‘Sup nerds! Even though we are back into the groove of school there are plenty of opportunities to check out live music. Friday and Saturday CU-Boulder’s Radio 1190 is presenting Natural Child at the Hi-Dive (7 S. Broadway, Denver) and on Wednesday, The Coathangers will be ripping up the Larimer Lounge (2721 Larimer St., Denver).
On your way to the shows, tune into Radio 1190 to hear these awesome albums spinning in rotation right now:
Unlike most acts in the genre, Arizona-punks Destruction Unit do things a bit differently. The group has the ferocity of Refused and the stamina of Lightning Bolt, but hones in on the noisy psychedelic rock akin to Boredoms. Sophomore effort Negative Feedback Resistor starts with more than two minutes of piercing feedback before launching into a full-on hardcore punk assault at breakneck speed. The 8-minute monster that hurls at 120 miles per hour, “Chemical Reaction/Chemical Delight,” twists between mellow-yet-menacing passages of psych and hardcore punk.
Though the album is massive and winding, the tight musicianship and animal-like energy is something to behold. It takes a lot of energy to listen to the album, so for Destruction Unit to play at such a high level of energy and precision for so long is bewildering. Though this may not be everyone’s cup of tea, Negative Feedback Resistor shows Destruction Unit growing as a group and making a hybrid of music genres that no other act has done.
Indie veterans Yo La Tengo are celebrating 30 years as a band doing what they do best: covering songs. The new album Stuff Like That There features classic covers — such as The Cure’s “Friday I’m In Love” and Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.” These tracks are calm like lullabies and have the original hooks, but at times are so subdued they’re nearly indistinguishable.
Then there’s the remake of their own “Deeper Into Movies” (originally from 1997’s I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One), which lacks the fuzz and experimentation that made it memorable. The last track is the most interesting part of the album, “Somebody’s in Love,” a cover by Cosmic Rays with Le Sun Ra and Arkestra. Sadly on this track, Yo La Tengo shies away from dabbling in free jazz and instead covers what may be the lamest song in Sun Ra’s collection. Overall, the album seems random and thrown together.
Though he may have gained the most success as Dinosaur Jr.’s bassist, Lou Barlow has been living comfortably by fronting side-project Sebadoh as well as his own writing and recording. Much like Dinosaur Jr. frontman J Mascis dabbles in acoustic singing and songwriting, Barlow’s newest release Brace the Wave also focuses on the feeling and lyrics of his voice and guitar.
The nine tracks on the LP are stripped back and intimate. Even though his demeanor is dark and broody, the melodic guitars and clear vocal performance makes this record incredibly enjoyable. Tracks ebb and flow between hints of Dinosaur Jr. and Sebadoh ( notably, standout track “Wave” could fit easily on a later-release Sebadoh record). On the album sticker Barlow claims the record is “7.8 pretty good” — and it’s exactly that. Though there isn’t much improvement in singing or songwriting, Brace the Wave is a solid album and fits nicely in his dynamic discography.
Calvet is Radio 1190’s music director. Read more of his reviews: www.coloradodaily.com/columnists.