Angeles Drake I Wish You Would Come Home Already (Threadbare)
Angeles Drake is something like a modern-day Alan Parsons Project with vocals similar to Depeche Mode's Martin Gore. These songs are all a bit eerie. They're also extremely difficult to classify, sounding a bit like Pink Floyd without the drugs. You have to be in a meditative mood to enjoy this. A whole album of these similar sounding songs gets a bit tiresome, but the music is mostly enjoyable. This would be a better record if the group was a little more eclectic.
Rosco Gordon No Dark In America (Dualtone)
This is toe-stomping, hand-clapping happy music. Piano and saxophone play center stage with Gordon's raspy, effortless voice. No Dark in America is filled with soul and bursting with life and energy. The album features catchy and silly titles like "No Dark in America," "Cheese & Crackers" and "You Look Bad When You're Naked." All the songs have a ragtime sound to them. Gordon plays from the heart and his energy is contagious. A singer-songwriter, guitarist and pianist who died in 2002, he loved and lived music, and it shows on this album.
Aframes Black Forest (Sub Pop)
Yikes! Aframes, a Seattle-based band, sound like Stomp on acid. There is a whole bunch of random, ruckusy sounds that are not at all pleasant to the ear. The trite lyrics are not even worth mentioning, and the screaming vocals are depressing and lifeless. The album is just a collection of noises. One song is a schizophrenic nightmare, featuring a lot of whispering voices. Aframes are B-rate wannabe versions of the Sex Pistols and the Clash—I must emphasize B-rate. Black Forest is truly that: something to steer clear of.