Category Archives: Best New Music 2012

The Henry Clay People, Twenty-Five for the Rest of Our Lives: Album Review

The Henry Clay People, Twenty-Five for the Rest of Our Lives: Album Review

Two and a Half out of Three HeadphonesAlbum: Twenty Five for the Rest of Our Lives

Artist: The Henry Clay People

Year:2012

 

It’s been a good summer for punk rock.  Bands like Japandroids, Deer Tick, and to a lesser extent, Gentleman Jesse are proving that hard rock as a relevant sound is far from over.  In the incredible heat of this July, The Henry Clay People have released a punk rock album that is at once nostalgic and fresh.  Twenty-Five for the Rest of Our Lives is an exuberant, fast-paced proclamation that punk rock, while it may not change the world, can at least change the mood in the room.

The Henry Clay People have been making music for roughly a decade now and it shows in their sound. Twenty-Five for the Rest of Our Lives is tightly written and expertly carried out.  Rather than go down the path of awkwardly lo-fi sounds or overly produced tracks, the band sticks to the traditional punk rock formula with short, loud, energetic sounds that still sound crisp and clear when cranked up in your headphones.  Despite the album’s brevity, the songs themselves are nicely varied.  Unlike the songs of lesser punk rock artists, there is a real sense of craft in each track here.  Rather than simply repeating the same quick chords over and over, Twenty-Five for the Rest of Our Lives explores a number of different sounds and tempos.

The Henry Clay People clearly borrow from 90’s punk rock and college bands like Archers of Loaf and Built to spill and fans of those bands will find much on Twenty-Five for the Rest of Our Lives that sounds familiar, but The Henry Clay People aren’t simply resurrecting the past.  This album feels fresh and relevant, as much of a protest against the trend towards weepy, navel-gazing music as it is a protest against the loss of youth.

If you need a quick injection of punk rock in your life, or just a change of pace from the rest of the indie field, Twenty-Five for the Rest of Our Lives will deliver just the medicine you need.

 

Punch Brothers, Who’s Feeling Young Now?: Album Review

Punch Brothers, Who’s Feeling Young Now?: Album Review

Punch Brothers calls themselves a bluegrass band, but I think the old-time bluegrass community might disagree. The instrumentation bears a strong resemblance to bluegrass, with the traditional combinations of guitar, fiddle (violin for you yankees out there), mandolin, banjo and bass, but the song structures are much more contemporary sounding, more in keeping with Nickel Creek than Bill Monroe.Continue Reading

Dirty Projectors, Swing Lo Magellan: Album Review

Dirty Projectors, Swing Lo Magellan: Album Review

Album: Swing Lo Magellan Artist: Dirty Projectors Year: 2012   Dirty Projectors are a band I have listened to for years, but never honestly paid that much attention to, until now.  With the recent release of Swing Lo Magellan, Dirty Projectors have leapt up a few rungs of amazingness, in my estimation. Swing Lo Magellan, like mostContinue Reading

DIIV, Oshin: Album Review

DIIV, Oshin: Album Review

Album: Oshin Artist: DIIV Year: 2012   The Brooklyn-based post rock / indie rock band, DIIV (formerly Dive) is getting a fair amount of attention for it’s debut LP, Oshin, and rightly so. Oshin is a delicate, uplifting little album, the kind of music you play on a lazy Sunday afternoon but then find yourself listening toContinue Reading

El-P, Cancer 4 Cure: Album Review

El-P, Cancer 4 Cure: Album Review

Album: Cancer 4 Cure Artist: El-P Year: 2012   My favorite thing about closely following new music is those rare moments when an album comes along that shines a new light on a tired sound or genre.  Cancer 4 Cure, the latest release from Brooklynite Jaime Meline, a.k.a. El-P, is one of those albums.  Just whenContinue Reading

Gentleman Jesse, Leaving Atlanta: Album Review

Gentleman Jesse, Leaving Atlanta: Album Review

Album: Leaving Atlanta Artist: Gentleman Jesse Year: 2012   The idea of punk rock usually has more to do with it’s anti-establishment lyrics and short, fast-tempo music style than any other genre markers.  This leaves the door wide open for interpretation as to what does and does not qualify as punk rock. Leaving Atlanta, the newest release fromContinue Reading