Filed under: Releases of the Week | Tags: Creaturesque, folk rock, Fruit Bats, George Harrison, Infomaniac, Modest Mouse, Moonbeams, My Morning Jacket, Nightmare of You, No One's First and You're Next, pop rock, Releases of the Week, The Beatles, The Ruminant Band, The Shins, The Strokes, Throw Me the Statue, Tribute To, Yim Yames
PREVIEW: Download Throw Me the Statue’s “Cannibal Rays” MP3
Every week, 20 Watts rounds up the new releases on our radar; click the link for our full review.
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Following up on 2007’s Moonbeams, Throw Me the Statue delivers the logical progression with Creaturesque. Littered with youthful charm and a broad ambition, the band manages to expand their sound into a more comfortable vehicle than before. It’s varied and bright, adding to the large collection of thematically positive music to come out already this year. Still, it seems to stand out with its large collection of influences appealing to a diverse group of fans.
Giving fans a look into their best non-album material of the past five or so years, No One’s First and You’re Next is just what Modest Mouse fans need to whet their appetites until the next full length. The eight-song collection shows some great continuity for tracks devised so separately, and overall, ends up being a real treat for Modest Mouse faithfuls. As a word of caution, there will be a few unexpected, but enjoyable, moments sprinkled in as well.
With their fourth proper release, Fruit Bats set out to further distinguish themselves with their own brand of folk rock. For the most part, mission accomplished on The Ruminant Band. Steady and energetic, the album provides a great summer aesthetic, and also distances the band from other similar acts. For anyone who’s spent any extended time with lead singer Eric Johnson and the gang, you’re almost sure to approve as they manage to progress entirely separate of The Shins.
Eight years after George Harrison passed away, Yim Yames’ (My Morning Jacket‘s Jim James) heartfelt cover collection finally comes out of the dark. On Tribute To, Yames looks to give a special thank you to Harrison for meaning what he did to him, as well as close the book on his own personal grieving process. As skeptical as one may be of tribute albums, especially those involving any portion of The Beatles‘ library, this one delivers surprisingly well, giving unique re-workings of the songs Harrison’s fans love so much.
After all of the accolades involved with being 2006’s “next big thing,” everything was going great for Long Island’s Nightmare of You. Then they took a few years to release the follow-up. The result is a much-changed sound, sampling the pop rock stylings of The Strokes, while abandoning some of the edge that made their first release so popular. If you’re just starting with them, perhaps head for 2005’s self-titled debut before continuing.
— John Cassillo, Reviews Editor