David Krell

"5 bands you should know but probably don't"
2nd Edition 2004

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Band:  VHS or Beta

Recommended Album:  Night on Fire

Record Label: Astralwerks

Official Website:  www.vhsorbeta.com

If the Killers were less like the Strokes and the Cure more like the Pet Shop Boys, VHS or Beta would be an imitation.  Luckilly, they've created the sound themselves. 

But most of the bands pioneering the onslaught of synthesizers and sexy male voices only show hints of 80's influence. 

VHS or Beta have not only made 80's lovers feel nostalgic, they have literally transported them 20 years into the past.

Night on Fire
Buy New: $11.99

Vhs Or Beta: Solid Gold (Rmxs) [CD-SINGLE]
Bob Mould, Freaky Chakra, Iz
List Price: $4.98

Band:  Folk Implosion

Recommended Album: One Part Lullaby

Record Label: Imusic

Official Website:  www.folkimplosion.com

They're not as cool as Cake, nor are they as dark as the Sneaker Pimps and similar to the lead singer of Cake, Folk Implosion's singer doesn't actually sing, instead, he takes advantage of his calming voice and simply speaks in tune. 

One might compare this style of voice to the Pixies or Modest Mouse, but the difference is that both those bands have vocal patterns completely different from the instruments' melody, while Folk Implosion follows that melody exactly. 

In the case of Folk Implosion's laid back groove of fingerpicking and steady drumbeats, the melodic flow is perfect.

One Part Lullaby
Buy New: $13.98

Folk Implosion [EP]
Buy New: $9.98

More Folk Implosion selections

Band:  Mercury Rev

Recommended Album: "Deserter's Songs

Record Label:  V2 Records

Official Website:  www.mercuryrev.com

Walt Disney and Salvador Dali would have been proud.  Their concepts became the ideals behind which a generation of musicians  followed and has brought about some of the greatest music this world has ever heard. 

Bands such as the Flaming Lips and the Polyphonic Spree have reeped the benefits of such a psychadelic vision. 

Although, the first band to acquire the genius of Dave Friedmann, the producer behind all the wonderful orchestrations, was Mercury Rev.  In case one doesn't recall such a name, just take a look at the NME archives. 

NME is the biggest selling music magazine in the United Kingdom and every year the magazine votes an album of the year.  Coldplay, Radiohead, the Strokes and the White Stripes have all received the award, and so has Mercury Rev. 

Their masterful 1998 album, "Deserter's Songs" was everything Dali and Disney would have wanted in an autobiographical collection of music and everything the Flaming Lips tried to emulate on their previous two albums.

Deserter's Songs
Buy New: $13.98

All Is Dream
Mercury Rev
Buy New: $13.98

More Mercury Rev music

Band:  The Coral

Recommended Album: Magic and Medicine

Record Label:  Columbia

Official Website:  www.thecoral.co.uk/

Some songs are creepy, some are worthy of a waltz.  Other songs should be sung during Hanukah, while many songs seem to praise Phish's nursery rhyme approach to songwriting. 

A few songs interlap and others sound like a completely different band.  But their originality only goes so far; some songs sound very similar.  An example of such an approach is

Beck's multi-platinum, award-winning album, "Odelay."  The variety of songs are very different, yet the songs of similar nature sound alike.  Like Odelay, the Coral's greatness is not lessened by it, it's magnified.

Magic & Medicine (Bonus CD)
Buy New: $12.98

Band:  The Avalanches

Recommended Album:  Since I left you

Record Label: Toy's Factory

Official Website:  www.theavalanches.com

The Avalanches are to music as multi-pack cereal boxes are to food.  Instead of listening to one type of music, why not have the option of listening to all of them?  

Such is the mindset of Australian duo the Avalanches, who have managed to put their entire childhood music collection onto one 60-minute cd.  The group even had the support of Madonna, who allowed them to sample the bass line to "Holiday" -- the first time she okayed such a thing. 

Finally, background music that can be enjoyed in a club, on a pothead's computer and everywhere in between.

Since I Left You
Buy New: $14.98

2003 - 5 bands you should know,

but probably don't

By David Krell

"My Morning Jacket"

Darla Records


Neil Young-style vocals and a simple folk-rock backdrop, using only an acoustic guitar, make "My Morning Jacket" the perfect music to cure a hangover. Jim James, singer/songwriter of "My Morning Jacket," who has an echo on his voice for nearly every song he sings, sounds as if he's been looking for that cure for years. So if anyone understands the feeling of being alone, it's Jim James, for not only did he grow up in the middle of rural Kentucky, but recently provided the soundtrack for the region as well



Imagine what it would sound like if someone stepped up the complexity in John Scofield's "ideofunk," added 5-10 minutes to every song, and tried to use keyboards to provide every single note Jerry Garcia hit. Actually, it would sound a lot like "Particle." They're the perfect band to have you dancing through the night and dreaming of the next.


MCA Records


For those of you who have dreamt what it would sound like if Q-Tip (previously of "A Tribe Called Quest") found the producer who could bring out his hidden genius best, look no further than "Blackalicious." DJ Shadow, who sounds like an instrumental "Moby" with a hint of "Medeski Martin & Wood" (except a bit more spooky), provides the soundtrack to this hip-hop group's sensual backdrop. Lyrically mixed messages with a flair for drama make this duo perfect for one another, and though one might call this combination the step one takes from liking jazz to liking hip-hop, it's far more complex in its linking of the two genres. Consider them in the same boat as "The Fugees."


Parlophone Records


Who knew that pop songs could contain everything from bitter religious claims to Pink Floyd-esque solos, while stil remaining true to their genre? Not until this Welsh band came out with their debut album, "Attack of the Grey Lantern," did this feat seem at all possible; and thank God they did. Who else could say they are "emotionally raped by Jesus" and get away with it? Well, maybe Eminem.


Slash Records

http://www.angelfire.com/ct/failure/main.html (unofficial website)

Opening for bands, such as "Tool" and "Local H" may stereotype this amalgamation of hard rock and pop symmetry, but don't be fooled, for "Failure" is anything but stereotypical. Combining haunting vocals with hints of inner sadness and a consistent echo that literally sounds out of this world, "Failure" borders between hard rock and early 90's grunge. What comes out in what one might call, "Space Rock." And yes, "Failure" is the only band that truly belongs in this category.

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