Reviews and Suggestions

The Grown-Up Kids: Get Up Kids Turn Comeback Kids with “There Are Rules”

Where were The Get Up Kids at the start of the millennium?  As a listener coming at their latest record, I heard a mash-up of sounds one wouldn’t immediately associate with the band – electro, funk and post-punk are some that spring to mind. Graphically speaking, the cover is sophisticated. The image on the front of the LP is of a woman holding a mirror to her face, where the mirror reflects the ocean to the viewer: a Lacanian articulation of femininity and its evolving self-reflexivity through the play of the gaze. The viewer gazes at the woman, who in return gazes into open space and vast water.

The Get Up Kids came onto the scene in the ’90s wake of Pavement, Weezer and Green Day. After splitting up in 2005, the band reassembled and began touring extensively throughout most of 2008 and 2009, developing an underground community with other bands such as Rocket Fuel is the Key, Coalesce and Braid. Their latest record, There Are Rules, is a departure from Vagrant Records – the album was released on their own label at Quality Hill Records. Mixed by Bob Weston and produced by Ed Rose, the sound retains the band’s early nineties garage aesthetic while adding the liberties of technological editing. When the Get Up Kids graced the ’90s, critics initially referred to them as an “emo band” however, the kids have fought with such branding since their inception. While they were influential to the Midwest emo movement of the early ’90s, they play with genre more than they identify with it.


Open Source Rebellion talks roots, rock orphanages and calls out to DJs who want to add rock to their set

Open Source Rebellion is an electro-rock hybrid that combines dirty synths with guitar-driven rock and roll riffs. Elements of bands like ZZ TOP, Queens of the Stone Age and Muse definitely stand out. They have a great heavy rock n’ boogie sound with just enough electro and synth thrown in to really get things moving and a groovin’. I recently spoke with Dela from Open Source Rebellion.

Q: How did Open Source Rebellion form and can you tell us more about the band’s history?

A: A few years ago my old band, Black Diamond Love, went into the studio to record our first LP. We had a sort of artist development arrangement with Westlake Studios and through them we were paired up with a young engineer (erock) who had been sort of an apprentice to Al Machera, who was one of the two owners of that studio. During this time, erock and I became good buddies and we worked together on the eight or so songs that BDL was recording. Around March or April of last year I decided that it was best to leave BDL and I went off and started working on some new things.


RockAngel’s Weekly Radar – White Rabbits and…

white-rabbitsThis week, RockAngel’s Weekly Radar brings you White Rabbits and…The Subjects? Normally I wouldn’t be so quick to write about a band that’s already made it to the satellite radio rotation like White Rabbits, but after seeing both of these bands live last night, I have their musical energy oozing out of me and straight into the Rock and Roll Report.

Of course, after saying that Last Night’s Vice was the best thing out of Missouri ever, I am forced to eat my words as White Rabbits hail from that same state (though now they are based in Brooklyn) and rock just as hard.  Originally seduced by the lead track Percussion Gun from their new album It’s Frightening, I explored the rest of it and realized this band is really on to something.  With a smooth Spoon sort of feel (hmmm, may have something to do with the creative hand of Brit Daniel on this album) and a rugged Cold War Kids intensity, White Rabbits manage to create something that is nothing short of music heaven.   They put more creativity into one song than most put into a whole album.

Artists and Bands

RockAngel’s Weekly Radar – Koufax

koufaxThis week, RockAngel’s Weekly Radar brings you Koufax…the best band you’ve never heard.

Though they’ve bounced between a few record labels, they’ve released their newest album Strugglers through Doghouse (US) and they’ve really nailed their sound on this one. This is one of those albums that hits you hard with the first few lines of a sax on the first song and then never lets go. Their sound fuses splashes of Cold War Kids with Spoon (“Name of Love” sounds like something right off of The Underdog), but manages to stay completely original. Strugglers was one of my top ten albums of the year in 2008 (released in September) and it has never let me down.

Each song brings something new to the table, but the album flows together well. It’s like a trail mix bar…there are lots of different components that are great on their own, but even better when you stick them all together. Koufax isn’t currently touring, but maybe if they actually got the attention they deserve, we could all be lucky enough to catch a live show.

Some of my faves on the album include “Any Moment Now” and “Once In A While”. What can I say, I’m a sucker for saxophones and horns (even if they are synthesized) So take a listen, show some love, and keep rockin’…

Koufax’s Myspace

Strugglers full album preview