My jams today.
The new self-titled album by Banquets is an absolute cracker; if we’re playing genre-nazi, it’s a little closer to straight-up melodic rock in places than its predecessor (“Top Button, Bottom Shelf,” a firm favourite of mine), but the solid songwriting, strong melodies and soaring vocals that made it so enjoyable are still here in spades. Spun this three times today in fairly rapid succession and didn’t even begin to get fed up of it.
I’m not sure quite why I’d written off Rilo Kiley before now… I vaguely think I’d had them confused for a while with a piss-poor female singer-songwriter with a similar name that I’d seen on TV once (although I can’t for the life of me remember her actual name), although I rather think I may have been a little quick to dismiss them as a lightweight indie band once I’d been corrected. Turns out I’m a fucking idiot; my girlfriend put “More Adventurous” on in her car the other day and by halfway through track three, I’d downloaded an Amazon app and ordered the CD! Also, “Does He Love You?” is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard.
It’s gutting that Paint It Black have given up on the album format, as “Paradise” was one of the best hardcore albums ever recorded, and their other full lengths weren’t too far behind. Still, their previous EPs were concentrated, short, sharp shocks that delivered on every level, and “Invisible” is no different! Angry, intelligent, melodic yet abrasive, brutal without machismo: more of this please (hopefully without a four year gap this time!!!).
Finally, Small Brown Bike have always been a weird proposition for me; they play a style of music I enjoy (gruff-vocal punk with post-hardcore influences), but seem wildly inconsistent. However, having shelved “Fell and Found” shortly after buying it, I recently have it another go and found it growing on me somewhat, something it continues to do with each listen. Yeah, some of the vocals are irritatingly gutless or off-key in places, but they’re imperfections I’m slowly learning to love. Beautiful artwork too.