Friday, February 29, 2008

Sol Invictus-In the Rain

To be honest, I'm not quite sure where I heard of Sol Invictus. However, I thank whoever led me onto this group, because In the Rain is one of the most immediately compelling records that I have in my collection. Tony Wakeford, of seminal British crust band Crisis, is the main figure on this album. Dark, moody, depressive; all of these popular cliches could describe this album perfectly, but it is so much more than that. Although rooted mainly in a Nick Drake-styled folk, Wakeford brought in a mini-orchestra to fill out the sound and push it nearly into avant-garde territory. While the endless minor keys may get vaguely tiring after listening to this album a lot, for the most part, In the Rain has a nearly unparalleled replay value. Every time I listen to this, I find myself shocked by how quickly it flies by. Not to say that each song isn't distinct and haunting in their own unique way; they are all worthy of note, but the songs flow as if they were composed in a perfect order and play like a classic novel. Definitely worth checking out for most serious music listeners, and almost a guaranteed dig for metal, folk, and avant-garde fans alike.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Nada Surf-Lucky

2008 is already shaping up to be a killer year in music. In the first month or so alone, we've seen stellar releases from The Mars Volta, Paint it Black, Able Baker Fox, and Protest the Hero. Most of these albums I fully expected to rule, however, I was pleasantly surprised by the latest effort from alt-rockers Nada Surf. I never really heard much of them outside of their singles, and was never really inspired to listen to some of their full-lengths. Lucky is quite an enjoyable album from front to back, with no real weak track and a handful of gems such as "Weightless", "See These Bones", "The Fox", "I Like What You Say", and "Ice on the Wing". Unless the rest of the year blows away this first month, I can definitely see this being inside of my personal top 20.