New Music Alert – Balmorhea, Mogwai, Matt Cameron, Lee Ranaldo

I’m not one for music reviews, but thought I’d share some thoughts on some new music released lately.

Balmorhea “Clear Language”

The Texan’s first full length album in five years, I wouldn’t go as far as to call it minimal post rock, but it wouldn’t be in the same ball park as Mogwai.

Lots of space here on this album which I like, and clever use of guitar effects. They’ve been on the go since 2007. Here’s what they sound like in a live scenario:

Here’s one of their new tracks. Go support them and buy their album!

Mogwai “Every Country’s Sun”

Still sounding like Mogwai but also sounding fresh, it’s another solid solid album. I think the album tracks, if you want to call them that, are better than the “singles”, if you want to call them that.

I had the good luck to catch Mogwai live a few years ago. Unfortunately my first and only time, and it was brilliant. So here’s a live version of one of their new tracks:

Matt Cameron “Cavedweller”

Not content with drumming with Pearl Jam, Matt Cameron still has the time to record a decent album, which I’m still getting into, so it’s still sounding fresh to me. I didn’t realise it’s until recently that it’s his debut album.

It’s more Soundgarden sounding than Pearl Jam on first listen. If you are familiar with Hater, another album Cameron appeared on, this album will appeal to you. That’s the first thing it reminded me of.

There are plenty of off time riffs and drum licks to keep your interest. Matt plays guitar on this too. It’s not too long either. Nine songs. In and out, as they say.

Not all tracks sound then same. There’s some synth heavy tracks which never lose the rock feel and some out and out rockers too. Again, impressive production here.

The great Alain Johannes plays on this album too. Johannes was all over Chris Cornell’s first solo album “Euphoria Morning” and his sound and style will be instantly familiar to fans of that album.

Lee Ranaldo “Electric Trim”

I was always more of a fan of the Lee Ranaldo songs on the Sonic Youth albums, and I’m leaning more towards his solo stuff as well over Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon.

This is his third solo album and on a recent Kreative Kontrol podcast, he gave a detailed track by track breakdown on how each track was put together, as well as the idea around how to record and produce the album (which was produced by Raul ‘Refree’ Fernandez, a Spanish musician based in Barcelona). For example, he collaborated on lyrics with Jonathan Lethem, and American author and musical contributions include Nels Cline and Sharon Van Etten amongst others.

The album and the podcast are well worth a listen. There’s no point me writing about the album though. Listen to this snippet and check it out for yourself!

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