Kylesa – From the Vaults Vol 1

kylesafromvaults 150x150 Kylesa   From the Vaults Vol 1I’ve got another compilation this week. Much like the Isis album, this is hardly a must have but something nice for completists or people jonesing for some Kylesa (it’s been a little over two years and counting we’ve been waiting for a new album).

And this isn’t just a bunch of old tracks thrown together. Many of these tracks were worked on specifically for this album. Tracks are  really culled from all over the place.  There are a few unfinished tracks lying around that were completed. There are a couple updated versions of album and 7″ songs. The touch-ups help give the album more cohesion since the songs were written throughout the past ten years. There’s also a brand new song End Truth right in the center of everything.

For me, the album’s highlights are the two covers near the end. Pink Floyd’s Set the Controls For the Heart of the Sun is probably their most circulated rarity. I think it’s originally from a Pink Floyd tribute. It’s nice to see that it’s finally getting a proper release. The other is Buzzov*en’s Drained. I’m not sure if this was ever released before, but it’s a great.

My only complaint is that the album kind of just drops off at the end finishing  with a drum jam (creatively titled Drum Jam). Between that and the two covers, it feels like they didn’t know how to fit them all in with the other songs so they just got dumped at the end. Apart form that it’s a good comp. They’re all solid songs.

Isis – Temporal

IPC140 ISIS cover 150x150 Isis   TemporalWe’re now over two years since Isis has broken up, and they’ve released this compilation which serves as a nice coda to their catalog. After releasing two disappointing albums (to me at least) they finished up on a very high note with 2009′s Wavering Radiant. This three-disc set compiles some odds and ends they had. It’s probably something that’s for the more diehard fans, but I really enjoy it and would recommend it.

The first disc is comprised of demos. Most of them aren’t all that different from the album versions. A little rougher but pretty good sound quality. Some have low or no vocals at all. The final track is the 17 minute Grey Divide. I’m not sure where it’s from but the liner notes say recorded in 2001 so maybe it’s from the Oceanic sessions or extended jam somewhere. Either way, ideas from it were used on Oceanic.

The second disc has some really cool gems on it. First off are the Godflesh and Black Sabbath covers from the ultra-rare Sawblade EP from 1999. They are also the only pre-Oceanic tracks in the set. There are also a couple remixes and a short new song (the title track). To me the album’s highlights are Way Through Woven Branches and Pliable Foe, the two tracks from their split EP with the Melvins, both Wavering Radiant outtakes.

The third disc is a DVD of their official videos. Not really my thing, but they look cool if you’re into videos. Again, this collection is not essential, but really cool for the longtime fans.

 

Tweak Bird – Undercover Crops

tweakbird undercovercrops cover 150x150 Tweak Bird   Undercover CropsUndercover Crops is the new EP from Illinois duo Tweak Bird. Granted their full length isn’t really that much longer, but I feel the shorted format plays to their strengths a little better.

With songs roughly around two minutes, there isn’t room for any padding.  Songs are lean and don’t meander. There’s a pretty weird intro song, then six heavy rockers.

And I may call the band weird, but it’s weird in a not-weird kind of way. What I mean is that there are some pretty different sound effects and the vocals are pretty unique, but the song structure is pretty standard.

Overall, it’s a short but very solid EP. It’s being released by Volcom Entertainment on October 9th, and you can currently see Tweak Bird opening for the Melvins on most their record-breaking tour. Note: Tweak Bird will not be breaking any records.

Jim Coleman – Trees

g07971 150x150 Jim Coleman   TreesJim Coleman, most known for being a long-term Cop Shoot Cop member as well as JG Thirlwell collaborator in Baby Zizanie, has recently released his first official solo album. His two previous solo efforts that were released as Phylr. Unlike the electronic loops that composed the Phylr albums, Trees is much mellower and consists of pianos, horns, and strings. It clocks in just over an hour, and is very very cool. Any fans of ambient music should check this out.