Tag Archives: tame impala

Album Review: Matt Martians’ The Drum Chord Theory

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The Internet blew me away with Ego Death in 2015. The album was cohesive, masterfully produced, and showcased the talents of each individual in the group. Now, two years later, the members of The Internet have decided to take a break from their group act and pursue their solo careers. The first of The Internet to release a solo project is Matt Martians, the group’s keyboardist. His first solo album, The Drum Chord Theory, can easily be traced back to the sound of his collective, but he also manages to venture into areas unknown and take the listener on a psychedelic-albeit scattershot-journey.

One of the most striking characteristics of the album is its dependency on the drums. Despite Martians experience with the piano, the drums play a larger role in driving each song forward and maintaining the melody (if the album title wasn’t already a giveaway). That’s not to say that Martians doesn’t utilize his piano skills or experiment with other instruments. The instrumentals on the album take a hefty amount of risks, most of which pay off. A majority of the time they take precedence over Martians’ singing, playing long before and after Martians sings. One song in particular, “Where Are Your Friends?” sounds like it was intentionally recorded in a factory, with the instrumental miming the sounds of hammers and whistles. The sound of that would normally be annoying, but Martians uses the sounds to add a playful mood to the song. Others don’t pay off as well, like on “Alotta Women/Useless”, where the piano chords overwhelm the other instruments and Martians’ repetitive lyrics wear themselves out.

This brings me to one of the significant issues with The Drum Chord Theory. Martians depends too much on the instrumentation to create a quality song. Each unique instrumental is paired with lyrics that are too sparse or shallow to derive any meaning from. Take the song “Found Me Some Acid Tonight”; Martians repeats “I found me some acid tonight/And we gon’ trip to the other side” before the song abruptly cuts off. This is not the only instance where Martians is caught repeating himself, and it continually dulls down the album to the point of boredom.

Martians also lacks a concept to attach to his album. He mostly croons about love and his search for the perfect companion, but never really connects these songs together to create an overarching theme. Concept albums aren’t a mandatory staple of the music industry, but it helps to have an idea that the artist can work around and build off of for an album. J. Cole comes to mind when thinking about this, as he did a fairly nice job with a concept on his latest album 4 Your Eyez Only, choosing to base the album off of his friend’s death.

Despite the issues with The Drum Chord Theory, Martians has released a solid album. Numerous songs include inventive beat changes that force the listener to stay on their toes. The groovy bass and guitar lines sound reminiscent of Thundercat and Tame Impala. Martians’ features absolutely crush their appearances (Steve Lacy and Tyler, the Creator produce; Syd, Steve Lacy, and Kari Faux feature). The lyrics, however, are nothing to ride home about and hang on the verge of redundancy. The absence of a concept also makes the album impossible to comprehend as one single work. The Drum Chord Theory doesn’t break the stratosphere, but it’s not supposed to. This album has proved Martians’ potential, and that we should be prepared for what he has to come. Listen to The Drum Chord Theory here and catch The Internet at The Neptune on March 17.

Archie O’Dell

Check out more music and news from Rainy Dawg Radio @ RainyDawg.org!

Coming Up: Sasquatch 2015 (May 22)

It’s finally May, which means that the Sasquatch! Music Festival is only a few weeks away. Sasquatch! is held at the Gorge Amphitheater; a venue known for it’s scenic beauty that attracts music-lovers from the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

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This will be my first year attending the festival, and I’m stoked. I wish I could be at the Gorge grooving to my favorite bands instead of studying for midterms, but since I have to wait a bit until May 22, I compiled a little list of acts that are on my must-see list in an attempt to contain my excitement.

Tame Impala

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I love Kevin Parker. Parker is the musical mastermind behind this unique psychedelic sound: he basically comes up and records all of the components of Tame Impala’s songs. Kevin Parker IS Tame Impala, though he does have a band accompany him for live performances. I first saw Tame Impala perform at the Outside Lands Music Festival in 2012— they played early in the day and didn’t have much of an audience. The small audience that was there probably suffered some severe ear damage after I yelled “I LOVE YOU KEV” as loud as I could for the entirety of the set. Anyways, their popularity has grown tremendously since 2012, so it’s gonna be a little harder to push my way to the front this time. I’m up for the challenge though. Anything for Kev.

Angel Olsen

Sometimes it seems like there isn’t a lot of room for female artists in the realm of garage rock. Angel Olsen is an exception. Her simple but messy music is absolutely killer. It goes fast, it goes slow, and it’s always balances pretty, soft vocals with a harder edge. Check out one of my favorite songs by her “Forgiven/Forgotten”

Fuzz

Fuzz creates some heavy, head banging tunes that are going to be so much fun to see live. I have a soft spot for this band because I adore Ty Segall, a staple artist of garage rock hailing from my own hometown of San Francisco, who plays drums for Fuzz. Seeing them jam will definitely be a crazy experience. (I hope I don’t die in the mosh pit.)

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Flume

I am usually not a big fan of electronic/house music, but Flume is a major exception. Harley Streten is Flume, an artist from the UK, who makes some of the best produced music I have ever heard. I’ve seen him live once before, and it was an awesome dance party.

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Twin Peaks

If you have been keeping up with the Rainy Dawg blog, you know my love for this band has no bounds. I might cry when I see one of my favorite garage rock bands perform. I’m going to need at least two people by my side to keep me from climbing on stage and kissing all of them.

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If you haven’t bought your tickets yet, you can still buy them! So grab a friend, hitch a ride and I’ll see you at The Gorge.

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izzy

gnovs’ groove: a traveling (or not) playlist

if you’ve gone home for thanksgiving, and theres a bus ride/train ride/long drive/plane ride involved, don’t you worry. i’ve got the playlist for you. this will make the longest of rides easy with an hour and a half of hip hop to bob your head to.

however, if you’re like me and you’re stuck thousands of miles from home, this is a great playlist to bump so you don’t miss home, quite as much. 

safe travels 

Sky’s The Limit (feat. 112) – The Notorious B.I.G.

Backwards – Tame Impala, Kendrick Lamar

Multiply – A$AP Rocky, Juicy J

Lean and Weed (feat. Problem) – Skeme

Can’t Stop (feat. Kanye West) – Theophilus London

Hol’ Up – Kendrick Lamar

See No Evil – The Game, Kendrick Lamar, Tank

Chaining Day – J. Cole

Who I Am – Pusha T, 2 Chainz, Big Sean

Sorry Momma – YG, Ty Dolla $ign

PMW (All I Really Need) – A$AP Rocky, Schoolboy Q

Do You Think About Me – 50 Cent

Drive Slow – Kanye West, Paul Wall, GLC

What They Want – Schoolboy Q, 2 Chainz

God’s Reign (feat. Sza) – Ab-Soul

Blow My High (Members Only) – Kendrick Lamar

Driving Ms Daisy – Logic, Childish Gambino

Pain – A$AP Rocky, OverDoz.

Cold Blooded – Kid Cudi

Chapter Six – Kendrick Lamar

I Won – Future, Kanye West

Black People (feat. Kendrick Lamar) – Jay Rock

Ain’t That Some Shit (Interlude) – J. Cole

Jesus Piece – The Game, Kanye West, Common

hop out my lane

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gnovs