mars needs guitars

This is a series where I spotlight some of my favorite albums of the past seven years (2000-2007). By favorite, I mean these are albums that I listened to alot and cherish to this day. Here is Part II: Macha multi-instrumentalist brother's Josh and Mischo McKay and Bedhead's guitar songwriting siblings Matt and Bubba Kadane grew up together in Wichita, Texas. Each set of brothers was a fan of the other's music and had always wanted to record together. Due to time and circumstances they were prohibited to do so. But in 2000, after the demise of Bedhead, the brothers got their wish. 2000's Macha Loved Bedhead was first started by the Kadane brothers who completed an eight-track tape of skeletal songs-in-progress consisting mostly of drum and guitar parts; the McKays finished the songs to completion by filling in the remaining spaces. The result of the partnership is the Macha Loved Bedhead EP. Only The Bodies Survive is a track that is a testament to this partnership. It is a shimmering track that is both hypnotic and full of somber beauty. Chicago isn't the place you would expect to find a band like The Zincs. In fact, London would probably be the location where you would expect this band to reside. It's no surprise why since James Elkington is at the helm. Elkington transplanted to Chicago from England in 1999 and released his first solo album Moth And Marriage in 2001. He put together a proper band to tour his material and The Zincs were born. Elkington paints a picture with each track via his generous lyrical skills and somber baritone. Hamstrung And Juvenile, a track from the forthcoming release Black Pompadour, is a classic bit of droning organ and foreboding Sax with Elkington's brooding baritone leading the charge. Head East, Kaspar the lead off track is a smooth piece of synth chamber pop accompanied by some melody inducing guitar work. This series covers some of my top favorite albums of the past 7 seven year (2000-2007). There is no order or ranking - they are as a collective whole my favorite albums. And if you have read Part I and Part II, you are probably wondering where the Shoegaze is. Well, here is Part III. Who would ever think that one of the top Shoegaze (Neugaze) albums of this decade would come out of a band from Estonia? Pia Fraus are from Estonia and they were formed in 1997. In Solarium was released in 2002 and it is a Shoegaze masterpiece for the current decade. Following closely in the footsteps of My Bloody Valentine, In Solarium rings out loud and fuzzy like a close cousin to Loveless. This is noisy dreampop just the way you diehard Shoegazers like it. mp3 Outskirts Of Me Pia Fraus - In Solarium Driving their love for the late 80's/early 90's UK Shoegaze scene, California's The Sleepover Disaster wear their influences proud. 2004's Loud Is The New Quiet is full of layered, atmospheric soundscapes and is far from derivative. TSD add their own take to a classic sound via sparkling guitars and pounding rhythms. At times there is even a power-pop influence that sneaks in the background. Witness the track Don't Talk and let the droning shoegaze guitars take you back to another era. Rated highly by Jack Rabid (The Big Takeover) this is a band to not miss. It's hard enough keeping up with new music in the States, but when you try to keep up with the new from across the pond it gets even harder. I always use Torr as my pulse for new and upcoming releases from Europe, he has similar tastes in music to mine and he always reports on the new breaking bands. So, when I was visiting his site the other day I ran across The Twang. The Twang are from Birmingham, England and were spotlighted by NME which eventually led the band to place second in the BBC News website's Sound of 2007 poll. The band's sound is a large swaggering sound full of robust guitars and intense emotional vocals. "Just something for you to look out for. What do they sound like? Think Stone Roses lad stomps with accentuated Mike Skinner lyrics." - Edith Bowman, Clash Magazine The band's debut single Wide Awake has been released and will be followed by an album later this year.

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