly for the Red Animal War tracks)

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It Seems Like Something My Dad Would Like

  • Artist: The Palladinos
  • Album: Travelling Dark
  • Year: 1994
  • Why I picked it up: The cover had a very pretty stained glass picture on it of a woman walking a path of brightly colored rocks, and I thought it looked interesting. There was an offhand chance that it might be metal.

The Palladinos have a sound which is very noteable, but I'm having trouble describing it. It's one of those banana/pomegranate issues, if you will. It's a folksy rock sound, I guess. I keep getting strong hippie vibes as I listen to it (but not in a trippy way). The vocalists have very strong and steady voices, and they're obviously very secure in their sound. The mandolin on the handful of tracks it is featured in is pretty nifty. Overall, pretty nice slow-ish calm rock that is appealing, if a little dated.

What's cool is that in the liner notes, next to each song's title is the key in which it was written.

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Three Guitarists, a Bassist, a Singer, and a Drummer

  • Artist: Circuit
  • Album: Eau De Humanity
  • Year: 2006
  • Why I picked it up: The cover has a bottle floating in what I assume is the perfume "Eau De Humanity." I wondered what the smell of humanity sounded like... I think.

Circuit is a typical rock band that plays a very classic guitar focused sound, which is full of complex riffs that display the guitarists' talents. The vocalist has the common powerful, mid ranged voice that is found in classic rock. What I find to be the biggest fault in the band is that the bass, drums, and keyboards that are listed in the liner notes are very insubstantial. However, the collection of songs is, nonetheless, very strong. The album contains power anthems, as well as the rock ballads with the changed up slower tempo and dampened vocals. Circuit also has their fair share of harder post-grunge/alt rock songs (with slightly less technical guitar riffs) of the type that filled the late 90s so much.

I guess my final verdict on the "Eau De Humanity" is... that it smells nice?

  • Standout track: Reasoning
  • MySpace: Circuit
  • How much I would've paid: $5
  • Rating: 3/5

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