Monday, March 06, 2006

Hypatia Lake: And We Shall Call Him Joseph (Sad Robot)
release: February 28, 2006
rating: ***1/2
similar: Black Heart Procession, Dykehouse, Flying Saucer Attack, Flaming Lips
played with: BRMC, M83, Ulrich Schnauss, Ambulance ltd.

The album cover for Hypatia Lake's sound-bending sophomore effort makes it too easy to dismiss them as experimental post-rock noise. Just look at it! So, ok, my bad. And We Shall Call Him... is actually one of the more happy discoveries so far this year. Mainly because it relies greatly on swirling textures and has a big foot in space rock and shoegaze. It starts off strong, balancing a concept story about a guy leading a revolt against a candy factory (what?). It sorta wonders off later and loses some strength, hinting that this too-short record is only a small part of a greater whole. Sticky Sweet. -Kenyon


Man Man: Six Demon Bag (Ace Fu)
release: February 21, 2006
rating: **
similar: World Inferno Friendship Society, Tom Waits, Captain Beefheart
played with: Arcade Fire, Fiery Furnaces, Cat Power

Man Man isn't for many, but they're certainly not easy to ignore when they've got an experimental style that draws from jazz, Middle Eastern, old-school carnival type music, cabaret, and who knows what else. It's not an easy listen when they add the throaty or whiney vocals. But hell, if they were playing one of their off-the-hook shows nearby, I'd so be there for major photo taking. So they get half a star for that. Oh yea, and if it matters, they opened for Arcade Fire ..AND, supposedly, Cat Power. -Kenyon

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