Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Good Natured - More Skeletons

Are my album covers getting worse?

If you listened to punk/alternative through the 90's, you probably know the evils of major labels. They were like a plague, infiltrating one scene or genre, flooding the music market with soundalike bands, then moving on when the next big thing came along. Not that the lazy, mindless and fickle public doesn't bare some responsibility for subduing to any trend that comes along though.

A lot of bands I liked fell victim to punk's major label "heyday." Some bands received no promotion because of label firings/"restructuring" (Sweet Baby), some bands went into debt, some broke up (Jawbreaker), some had their albums shelved (Sense Field), some changed styles (Shades Apart, Weston) and some were allowed to continue making horrible music (The Offspring).

Should I come to my point? The biggest musical heartbreak must be losing rights to your album and not getting to release it. That's the case with The Good Natured. I'd been looking forward to their debut album Prism to come out sometime this year, but a Facebook message a little while ago stated that they had been dropped by their label, which was also retaining rights to their album, and not releasing it. The band might have also lost the rights to their own name (!), but I'm not positive about that. Could this have something to do with the fact that Katy Perry was releasing an album entitled Prism this year too? I wouldn't put it past those fatcats.

If you're not familiar with the band, imagine the Cars with a fantastic female singer, with a cool English accent to boot! Although I love electro/indie pop in theory, a lot of bands just don't really do it for me. Bloc Party for example, not a big fan. But I'm a sucker for keyboards and a catchy harmony, which the Good Natured have plenty of. And a Waitresses cover from a singer in her early 20's? She obviously has good taste for a youngin'.

Unfortunately they've only left us with a smattering of EPs so far, most of which I've compiled here. They have at least 2 earlier EPs, but I don't think they really hit their stride until Skeleton. Plus I couldn't find them in matching MP3 bitrates, and I'm anal like that.

However, their last Facebook message mentions that they are "coming back stronger than ever next year in a new shape and form." Looking forward to that. In the meantime, prepare to dance around the room singing into a hairbrush.

Skeleton ep (2011)
   01) Your Body Is A Machine
   02) Skeleton
   03) Wolves
   04) Be My Animal
   05) Prisoner
   06) The Hourglass
   07) Skeleton (Nfiftyfive Remix)
Christmas Wrapping Ep (2012)
   08) Christmas Wrapping (The Waitresses)
Adrian Lux Album (2012)
   09) Alive (Adrian Lux Feat. The Good Natured) (Original Mix)
Video Voyeur Ep (2012)
   10) Video Voyeur
5-Ht Ep (2013)
   11) 5-Ht
   12) She Drives Me Crazy (Fine Young Cannibals)

Update 6/4/2014: Unfortunately I had to take down the download link. Thanks for asking me first! Luckily the band has reformed as Lovestarrs. Hopefully the unreleased Good Natured album sees the light of day eventually. I guess that would be antithetical to current record industry practices though.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Pizza Underground

Macauley Culkin's...Pizza Themed...Velvet Underground...Cover Band

Update 1/6/2014: Their bandcamp page seems to be gone, maybe for the moment. In the meantime:

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Future Of The Left - Man Vs. Melody (Self Released, 2012)

I'll add this one right quick. Here's one of those examples of a release being brickwalled, but only mastered to about 50% peak volume, so I just raised it to full dynamic range.

Mclusky were one of my favorite bands when they were around. Luckily I got to see them twice in San Francisco and they were awesome both times. Mclusky Do Dallas was arguably their best release, with a mix of classic indie rock, noise rock, humor and anger.

When they broke up, the singer formed Future Of The Left and the bassist formed Shooting At Unarmed Men. At first, neither struck me as being as good as their former band. I lost track of Shooting At Unarmed Men and Future Of The Left's prolific output proved more daunting than exciting. But lately I've been revisiting all of the Future Of The Left releases and enjoying them a lot. I think Mclusky had the sound a little more finely honed, but Future Of The Left seems freer to explore a little more, producing some great results.

This EP is as good an introduction to the band as any, with abrasive dirges, jangly rock and Andy Falkous' caustic lyrics and delivery. And of course, some of the best song titles ever.

01) The Real Meaning Of Christmas
02) Future Child Embarrassment Matrix
03) Johnny Borrell Afterlife
04) He Is Not A Hymn
05) Hometapingiskillingsusan