MP3: Willis the Fireman by Flotation Walls
Flotation Walls, lead in one version or another by Carlos Avendaño, have been haunting the Columbus music scene for what seems like nearly a decade. During those years there have been flourishes of activity and long periods of apparent dormancy. But one thing we’ve been missing throughout is a proper full length from these guys. So to say that the release of the Nature LP tomorrow at Skully’s has been a long time coming is no exaggeration.
I mean, with all the talk and speculation and legitimate anticipation surrounding a release date and the subsequent passage of those dates, this record is pretty much Columbus’s Chinese Democracy. Really- after the release of a nugget or two in 2003, people were pissed when this thing was delayed until December of 2004. The Chinese Democracy comparison is mostly for the sake of humor, but it has its utility too. In both cases, the elapsed time between conception and delivery was used by the respective captains to tweak, add to, and retool the contents and production in an effort to produce a grandiose master work. To a degree both Carlos and Axl have, in striving for an epic album, managed a certain amount of success and at times to overdo it as well. The analogy begins to break down when looking at the final product though, as the triumph versus try-too-hard ratio clearly favors the Flotation Walls. Continue reading
MP3: The Receiver – Lenth of Arms
It really doesn’t seem like three years since The Receiver put out their first record, but I looked back into the archives and sure enough, it was 2006 when we wrote something up for the release of Decades. So now, on the eve of the Cooper brothers’ follow-up second album Length of Arms going public, it seems reasonable to ask how evolution has progressed during the time elapsed. Structurally, this is still the same band- the two guys forming a rhythm heavy combination of Jesse’s drumming and a bass, with synthesized keys and Casey’s delicate voice providing the upper atmosphere.
I spent a few minutes revisiting Decades, a record which I liked quite a bit- but in retrospect, it sounds now very much like a collection of new ideas. A little sparse, thin perhaps- in places it seems the mechanism by which two guys could tie whispered, ethereal poems with the less nuanced primary instruments had not been fully dialed in. In contrast, the 2009 offering seems much more fleshed-out thanks to heavy use of layered synth sounds. The songs are almost brimming full, kind of making you forget there’s only two of them. The integration of vocals on this record is really nice as well- gone is any hint of tenuousness or opposition, with strong sung parts becoming much more part of the meat of the tracks. Songs are cohesive and rockin’.
Have a listen for yourself though. I posted the the title track off the new record above. Come check it out in the live setting to see how they’re gonna pull it all off. Rumor has it they’ll be getting some assistance on the stage for the Columbus release show. The Receiver plays tomorrow night (5/8) at Skully’s with Hotel Eden. DJ Kelly Warner (formerly of The Lab Rats) will keep people entertained late.