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