Knife Party – Abandon Ship (2014)

Knife Party are notably a musical duo from Australia. Early pieces, such as Internet Friends were club classics, and great tunes too. They released this, their first and only album so far, in 2014. Is it up to scratch? Let’s have a listen to the music here.

We begin with Reconnect. It has a psychedelic intro with a spoken voice letting the world know that Knife Party are here. It’s a good listen and a nice way to kick off the album.

After this, we go to Resistance, a nice piece with some house and dubstep overtones. The breakdown is intense. There are some African sounding drums in this breakdown, we hit party central with an awesome groove. This is a refreshing listen compared to the RnB of today, it’s fantastic. These guys are fantastic at what they do, the music here is great.

Boss Mode begins with some freaky distorted chimes, before knocking down the competition with a Hip Hop style groove and distorted dubstep riffs. It is a great tune here, the sampled lyrics pointing to a higher level of consciousness. Our sonic journey on this track is wonderful. It ends with some gunshots. Mint.

EDM Trend Machine is a piece that sounds much more mellow, along with some good male soul like singing. It’s a good one to relax to after a heavy night of clubbing, assuming that people enjoy this sort of thing for that purpose. It’s way different than the tracks before it. Automated dance music for the people.

The following piece 404 sounds a little weird. It has some Chiptune sort of noises in the track, before going into a static sounding bliss. Rotating drums capture our attention, before launching into a very good piece in the style of Knife Party. It’s a good listen, taking us into the future of music and sounds we have not heard before. There are a few twists and turns in this one, being very suspenseful indeed.

We Begin Again with some poly rhythmic beats and we hit sonic waves afterwards. The vocals, which have a sense of urgency, then kick in. Honestly, this piece is not as good as the ones before, which is disappointing. But it fits the album well anyway. There are some good samples in the middle of the track as well.

A more dubstep driven Give It Up with some reggae influences comes next. It is a good uptempo and busy sounding piece that sounds club ready. A progressive and semi-psychedelic listen here. A nice effort. The dubstep bassline is fantastic here.

D.I.M.H. sounds much more mainstream and House based, you can seriously dance to this tune. It has some interesting sound effects, and vocals comparing music to God. It sounds like a rework of an old 1980’s song, but seriously, it is much better than that for sure. It’s a greatly textured piece.

Micropenis is a strange tune that begins with a strangely sampled situation, before leading into a piece that has beats galore everywhere. It had some rather metallic sounds in it as well. It’s okay, but not fantastic, mind you. There are some Sufjan Stevens like melodies in the breakdown here. The second half is far better than the first half by far.

The next song Superstar is outright awful. It sounds like a poor take on a disco track here. Worth avoiding, and enough said about this number. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds do a better job at disco than what Knife Party do here, and that’s saying something.

The follow up Red Dawn is a far better tune, something indeed to listen to at sunrise, for all you party animals out there. It has some middle eastern melodies and cut up vocals for your enjoyment. It’s a good dance number. Some neat intricate backwards loops occur, before banging beats hit you. A good way to liven up the listen towards the end of the album. A ghostly outro makes it better, too.

Kaleidoscope is the last one on the album. It’s a laid back and chill tune, for those who made it through this album. A good downtempo, deep house sort of joutney. It has suspense all the way through. We then finish the album.

This is a good album, not a great one. It does have its moments, but for the most part, could have been bettered. It’s still listenable, especially for you young nightclub goers. Having said that, it is worth a listen anyway.

7/10

Cream – Disraeli Gears (1967)

The late 1960’s was a very interesting time for music. Psychedelia was in fashion, but then again even if that weren’t so, great records were being made.

This is often considered Cream’s best album. It probably is not as good as Fresh Cream. But hey, it still rocks well. Let’s have a listen, track by track. It’s trippy for sure.

Strange Brew kicks off the album. It’s an ode to dangerous drugs right from the outset. It has some proto Black Sabbath style riffs and psychedelic imagery in it. It’s a good starting point, the band sound top here. It’s a great start to a great album. Very enjoyable.

Sunshine Of Your Love was likely written for and inspired by Jimi Hendrix, who was one of their contemporaries. Funnily enough, Hendrix loved this song and covered it live from time to time. It’s a terrific tune, and we go into interstellar overdrive with this number. It’s the best song from the album, and a great listen as well. The solos here are fantastic, typical Eric Clapton goodness.

The more modest piece, World Of Pain, actually is a lot more cheerful than you’d expect. It talks about difficult emotions, yet is just simply a solid piece on the album. It sounds so mellow that it is essential listening. Good wah-wah guitar is here, too. It’s a nice tune.

The next song, Dance The Night Away, continues our surreal adventure into a fantasy based world. It’s different, and still very very good. Jack Bruce’s subtle singing is fantastic, better than belting out the lyrics too harshly or loudly. He just sings – and this song is one of his best examples of singing here.

Blue Condition is a riff driven piece that has piano in the background of the song. It’s a nice piece about being blue. Despite the troubled emotions in the lyrics, the band sounds really happy to play these songs. A little strange, but fortunately it is another good song to hear. Ear candy.

Tales of Brave Ulysses is the most psychedelic piece out there on this album. It is so tripped out lyrically especially, that one cannot help but think the amount of drugs these guys consumed. In other words, a lot of drugs. “Tiny purple fishes, run laughing through your fingers…” is a totally great example of these tripped out lyrics. A great effort indeed.

The next song, SWLABR is a nonsensical piece that sounds rather bluesy and complex structurally and musically. It’s a good listen and although seemingly is more of the same, it is not in any way inconsistent or unlovable. All these songs are great here on this album.

The follow up We’re Going Wrong is a subtle and interesting piece to follow onto. Some brilliant tom-tom drumming by Ginger Baker is here. All three members of Cream excel fantastically at their craft here. It’s a great listen about love lost. Nice. The interplay between the vocals and guitar is nice here.

Outside Woman Blues is about the nasty topic of cheating partners. It’s not an easy subject to talk about. But it’s a great listen here, and indeed a subtle reminder of what damage cheating actually does. Of course, divorce rates were much lower in those days. But still, the sentiment remains the same here. A good little blues number here.

Take It Back sounds rather country-esque. It shows the band had many influences in their work. It’s a cheerful number with some harmonica here as well. This album is very enjoyable listening, and this song is no different whatsoever. It’s a dance-able and fun piece here.

The last piece, Mother’s Lament is a cynical satire about a mother and her malnourished infant. It’s simply taking the mickey out of those who have large families. There is just singing and piano here. We end this album feeling satisfied and happy with our listen.

This was Cream’s greatest commercial success as an album. It sold well and took the band into the history books. Unfortunately, Eric Clapton and the others in the group fought fairly frequently, causing Clapton to eventually leave the group in search of a new sound. Despite all that, this is a fine album to listen to.

Short and sweet.

8/10

The Verve – Urban Hymns (1997)

This is it, ladies and gentleman. The greatest of them all. It’s a musical nirvana here, and no, we are not talking about Kurt Cobain either.

This possibly could be the greatest album ever, or at least in the author’s opinion here. The reason? It’s the most positive and bold statement out there from an artist in all history. Yes, we are talking from classical music onto today’s postmodern 21st century offerings. It’s just great. So, here we go, let’s observe this, track by track.

The most famous song from here begins this album. Bittersweet Symphony is no doubt a great tune from the word go. It has a beautiful string section and pounding drumbeats, before launching into modern poetry about the beauty in life. Literally. Some great and memorable lyrics are here, concluding by saying: “I’ll take you down the only road I’ve ever been down…” A truly great piece of music. It sounds semi psychedelic too. London was swinging again in the 1990’s for sure.

The next song is so wonderful. Sonnet is just that, modern day English poetry. It has some lyrics which are so inspired. “Eyes open wide, looking at the heavens with a tear in my eye.” It’s a very nice piece indeed. Great to listen to as well. The album sounds so well produced and mixed, a good example is this song.

The Rolling People is a psychedelic and hard rocking number. The lyrics here are really trippy and interesting. Guitarist Nick McCabe does really well here, showing that despite the tensions in the band, he could do an excellent job at artistry. The whole band pulls this off fantastically. A great job here, never a dull moment in the whole seven plus minutes or so that this goes on. A great piece. The outro is out there in terms of sonic production.

The Drugs Don’t Work is a sad lament about Richard Ashcroft’s father dying. It still sounds great, and was a hit single. But, all the same, it’s a melancholy piece about that subject. It’s a nice piece about losing a loved one, and has a beautiful string section to boot. Nice work here.

The next piece, the wah-wah and feedback heavy looped guitar parts of Catching The Butterfly arrives and we are dazzled as a result. It’s a great piece that has some great drumming in it, too. It has some artistic lyrics in it too, “In my lucid dreams”. Boy, can these guys make music! The band does very well here.

The brief glimpse of an urban trip Neon Wilderness arrives. It’s a short trip into oblivion with some great sound effects and heavily drug influenced lyrics. It’s a nice addition to the album, although not the best song on it. It’s still very good listening though. The harmonies are great here.

Space And Time is a beautiful piece. It combines destiny with love, and is so reassuring sounding that it makes you want more from the group. Richard Ashcroft pleads that he cannot make it alone, and has some romantic sensibilities in the music here at hand. It just sounds wonderful. A great tune.

Weeping Willow is a trippy song. It is much more rhythmic based than previous songs, and just seems a little weaker than the other songs. But, it is still a powerful statement nonetheless. It has some deep introspection here, mind you. “I hope you see what I see, I hope you feel what I feel…” It’s a great statement from Richard Ashcroft, with drug references towards the end. Like you noticed though.

The next song is so beautiful and wonderful, you will be dazzled in awe. Lucky Man should be a depression killer for anyone going through struggles. If you ever listen to this piece, consider yourself lucky. It’s an audio treat for everyone to hear. Brilliant. “I hope you understand,” sings Richard Ashcroft. We sure do on this record. It will bring tears of happiness to your eyes.

The slow ballad One Day is surreal and impressionistic in its approach. It’s another great piece to sink your teeth into. Some melodic riffs and Richard Ashcroft’s simple singing drive this piece along very well. It some ways it talks about personal sacrifice for happiness. But the song sounds so cheerful that it is a great listen indeed. There are repeated lyrics are here towards the end, giving the song emphasis. Another good song by The Verve.

This Time is a great melodic and wah-wah pedal based piece with melodies that are unforgettable. It’s about making things happen in life, and Nick McCabe’s playing on the guitar will inspire you to take your own musical interests further. It’s a great number here, and like all the others on the album, a great listen. There are some great arrangements here on this song for sure.

Velvet Morning is a super trippy piece with some subtle slide guitar as well. Sounding like a million dollars, it’s a drug influenced trip that will take you into the next dimension of music listening. It just works so well, along with all the other cuts on the album. The string section here is beautiful too. A nice effort by the group.

The last track is the Come On/Deep Freeze hybrid.

The former is a great jam based tune with great bassline and guitar parts to boot. It’s unlikely we have ever had something so good in musical history for a simple jam. Still, it sounds musically accomplished and thorough here. Even after the majority of the singing concludes, the jam breaks down musical barriers for us to enjoy. Brilliant.

After several minutes of silence, we have the interesting second part of the hybrid, which is a montage of excellent sounds. It sounds intellectually well thought out, and we finish the album here.

This album is damn near perfection, at least musically. Anybody who had a glimpse into the music of Britpop in the 1990’s, or who may just want a great positive spin on life musically should check out this album. It’s really that good. Fans should check out the deluxe remastered re-releases with loads of extra tracks, rarities and goodies on them.

An awesome listen.

10/10

LMFAO – Sorry For Party Rocking (2011)

Probably one of the funniest albums this century, LMFAO’s Sorry For Party Rocking is pretty out there. Is it any good though? Let’s give it a listen and find out.

We begin with Rock The Beat II is obviously a joke piece which sounds sort of dubstep. It’s a great introduction to a very silly album here. These guys obviously can make music, yet at the same time don’t care about tomorrow. Brilliant.

The title track Sorry For Party Rocking is a millennial anthem for no tomorrow. It’s an all-in-all anthem for those who have made it in the music industry. It’s got some wacky lyrics in it about said experience. A must listen for fans of the album. It’s very profane as well.

Party Rock Anthem continues the madness in the scene, and was regularly played in nightclubs at the time. It sounds very nightclub ready indeed, and is a great listen to hear. It’s more civilised compared to other numbers that have come before. But hey, sorry for party rocking everyone. It’s futuristic and funtastic.

Sexy And I Know It is THAT song that was all over the radio at the time. The video clip is likely the most homosexual or appealing thing out there on YouTube, depending on your view. It’s still a great tune, and sounds awesome. It sounds very catchy.

The next song starts slowly. Champagne Showers is an alcoholic’s anthem for the next generation. With digitised vocals and sound effects everywhere, it is a good party song for those who wish to hear it. It’s a great song to hear about getting wasted. The climax of the song is awesome.

The next club ready tune is One Day. It’s about chasing the finer pleasures in life, including chasing a girl. It’s more of the same, but hey, sorry for party rocking.

Put That A$$ To Work is a devotion to sexy girls out there. It’s about a sort of sexy up song about a real party girl that one could love, on the dancefloor. It’s about a girl’s ass, obviously these guys were very sexual about things. Still, it’s a good piece.

Take It To The Hole is obviously about you-know-what. Sounding cheesy and slightly annoying, it’s kitsch galore. These guys must have been pretty wasted writing pieces like this, but hey, sorry for party rocking. “I’ll beat it up!” is screamed here.

A lesser cut, We Came Here To Party, features a rap piece that sounds very flowing though. It’s about getting trashed. In fact, all these songs are about that. But that’s the great thing about this album. It talks about toasting to the good life at hand, nice to hear.

The next one is about a strange way of loving and appreciating someone. Reminds Me Of You is about finding someone to be with at a party environment. This song sounds like a computer game with beats – but hey, it’s a great listen. Wicked stuff. Mentions Calvin Harris as well, a nice touch.

Best Night is about having a crazy chick as a partner. It’s a more mediocre piece to a partytastic album for you crazy peeps out there. A good listen. It’s a little weaker here, despite the album being very consistent overall for this sort of music. Not bad. Let’s make this moment last forever.

All Night Long is a great piece about the necessity of seeing a partner. It’s a party devotion song. A nice piece for a lover at hand. There are many cameos here, all to good effect.

By this point, the album seems to tire. With You sounds lethargic. Could have been better, but hey, once again, sorry for party rocking. It’s about smoking weed though, a party thing for sure.

The next song Hot Dog is a sort of reprise of Sexy And I Know It. It’s hilarious and clubtastic. These guys were mega at the time, and time shows why. This song is excellent. A good listen.

I’m In Miami Bitch refers to a club heavy lifestyle that is fun and sexually explicit. It’s a great piece to hear on this album which talks about a “polka dot bikini girl” (Underworld reference here?). It’s a good fun romp.

Shots featuring Lil’ Jon is a great piece which samples seemingly the author of this website at the start of the song. It ends the album nicely, and we party hard to the finish. It’s repetitive, but works well.

If you want to get messed up big time, this is your album. It made the duo mega. Sadly, it fell apart for LMFAO after this. But hey, Sorry For Party Rocking.

8/10

The Chemical Brothers – Surrender (1999)

It had been two years since the previous album by The Chemical Brothers had been released. The (then) new album is a good mixture of quality tunes. Let’s dive in and have a listen.

We begin with Music:Response, a futuristic and funktastic piece which sounds expertly and wonderfully done. It has pounding beats, a robotic voice sample, funky guitar sounds and all sorts of twists and turns. Mint. It sounds surreal for sure. Tripped out to the max here.

The next cut Under The Influence of course, refers to drug use. It’s an uplifting and futuristic psychedelic piece here which is thoroughly enjoyable. “Who’s under the influence?” indeed. It concludes with subsonic bass and a statement saying: “Don’t run…” What were the duo implying?

Out Of Control is a great house music like piece featuring New Order singer Bernard Sumner and does well here to show off its musicality. It’s a great mainstream sort of piece here without being unoriginal. A good effort here. Some nice singing here and lyrics as well. “Could be that I am just losing my touch, or maybe you think my moustache is too much?” Great lyrical insight here.

Orange Wedge has some great plucked bass guitar parts and some interesting static squelches. It’s The Chemical Brothers broadening and expanding their sound. It’s perhaps not the greatest thing the duo ever did, but sounds interesting all the same. It’s trippy beyond words, however.

Probably the most depressing song Noel Gallagher ever contributed to, Let Forever Be is really depressing, but great. He comes across singing as a street preacher, before asking the quintessential question: “How does it feel like…to spend a little lifetime sitting in the gutter?” Sad yet this is a great song all the same. A great collaboration is here. It sounds like Joy Division in the 21st century, but with Noel Gallagher singing. A great piece. At the end it crashes into the abyss.

The following tune The Sunshine Underground is an ethereal piece that sounds psychedelic and great here as well. The slowed down drumbeat and chanted vocals here do well. It’s a Neo hippy delight. African drums are here to spice things up too. It then warps into a beatastic piece with wind chimes which sounds fantastic. This is a mega trip. A great effort here by The Chemical Brothers. At the end, we have some sunrays of colourful music come through here.

Asleep From Day is the next piece, with some beautiful vocals and intertwining textures that just kick ass. This is a good chillout sort of piece that works well. It has some interesting instrumentation in it and just sounds good. A nice tune. A computerised xylophone finishes this off.

Got Glint? is a psychedelic instrumental piece that seems a little lacklustre. But even so, it shines brightly this album overall, so that even a piece like this is quite good listening. It mixes some robotic statements with trippy sounds, a nice mix here of unusual sounds. The end is very quiet indeed.

The big hit from the album Hey Boy Hey Girl is a house based pounding beatastic number. It is interesting and radio ready, simply a good tune. Some surreal sounds are here, a must listen. The outro is tripped out.

Here we have the title track Surrender. This piece starts slow, then builds up into a colourful concoction of sounds. It seems a little repetitive, but sounds not out of place in a city like Tokyo. It’s really that well advanced here, and a good but not great listen.

Dream On is the last piece on the album. It doesn’t sound at all in its place here, and could have been rethought here. Sounds more like a rock band than The Chemical Brothers really. It’s not all that bad though. A twist at the end occurs which is surprising though.

This album is a good listen to after a heavy night out in the club. It’s perhaps not the best EDM album you’ll ever hear, but is a worthy addition to your collection. A 20th anniversary re-release is available for those who would like to seek out some extra tunes from the era.

Good album overall.

7/10

The Prodigy – Experience (1992)

The UK Hardcore EDM scene was a strange one. It foreshadowed an overall change in the EDM scene, which became much more varied and personalised after the UK Hardcore movement had died off.

The Prodigy were not as individual or interesting at this point in their musical career as later on. Yet, they were more consistent overall. This album is very underrated and overlooked as a musical piece. It shouldn’t be, there are many great tunes on it.

The trip starts with Jericho. It’s a typical piece of the era, with sped up sounds and fast paced breakbeats. The melodies here are killer. After the 1980’s which had a dirge of keyboards and backwards electronic sounds, The Prodigy were here to kick start the 1990’s. “The hordes of Jericho” indeed.

The next tune, Music Reach (1/2/3/4) is another great piece. The melodies on this album are fantastic, and are so uplifting. It takes one to another place emotionally, although many people may claim that the music here is “cheesy”. It’s not, it is actually very good. A killer dance tune. Many computerised Acid House type sounds are here as well.

Wind It Up gets the party started, right from the word go. It’s a fast and fun tune to listen to. It sounds like parrots are squawking here, aside from all the other bizarre sounds here worth listening to. It’s a very unusual sounding album, but worth listening to for sure.

Your Love (Remix) sounds a bit effeminate for The Prodigy, but kicks ass too. It’s a great dance tune to hear, but sounds nothing like The Fat Of The Land ever did. Still, it’s a good piece to enjoy listening to.

The next piece Hyperspeed (G-Force Part 2) sounds great and uplifting, perhaps more consistent than the previous pieces have been. There’s a voice screaming, “Hitler! Hit-Hit-Hitler!” here as well. Sounds like a load of drugs were being taken here, mind you. But that’s EDM for you.

The follow up Charly (Trip Into Drum And Bass Version) is a great remix of the original Charly single which made The Prodigy big in the UK. It has some wonderful spacey sound effects in it, as well as a great subsonic bass breakdown. A great effort here. A must listen.

Out Of Space is a nice tune, singalong enough for even mainstream radio play. Some great phrases are here, “I’ll take your brain to another dimension, pay close attention” and the main reggae influenced vocal sample chorus here that persists throughout the tune are really great. This is a great classic off the album, still played by The Prodigy live today.

Everybody In The Place (155 And Rising) is another great remix with some acid house style riffs at a high tempo. It’s an excellent piece that builds up and breaks down well. How on earth Liam Howlett created these awesome melodies, we will never truly know. But it kicks ass.

The next piece is the extended Weather Experience. It begins with weather forecaster samples, before heading into a melancholy set of melodies and spacey sounds. It’s a trip for sure, sounding brilliant and futuristic. It’s somewhat slower than the other pieces on this album, but simply captivating. Weather sounds are everywhere here, a nice touch. A good extended piece which is different, but consistent.

The next much more uplifting song is Fire (Sunrise Version). It’s a good one with a legendary sample, “I AM THE GOD OF HELL AND FIRE, AND I BRING YOU…” is that awesome sample. There is some (likely) Spanish chanting, and some other great samples. This album never fails to deliver musically.

Ruff In The Jungle Bizness is a catchy and uplifting piece about said topic. It’s a nice uplifting number with some sweet bass here. Beeps and pianos intertwine into a pacing and uplifting song. This album is super consistent for sure. “Feel the jungle vibe, baby!”

Death Of The Prodigy Dancers (Live) finishes the album on a very high note. With some MC chanting from Maxim Reality, this is a great tune to dance along to. A great party tune.

In retrospect, this is a very underrated and listenable album, even more so with Keith Flint’s passing. If you really feel like some musical history in EDM, this album most definitely should be a part of your collection. Be sure to check out the remastered and expanded edition of the album for the fans of The Prodigy, it is well worth chasing down.

9/10

Black Sabbath – Paranoid (1970)

Although not the first Black Sabbath album, it is widely accepted as their best. Originally desired to be called War Pigs, Paranoid is a great album, and the definitive Black Sabbath album as well. It’s a good one for sure.

From the beginning of the recording, we enter into metal territory with War Pigs. It’s a great piece of doom. Tony Iommi’s Gibson SG sings well, and the sound is very sparse. But hey, it’s really catchy and likely about the Vietnam War in its own way. It is such a great song that never bores in the nearly eight minutes of length. Superb.

The title track Paranoid is an interesting tale of self-loathing and decline. It’s a good one if you are depressed as it’s not hugely depressing, but loud and rocking all the same. The chugging guitar keeps the song going well, and is a short ode to mental health issues and loneliness. Mint.

Planet Caravan is a trippy piece likely inspired by Black Sabbath’s heavy drug use at the time. It’s a great sonic palette. You’d never guess that it was Ozzy Osbourne singing on this, but yes, he is. Essential stuff.

Iron Man is next, and it is dark, doomy and rather surreal. It tells a Terminator-like tale of a robot saving people and then assuming revenge on those he saved, due to lack of gratitude from those who he saved. Yes, this was the main song in the film series of the same name starring Robert Downey Jr. But it’s a great highlight of the album, and fantastic at that. The outro is classy.

The slower and rifftastic Electric Funeral is up next. It’s less serious than the previous track but still great. You could likely listen to this piece on repeat if you wish to, as with the other pieces on the album. It’s too good to ignore. It goes super subtle at the end, which is an interesting twist.

Ah yes! Hand Of Doom follows and is a great piece. It goes quiet/loud for extra emphasis. It’s about the dark side of drugs, namely Heroin in its point. Anyone who has done hard drugs of some sort can directly relate to this song, it’s a nasty story that is designed to shock you. Listen carefully.

Rat Salad is a great drum and guitars solo. Mostly drums mind you. But it is so epic and fantastic, you’ll keep coming back to it for sure. Just amazing stuff, well done!

Fairies Wear Boots is the last song on this album, but like all the others, it kicks ass! It’s based on a true-life story, but most people are not aware of this. Ozzy Osbourne does some magnificent screaming here about drugs. It’s a great way to end this wonderful album.

Paranoid has become a cult classic in the realm of proto heavy metal. It’s the best way to start the 1970s. Do yourself a big favour and listen to this wonderful album today. The sonic palette here is just wonderful.

9/10