SURFER BLOOD had me reaching FAST for a dictionary to lookup JABRONI

my arms and legs they will grow soft with you

♫ Surfer Blood – Take It Easy

I had a tough time figuring out my feelings for Surfer Blood’s lead single “Swim” and I having an equally tough time figuring out what I think of their debut album, Astrocoast. After finally being sold on “Swim,” and then falling in love with “Take It Easy,” I was initially disappointed to hear Astrocoast and find it mostly lacking their energy or power. The album starts off with the fantastic mood-setter “Floating Vibes” before baring it’s teeth with “Swim” and then swaggering through “Take It Easy.” After that, however, things fall of the rock-wagon a bit. Sure, the raw guitars and beachfront-garage sound is still there but this is not the same stadium worthy sound that won the blogosphere’s heart with “Swim.” However, after repeated listens over the past two weeks the album has grown on me a bit and I’m beginning to appreciate the other Surfer Blood, the one I hear on the latter two-thirds of the album. “Fast Jabroni” is my favorite jam out of those tracks, it’s churning guitars taking me on a sonic adventure that distracts me from my previous disappointment. Unfortunately, it is followed by it’s mellowed-out counterpart, “Slow Jabroni,” a firm reminder that these guys are not making anything else as epic as “Swim” or as catchy as “Take It Easy.”

♫ Surfer Blood – Fast Jabroni

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THE KNUX want to POP THE CORK on this weekend!

like a lion in the jungle, the neon lights are my paradise

♫ The Knux – Pop The Cork

You may remember The Knux from one of the first posts here at TBE, or perhaps from Complex’s top albums of the decade list. If this is your first exposure to these LA via New Orleans (actual) brothers then you are in luck. The Knux fuse rap and rock in a way that should really not be described as rap-rock, lest that term’s baggage weigh them down. In an era where Jay-Z can’t even stumble through the chords of “Wonderwall” on his own, it’s a bit “outside the box” that these dudes do their own production and play their own instruments. But all that is just icing on the delicious cake that was their 2008 LP, Remind Me In 3 Days. The album’s tight rhymes and big hooks didn’t fit neatly under any label and the disc went largely under-appreciated. Luckily, the boys are back with a new inappropriately titled EP that features the party-starting “Pop The Cork” to serve as your weekend anthem. Download the very solid 5 track Fuck You EP for FREE over at RCRD•LBL and get yourself familiar with these guys. With their new stuff as solid as it is I have no doubts that we are in for great things in the future.

I did mention that the Fuck You EP is FREE, right? Anyway, here is some more Knux party fuel from Remind Me In 3 Days.

♫ The Knux – Bang! Bang!

♫ The Knux – Playboys

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BEARBOT is STUNTIN LIKE nobody’s business. MY ONLY problem is the incessant SWERVING and swaggering these jams induce.

if there’s a throne, you’re looking at a chairman

♫ Bearbot – Stuntin Like My Only Swerving

♫ Bearbot – Get It

Usually a dope mash-up finds itself tucked into a Remix Roundup with a dollop of praise on it’s fresh little head. Pardon me if I change things up on you. Or rather pardon Bearbot if she (yes, the same “she” who is steaming up that jpeg) changes things up on you. In the grand tradition of my boys The Hood Internet or the overly-ADD Girl Talk, Bearbot is known for slicing and dicing genres into hyped up dance floor brush-fires that demand that you rock along. Start playing “name that sample” with the two jams above and if you think you can handle it then step up to “Back Hole,” the 16 minute album closer to Bearbot’s recent mix-tape chronicling (and titled) The Life Of A Star. Get it, as well as a gang of other Bearbot treats, over at the official website. And then make sure you hold on tight to that beverage!

♫ Bearbot – Black Hole

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YEASAYER have got O.N.E. damn good album on their hands and MONDEGREEN is my new jam off of it

everybody’s talking ’bout me and my baby making love ’til the morning light

♫ Yeasayer – Mondegreen

Despite Yeasayer’s hype peaking at about this exact same moment I can’t wait another day to encourage you to get this album. Pitchfork poo-pooed on it earlier today but don’t listen to them, listen to the album. Their 2007 debut, All Hour Cymbols, was never really my bag but then lead singer Chris Keating lent his vocals to one of the best tracks of last year and followed that up by leaking “Ambling Alp,” which quickly became another best of 2009. At that point everyone was asking themselves if these guys could really bring the heat on Odd Blood. Well, the short answer is “yes.” First track “The Children” is a failed attempt at an ambient album opener but it’s hard to fault them for trying. Luckily “Ambling Alp” is quick to follow and erase any bad feelings. Then it’s track after track of quirky, exuberant, and well-crafted music that stomps around with more swagger than most of today’s hip-hop. The album is sometimes sexy, sometimes ambient, and sometimes bursting at the seams with energy (above). Filled with horns, drums and chants of love and sex, “Mondegreen” is probably the most fun song I can think to put on your Valentine’s mix. Although also fantastic, I’d keep “O.N.E.” off that mix though, even if Keating’s lyrics nail the feeling of fading love and the song is a straight jam. Anyway, Odd Blood definitely raises Yeasayer’s bar and delivers a solid collection of danceable and enjoyable jams. So far 2010 is off to a brisk start and we’ve got great albums pouring out of the woodwork. Good times.

♫ Yeasayer – O.N.E.

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CIVIL CIVIC cost LESS than a burrito, UNLESS you are buying crappy burritos.


♫ Civil Civic – Less Unless

Are you listening to this? Seriously, are you? Cause you should be. Civil Civic are a London/Barcelona duo who have whipped up this fantastic little number that will either make your ass shake or your speakers break, but probably both. Distortion has never sounded this good. The band nails it on the head:

We don’t have a music video for this song so it’s best to imagine one. Personally we recommend imagining a beach party being hit by a tsunami

Their debut EP is out soon on 100 limited edition cassettes (those beauties on the right) or digitally and the whole thing is like surf music on too many Red Bulls at the end of the world. Order both formats here, where you can also stream the EP to find out it is definitely worth the 1£ (USD $1.56) minimum download price. The best bit of pocket change I’ve spent all year.

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HOT CHIP’s latest could easily fill an ALLEY full of funky hepCATS

you painted a song, you painted a song

♫ Hot Chip – Alley Cats

After much hype, anticipation, and dancing to it’s two leaked tracks, Hot Chip’s 4th studio album is finally out. One could write pages on Hot Chip, their music, and it’s critical/popular reception, but to boil it down, One Life Stand is their most solid album yet. Coming On Strong introduced them with an “electro-soul” sound that seemed like a gimmick and was a bit too mellow for me. The Warning saw them up the ante with the instant dance classic “Over And Over” tucked into an otherwise pleasantly flat collection. Made In The Dark broke them to popular audience with a handful of great and quirky dance anthems but the album never felt cohesive. With One Life Stand they have toned back the dance tunes and honed in on the ballads to reach a balance that holds itself together perfectly. Hot Chip are clearly more confident then ever as they seem to be grasping at less straws and taking each musical decision to it’s logical extent. Their shortest track list yet sees all 10 tracks run over 4 minutes and none should be skipped. One Life Stand’s centerpiece is a 3 track block of tenderness that offers a well timed respite from the rollicking good times that bookend the album. “Alley Cats” closes out those 3 tracks and it’s dual vocals, delicate beat, and sparse instrumentation are a perfect example of Hot Chip at their finest. Many can do dance but few can also do this.

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} TBE Digest 5 – 2.10.10 [Major Lazer, Vampire Weekend, Phoenix, The Knife, & more!]

With this roundup I wanted to kick things off with a couple of great/interesting covers before I get into the dregs of what’s been popping up around the interwebs lately. Remember, these are just my humble opinions and an effort to keep you all abreast of the musical happenings that I don’t cover in their own hyperbole-filled post. If I make a poopy on one of your favorite bands just try not to flip out. We all float in different boats, or whatever.

♫ Major Lazer – Halo / Major Lazer and Elephant Man pay their own special kind of tribute to the Grammy winner with this cover. Not sure if they changed the lyrics or not, kinda hard to understand that dude.

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FM BELFAST are sending good times PAR AVION

and we could go there

♫ FM Belfast – Par Avion

Iceland’s FM Belfast released their debut LP How To Make Friends over 16 months ago in their home country but the album is only now seeing a US release. I’ve yet to hear the whole album but ever since “Par Avion” landed in my inbox it’s been my first class ticket to rum soaked beach parties in my mind. It’s no surprise that these guys know the secret to transporting you from frozen reality to sunny imagination. On the flip side, their tame Icelandic upbringing made for an awkward result when they cover Rage Against The Machine’s angsty “Killing In The Name Of.” It doesn’t work for me but all is still well ’cause I’m lying down if front of my house in the Caribbean singing along to the best summer song of the year so far.

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