Let’s start off March with some returning artists (one with a new name) as well as a brand new one. In the interest of getting these out quickly, they’re definitely shorter than usual, but that’s the way things are trending lately. As always, the length of the review is no reflection on quality. They’re all quite good. Expect more reviews later this month, too, while I finally get caught up on them.
Ambush Vin – Tales from the Multiverse Vol. I: Order 66 (Explicit)
The latest EP from Ambush Vin is just four tracks (one of which is a remix, so it’s really more like three), but there’s some really great stuff here. It should come as no surprise to anyone who follows me on Twitter or knows my email that my favorite track is the title track, “Order 66” (which also has an Earth Prime Multiverse Remix feat. Ekaj, Ish1da, Le’ Real, & Rhyme Artist). I mean, technically I’m kind of a joke Sith Lord, but I’m still a Sith Lord of sorts (I go by Darth Aqueous, Dark Lord of the Fish, for anyone who isn’t in on the joke).
There’s also a track about Samurai in feudal Japan called “Samurai Sunday” which features Aramis and TekForce, an amazing collab between three great rappers. Finally, rounding out the trio of tracks is “Peter Venkman.” I totally visualize it as that character becoming a gangsta / nerdcore rapper while still retaining his ghost busting duties. Hilarious!
The Faithful Sidekicks – *.* And Other Star Things
I discovered The Faithful Sidekicks when they contacted the site via the Fandomania contact page. They are a husband and wife duo who perform nerdy songs of an alt rock folk (yes, I totally stole that from their Bandcamp page, but it fits) variety. The album title is an obvious nod to the DOS command for “everything,” and the album certainly tries to include all the things.
The album opens strongly with a track about the board game Pandemic, “Outbreak.” I haven’t actually played the game yet, but the song really makes me want to. Following this is a track about Star Trek with a country feel, “Beam Me Up.” And the nerdiness continues throughout: a track about Star Wars (the stand-out “Han Solo for President”), one about the fight between those two properties (“Jar Jar Must Go”), another about Doctor Who (“Doctor Doctor”), and one about Stargate (“Goa’uld Love”).
And it’s not just pop culture nerdiness, either. There’s also “Think of the Beans,” a humorous ballad about coffee and “SQL Love,” a love song that uses programming language (I’m not familiar with SQL, so I couldn’t tell you if it’s all technically in that language, but you get the idea). Another stand-out song would be “Video Games.” I may have only recently gotten back into playing video games, but I’d definitely rather be doing that than playing sports. Plus how can you not love a song that starts with an IT Crowd reference?
The Faithful Sidekicks’ debut album is a worthy addition to the geek music genre. I hope to hear more from them in the future, but in the meantime I’ll be listening to *.* and Other Star Things as often as possible.
Autocorrect – as it is (Explicit)
The band formerly known as Salvo is back with a new album, having changed their name to Autocorrect. This one continues the noisy / glitchy / experimental sound of no more funerals, but tempers it a bit, making it more melodic and easier to listen to. Well, at least musically — the lyrical content is pretty biting.
In fact, it seems to me to be a pretty cutting commentary on current culture, in which people pile up debt in more ways than one. Take the opener, “Save Less, Spend More,” which criticizes people’s tendency to want instant gratification; they “wanna be entitled and lie [themselves] to sleep.” They’re willing to accumulate debt in order to have satisfaction right now. Sometimes, however, that debt comes due, as in “Overdue” (which features Mikal kHill and Tribe One). Something happened to the relationship in the song, and after way too long it’s finally completely failed.
There’s also a theme of life “as it is” now, like “Nomophobia,” a fear of being out of contact with one’s phone (seriously). As a forty-three year old, I can’t quite identify with this, but I can see it happening to my high school students. There’s also “All Our Progress” (featuring a killer performance from Jesse Dangerously as well as Alice Wyrd and Ahomari). Despite “all our progress,” we still can’t allow people to be themselves; they have to be “a pretty picture” without any kind of imperfections (I particularly love the line “I have to die to eat / that’s what a diet means.” A very clever play on words).
There’s something absolutely gorgeous about the ennui of this album. If you let it drift in the background and ignore the lyrics, you could even be forgiven for finding it soothing. This type of music is not for everyone, but I for one absolutely love that it exists.