Friday, March 18, 2011

P&J 2010 (One and Done): Cathedral, "The Guessing Game"; + bonus funk!

Yep, it's mid-March and I'm still writing posts about a 2010 music poll. But timeliness wasn't really the point of this little exercise, was it?

Cathedral, "The Guessing Game (disc 1)"

30 points, t-365, voted on by Josh Langhoff

"The Guessing Game" is a double album, with one "rock" disc that pays tribute to some of the band's influence, and one disc of more conventional doom metal. I've heard just one of the discs, but it seems as though I picked the wrong one because I like my metal to sound like metal, not like "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway". Oddly enough, they are at their best when they steer clear of anything even remotely resembling metal, like the sweet, melodic, and vaguely Zeppelin-esque title track (think of the intro "Over the Hills and Far Away"). "Cats, Incense, Candles, and Wine" is also a treat, straddling the line between The Modern Lovers' metronomic pub rock and Faust's zaniness. But straight up flower child prog metal is simply not my thing. I should listen to the second disc as well, perhaps for a future.

I'm surprised that an album like this would only get one vote. You'd think that critics would take to a double album of prog and doom metal from a veteran band like moths to a flame. The reviews weren't bad either.

Since I didn't have much to say about that album (and didn't care for it much at all), I figured I'd include a BONUS one and done album that received just one vote on P&J, but it was a #2 vote. When I first compiled this list, I included it by mistake and had already downloaded it before I realized my error.

Dâm-Funk, "Adolescent Funk"

30 points, t-365, voted on by Rob Hatch-Miller

If you like lo-fi, budget funk music, then you've come to the right place. It's like they tried to reproduce some of Prince's early output using just one modern day synth. It's full of basic, pre-programmed drum loops, corny 80's synth leads, squelchy digitized bass, and sex crazed lyrics. There's a good reason that it sounds like this -- it's a compilation of material that Dâm-Funk AKA Damon G. Riddick recorded in the late 80's and early 90's (which also explains the album title). Of course you don't need a budget to make a good record, and Riddick stretches the technology at his disposal to the max, sounding very much at home in a variety of different funky guises. He pulls off radio-friendly pop funk ("I Love Life"), disco ("When I'm With U I Think Of Her"), and electro ("I Don't Want You", a wonderful FU kiss-off) and keeps the party vibe going throughout every genre he touches. The album is probably too long by 15-20 minutes (a full hour of cheap'n'cheerful funk is a tad too much for me) but there is plenty of stuff to like here.

(added note: according to Andy Kellman's review of "Toeachizown" on Allmusic, he still uses all that old gear, even today! I can totally get behind an artist who remains proudly lo-fi by choice. Incidentally, Allmusic has yet to post to a review of "Adolescent Funk".)

No comments: