Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Writing Update and Weekly Music Review

Well, I've been stricken with another bout of The Block as I work on Aeon's War. Consequence, I've decided to radically shift gears and finally finish work compiling the eBook version of Oh Well, Whatever, Nevermind.

I'm already looking at a few different distribution points for Nevermind; owing to its non-genre storyline and "mature themes" subject matter, I'm thinking of putting it out there differently than I am the Omniverse. The next few weeks will see me largely concentrating on that project, though when I go to my cafe for a day's writing on Friday (Having the day off in honour of Nail Your Superhero To A Tree Day) I may very well be drawn back into the complex weave of The Aeon's War for a bit.

Anyway, that's the news for this week. Now here's SteveK with the music reviews:

Omega Crom: Blood, Steel & Fire

Garage Band sensibilities and Classic Metal Era construction combine with modern Speed Metal proclivities to create a fresh take on the genre as a whole. My first impression was awe, as vocalist Johnny K altered between a deep growl and a shrill falsetto not from song to song but within the same lyric. As rapid-fire as his vocal changes, the accompaniment from guitarists Wayne Holden and Ian Wilcke and drummer Dan La Pierre keeps pace and sets tone perfectly across the nine tracks on this treble-charged disk.

This is not the high-speed one-note incomprehensible-growl of most of the supposed “pros” of modern Metal; this simultaneously breaks the mold and returns to Metal’s roots. There are some problems: a poorly-edited sound-effects intro doesn’t merge fluidly with the lead track, terrible album art and occasional production missteps. However the music and performances here redeem. All in all, Omega Crom’s ‘Blood, Steel & Fire’ is an impressive debut.

Omega Crom: Blood, Steel & Fire
Steve’s Rating: 8/10

She & Him: Volume Two

Okay, okay; it’s been a couple of years but I’m still kind of wowed that Zooey Deschanel, besides being a cute Indie Girl actress is also a cute Indie Girl singer. Not only that, but she and her co-conspirator M. Ward have a pretty good thing going here.

'Volume Two' is, obviously, a follow-up to their debut, ‘Volume One’. The music here is reminiscent of Pop music from the late 1950’s to early 1960’s, with a slight return to the vocals and a mélange of traditional pop instrumentation with orchestral elements of strings, brass and other classic accents.

The music is sophisticated and modern, without the precocious innocence of Pop music’s bygone past. Blended together with upbeat notes, two-part harmonies and retro sensibilities, ‘Volume Two’ is unlike anything I’ve come across since 2007’s ‘In Camera’ by Arthur & Yu.

The songs here are gentle and pleasing, a light but complex, refreshing album.

She & Him: Volume Two
Merge Records
Steve’s Rating: 9/10