Monday, August 15, 2005

First Impressions: Autechre - Anti; Oasis - Don't Believe the Truth; Prong - Rude Awakening

About once a year, I make a monster order to Amazon for CDs. Just for kicks, I'll post first impressions over the next couple of weeks or so.

Autechre - Anti EP: I've been on a big Autechre kick the last few months; I've started to appreciate their later, more challenging works, and it's music my daughter enjoys and my wife will tolerate. So, I thought I'd start rounding out my collection. This is from the Amber era, but is a bit faster and more skittish than that dark CD (which means it won't get house play). Not as interesting to me as their great early EPs such as Basscadet and Garbage, but good enough for background music.

Oasis - Don't Believe the Truth: The critics have been calling this Oasis' best album since (What's the Story) Morning Glory?, but, to me, it's just another Oasis album: a couple of really great tracks, mostly decent tunes otherwise, and it will fade after the initial rush of several listens. I think Neil allowing others to pen half the tracks was good to shake up the band, but those tracks are mostly bland and obvious. As perfect as the use of the mellotron in "Let There Be Love" is, I can't shake the feeling that Lenny Kravitz did this tune 10 years ago. At this point, I'm really digging "Lyla" - their best rocker since "Rock 'n' Roll Star" - and "Love Like a Bomb".

Prong - Rude Awakening: I'm a big fan of Prong's Cleansing (you might remember "Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck" from the days of Beavis & Butthead); its stripped down production gave the album a man-and-his-guitar feeling - there was no question this band was all about Tommy Victor. In the follow-up Rude Awakening, more room was made for the interesting rhythm section work and industrial-ish noises, at the expense of the vocals and guitars. I think it thins out the impact significantly, and this album ends up somewhat as a disappointment. This is one of those albums that sound great when you're not actively listening to it; otherwise, I'd just assume stick to Helmet or Fear Factory for this type of riff-heavy VCV songwriting. The obvious highlight for me is the opener "Controller", which sounds like it would fit on Godflesh's Hymns seven years later - which isn't too surprising, since Ted Parsons plays drums on both albums. "Caprice" is a nice track too, very moody while incorporating even more industrial sounds.