Category Archives: Album Reviews

Album reviews by WQAQ staffers

A Great Big Pile of Leaves

As far as indie- rock bands are concerned, my recent assumption has been that if you’ve heard one you’ve arguable heard them all. A little acoustic here, with a catchy hook, all set to some melodic base line and you’ve got yourself a pretty standard formula for indie-rock. This was not the case for the band A Great Big Pile of Leaves. A Great Big Pile of Leaves is… well… an indie-rock band from Brooklyn, New York. The group is composed of Pete Weiland, Tyler Soucy, Tucker Yaro, and Matt Fazzi.
Their album You’re Always on My Mind consisted of ten songs. At first glance of their cardboard doodle covered album cover I was already fairly excited to give it a listen. I mean, their CD had a pizza on it, how does that not make you want to listen to it? If that’s not enough their lyrics are adorably hilarious and genuinely relatable. Their song “Back to School” encompasses the short lived expectations and inevitable disappointment centered around every new year of school. I really enjoyed these guys, their overall style reminded me faintly of Young the Giant, which if you haven’t listen to I thoroughly encourage that you do.
The tone of the album overall was very nostalgic. As far as my assumption of indie-rock bands go, yes there is a melodic base line but thrust me guys, there’re worth listening to. The great thing about their style is that it’s appropriate for almost every scenario; “Snack Attack” made for great background music while I studied Bio, but the album is also great for road trips, chill party atmospheres and whatever else you can think of really. As far as negatives on this band go, I couldn’t really find any, pretty much everything about this band I enjoyed. For the sake of keeping myself from going full dork over this group I will keep my comment to simply that I liked them, and to all those daring listeners that you give these guys a try.

“Secondhand Rapture” – Ms Mr

Secondhand Rapture by the band Ms Mr will appeal to any miss or mister out there that loves music with beautiful, unique melodies and deep, meaningful lyrics. I had never heard of this band before listening to the album, but I’m certainly sorry that I hadn’t gotten into them sooner. Each song takes the listener into a trance, hooking them in with catchy words that still find a way to remain poignant and make sense.

“Hurricane” is the first song on the album, and it lives up to its number one spot. Haunting, with an almost ethereal air to it, the song introduces the album with the lyrics “Welcome to the inner workings of my mind, so dark and foul I can’t disguise”. As the album progresses, these lyrics ring true with songs like “Bones”, “Head Is Not My Home”, and “Twenty Seven”, all which have darker tones to them. Read More →

Orange – Diamond Youth

We got an AMAZING CD from Top Shelf Records a week ago. This gem is none other than the six-song EP Orange by Diamond Youth. Diamond Youth is a 3 piece indie rock band from Baltimore. They rock and they rock out loud! Apparently they’ve become quite popular in the underground scene. I learned recently that they’re touring with other indie metal bands Polar Bear Club and Citizen and they were even at The Space. Unfortunately we missed that show! And there was much sadness. Read More →

Audit Division – Audit Division (Self-Titled EP)

You have some pretty big 80’s-style shoes to fill if you claim that you sound like Depeche Mode. Unfortunately for Techno-group Audit Division, those shoes were way too big to fill. Audit Division’s self-titled 6 song EP really doesn’t hit high marks this week. The band is essentially an 80’s style techno group with two lead singers, a girl and a boy. They were really not good. Of course, with a name like Audit Division, which sounds like no fun at all, that’s about what I expected.

The first problem with their EP is that the songs are all a disproportionate amount of time. The shortest song is almost 5 minutes long and the longest clocks in at 8 1/2 minutes. The songs themselves aren’t terrible, but they are way too long for their quality. It’s really rare that an 8 minute long song is actually worth sitting through, and even the really good ones are hard to sit through. 8 minutes is essentially an eternity in listening-to-music time.

It takes Audit Division’s 8 minute long track titled, “Stay,” a minute or so to get started, and even when it does, it’s not at all worth “staying” for. All of their songs are just sort of bland and hard to get into. They have some okay beats and the singing isn’t terrible, it’s just not anything to write home about and it’s not even worth listening to when it comes right down to it. Making music in the 80’s genre just isn’t going to catch on anymore unless you dress it up a little like M83. I mean when was the last time a Depeche Mode song was on the radio? It’s not a genre worth adding to at this time. Because of that, Audit Division’s self-titled EP is a big swing and a miss.

Ocha La Rocha – Ocha La Rocha

I’ve always been a fan of southern blues and psychedelic rock , with The Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers being two of my personal favorites from the 70’s.  I was thinking I would get a new age twist from Johnny La Rocha with his album Ocha La Rocha, but I was somewhat disappointed by a lack of consistency and bad production value.  The album wasn’t bad, but it also wasn’t impressive; it failed to give the same great value I had come to know from other bands I listen to of the same genre.

Some of the songs were more blues focused, implementing the blues rock and soul voices.  However, the songs weren’t that impressive.  The first song, “Sing The People’s Song”, is about the human struggle, but only showcases surface-based lyrics.  The guitar riffs are interesting, but they don’t flow consistently; further, the lead singer doesn’t have a good voice.  There are occasions where I can look past this, such as vocalists who have unique vocal qualities that make their songs original and appealing.  I don’t particularly find this quality of voice in John La Rocha.  Thus, these songs end up coming off as cliché and amateurish.

Another thing that held this album back was lack of consistency of genre.  For some songs, there was a period of space sounds like a grateful dead concert, but the sounds are unoriginal and boring to listen to.  The songs also last about a minute, so it also causes me to think that these songs were album filler rather than an endeavor at psychedelic music, since the songs are so meaningless and empty.

Finally, on occasion the artist tries to blend these two genres, and, you guessed it, horror ensues.  The two genres don’t compliment each other at all.  This artist needs to learn what he’s trying to do if he wants to have a good album.  Overall, the album is a good attempt, but needs a lot of work if this is the kind of music the artist wants to stick with.

%d bloggers like this: