The Weekend Review: July 2012 Report

Originally posted 2013-01-11 01:00:37. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

Cold Hard Want (House of Heroes)

Producer: Paul Moak

Released: July 10, 2012

Rating:  3 / 5 stars

Top Two Tracks: “Out My Way” & “The Cop”

Kicking off as it does with the a cappella “A Man Who’s Not Afraid,” it is immediately clear that House of Heroes continues to work to defy the preconceived formulas imposed on their genre.  The next three tracks proceed to blow the roof off, raging with energy and literally screaming with ideas, criticisms, and hopes for change.  While “We Were Giants” runs a bit predictably, “The Cop” rebounds with the rare acoustic outing by House of Heroes, highlighting their more subtle talents, primarily with vocals.  Where this album falls of previous efforts, most notably 2010’s masterful Suburba, is from midpoint forward; the second half suffers from alternatingly predictable and bland moments that detract from the powerhouse opening.  Still, Cold Hard Want is a strong effort that marks House of Heroes as band worth keeping track of.

 

 

 

Harakiri (Serj Tankian)

Producer: Serj Tankian

Released: July 10, 2012

Rating:  4 / 5 stars

Top Two Tracks: “Uneducated Democracy” & “Cornucopia”

“We rape the earth and don’t know why it strikes,” Tankian sings early on Harakiri opening track “Cornucopia.”  This sets the pace for the ten tracks that follow, ten songs driven by a critical voice that is masterfully woven into fast-paced soundscapes.  As early as “Ching Chime,” there is an epic quality that Tankian achieves here, particularly on this track’s chorus.  He seems to delight in continually ramping up the pacing, then alternatingly dropping back a notch to allow for some vocal breathing room and amping back up to nearly breakneck speed.  The result is an album that is both fun to listen to and engaging: there is both a beat and a message to be conveyed for anyone willing to listen.

 

  

 

 

thefearofmissingout (thenewno2)

Producer: pHd

Released: July 31, 2012

Rating:  3 / 5 stars

Top Two Tracks: “I Won’t Go” & “The Wait Around”

When I reviewed thenewno2’s 2008 debut album You Are Here, the best description I could form was that it was what I imagine Radiohead would have sounded like if George Harrison had been their frontman.  On their sophomore release, thenewno2 have maintained elements of their signature sound, yet I don’t know that this comparison holds true any longer.  They seem to have progressed, developing their sound beyond the realm of handy comparison. However, there is something missing here on thefearofmissingout that helped to drive You Are Here and enabled its strong sense of cohesion.  Still, it is rewarding to see the band stretching out a bit, incorporating new elements (rap, for instance), and maintaining an overall sense of experimenting with what will be their signature sound.

This is one in a series of acoustic cover songs, original music, and free mp3 downloads here on the Laptop Sessions Music Video Blog.

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