Review Mega Postamaniapalooza Vol 2 (Featuring TWINS! Odd Pets! Druids! Lily DeTaeye!)

SquareAmerica

No time to lose! Let’s get to it!

TWINS (12 pm – Saturday –  HyVee Mainstage) Square America

There has never been a secret that TWINS are a band that fits in a little better in a different era. Their previous releases, 2014’s Tomboys on Parade and the criminally slept on 2012 release Funny Faces, showcased their early 70’s rock and roll credentials. Square America though might be their most focused effort, as well as their most Big Star/Cheap Trick-esque album to date.

With help from Gloom Balloon/Poison Control Center’s Patrick Tape Fleming as producer, Square America is their crispest album yet. Not in a lull in 12 tracks, just rollicking big old school fun that captures their melodic guitars, surprisingly pretty vocals and cheeky lyrics. It’s the cleanest, sharpest and most focused sound from a band who knows exactly what they want their music to sound like. They’ve long wanted their own #1 Record  and I think Square America is it.

The standout tracks might be the bookends of “Hotstepper” and “Teenage Grenade”. Both showcase the harmonies and the riffs that have built their sound, but honestly their isn’t a point that I would call a lesser song. Those who have been lamenting the death of rock and roll really need to listen to TWINS and feel a little better about rock’s long-term health.

Odd Pets EP

Odd Pets (12 pm – Saturday – Kum and Go Stage) – Odd Pets EP

Holy shit. Where the hell did this come from and why has it taken me so long to listen to it?

Whew. I’m kind of mad at myself, right now.

I’m not sure if I can continue this review because I just feel stupid.

I need to go take a walk or something.

I feel like I’ve let all of you down by not talking about this sooner.

I think I blew it by leaving GDP early and missing their set.

I’ve seen the name Odd Pets on a lot of bills. My pals over at DSMShows have spoke highly of them.

I bet they’re awesome live.

This. This is just…I dunno. I’m flummoxed and angry.

I really like this. It’s a super fun 14 minutes or so.

Damn. I need to get better at this.

Druids

Druids (1:30 pm – Saturday – HyVee Mainstage) – Cycles of Mobeum

Like most kids born in the 80’s I had my flings with heavier music, but as I aged my tastes changed. Also, and let’s be honest, the late 90’s and the early oughts weren’t exactly a peak time to experience hard rock. The radio was filled with Nu Metal (which I bought into a bit, for sure). The magazines and the early stages of the internet were all focused on what was popular. Here in Iowa, we were deluged with bands that either wanted to be Limp Bizkit or wanted to be Slipknot (including Slipknot, itself, I guess, but I’m digressing a bit). While I’m sure there were talented acts at that time, I found myself underwhelmed by a good number of local acts playing the type of music I was gravitating towards, at the time, and I was too lazy to put in the effort to find the good ones, if we’re being honest. Then, my tastes changed. The local scene exploded in the mid-2000’s with bands a bit more my speed and I pretty much abandoned metal altogether.

It may seem weird to be a music writer and not know the difference between sludge, doom, thrash, etc. but here we are. I’m just a guy on a blog telling you what I like to listen to, and for a long time I didn’t like to listen to heavy guitars and dudes growling at me, or worse, trying to rap over it. I just skipped all of it.

Something changed, though. That something was Druids.

I first saw Druids at a show a few years ago and I just stood wide eyed while people head banged around me. Sure it’s heavy and sure it’s growly. But good lord, they just might be the best at growly and the best at heavy.

I can’t break this down track by track, but the star of this album is the musicianship. It’s so fast and so melodic and so precise and so good, you can’t help but get sucked into it. There are hints of psychedelic and hints of blues, but man, it is just excellent guitar work.

I know there are people who are going to get turned off by the vocals, I know it. But consider this, with the type of music they are making, you can’t just have a dude crooning. You have to have pure guttural noise. It has to come from someplace primal and deep. It has to be this way because that is what the music demands.

So yeah, my horizons are starting to broaden. I’m learning some of the sub-genres a bit. Mostly though, I’m appreciating this for the art that it is. Because when you do something like this wrong, it’s way wrong, but when you do it right, man, is it right.

lily_detaeye

Lily DeTaeye (2:30 pm – Saturday – Generation Z Stage) – Nothing to Say

This was nice.

You know, the older I get the more I tend to gravitate towards the office radio stations, you know your friendly pop stations that play Taylor Swift and Colbie Caillat and such. The big reason is 1) it tends to be the channel my six-year old daughter likes and 2) our active rock stations are mostly butthole. I swear, if I have to hear a promo for this being “Iowa’s New Rock Station” or whatever and then “Sex and Candy” plays, I just want to punch through the dash in my car.

There’s another big reason I’ve been listening, though, and that is the music they play is often very nice. It’s pleasant. You can hum and smile and live. They’re not perfect channels, but I’d much rather hear “Blank Space” then “Sail” by AWOLNATION.

Lily DeTaeye fills that nice space well. Just a pretty voice and simple songs that make me smile. It’s pretty, comfortable music. It’s a nap in the sun or petting a fluffy dog or drinking a large strawberry malt. Sure, none of these things are going to openly change your life and your worldview, but they’re nice. They’re friendly. They make me feel good.

DeTaeye has a perfect voice for the type of music she plays. It’s sweet and usually backed with an acoustic or a ukulele (although “In Your Arms” has a saxophone solo, which was unexpected but always welcome). And yeah, it’s nice.

There’s a nice lullaby about footie pajamas called, uh, “Footie Pajamas” that features a children’s choir , which normally repulses me but in this case it’s really cute, and a toe tapper called “Cantare Enternamente” and, I dunno. It’s all sweet.

So, yeah. This was nice.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

No comments yet.

Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s