Features Music Scene Point Blank's Favorites: The Year So Far (August 2005)

Music: Scene Point Blank's Favorites: The Year So Far (August 2005)

Audioslave - "Be Yourself"

While the initial material that this supergroup released on their debut was for the most part a mish-mash of conflicting styles, former Soundgarden vocalist Chris Cornell and his backing band of ex-Rage Against the Machine(rs) found the perfect mix with the first single from their sophomore effort with the track â??Be Yourself.â? The song has it all; it's a prime example of what a single should be. The guitar work of Tom Morello is excellent, Cornell's vocals evoke great emotion and the lyrics are very catchy especially the hook used for the chorus. Unsigned bands take note, this is how it is done.

Beck - Guero

A multitalented and extraneous songwriter, Beck found his way back to the world of rock music after a little layover in the land of sad-bastards with 2002's Sea Change. Guero definitely transcends the stereotypical boundaries of rock music. Beck has give the listeners who crave more â??Two Turntables (And a Microphone)â? and â??Loserâ? an album that will no doubt satisfy their appetite, all while providing them with intriguing music that could eventually lead them to more adventurous musical tastes. And if there is one thing radio needs it is more personality and diversity.

Foo Fighters - In Your Honor

Prior to the release of this two-disc venture, frontman Dave Grohl, in his own words, compared this release to Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti. A bold statement? Indeed. And yet, after repeated listens to both discs, one containing straightforward rock music and the other made up of ambitious acoustic songage, you begin to realize that Grohl's forthright remarks are actually well-founded. In Your Honor will no doubt solidify the Foo Fighters place in music history.

The Mars Volta - Frances the Mute

With their debut full-length The Mars Volta set the bar very high for themselves. In addition to the high expectations, the band had to deal with the overdose of band member Jeremy Ward. As a result, the band cleaned their act up yet still managed to write, record, and release an album that pushes the definition of rock by incorporating prog, free-form jazz, blues, electronics, and salsa among other styles of music. The Mars Volta is essentially the antithesis of what I would consider radio rock, and yet I can't help but smile anytime I hear the band being played over the airwaves. It beats hearing Simple Plan and My Chemical Romance for the hundredth time.

Queens of the Stone Age - Lullabies to Paralyze

The California based outfit proves that 2003's Songs for the Deaf was no fluke with their fourth full-length effort. While portions of Lullabies to Paralyze demonstrate the skills of frontman Josh Homme to write a pop song, he continues to draw influence from his past in Kyuss as well as his experimental meanderings of The Desert Sessions. As a result we get tracks that are radio-friendly - â??Tangled Up in Plaidâ? and â??Burn the Witchâ? as well as tracks that will only get airplay on college stations - â??Someone's in the Wolfâ? and â??Broken Box.â?

- Michael

Mount Eerie â?? No Flashlight (August 16th)

Phil Elverum is a cult icon and his Microphones/Mount Eerie projects have released some of the best records of the past decade. No Flashlight claims to have the largest record cover ever, but the focus will surely be on the music as this follows up the Microphone's last full length, Mount Eerie released in 2003.

Sigur Rós - Takk� (September 12th)

The follow up to my personal favorite record of all time, I have nothing but high expectations for this. Supposedly this is more of a continuation of ágætis byrjun than ( ). We'll see if it can live up to such a statement come September.

Municipal Waste - Hazardous Mutations (September 20th)In their short amount of time together as a band, Municipal Waste have built a reputation of having one of the most wild, ear-splitting, and fun shows out there. This album is their first for Earache Records and poised to be remembered as not only one of the best thrash-core albums of the past couple years, but as one of the best albums to come out this year period.

Minus Story - No Rest for Ghosts (October 11th)

Described as somewhere between The Captain Is Dead Let the Drum Corpse Dance and Heaven and Hell, this is their sophomore full length on Jagjaguwar Records. Expect this to be the record that really breaks them.

Animal Collective - Feels (October 11th)

The ever evolving Animal Collective will release Feels this October after touring on Sung Tongs for only just over a year. Only time will tell if their avant-pop style can remain in the spotlight or if it was just a passing fad.

- Shane

1. Ceremony

Taking queues from bands like Negative Approach and Shark Attack, Ceremony have released the best demo so far this year. If you're sick of bands rehashing what's already been done though, don't worry, Ceremony mix this angry (both slow/fast) sound with a modern approach. With a 7" coming out on Malfunction Records later this year, be prepared for ships to sink and bridges to burn.

2. No Dice

If you've ever seen a mountain lion tear a deer apart, sinew by sinew, this is what it sounds like. Just like the slaughter, it's fast and over before you can try to get a bite for yourself. No Dice might be the comeback of Bay Area power-violence.

3. Dangers

Before the drama about what a certain song and the parties it offended, Dangers self released a six song demo cassette. If you liked The Miracle Mile's last 7", this is somewhat of a continuation of that with the same songwriter aboard. The lyrics take a more "out there" approach by not being so straight forward you even know what type of pen was used.

4. Regret

Although Modern Life Is War is definitely turning heads like the Exorcist, it doesn't seem many bands have yet started taking their influence. Regret, from Minnesota, seem to go down the route of Modern Life is War somewhere between their original 7" and My Love My Way, but with their own heading. Having an ex-member of Holding On doesn't hurt their sound either.

5. The Crazies

Although none of the demos so far have really implemented the sample, besides the one used in Ceremony's, The Crazies remind us how a demo should sound. The songs are in vein of Outbreak with a Northwest flair that makes everything more fun. Although three of the eight songs are covers (Circle Jerks, Black Flag, The Ramones) this will rock the "in" into "sanity".

- Zed

1. Sin City - Every couple of years a film comes along that makes it an absolute blast to go to the movies. Thank you Mr. Rodriguez.

2. Lords of Dogtown - When I heard they were doing a film version of the Dogtown and Z-Boys documentary, I thought it was a retarded idea. Catherine Hardwicke directed the shit out of this thing.

3. Crash - You know how studios try to make an "important" film about race relations and wind up with "Nothing To Lose"? They finally got it right.

4. Hotel Rwanda - A horrifying story that no one knew about because it didn't happen here.

5. A Very Long Engagement - I defy you to watch Audrey Tatou in this film and not fall in love. Fucked up leg and all.

- Kevin

1. Padme and Anakin dialogue, as well as pretty much any time that Natalie Portman was allowed to speak or do anything besides being eye candy

2. One word, a million disgusted sighs: "Noooooooo!!"

3. It's a tie between the 30-second battle between Obi Wan and General Grevious and Grevious's pointless smoker's cough.

4. Not enough wookies.

5. Obi Wan's stupid fucking squealing lizard.

- Pat

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Words by the SPB team on Oct. 16, 2010, 11:05 a.m.

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