NEW MUSIC TUESDAY ALBUM REVIEWS – Teen Daze, Planes Mistaken For Stars, The Cesarians

Teen Daze, Morning World

Erick Mertz, Album Reviews, New Music Tuesday, Teen DazeAlready one of my favorite records of this summer (or as the case may become, favorite summer records) Morning World offers a jittery bundle of toe-twiddling variety.

The Abbotsford British Columbia band banks on sensuous harmonies, and well they should, their soft vocals among the most appealing aspects of the record. Their sound ranges from a drearily urgent cataclysm on “Pink” to the more slumbering “Post Storm” which cold fuses sonic miasma with gorgeous key and string accents. Teen Daze is dreamy but never disaffected, “You Said” a song that really shows their sound is always driving to something. A few times I wanted to compare them to The Kings Of Convenience (without the preoccupation with quiet) and other times to a recently reviewed record, Summer Fiction.

Throughout listening to Morning World, I continually arrived on adjectives of meditation and dalliance, putting the summer in summer record. It feels like the thought process that arrives in between great revelations. Perhaps what I enjoy most in Morning World is how closely cuffs and collars match. This record feels like a pre-coffee meditation, gentle and nascent.

Want a copy of Morning World for your collection? Check out the Teen Daze website here.

Planes Mistaken For Stars, Mercy (Re-Issue)

planes mistaken for stars, mercy re-issueIn kind with the fleeting, glimmering image that their name suggests, Planes Mistaken For Stars only graced the hardcore/punk scene for a short period. A short, ferociously fertile period. Three records, nine years, out like a cough of foul diesel exhaust.

In recent years, the Peoria (by way of Denver and Gainesville) band has resurged. Out from brackish waters, they’ve toured. They’re talking about new material. Awesome news.

Mercy stands as Planes Mistaken For Stars’ last record (although they appeared on comps and tributes in the years beyond). The re-issued 2006 release finds the band as angry and hate filled as any other time in their recording history. The album is a fire storm of guitars, spastic percussion, from the stoner rock opener, “One Fucked Pony” to an even grittier churn fest, “Keep Your Teeth” down to the turgidly surreal “Spit A Sparrow” which stands out as one of the few experimental moments on all of Mercy.

At times the record feels as though its reaching for the stoner rock ring (try putting the last track “Penitence” beside the best of Sleep or Kyuss) but they dwell so comfortably in hardcore riffs, it’s really more about throwing up a fist and flaunting that line.

Enticed? You damn well should be. Check out the Planes Mistaken For Stars site for more on this and subsequent re-issues.

The Cesarians, Pure White Speed

Erick Mertz, The Cesarians, Pure White SpeedI’m loathe to review records that I don’t like (make no mistake from my usually positive demeanor, however, there are a myriad of those albums). Pressed for leaving Pure White Speed by The Cesarians alone or shining a light on it though, I decided on the latter. So here it is.

I thought the record (which is receiving good reviews all over the alternative press) was an utter mess. Opening with a rush of bravado on “Meltdown” I felt the neo-punk and thrash influences swell, favorite touch points like The Stooges, MC5. The raw never got, well, down and dirty like one is prone to when looking back on those seminal acts. A few articles tried to drum up suggestions of Jacque Brel in the vocals (really, Jacque-freaking-Brel?) but all I got was a mix muddied by ill-advised strings and horns, a host of background vocals harmonized with nonsensical lyrics and overproduced percussion (and I mean, this makes Stabbing Westward’s punchline rhythm section seem positively Zeppelin-esque). When I could understand any of it, I got the usual ludicrous miasma of debauchery and gender confusion. By then I was like, meh. I’m moving on.

Want to see for yourself? Here you go, The Cesarians website.

Check out other reviews here, at the Well-Lighted Music Review Page.

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