Thursday, April 22, 2010

Kiss Me.

If I were to compose a list titled "Best Bands That Only Released One Album" the John Wilkes Kissing Booth would almost certainly top the list. If I were to make a list of best songs that were never properly released on an album, "Black Market Malaysia" would similarly be high about most. While not the best quality, this video is much better than I'd expect it to be and excessively demonstrates how epically rock and roll this band is. From "Are you pussies ready for this?" to "Skah-douche!" this video oozes awesome. I'm glad this exists

I was lucky enough to see JWKB preform in a class room at the Des Moines Botanical Center to a crowd of, maybe, ten.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Secret Panels "Divider" Review

Maybe halfway through, it hits you that what you've been listening to isn't a rock record. Sure, it's guitars and drums and voice, but the album is something else entirely. At first, the words seem to represent various religious sects. Islamic zealots are easily identified on songs like "Last Morning" and "Rush Hour Bus", and as you listen, other cults like Heaven's Gate are represented on songs like "The Comet". But the revelations do not end as it is here that the purpose of the album begins to become visible.

The epic is disguised by it's six songs; yet it's length rivals the last Radiohead record. Half of the tracks are mini Who-like rock operas. Think "A Quick One While He's Away" only menacing. Nearly every song has "Peter and the Wolf" like instrumental representation with several apocalyptic breakdowns in the manner of Wagner.

The lyrics are simple enough, but like a doomsday Hemmingway, they tell a devastating tale of violence and ideology. The war cries of Jihads and Crusades are the same words sung in Christian churches every Sunday morning. Indeed, the songs are structured after Muslim prayers, Psalms and Sunday morning praise songs.

The album may suffer from some production short comings, but it only serves to make Secret Panels helmsman Jeremy Grace come off as an Old Testament Prophet, using what he can to preach his message; not for fame or glory, but to save the people from themselves.

This is not a rock record, but listen and hear one of the most ambitious and important musical recordings of the past five years. You'll be blown away like a suicide bomber on a rush hour bus.