Attica! Attica! "Napalm & Nitrogen"

Often in music the age-old adage "You get what you pay for" is routinely rebutted by outstanding free releases. Taking a look at bands like Bomb the Music Industry! Cheap Girls, and O'Pioneers! proves my point. Unfortunately, folk band Attica! Attica!'s latest release leaves listeners feeling like they were ripped off, even if the album was free.

"Napalm & Nitrogen" runs at 31 minutes, with 11 songs about an aging punk rocker bitching and whining about how the world has left him behind. Attica! Attica! consist of Aaron Scott (formerly of De La Hoya and Marathon) and a couple of washed up punk rockers he could scrounge up to accompany him on tour for a week or two.

Aaron's songs are very catchy and sing along friendly, however the lyrics are elementary and off putting. Countless music aficionados accuse younger folk song writers like Conor Oberst of being "too whiney, bordering on emo," but when an older guy like Aaron relates the popularity of the President among songwriters to "the death of art" without being scolded forces me to raise the hypocrisy card.

Without exaggerating, every single track on "Napalm & Nitrogen" somehow relates to Aaron's depression, loneliness, or angst for happy teenagers. It's repetitive, annoying, and overall frustrating.

Don’t bother with TV
The networks never show the Broncos, it’s regional coverage
They do it to spite me
Why go out to the street?  I hate the neighbors
How am I supposed to act like Elway if they won’t let me play QB
Believe it

Yep, those are actual lyrics from this album. If you can get past the lyrics, 'Napalm & Nitrogen" is a pretty fun listen. Several songs have gang vocals and string sections making Attica! Attica! a great band to listen to with friends around. If shallow lyrics don't phase you, you may very well enjoy "Napalm & Nitrogen." And hey, it's free so you might as well give it a shot.

Review Score: 5.1/10

Download "Napalm & Nitrogen" here- http://atticaattica.org/download/


The xx- xx

I must shamefully admit that I do not like *almost all* British music. Whether it be The Who, The Arctic Monkeys, Oasis, or even The freakin' Clash, I have never felt a connection to music from across the pond for some unknown reason.

That being said, I am extremely impressed with The xx. This quartet of 20 year old Brits' debut album, xx, is reminiscent of Depeche Mode in their prime, harrowing back to the fledgling synth-pop scene of the 80's. The music is very low key; xx is a perfect album to throw on the iPod for late night writing sessions or some sensual love making. The album's composition is very smooth and settling, a dire contrast to the displacing "noise" movement that is currently sweeping indie pop with reckless abandon.

Co-vocalists Oliver Sim and Romy Madley lead the band with their harmonic, healing voices, elevating the music to a near supernatural aura. Since the band's emphasis is definitely focused on the vocals, the slow paced electronic beats on xx could not be more appropriate.

Singles from xx include "Heart Skipped a Beat," "Crystalised," and "Basic Space." My personal favorite, "Heart Skipped a Beat," is arguably the catchiest song on the album. Sim and Madley's voices contrast subtly in this track then sensually harmonize on the chorus, metaphoric of virgin sex- the theme of the song. "Crystalised" opens with alternating verses from Sim and Madley that create a conversational feel for the track. "Basic Space" is a bit more staccato than the rest of the album, yet it still feels completely in place. This goes to show the strength of xx- every track has an extremely unique sound, yet they all compliment one another perfectly. Not a single track comes off as misplaced or confused, quite an extraordinary accomplishment for a few 20 year olds that produced their own album with little guidance from music gurus.

xx has been received phenomenally well by music critics world wide since its August 17th release on Turk Records (October 20th in the states). The xx is amassing hype like the first snowball of winter, and have begin planning their first North America tour, which will assuredly feature performances on late night television shows. xx is a great album, from a young band with no where to go but up. There is a lot of opportunity to burst to stardom in indie pop, and I believe The xx will ride the coat tails of electro-centric bands like She Wants Revenge and The Postal Service to mainstream success.

Review score: 7.8 out of 10

Here's the music video for "Crystalised."


Media Goodies 10/06/2009

Here's a taste of what I've been listening to the past few weeks. This is just a hold over until I decide which album I want to review next. Talk to me in the comments sections, I want to know what you guys would like to see featured on the blog. More media? More reviews? More artist profiles? Also, I'd like to thank you guys for your support. This week I had 1,000 hits and 650 unique site visitors. That amount of traffic simply blew me away, you guys are awesome. Enjoy!

Why?- "The Vowels Pt. 2"

This experimental hip-hop is disturbing, nasty, dark, catchy and oh-so-good. Check it out.

Dear and the Headlights- "Bad News"

Vampire Weekend- "Horchata"

From their upcoming release, "Contra," this single displays Vampire Weekend's growth. I am personally hyped for "Contra" and I was NOT a fan of their first album.

Sleepercar- "West Texas"

Sleepercar is Jim Ward's alt-country experiment band. "West Texas" captured the atmosphere of the region Ward grew up in, which is something I love seeing from artists. I've been listening to this song this week, trying to lull myself to sleep.

Wale- "Chillin' ft. Lady Gaga"

Wale and Lady Gage. Does it get better? I think not.

Frank Turner- "I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous"

One of my favorite British song writers.


Introducing: Mike Posner and the Brain Trust

Anyone sitting on a multi-million dollar record deal and still taking college classes garners my respect. Mike Posner is an emerging songwriter and hip hop artist from Michigan. A born musician, Posner was primed for success at a young age. Despite signing to J Records (Mario, Jamie Foxx, Pitbull) in August, Mike chose to enroll at Duke University for his final senior semester to receive his bachelors degree in both business as well as sociology.

This March, Posner released his first mixtape, "A Matter of Time" receiving widespread acclaim throughout underground hip hop circles. Another excellent production from Don Cannon and DJ Benzi, "A Matter of Time" has been a huge success for Posner. Evident of his widespread appeal, the mixtape soared to the #1 spot on iTunesU free download section.

Posner's music can be described as hip pop: vocal-centric, radio friendly, and appealing to a wide range of demographics. Posner's talent is lucidly apparent on "A Matter of Time." To get an idea of how skilled Posener is, "Still Not Over You feat. Eric Holljes" samples The Fray's hit "Over My Head". Mike sings verses that are, for a lack of a better explanation, not quite hip hop, and not quite pop. Other songs on the mixtape include "Drug Dealer Girl" and sleeper-hit "Smoke & Drive feat. Big Sean."

Mike already has made huge contributions to the hip hop scene. He has appeared on tracks with Kid Cudi, Wale, Drake, DONNIS, and many other hip hop heavy weights. As Posner continues to study at Duke, maintaining a high GPA, he plays shows weekly at southern universities across the US. He has completed recording his second mixtape, "One Foot Out The Door" which will be released on October 29th through his new home, J Records. Posner is currently in the production stage of his debut album, which will of course be reviewed here on Think Fast, Live fast.

To wrap things up, Mike Posner is a name music fans need to familiarize with. It won't be long until Posner begins to dominate the air waves, in fact, it's only a matter of time.

Click Here to Download "A Matter of Time"