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November 1st, 2011

Guide To New Music: New Releases By Freeway, Lou Reed & Metallica and Pianos Become The Teeth

Make Major Moves navigates the never-ending deluge of new music releases.
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Freeway
The Intermission
[DatPiff DL]

By Elliott Sharp
Last week, the always busy Philly Freeway dropped  his first mixtape since the Statik-Free EP he delivered earlier this year with Statik Selektah. The Intermission, of course, is referring to the break before he drops his long overdue Diamond In The Ruff LP. If you’ve kept up with our Freeway updates, you know the Freezer’s steady hustling. Not a week goes by that he doesn’t show up on stage at somebody else’s concert or kick a freestyle somewhere with someone. But his official and street releases, including this one, show the MC’s true microphone capacity in a way that all the features and random pop-ups don’t. Over production from Jimi Kendrix, “Freezer” shows the Freezer spitting over a majestic, booming kinda beat similar to those on his Philadelphia Freeway debut. “Superstar” opens like a wild-out, gun-click track featuring Meek Mill, but the production’s a bit too gentle and slow, and doesn’t provide Freeway the structure he needs to optimize his flow. Freeway shouts out the city on “Philly In Me,” featuring production by young PA producer Jahlil Beats, who recently signed with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, and Wale, Freddie Gibbs and Yo Gotti pop up later. Most exciting here is “666″ with Philly hip-hop legends State Property. Their first cut in many years kills, and hopefully they can keep the momentum and continue kicking new gems. Will State Property get back on the grind in 2012? We hope so. Stream/Download: The Intermission.

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Lou Reed & Metallica
Lulu
[Warner Bros.]

By Elliott Sharp
So, what happens when a sorta hard-rock band that hasn’t made a significant song since the very early 1990s teams up with a musician who’s had maybe 6 decent songs since the very early 1970s? Exactly what you’d imagine. Nothing of significance. Or, better yet: Does anybody even really care? No, not really. It’s just something to make fun of and forget. Still, maybe people should listen to the album once, or at least just a few minutes of it, maybe. Like everything he’s done since Velvet Underground, Lou Reed sounds contrived and annoying, saying random stuff in an effort to sound random. Metallica sounds like a rock band you’d hear on the radio in the mid 1990s, except with a worse singer and simpler riffs. When Reed stops talking and Hetfield’s singing comes in on “The View”…. well, that’s one of the funniest parts of the album. Definitely check that one out. As dumb and obnoxious as this record is, there are a few interesting musical things that happen (cf. “Mistress Dread” and “Cheat On Me). It’s pretty safe to say that Kirk Hammett’s responsible for these. Maybe he should do a solo record or something. “Spermless like a girl,” Reed says on “Frustration.” Poor guy. This record lacks sperm. Stream: Lulu.
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Pianos Become The Teeth
The Lack Long After
[Topshelf]

By Elliott Sharp
Back in August, I wrote that Loma Prieta is the only screamo band anyone needs to know. That was a big, stupid lie, and I’d like to apologize. Sorry. You should also know Baltimore’s Pianos Become The Teeth, who are releasing their second full-length today. Like many of their post-punk sect, it’s all about brutal intensity, elaborate melody and raw, dark and hard emotion, but these dudes consistently unleash a more compelling, scarier, moodier and heavier product. Colossal breakdowns meet agonizing boy screams. Sounds sexy, right? With the exception of the diehards who never abandoned the scene, many listeners likely lack a reference point for these sonics aside from At The Drive-In’s breakthrough record Relationship Of Command (which I think is the best record of the 2000’s, BTW). It’s a bit less technical and experimental, but just as dramatic, though its ruggedness has more in common with Acrobatic Tenement-era ATDI. “Now I’m just worn out/I’ve been like this forever,” sings Karl Durfey on “Good Time.” He’s not having a good time, so don’t be fooled. Bro’s in pain and he needs you to listen to him. Stream: “Good Times.”

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