"Rio" is a sweet, juvenile shuffle with an arts-and-crafts feel to it - the sonic equivalent of a house built of popsicle sticks, gummy with coats of dried glue. Bumblebeez, much to our delight, barely hold this one together: it sways slightly from side to side, with hectic and seemingly improvised counterbalances (though it's all computer play) propping the whole thing up. The vocals carry traces of the trendy, bombastic lyrical stylings of CSS or Brazilian Girls but injected with the self-referencing, corny delivery you'd see in an instructional sing-along videotape in a high school foreign language class. It all meshes into something kind of novel - a weirdly youthful and charismatic ode to an exotic place.
If you took the grime off of Crystal Castles and replaced it with a Kerouac-esque knack for starry-eyed (or lunatic - take your pick) rambling, you might come out with something like this. "Battle Cat" by Adventure has a tendency to repeat itself - but, like a relentless display of pyrotechnics or the sheer tidal wave of lights on the Vegas strip, it's the excess that makes this one work. For the sake of cheery chip-tinted jams, let's hope Adventure never gets succinct. Staff favorite Carpark Records releases Adventure's self-titled album on September 23rd.
While I'm not ready to fling any brazen predictions about their longevity, I will say that this is the most confident a band has sounded about their place in the music timeline in a long time. It's a wicked blues-rock crossover that pays respect to the past without betraying a subconscious debt or inferiority complex to their predecessors. Dare I say that this is what The White Stripes could have been if they weren't so concerned with respecting the sanctity of their influences? Because fuck the concept of memorializing or commemorating the past - you place yourself at an inherent disadvantage by cowering at the feet of your idols. The Pack A.D. is what happens when you stare them down as equals - not the most innovative band around, but I'll be goddamned if they aren't brave.
For the iPod obsessed - subscribe to our podcast, which features weekly mini-mixes of our newest mp3s, and a monthly full-length mix, including some exclusives you won't find anywhere else on the site. You can set up iTunes to download these samplers automatically.
Label Spotlight: Astralwerks
Ten to fifteen years ago, or even as little as five years ago, Astralwerks was primarily known as a label putting out stellar and successful electronic releases, drawing to mind artists like the Chemical Brothers, Air and Kraftwerk. Nowadays though, it's a bit trickier to simply pinpoint them as merely an electronica label. New York based Astralwerks, while still continuing to release quality electronic albums from recent additions to the fam - Hot Chip, pacific! and mainstay the Chemical Brothers, has in recent years expanded their catalog across different genres and sub-genres to see the release of albums from rockers We Are Scientists, the Kooks, and even, the B-52's?