Capsule Wednesday 4

By: JamBase Staff

New Young Pony Club: Fantastic Playroom (Modular)
Dipping into the past seems to be the new way forward for a lot of British bands these days. While most can’t seem to get past their Gang of Four fixation, New Young Pony Club resembles forgotten New Wavers like Delta 5, Young Marble Giants and Romeo Void, to name just a few. Their MySpace page cites their influences as “vodka, cake, and emotions," which seems fitting given the sexual vigor in Tahita Bulmer’s potent voice. But, these influences are also in the sweetness of Lou Hayter’s warm, fuzzy keyboards and Igor Volk’s bass that sticks out like a sweatpants boner. NME and BBC Radio 1 may have already soiled their shorts over NYPC but rest assured, they are worth it. (Chris Pacifico)

Arctic Monkeys: Favourite Worst Nightmare (Domino)
It almost seems like damning a band with faint praise to say "Steady as she goes" for their sophomore effort but when that band released one of the best debuts in the past decade "steady" is a very fine thing. The Monkeys sharpen their Kinks-meets-Gang-of-Four pop-punk phalanx, fueling the notion that the UK has finally birthed a worthy successor to The Jam. While nothing is as immediately bracing as "Fake Tales of San Francisco" or "Still Take You Home," snuggle into their dark love seat and this'll wrap around you like a drunk groupie. Nightmare is an overall pricklier, harder affair but it's all in service of a rough boy vision that's bloody exciting. (Dennis Cook)

Ground Components: An Eye for a Brow, a Tooth for a Pick (Love and Mercy)
You gotta hand it to these Aussie bands. They know how to keep it rockin’ while coming off as crusty and craggy. Playing square-shooting rock & roll that lets its balls hang out, these Melbourne lads move with a rowdy gust of heat that’s harsh as the outback covered in sand. It makes your head feel all gloopy as if you’ve been shotgunning Fosters all day long under the sun. With the ashy voice of singer Joe McGuigan and the garage-bar rock organ of Dallas Paxton, the dark, enlivening An Eye for a Brow is like a drunken, pilled up good time with Pavement and the Birthday Party laying siege to an open mike night at a beatnik hangout. (CP)

Charlie Louvin: Charlie Louvin (Tompkins Square)
10 years is a long time to wait for new music but it's well worth the wait when you get the pure country album of the year. 80-year old Charlie Louvin (of the legendary, genre-starting Louvin Brothers – his sibling Ira passed away in 1965) returns in hip company who clearly vibe Louvin's bounteous hayseed spirit. Thankfully high profile guests like Jeff Tweedy, Elvis Costello, Will Oldham and Tift Merritt don't overpower these simple, wonderful tunes. Charlie revisits Louvin Brothers' classics "The Christian Life" and "When I Stop Dreaming," showing youngsters that Gram Parsons didn't come up with these jewels. The core band is stellar, especially acoustic guitar studio wiz kids Chip Young and Chris Scruggs, underpinning Louvin's gloriously lived-in voice, an Alabama wind whipping through the trees in your mind. Lambchop's Kurt Wagner and Bobby Bare Sr. sing with Louvin on A.P. Carter's "Grave On The Green Hillside" with Marty Stuart's mandolin lifting their steps, much as it does on beloved traditional "Knoxville Girl," which also features Oldham's harmonizing. It's impossible to escape the Grim Reaper's shadow here, much like Jimmy Scott's 1996 living eulogy Heaven, culminating in the moving closer "My Long Journey Home" with Nashville underdog Paul Burch and peculiarly perfect electric guitar from David Kilgour (Clean). Scott continues to make music to this day. It's dearly hoped Louvin does the same. (DC)

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[Published on: 9/5/07]

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