Desert Rats With Baseball Bats 3
Written by GE 138.
hahahaha I once did a review on a release by The Killers that consisted solely of the letters "hahahaha" written over and over about a thousand times, and I'm fighting back the urge to do the same with this review, but I'm not gonna, because I actually got something to say about it - go figure, right? Right!
First off, billing this compilation as featuring "Vegas' Hottest New Upcoming Bands' is a bit of a stretch, ain't it? I mean, most of the bands on here have been around since like forever, 10+ years or more, I mean, at what point are you not "upcoming" anymore? LOL If you've been around for, oh, I dunno, say 2 years or so, then you're not really "upcoming", now are you? No you are not. Buttholes. So if you dredge away the sad old regurgitated fat music that is made up of what the older Local bands are offering on here and are in no way shape or form "upcoming" or even the "hottest" when you get right down to it, you're left with a trio of bands that are worth mentioning on this compilation. Beer Pressure have been around a couple of years, putting out split releases and gigging with the wrong type of bands, so you probably haven't heard of them, but they turn in a pretty rocking tune on here called No Peace Of Mind that sounds like every Lower Class Brats song you've ever heard. Drinking Water, a great band from the Eastside of Vegas I believe, have a song called Breathe EZ which is very whiny vocals Fat Wreck Chords like but not bad, and then there's Anti-Vision, a band who is carrying the hopes and dreams of the all ages scene here in Vegas on their skinny young backs, and their song Wolfmann In Amerika is pretty funny rocking stuff that reminded me of Government Issue for some reason. I assume the song is about Cody, right? hahahaha Cool stuff. This compilation could have easily been a 7", which would of been a cooler thing to do with this music, than some vehicle for a graveyard label looking for another excuse to push it's tired old acts on an unsuspecting young bands supporters. Maybe the next installment of Desert Rats With Baseball Bats can contain more good unsigned Local bands instead of boring old acts already signed to the label. Maybe.
Blondie - Pollinator
Written by GE 138.
Oh Debbie Harry <3 Blondie will always hold a near and dear spot in my heart because of Ms. Harry's part in my formative masturbatory teenage years, and plus the bands early stuff musically was pretty good as well. ;) I last saw Blondie live a few years ago, and they were OK, older and better so the saying goes, I mean, I'm a fan - sue me, so when I got offered the opportunity to review their latest release, Pollinator, well, I immediately clicked on the link to get the EPK and dove right into it earnestly. Right off the bat the emphasis seems to be on collaborations - like almost every song on here is a collaboration of sorts or a cover of a song with the original artist guest appearing on the cover of Blondie's version of their song... weird. The Joan Jett featured song Doom Or Destiny kicks off the album, but unless she's playing the kaliope carnival keyboards that are all over the song, I don't hear her, because the guitar is buried in the mix, and if she's singing I can't hear her one bit. Oh well. I assume she's playing the lead then? I dunno. The next song Long Time is the best thing on here, with the wistful, melodic, haunting vocals being among some of the best stuff Debbie Harry has ever sang, and the music is fantastic as well, like some sort of lost track off of Parallel Lines or something, great stuff. The rest of the music on this album is a hodgepodge of styles and mixes of mash ups between Blondie and various contributors and collaborators, including Johnny Marr of The Smiths, who's My Monster tune is covered by Blondie, and it isn't half bad. The rest of the stuff is hit or miss, some of it sounding like bad 90's Disco, some of it sounding Japanese Pop like, New Wave like, whatever. The one thing you can say about Blondie is that they never stop trying, and they're always pushing boundaries, dancing precariously on the precipice between Sell Out Popularity and Underground Street Cred, and on this Pollinator album, they do an excellent job juggling the 2 equally. Cool artwork too! ;)
Produced by BMG. Pollinator is available directly from the band, along with a bunch of other cool album swag, by clicking here. Also available on iTunes (click here), Amazon (click here), Spotify (click here) and other places online where bands try overtly hard to remain popular and in the public's eye.