The New Pornographers
Canada’s The New Pornographers are regarded as masters of indie-pop. Twin Cinema, their 2005 Matador Records release, is considered by many to be their finest. Here’s why: melody, rock-solid drumming, and enough experimentation to keep things interesting. This is a bright, treble-heavy record, that will have you singing along by the second listen. The shared lead vocal duties in this band (A.C. Newman, Neko Case, Dan Bejar, Nora O’Connor, and more) are an indication of the group’s status as a collective, or “supergroup” if you must. However, unlike a handful of American groups with that regrettable nomenclature, these Canadians give no indication of art-compromising machismo, just an enormous amount of talent. Killer album.
Def Jam America (1988)
Danzig rules. And when Danzig the band met Rick Rubin the producer and created the album Danzig, that ruled. Turn this album on, and immediately, you can hear the Def Jam (Rubin’s company at the time) touch on the drums. So, if Run DMC and Beastie Boys are any indication, this record will sound very good in your car or at a party, which it most certainly does. But wait. This is a metal record. It’s very heavy, and not afraid of mentioning demons, lurid romance, or how those two subjects might interlace. Serious riffage, great guitar solos, but no screaming, just G. Danzig’s baritone over rock steady beats and some dark attitude. Worth a listen by any lover or student of pop music.
By Miles Ganon Arnay