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Brooklyn Rider - Seven Steps - Classically Unweak

Albums - 6.11.12

brooklyn rider seven steps vinyl unweak album review  stop the weaknessAlright, so we had these guys on our Top 10 list of 2010 when one of our writers heard them on NPR and thought they were cool and different. They are, and this is no different. You get a little bit of the hipster, what century are we in again, type feel, but fuck it. They guys are tight and their playing is beautiful.

They are a string quartet based in, you guessed it, Brooklyn, and this album has one of their compositions, another by Christopher Tignor and the remaining are all Beethoven. We have been sitting on this album for a little while because we wanted to wait until we had the new site up and running but....it's time to just get this review up.

It is pretty fantastic and not the typical stuff we review on here. I was not the one who included their album on my top 10 list, and didn't even know about the band....so when I came across an email from the band stating they had a new album out, I thought it was straight spam. For whatever reason, I don't listen to much classical music and, well, yeah, thought it was spam. It was kind of a funny interaction when I found out that we had already written them up before, but that's just the way things go around here sometimes.

So what am I trying to say with these ramblings - if you what to brush these guys off because it's not your style, think again. They are pretty sick and while some of the music may be centuries old and Brooklyn Rider stays true to the compositions, there is definitely something fresh sounding here.

Again, what the fuck do we know, they could have completely butchered these songs and we'd have no fucking clue....but I guess that's the point. Guessing many of you guys are coming from the same spot, so what we are saying is, give this a listen even if you think it's not your thing. You may just find a new thing. HERE IS THEIR SITE. And here is a nice little iTunes button so you can buy the album (though we highly suggest the vinyl as the packaging and sound are very very nice) Seven Steps - Brooklyn Rider

Destroyer - Rubies - REALLY F-ING UNWEAK

Albums - 5.8.12

destroyer rubies record store day release  unweak album review  stop the weaknessThis is a band that I don't know how I just got into. They have been around forever and have connections to the New Pornographers. This album here is really the tops. Psychadelic indie stuff with singing that sounds like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah....this record is better though. Painter In Your Pocket is incredible. Check out this song. There is some ambient noise I could do without but....awesome pop hooks and melodies, blasted with a little bit of a weird machine and, well, you have a fantastic record. So happy to have picked this up and for someone instructing me to do so, not sure how it escaped me all these years.

So yeah, I would highly suggest getting on this if you are unfamiliar, the RSD release (pictured) is a must have.....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Record Store Day 2012 - Really Unweak

Albums - 5.8.12

record store day 2012 t rex electric warrior destroyer rubies mastodon flaming lips st vincent feist vinyl black keys el camino stop the weakness

Alright, so RSD 2012 was a success. Picked up most everything I was eyeing and...yeah, I love Record Store Day. So what do we have: Destroyer's Rubies on red vinyl, The Black Keys' El Camino double LP at 45 rpm, which comes with a live 7 inch, the CD and a poster, St Vincent 7", Mastodon/Feist 7" of them covering each other, Mastodon covering A Spoonful Weighs a Ton by the Flaming Lips with the original on the B side, and Electric Warrior by T Rex broken out on 6 7" records. F-ing sweet.

To do a quick rundown - Destroyer's Rubies is incredible, Black Keys is also a beautiful package for an awesome record and the 7" which has live versions of Money Maker and Sister is a great add on. The St Vincent 7" makes me very much want to buy the full record and makes me wonder what's wrong with me for not having done so already. The 2 Mastodon 7"s......they are cool, but A Spoonful Weighs a Ton sounds just like the Lips but with one section that is a little metally, though the Feist split is pretty fucking unweak. And that leaves.....

T Rex - Electric Warrior - HOW SWEET IS THIS? (minus that fact that you have to flip after every song and change records after every 2 in order to listen to the whole thing):

t rex electric warrior record store day 2012 7 inch release stop the weakness

 

The White Stripes - Get Behind Me Satan - STOPS THE WEAKNESS

Albums - 4.26.12

the white stripes get behind satan unweak album review  stop the weakness We have been shitty about music lately. New music, old music, anything. Honestly I've been buying a lot of good records recently, but have really just been listening to a lot of Wu Tang and that's it.

Well, a week or two ago my friend sent me THIS ARTICLE from the NY Times about Jack White and it got me to break away from the Wu and put some White Stripes on. The article is really fantastic and everyone should read it. He even discusses the recent comment he made that the White Stripes are done for good and reveals a little more about their breakup.

So here comes the controversial part - Get Behind Me Satan is the best White Stripe's album in my opinion. People seem to either not like it at all, or if they like it, they surely don't think it is the best. Well I do. De Stijl may rival it, but honestly I think of this as a more mature De Stijl, which I would usually not like as I tend to prefer rough, spontaneity to a more polished record. With the way Jack White goes about it though, the minimalism, the number 3...he always keeps it pretty raw and awesome.

Since this is old, I will be quick with this - I don't love the blues, slide guitar driven Elephant (I do like a lot of it, but as a whole I think it gets a little stale), I could never get into their last album and can't even think of the name right now and, well, the other old albums are great, but I just love Get Behind Me Satan. There is a lot of diversity in instruments, slow songs, fast songs, upbeat songs and more quiet soft shit. It is fucking so well crafted, unweak and the best.

Favorite tracks besides all of them: My Doorbell, The Nurse, Forever For Her, Take Take Take and....well, all of them.

So bring it on the disagreements.....

 

The Black Keys - El Camino - Really Unweak

Albums - 1.16.12

This album is fucking sick. This should have been the follow up to the first Raconteurs album.

Black Keys El Camino really unweak review  stop the weakness I really didn't like the Black Keys for the longest time and was hesitant about buying this album because, while I recognized why people raved about them, I just didn't think it was my thing. I had tried out Thickfreakness some years back and just didn't think they were all that interesting. Very White Stripes esque with their 2 piece blues rock except it lacked something that made the White Stripes seem original and exciting. It is tough to say what that is but it just didn't grab me. Anyway I heard they had switched things up and evolved over the years and many people, whose tastes I respect, love them, so I wanted to give them another shot. I meant to do so with last year's Brother, but did not and now I am wondering what I have been missing out on over the years.

Alright so back to my Raconteurs comment from the beginning - I like the White Stripes but I love the first Raconteurs album....probably more than any White Stripes album. While I like the 2nd Raconteurs album, I just think it could have been better as the first one was one of the best albums of the decade in my opinion. Going with the Black Keys/White Stripes comparison - on El Camino it seems like they evolved from their simple 2 piece blues to the fuller more dynamic sound similar to the Raconteurs...only they remained the same 2 piece band.

And this album is the unweakness. Dan Auerbach's singing sounds a lot like Ben Benson's (Raconteurs/solo artist) and his guitar playing is like a less raw Jack White. And that is a compliment...or at least not a criticism as one of my favorite things about Jack White's playing is the rawness. It is just cleaner but equally as badass. Great riffs and really cool solos.

The diversity on this album is also something that makes it stand out so much from what I had listened to in the past. The acoustic intro/1st half of Little Black Submarines is so sick, not to mention when it starts rocking (also not to mention how much it reminds me of a sick Raconteurs song)...it is fucking awesome. So much so it makes me a little depressed I am just getting into these guys. This song is the perfect embodiment of the album - its got everything that makes this album so awesome. The melody, rock factor and guitar playing are all top notch.

Most people are probably reading this thinking, great review idiot, the Black Keys are fucking awesome, what's next, that the Beatles are a good band you discovered? But if you are like me and haven't been able to get into these guys in the past - do yourself a favor and try this album out. It is incredible.

 

Trent Reznor Dragon Tat Soundtrack/Score - UNWEAK

Albums - 1.12.12

girl with dragon tattoo deluxe editions

So the new Dragon Tattoo movie is pretty great, but honestly I think the Swedish version is pretty perfect and didn't need changing. Therefore, the only reason to see this is for Trent Reznor's score (well, and the movie is great, just a little unnecessary). It is sick. Really cool to see how he matches up NIN music to picture. He is coming out with a super deluxe vinyl version (pictured above, which was pulled from his website) but you can also download 6 songs for free. I want this super deluxe version even with the $300 price tag, but I may start smaller in the mean time.

So to wrap up, here is the website with info and I will finish with a quote from Reznor in the new Hollywood Reporter regarding making music for this film vs Social Network:

"'Ah, serial killers and anal raping, I know what that sounds like. It's not as much as a stretch.....'" Reznor stops himself. "Let me rephrase that - a dark tone felt more familiar"

Mastodon - The Hunter - Another Very Unweak Album from Mastodon

Albums - 12.19.11

mastodon the hunter stop the weakness review real unweakIt took me so long to review this because...well, Mastodon always throws me for a loop and it takes me a little while to realize the album's awesomeness. I remember when Blood Mountain came out, Pitchfork (I think it was Pitchfork at least) said they expected the band to go the route of Nirvana and release their Nevermind to capture the mainstream...but they did not and Pitchfork praised them. Well it seems they finally went for their Nevermind and it is fantastic in my book.

I thought Crack the Skye (2009) was a pop step in the right direction, but at first I thought this was too much, too polished. It is not. At first it sounds more polished, and while it is, this is just a new Mastodon sound, but the hard Mastodon fans know and love is still there.

This album is the first (or 2nd?) of their albums that isn't a concept album - but the songs flow equally as well. This album could piss off "real" fans, but I think it is a cool step and one that could turn on a lot of people to the band....but not like Nevermind - this is not a drastic step that will convert the masses, just an evolution. If you have tried Mastodon out in the past, try again with this album.

Here are some sick songs:

 

 

Buy the album on iTunes here: The Hunter (Deluxe Version) - Mastodon

 

Black Friday Record Store Day - Nirvana, RHCP, Pantera

Albums / NIRVANA - 11.28.11

nirvana nevermind singles collection black friday record store day back stop the weakness vinylnirvana nevermind singles collection black friday record store day back stop the weakness vinyl

We have had a lot of Nirvana on here recently, and this will probably top it off for a little while. Record Store Day has been doing a Black Friday day for the past year or so and I went over and checked it out while at my parents house for Thanksgiving. I didn't remember this store, Johnny's in Darien, CT, ever having vinyl but I was driving through the town and saw people lined up. They had an incredible selection, even better than most of the stores in NY and they still had a ton of stuff from years past. Definitely worth getting out to this store if you are in the NY area. I was even able to pick up the Slayer 7" from 3 years ago or so.

red hot chili peppers blood sugar sex magik black friday record store day stop the weakness vinylSo what do we have here - the Nevermind Singles Collection, Blood Sugar Sex Magik and the Cowboys from Hell Demos. The Nevermind Singles Collection is really just something to purchase as a collectors item. If you are a big Nirvana fan you probably have all of these songs already, but the 10" records and the full packaging was cool enough to pick it up for $60. The Blood Sugar Sex Magik is very cool, though it cost $35. It is 2 red LPs that were cut from the original analog masters. Sounds great. Lastly, I couldn't find this last Record Store Day, but they had it at Johnny's so I grabbed it - the demos from Cowboys from Hell that Pantera released on vinyl last April. Cool pick up for sure if you like the album. All these are 180 gram vinyl.

So yeah, this was a pleasant surprise as I thought I was going to miss out on the day completely. Also there were a bunch of younger kids in line and picking up records which was kind of cool to see as it is usually just older record geeks at RSD.

pantera cowboys from hell vinyl demos record store day release stop the weakness

Nirvana Nevermind 20th Anniversary Edition CD/DVD Set, Especially the Devonshire Mixes - Pretty F-ing Unweak

Albums / NIRVANA - 10.28.11

nirvana nevermind 20th anniversary cd dvd setunweak stop the weakness

 

Alright, I already did a review of the vinyl collection so I won't get down to the details as much here. This set is sick though and I really wish that the two were combined - if this had all the vinyl with all the cds/dvds and super packaging it would be incredible. Still this one tops the vinyl which makes sense as it is the limited edition version, hand numbered at 10,000 copies.

So what do we have here that the vinyl doesn't - a 60 page hardcover book, a cd and dvd of the 1991 Halloween show, and the full Devonshire Mixes, which are the mixes that proceeded the final copies. The dvd is sick. Really incredible and right up there with the Reading show that was released a year or 2 ago. If you remember the Lithium video, which is also included on the dvd, that contains a lot of video from this show. Also on the DVD from the With the Lights Out boxset you got to see the Jesus Doesn't Want Me For a Sunbeam performed at this show....so hopefully those give you a good idea of what you are getting into.

Next up is the Devonshire mixes: these are rough mixes done by producer Butch Vig when he recorded the album (it was ultimately mixed by Andy Wallace). This is where music geekery comes in as most people who either aren't audiophile obsessive or who don't do mixing of their own won't give a fuck or notice anything different. If you are in one of those groups though, it is pretty cool. It is a rougher version of nevermind. Not as polished even though the double tracked vocals are still there. It almost makes you wonder if these guys would have been as big had it not gotten the full polish job that it did. You know how most songs are mixed for various types of radio stations to appeal to the listeners of each? Well labels do/did that. Barely noticeable stuff, but if you pay attention closely you can see how different somethings are and how they stand out. This isn't drastic but it is definitely something cool to check out if you know this album inside and out and are into mixing etc.

nirvana nevermind 20th anniversary cd dvd set track list stop the weakness

 

 

Then just for the hell of it I decided to post some pictures of the Nirvana cd collection from way back when dropping $30 on a bootleg was worth it (though sometimes I think it still is):

nirvana cd booklet collection bootlegs unhappy all acoustically on a plain etc stop the weaknessnirvana cd collection bootlegs dressed for success fecal matter out of the blue stop the weakness

Nirvana Nevermind 20th Anniversary Edition on Vinyl - Eh, Unweak but nothing spectacular

Albums / NIRVANA - 10.17.11

nirvana nevermind 20th anniversary vinyl unweak stop the weakness

 

Alright, so this collection is pretty sweet, but it could be better. I remember being a little annoyed when the Bleach deluxe edition came out and it was the album plus a full show, as I wished they'd put out demos or something. Fact of the matter is, they have released a lot of demos and if you are a Nirvana nerd, you have probably heard so many unreleased tracks. There are some new ones here and the Boombox recordings are cool (Teen Spirit, Verse Chorus Verse, Territorial Pissings, Lounge Act, Come As You Are, Old Age, Something in the Way, On a Plain), and though I am making it seem slightly lackluster, that is probably due to the fact that I also ordered the Super Deluxe edition which comes with 4 CDs (which is available would have been issued on 8 LPs) and a DVD. The vinyl version shown here is the same as the 2 CD deluxe version.

nirvana nevermind 20th anniversary vinyl gatefold unweak stop the weakness

 

For those of you that don't know what's on here, I suggest just going to wikipedia and checking it out (CLICK HERE FOR THE LINK), but here is a quick rundown of what you've got: the original album, B-sides, recordings from the original Smart Sessions when the band still had Chad Channing and were not yet signed to DGC, boombox rehearsal recordings, and BBC sessions.

nirvana nevermind 20th anniversary vinyl unweak stop the weakness

 

Then just for the hell of it I decided to post some more pictures of Nirvana vinyl...not everything but most of the good stuff:

nirvana bbc sessions yellow vinyl stop the weaknessnirvana bbc sessions yellow vinyl stop the weakness

nirvana greatest hits vinyl stop the weaknessnirvana greatest hits vinyl stop the weakness

nirvana incesticide blue vinyl stop the weaknessnirvana incesticide blue vinyl cover vinyl stop the weakness

nirvana in utero clear vinyl stop the weaknessnirvana in utero clear vinyl original pressing stop the weakness cover

nirvana unplugged black vinyl cover stop the weaknessnirvana unplugged black vinyl back cover stop the weakness

nirvana muddy banks of the wishkah vinyl stop the weaknessnirvana muddy banks vinyl back cover unweak stop the weakness

Lots of New Unweak Records, This is Not Even Half of Them

Albums - 9.27.11

dinosaur jr Where you been vinyl stop the weakness the clash london calling vinyl

 

Alright, so no secret that we love J Mascis around here. Picked up this 180 gram reissue of Where You Been and it sounds pretty fantastic. This honestly may be my favorite Dino Jr record. While London Calling is not my favorite Clash record (I much prefer their self titled debut) this is still fantastic.

talking heads little creatures remain in the light vinyl stop the weakness vinyl

 

Alright, this rounds out my Talking Heads collection except for Naked and other random releases. Everyone loves Remain in the Light and says its the best, but I actually like Little Creatures more...and Fear of Music way more than that. Fear of Music is the tops. There is a review somewhere here that I would link up to if I had more time. It is some cheesey thing I wrote when drunk blabbing on about the greatness of it, so maybe that has something to do with why I don't want to seek it out for you all.

clash live at shea and red hot chili peppers freaky stylyey vinyl stop the weakness

 

Ok, so I haven't listened to all of the Shea Stadium Clash show, but it is a damn nice package and it from what I have heard it seems pretty damn awesome. The track list is great. Red Hot Chili Peppers are a very tough band for me. I love them and hate them, though I don't think I really hate any of their stuff as much as I just get disappointed by their direction sometimes. Oh well. Freaky Styley is a great record if you like pre-Blood Sugar RHCP. Sorry for the blurry photo, but I didn't want to get them out and retake it. RHCP especially was a great find.

As I said, this is only the tip of the iceberg. There are a lot of cool records that I got, so....well, yeah hopefully I will be posting them soon.

 
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