Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Jesus And Mary Chain - Psychocandy

This is just one of those albums where my expectations for the style of the album were not what I expected. And in this case hoped. Psychocandy is a pretty downtempo dream pop album when you take away the layers of distorted guitars. I was hoping the sound would evolve and maybe get louder and more agressive as the album went on, but that was not so much the case. It was content to slowjam, but I was not so much. There are a few tracks on here that do excel, but not enough for me to warrant a recommendation.

Calories: 242.0
Distance: 2.00mi

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Andrew Cedarmark - Moon Deluxe

I have once again returned to this medium of communication. My life has changed severely over the past few weeks, which is my excuse for not working out. My workout environment is now completely different. I now workout in a public fitness center on campus. I've decided the only way I'm going to motivate myself to workout is by doing it early in the morning, before class.

Unfortunately, with this comes a change in the way I listen to the music. Before, I could just blast my tunes on my studio monitors in privacy. Now that I'm in public, this is obviously not socially acceptable. As working out with my expensive headphones would cause more harm than good, I'm using to mid-to-low tier headphones that are lightweight and non-obtrusive. This means my critiques of the sonic aspect have to be shifted down as well, because I'm not getting that full effect of the track. So, still take my reviews with a grain of salt, and see them as more personal experiences than anything. So, where do I begin?

Moon Deluxe is an indie rock album with some very well executed, and sometimes heavy, sequences of lo-fi. It bears quite a resemblance to the more rock-oriented tracks Phil Elverum has put out under The Microphones, but this is certainly not a bad thing. Eleverum is really the only other person occupying that same type of folky lo-fi. It jams harder than than Elverum ever really has as well, which lead me to enjoy this album quite a bit. It keeps up it's more uptempo rhythms throughout, but never becomes overly noisy or too abrasive. Provided a enjoyable return to workouts. Definitely check it out.

Calories: 315.0
Distance: 2.64mi

Monday, August 27, 2012

Pixies - Doolittle

Having listened to Bossanova a year or two ago, I can definitively say I like Doolittle better. I can't really quantify what it is about Doolittle that makes it special, as I grew up on 90's indie rock, but I can definitely say there is a good amount of tracks on here. I think my favorites would have to be "Hey", "Debaser", and "Mr. Grieves". I enjoy the relatively simple approach to alternative rock that Pixies took on this album. The vocalist's squeals and yelps are well appreciated among the sometimes ripping guitar and quality bass lines.

There isn't really a song on here that I would say doesn't work at least moderately well for running. The closest it got would probably have to be "Silver", which I just found too western for my tastes. Overall very good.

Calories: 341.2
Distance: 2.66mi

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Clinic - Internal Wrangler

It's not often an album gets to me like Internal Wrangler does. This album is one of the few albums that I can confidently say that the vocals were just not doing it in the slightest and were the anchor that sunk the ship. It's sort of an odd thing that the vocals angered me like they did because there is nothing inherently bad about them. I felt like the mumbling but also chirping quality of them just did not mesh at all with the instrumentation. The real problem is that when the instrumentation quiets down, its hard to overlook the vocals. And how much I don't enjoy them.

I feel the album is at it's best when it loudens up to the point where it drowns out the vocalist, but that hardly happens enough and the points where it's quiet drag so much that it impedes my drive to give it my all. I didn't really expect to go on a diatribe about the vocals, but they were just that bad to me. I cannot recommend this album because of them.

Calories: 261.2
Distance: 2.02mi

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Swans - My Father Will Guide Me up a Rope to the Sky

I sort of went in knowing this would not be the type of album that is good for workouts. Honestly, though, I came out of it with a more positive feeling about its possible use as such. I can't say I'd recommend the whole album, because there are just too many times where it slows to a crawl. When it does pack some punch, it does it in a way that can easily motivate someone to run. Songs like "Jim" and "Eden Prison" really pull out all the stops and jam pretty hard.

Sonically, the My Father Will Guide Me up a Rope to the Sky is impressive in a way I'm not entirely qualified to elaborate on. If you like Embryonic or Godspeed You! Black Emperor, definitely give this album a try.

Calories: 335.0
Distance: 2.72

Monday, August 20, 2012

Death Grips - The Money Store

What's really left to say about this album? It's been analyzed to death, put on pedestals of grandeur, and blows some systems real good. Tonight I decided to workout to my personal favorite album of 2012 so far. (DGNLDW33 COMING SOON) The Money Store is sheer bombastic, penetrating experimental hip-hop that is as sharp as the knives MC Ride uses to cut you to pieces.

The real money makers on this album are "Get Got", "The Fever (Aye Aye)", "I've Seen Footage", "System Blower", and "Hacker". They are the fastest and equally most hard hitting on the album, and will cause you to forget what you are doing and lock in on the noise that is obliterating your ears. Those tracks got me up to the fastest I've ever run when not being actively pursued by something.

Stay noided.

Calories: 400.0
Distance: 2.98mi

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Liars - Liars

Holy shit is this album intense. Right out of the gate I was sprinting like my life depended on it. Like I was out for blood. The intensity never really lets up either, which really got my adrenaline pumping. The loud, wailing guitars, the punctuated drumming sitting below thick bass lines and heavy distortion. Each song has it's own sense of style, sometimes being a noisy as possible, other times just content to slow it down slightly for some funkiness. Liars really hit their stride here, and made me hit my stride too.

I ran my quickest mile (and two miles) so far and almost instantly could tell this album was something to be cherished for my workout times. Guttural. Visceral. Stunning. Perfect.

Calories: 362.7
Distance: 2.83mi

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Guided By Voices - Propeller

This being the predecessor to Guided By Voices' smash-hit Bee Thousand, I was left wondering what this could possibly sound like by comparison. Considering how lo-fi and in some ways destroyed Bee Thousand was, it's sort of odd to hear them play sweeter and catchier songs, but still have that low fidelity sound that Guided By Voices is known for. I really enjoyed what I heard on this album. The short songs allow for the album to slide in and out of sounds quickly, which keeps you on your toes. It never drags which is exactly what I want from a workout album. I feel this album is perfect for a jog and sometimes jams hard enough for me to sprint. Loved it.

Calories: 328.1
Distance: 2.55mi

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Happy Birthday - Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday's self-titled provides nice garage rock tunes that have varying degrees of success with workouts. Songs like "I Want To Stay (I Run Away)" and "Zit" jam out with me as I go, while songs like the closer "Fun" leave more to be desired than the slow jams they provide. I liked the album, but it really didn't bring anything new to the table, leaving me grasping at what to write about it. Give it a try, but don't expect your mind to be blown away.

Calories: 287.3
Distance: 2.23mi

Monday, August 13, 2012

Ponytail - Ice Cream Spiritual

Ice Cream Spiritual is a weird album. Growling and shrieking and howling are the only sounds you're going to hear out of the lead vocalist's mouth. Really loud, abrasive, shredding guitars abound that give it almost a wall of sound aesthetic. It really comes off as chaotic. I'm not sure how to form an opinion on it, but I think it worked admirably in my desired setting. Not much else to say really.

Calories: 291.8
Distance: 2.27mi

Friday, August 10, 2012

jj - jj n° 2

The word that first comes to my mind with jj n° 2 is summer. Yes, this album sounds like it comes right off the cruise ship, steel drums and all. Sounds that previously stopped me from working out before (I got a minute into it back in March before I switched it for another album) are now a welcomed change of pace. I really enjoyed the airy and bright feel this album displays. Occasionally the album becomes a lot more beat heavy than one would expect, like the track "Ecstasy"which samples Lil Wayne.

Despite how short the album is, clocking in at just over 26 minutes, it still motivated me to put a good effort in. And on a cool summer night like tonight, that's all I really ask for.

Calories: 232.7
Distance: 1.81mi

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Iceage - New Brigade

Yes! I have returned from my sort of forced vacation. My plan for the rest of August is to do at least five albums a week, getting back to my original intention for this blog. When September hits I'm unsure of the fate of this blog as college will be absorbing my resources in a way I've never experienced. But that is then and this is now! One could say this upcoming month contains a New Brigade of albums. (I'm so sorry.) But enough about my exploits in life, what the hell did I think of Iceage's debut album?

I thought it was fantastic. The aspect I thought was most interesting on this album was the drumming. It's relentless, non-stop, and hypnotic. The guitars are absolutely noisy, howling and screaming over everything, which may sound like a blase way to describe a punk rock album, but I digress. The music on display in these 24 minutes comes off as overwhelmingly triumphant and perfect for a well needed sprint to the finish line.

Calories: 212.3
Distance: 1.64mi

Monday, June 25, 2012

Dan Deacon - Spiderman Of The Rings

Spiderman Of The Rings sounds like a swirling, pulsating NES cartridge on fire, and I mean that in the best way possible. It's absolutely fun and exhilarating minimal electronic music that is really sort of hard to describe. At points it is very beat heavy while other times it is composed of merely a xylophone warped and modulated to the extreme, layering over itself and consttantly glitching out. Some songs contain chant-worthy hooks that just make you want to yell along, which is always a quality I enjoy. This is especially true on the third track, which is almost twelve minutes long and is fun the whole way through.

In a workout sense, this album is just always on. The only downtime you're going to get on it is the fourth track "Big Milk" which is the xylophone track. Otherwise be prepared to get up and move, because it doesn't really stop until its over. I recommend this album for your gym near you.

Calories: 394.0
Distance: 3.03mi

Friday, June 22, 2012

Mouse On Mars - Idiology

My main problem with Idiology was something I never really anticipated could occur with electronic I chose for working out. The album was just too beautiful to be a good workout album. There are about five songs I can recommend for the workout space, but the other five end up being beautiful post-rock and ambient infused electronic ballads that convey a lot of emotion. I would almost compare the five songs to something you would hear off of M83's Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts, but even that's a bit of a stretch.

I should also mention that the song "Catching Butterflies With Hands" was inexplicably absent from my track set. Having listened to the track afterwards, it would definitely fall under the five ballads.

In conclusion, check out the album, but don't try to get physical to it. It's not meant for it in any way. Do check out Mouse On Mars' new album Parastrophics though, as I personally believe that album is a perfect workout candidate and is what actually got me to listen to this album in the first place.

Calories: 336.6
Distance: 2.79mi

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Boards Of Canada - In A Beautiful Place Out In The Country

In A Beautiful Place Out In The Country pretty much does what I asked for. Having a busy schedule for today, I still needed to workout. I found this short, relaxing EP to be answer to my problem. Boards Of Canada provide synth-heavy ambient electronic music that is very soothing. This is opposite to what their next full-length album, Geogaddi, does in that Geogaddi is a very dark and claustrophobic record. Do not expect that from this. The first three tracks contain heavy thumping bass and downtempo stylings that are perfect to chill out to. The last track removes the bass from the equation, instead opting for a purely synth venture. While I had hoped for another track like the first three, the last track was still a very pleasant way to end the EP.

If you just want to take a nice short walk, like I did today, this is your EP.

Calories: 183.7
Distance: 1.50

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Robyn - Body Talk

Body Talk does what I expected it to. It provides a large amount of accessible electropop tunes that I could hear my sister listening to with her friends at a party in a sea of Ke$ha and Katy Perry. What I didn't expect was for it to do it so well and make me want more. The album is over 60 minutes long and provides a near constant stream of dance floor hits that will easily get stuck in your head. The phat beats and bubblegum aesthetics are there, but never take over any song too much to leave a bad taste in my mouth.

In the physical sense, this album works astonishingly well. Well over forty minutes into the album I found my song that really sent this album over the edge into the perfect zone, "U Should Know Better" which features Snoop Dogg. This song in particular made me want to get up and sprint it out. This album is what all pop albums should strive for. Accessibility mixed flawlessly with strong song writing and attitude that just make you want to get off your feet and dance.

Calories: 533.2
Distance: 4.15mi

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Flaming Lips - Transmissions from the Satellite Heart

Transmissions from the Satellite Heart is definitely indicative of The Flaming Lips' future sound. From it's wildly loud and screaming guitars to it's cheerful upbeat melodies. Of course it still sounds like an artifact of the early 90's, it has aged surprisingly well against it's modern counterparts. Wayne sounds younger and less refined, but it still sounds as fun as ever. Fun is something The Flaming Lips always bring to the table.

My only problem with the album was from a workout sense. It sometimes tends to slow down in to more downtempo acoustic portions. While great on the ears, it isn't too great for the motivation. The album rarely does it though so it's something I'm willing to overlook.

Calories: 354.2
Distance: 2.73mi

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sunn O))) - Oracle

There is really no justifiable reason why anyone should ever think of working out to Sunn O))). The same goes for drone metal as a whole really. As you can tell from the title, though, I did.

Oracle is a 35 minute EP. Sonically, it is quite interesting. Its dark ambient noise and distant gasping whispers provide a sinister feel that is really compelling. The first track contains sounds almost reminiscent to the clacks of a roller coaster ascending a lift hill. The second track is much more subdued and contains really hard-edged bass drones.

I could see this being nice hiking music, or maybe just walking in the forest. Honestly, even in the setting I workout in, it was not nearly as unfit as I thought it would be. Considering it is drone metal though, I cannot recommend it for intense workouts.

Calories: 250.6
Distance: 2.00mi

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Dillinger Escape Plan - Ire Works

This album, while on the exterior may seem very brutal to anyone with no knowledge of metal, upon closer inspection actually presents a compelling argument for anyone who does't normally listen to metal. The way this album glitches out sometimes and sounds very isolating but still rough around the edges is very engaging. Occasionally the screaming is toned down for more melodically sung portions, which are nice, but surprisingly left me wanting to hear more of the screaming. There is something about the vocals on this album that I just really liked.

As far as a workout is concerned, this album is fantastic. The unrelentingly fast tempo gave me a lot of time to sprint to my heart's content. To anyone with a passing interest in metal, I would highly suggest this album. I would go as far as to say it's a perfect metal album for working out.

Calories: 345.7
Distance: 2.70mi

Monday, May 28, 2012

Converge - You Fail Me


Yes, I've decided to take the plunge into metal for the first time pretty much ever. The first metal album I decided to listen to is Converge's You Fail Me. Since I knew absolutely nothing about how Converge sounded like before going in, I chose You Fail Me based off the fact it was under 40 minutes. So what did I think of it?

I enjoyed it for the most part. When the bass gets heavy it makes me pretty pumped for whats to come. Occasionally, the riffs would loop and provide for a nice groove for me to fall into. That's actually what I feared most about working out to metal; not being able to find a good groove. I especially enjoyed how at one point in the middle of the album it turns into almost a dark, gradually building folk tune. This album overall treated me well.

My only gripe is the vocals for the most part tend to be shrieking. While I understand that seems to be what a lot of metal is (as far as I've ascertained), I just liked the occasional moments where the vocals would be about an octave lower and were more traditional. Maybe the screams are just something I'll have to get used to.

Calories: 307.0
Distance: 2.39mi

Monday, May 21, 2012

Japandroids - Post-Nothing

This may come as no surprise to anyone who has heard Post-Nothing, but its a really good  noise/garage rock album. It's melodies are not all that complex and it's hooks are easy to belt out, which translates well to the goal of workouts. The lead vocalist maintains moderate control but is still drowned out by instrumentation, which is what you should expect from garage rock. Not all that much else to say other than it was fun.

Calories: 310.1
Distance: 2.37mi

Thursday, May 10, 2012

PS I Love You - Meet Me At The Muster Station

What surprised me about Meet Me At The Muster Station was while it was very loud and noisy, it was still a blast to work out to. The garage rock feel is very strong on this one, but it comes off more poppy than most. The distorted guitars are almost always drowning out the lead singer, which honestly works a lot better than one would think.

I don't have much else to say about this album. In short, it's fun garage rock that stays under thirty minutes and doesn't overstay its welcome.

Calories: 264.9
Distance: 2.06mi

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

They Might Be Giants - Lincoln

After listening to Lincoln, there wass absolutely no way I could give it anything but a perfect score. It's consistently delightful and constantly morphing into other genres in ways that just put a smile on my face. Some songs sound like your more typical (but still amazing) alternative rock while others sound like almost accordion-laced sea shanties. The shorter song structures make the album have fly by at break-neck speed whilst keeping it fresh and highly entertaining.

I went all out on this album. I started strong and never slowed. This album is so far the album to beat.

Calories: 381.3
Distance: 3.00mi

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Sea And Cake - Oui

Oui is a beautiful album. A beautiful album that doesn't translate very well to working out. The mix of jazz and indie rock is an interesting combination that I absolutely love on this album. The instrumentation is top-notch with it's mix of guitars, woodwinds, and sometimes jazz fusion-esque  drumming. I can't say there is much I don't like about the album sonically.

Athletically, though, is a bit different. I find that the downtempo songs really slow down my pace and don't motivate me in the way I want it to. There are three songs that definitely work though, and for that I can give this album a pass.

Calories: 347.9
Distance: 2.70mi

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wolf Parade - Apologies To The Queen Mary

Musically, Apologies To The Queen Mary is not all too dissimilar to something you'd hear from an earlier Modest Mouse. This is not surprising, due to the fact Isaac Brock produced this album. The vocal delivery is reminiscent of him as well, but not to the point where I'd feel like I'd rather be listening to a Modest Mouse album. The album's strength comes down to its instrumentation. The guitars are fast and heavy, making for an album that never drags and never really restrains itself.

I think this album is a perfect workout album. Its perfection comes down to the fact that it gives me exactly what I wanted. When I wanted a fast song, it delivered. When I wanted a cool down song, it delivered. It left me yearning for more even at its fairly long length.

Calories: 427.9
Distance: 3.34mi

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

MF DOOM - Operation: Doomsday

Operation: Doomsday is the debut album of one hip-hop's best emcees, MF DOOM. This is the first proper solo album by DOOM I've heard, and it was quite a delightful experience. The instrumentals (some of which I had heard before) are silky smooth and very soulful. The skits, which from what I can tell are from superhero cartoons from maybe the early 70's, help break up the album and keep it feeling fresh while also providing the narrative. DOOM's flow is punchy and smooth at the same time, which is always a nice quality for a rapper. Overall it was a fun hip-hop workout.

Calories: 488.9
Distance: 3.80mi

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Daedelus - Invention

Having heard some of Daedelus's later work, I was surprised that Invention was of a different breed musicly. Where as his proceeding albums would involve heavy hip-hop beats infused with lively samples, this album relies on soothing orchestral samples that sound like something from a 50's era movie soundtrack. Beats are actually few and far between in the first half, almost entirely composing on the velvety piano and wind instrumentals. The second half is where the album really comes into full swing, becoming a lot more beat-centric and the electronics begin to take over in a sense. The second to last track brings the album to its climax before the album ends on a slightly quieter note. It's a beautiful album that I would definitely recommend.

Calories: 297.9
Distance: 2.31mi

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Isolée - We Are Monster

Clocking in at just under an hour and just ten tracks, We Are Monster sounds like it would be a disastrous album to workout to. This is not the case at all, in fact with its phat beats and funky rhythms I felt as though this album wasn't as long. The spliced vocals of many of the songs add a certain wordless class that you just don't find on many albums.  It's hard to really quantify why else I think this album was perfect, it just ended up pushing me to my limit.

Calories: 517.7
Distance: 4.00mi

Monday, April 16, 2012

Women - Public Strain

The first thing that came to me about Public Strain is that it reminded me heavily of Deerhunter's Halcyon Digest, but that is the closest comparison I can make for Women. Women seem to tend to have quite a bit less vocals then Deerhunter, and when there are they are getting drowned out by the woozy guitars. The album's second half is more melodic than the first half, and it sort of saved the album for me. It was an admirable workout, but not exactly what I was looking for.

Calories: 317.9
Distance: 2.56mi

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Deerhoof - Friend Opportunity

Friend Opportunity is a really weird album. With elements post-rock, indie rock, psychedelic, and sometimes chiptune combining together, it's uncanny to hear it all combine almost seamlessly. This album is also packed to the brim with a wide variety of just plain strange sounds, with the last track being completely composed of them. Even though the last track does drag quite a bit, the rest of the album far makes up for it.

Calories: 324.0
Distance: 2.50mi

Friday, April 6, 2012

Bear In Heaven - Beast Rest Forth Mouth

Bear Rest Forth Mouth is an engulfing experimental rock record that really shocked me. I was expecting it to be just another experimental rock album, but was surprised with its use of electronic flourishes and its amount of indie rock choruses. I can't easily pin down any other describable styles; you'll just have to trust me when I say its an empowering record. I felt compelled to give this workout session my all, and this record delivered perfectly.

Calories: 360.0
Distance: 2.81mi

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Ty Segall - Goodbye Bread

The most surprising thing about Goodbye Bread  is how Ty Segall presents guitars. They seem to come in strong on almost every song, but also present themselves as woozy and distorted. Even though I couldn't understand a single word that was sung other than the opener, I still enjoyed trying to belt along and make it up as I went along. The slower pace of the album never really hurts the album, because the guitars are so overpowering that it is quite an exciting experience.

Calories: 289.3
Distance: 2.25mi

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Beirut - The Flying Cup Club

I was honestly surprised with how well The Flying Club Cup translated to working out. This being my first foray into Beriut I didn't really know what to expect. I came away getting a handful a very well produced folk tunes that sometimes remind me of almost gypsy tunes. The accordions and stringed instruments provide interesting sounds while the booming bass drum pushes it forward. Overall I quite enjoyed this album.

Calories: 325.1
Distance: 2.50mi

Monday, April 2, 2012

Gang Gang Dance - God's Money

The only way I can really describe Gang Gang Dance to new possible listeners is that they sound like an Indian experimental rock band. With its heavy elctroclash influence, God's Money comes off as very psychedelic but also quite heavy in beats. The end result is a accessible album that can be enjoyed by fans of electronic music and experimental rock alike. As far as working out, it exceeds far past my expectations of the band. Even when the beat is almost completely lost and it  starts spiraling out of control, it still maintains a interesting ability to keep up one's motivation.

Calories: 323.4
Distance: 2.51mi

Thursday, March 29, 2012

St. Vincent - Marry Me

Marry Me is definitely St. Vincent's most reserved album. It's understandable though, because this was her debut solo album. You can see the the beginnings of the more experimental rock of her later albums with this album. Clark's voice is very powerful and emotive, allowing her to gracefully swing from octave to octave. Although the last few tracks close the album out on a quieter note, it still ends up being a very pleasurable experience both sonically and physically.

Calories: 365.2
Distance: 2.85mi

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Max Tundra - Parallax Error Beheads You

If I were to have describe Max Tundra's music in one word, it would definitely be 'quirky'. The eccentricities of Max Tundra come from break-neck tempos, falsetto vocals, chiptune-esque styling, and the ability to have very hyper electronic music that doesn't come off as feeling corny in the slightest. The music often gives me an almost nostalgic feeling, which may be because it sounds like a video game that may or may not be glitching out furiously. Even in it's sprawling eleven minute finale, Parallax Error Beheads You never drags because new sounds are constantly being introduced, fleshed out, and iterated upon in inventive ways. Lightning has struck twice this week, and perfection is the result.

Calories: 361.2
Distance: 2.80mi

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Wild Beasts - Two Dancers

Two Dancers is probably the most fun I've had with an album since Thunder, Lightning, Strike and I was pretty much dancing to it while running. The jangly percussion provides a nice momentum throughout and provides a fun environment that will often have you chanting along. The dramatic vocals combined with the superbly clean production provide for an album that has an air of class but still kicks ass. It's another perfect workout album for me.

Calories: 323.8
Distance: 2.50mi

Monday, March 26, 2012

Spiritualized - Songs In A&E

Spiritualized to me have always created some of the most beautiful rock music of all time. With it's reliance on many different instruments, it creates a vast landscape of gorgeous melodies and sometimes gut-wrenching lyrics. Songs In A&E continues their great track record of providing luscious songs that are extremely charming and just plain pretty. Even at it's sort of long length, I would highly recommend this album to anyone looking to workout to some amazing psychedelic space rock.

Calories: 334.5
Distance: 3.10mi

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Funkadelic - Maggot Brain

The surprise of this album for me was the difference of perceived funkiness. This album has a lot of smooth funk, where I was expecting faster funk. The first ten minutes are mainly just guitar strumming, which to be honest was definitely not great to workout to. The rest of the album was pretty good though, picking up pace the closer it got to the end. It was a fun listen, but not a great workout. Not terrible, but not great.

Calories: 274.9
Distance: 2.47mi

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Thee Oh Sees - Help

Help is my first venture into alternative noise rock group Thee Oh Sees. I was initially expecting just another loud and maybe dark rock band, but this album's content perfectly matches its cover. It's an ultra fun jam from start to finish. With a female vocalist proving backup melodies, punchy guitars, heavy percussion, and even flutes occasionally, this album strives for energy and succeeds on all counts. It's just pure, unadulterated fun. That's why I believe I have discovered yet another perfect workout album.

Calories: 312.9
Distance: 2.43mi

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Shins - Oh, Inverted World

This album is my second experience with The Shins, the first being Chutes Too Narrow. The first thing I noticed about this album was its more poppy style and subdued nature. The guitar rifts are peppered with a pretty wide array of instrumentation, including even the xylophone. While this may not have been what I expected from Oh, Inverted World, it still ended up providing a very pleasurable and easy going workout experience.

Calories: 276.7
Distance: 2.15mi

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Zeroh - Awfulalterations

This 25 minute hip-hop mixtape introduces me to what I hope is a fruitful career for artisan rapper Zeroh. With beats lifted from Flying Lotus that really exemplify Zeroh's exquisitely abstracted flow;  the result is a hazy collection of alternative hip-hop that is pleasing on so many levels. Working out was a breeze to Awfulalterations and I can't wait to see more by Zeroh hopefully in the near future.

You can download the mixtape for free right here.

Calories: 206.0
Distance: 1.60mi

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Matthew Dear - Leave Luck To Heaven

As far as techno musicians go, Matthew Dear is definitely a personal favorite. The overall styling has a bit of minimalistic flare with a dash of microhouse. While it comes in a bit on the long side, Leave Luck To Heaven's thumping bass lines mixed with Dear's ghostly vocals really make for an aurally exciting experience while simultaneously pushing the album forward at a brisk a speed. These all add up to a very admirable workout environment that is both complex and inviting.

Calories: 423.3
Distance: 3.31mi

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Best Coast - Crazy For You

Crazy For You sits in a weird place stylistically for me personally. That weirdness is a positive though, because the mix of surf pop and indie rock works surprisingly well together. It's short and sweet, but not sugary in the slightest. Even though I wasn't feeling good at all today, this album gave a little bit of pep to the end of my day.

Calories: 224.6
Distance: 1.87mi

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Dirty Projectors - Rise Above

Rise Above is the third album I've heard by Dirty Projectors, and it definitely sounds like the precursor to Bitte Orca. With its multilayer guitar strumming, Longstreth's idiosyncratic vocals, the occasional lulls into a false sense of security followed by walls of noise, and the abundance of female backing vocals all point it to Dirty Projectors definite forte. The often very abrupt changes in time signatures and the beat focused song structures keep the album fresh and exciting while running.

Calories: 369.3
Distance: 2.91mi

Friday, March 9, 2012

Destroyer - Streethawk: A Seduction

Destroyer never ceases to amaze me. Every album sounds different, but oddly united in a sense. I went into Streethawk knowing very little other than a rough album length and a liking of Dan Bejar's previous work, but came out with poorly-scrawled barely legible notes of what I felt I needed to say about the album. Here is what I ended up writing:
  • Lack of knowledge is better
  • Piano
  • Effortlessly Complex
  • Vibrant
  • Intricate
  • Lush
  • Rise / Fall
  • Actor (In regards to Dan's vocal delivery)
  • Drum Line
  • Thought Provoking
  • Spacious
  • Chant
  • Perfection
Calories: 386.7
Distance: 3.00mi

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Ratatat - Ratatat

Mixes of electronic and rock rarely end up being as fun as this album was. The mix of electronically produced bass and guitars gives the band a lot of flexibility. The way Ratatat present their guitars just makes them sound so different then many other bands. Even though the album lacks vocals and really never picks up any hooks to speak of it still has many pop sensibilities that will make the songs get stuck in your head in no time. It provides a really awesome workout experience and is just a really enjoyable album all around.

Calories: 353.8
Distance: 2.87mi

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye

So This Is Goodbye continues what Junior Boys had began on Last Exit, which is to say beautifully composed minimalist electropop. While I came away from this album slightly mixed fitness-wise, I definitely loved the sound this album presented me. Most of the songs never pass 110bpm, but that isn't a bad thing in the context of the album. The slowness of the album almost made it a point for me to never want to break pace, because the album itself almost never did.

If you know what you're getting yourself into with this album, expect to come out loving it.

Calories: 363.9
Distance: 3.00mi

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Caribou - Andorra

I have always enjoyed Snaith's work, and this album is no exception. Andorra provides a mix of psychedelic folk with electronic beat structures, and for the most part it works well in a fitness sense and a musical sense. Overall I was pleasantly surprised with just how well this album made me feel while working out.

Calories: 284.2
Distance: 2.58mi

Monday, March 5, 2012

Deerhunter - Microcastle

Microcastle is my second album experience with Deerhunter, a sort of indie rock and shoegaze band. This album leans back to their more shoegazey roots and provides a lot of beautifully arranged songs that are for the most part very mellow. This doesn't particularly lend itself too well to exercise as I had hoped it would. One song though really stands out as a great workout song. "Nothing Ever Happened" is almost a preview for what you would hear on their next album, Halcyon Digest. It was really the only song I would recommend for such a setting.

I would suggest Halcyon Digest to anyone wanting to get into Deerhunter, as I think it is a brilliant album.

Calories: 290.0
Distance: 2.54mi