The writers of Hear & Now get together with a vinyl of their choice, a bottle of wine, and an open mind full of things to say about each album.
Spike brought Deep Sea Diver's History Speaks
SPIKE: Jessica Dobson's band. She played touring guitar for Beck, Conor Oberst, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and is currently a member of The Shins.
ALLYSON: Sounds like Spike's pick from last week's WINYL.
JASON: Surprise, another female-fronted indie rock group from Spike.
SPIKE: When I ordered this vinyl she autographed the package, but she's married to the drummer. So the "XO" must have just been a decoration.
JASON: I like how the first track opens up with some nice chiming guitar.
SPIKE:They also do my favorite KEXP session.
ALLYSON: I don't know if I'm ready for this record right now.
JASON: I'm impressed by the production on "NWO," and how the moody piano and percussion opening gives way to a funky bass with a sweet baseline.
SPIKE: The piano. The bass line. Yeah, then that distorted bass line.
JASON: Holy breakdown, Batman!
ALLYSON: *Periscoping in the middle of WINYLing*
SPIKE: "You Go Running" sounds fun. Really fun. I want to play this song in this band.
JASON: "You Go Running" is Seattle world-beat (if that makes sense).
SPIKE: This is where the album gets a little slower, and a lot more emotional. I spent a lot of time listening to this whole album when I moved away from Arizona. (*tear)
ALLYSON: I would listen to the slow songs while driving.
JASON: OK now Jessica Dobson's getting all moody and introspective
SPIKE: Only Deep Sea Diver or Beach House could get away with using the keyboard on "History Speaks". Actually I've never heard any other band use this keyboard before, so that opinion is no longer valid.
JASON: The title track is probably the millionth song to steal the opening drum beat of "Be My Baby."
ALLYSON: Too slow for me right now. Plus, it's Monday.
JASON: I thoroughly enjoyed it and would honestly have liked to have heard the whole thing.
Allyson brought The Jealous Sound's Kill Them With Kindness
ALLYSON: No one here will think they sound like KORN.
JASON: She is correct. I don't think it sounds like KORN. I think it sounds like Chevelle.
SPIKE: I like it from the first 20 seconds.
JASON: The lead singer sounds like Charles Barth (of Saddles).
SPIKE: The chorus comes in and it's gone? Super quick. It reminded me of a less in your face Von Bondies.
JASON: This definitely would have made my "Best of 2003" playlist had Spotify existed when I was in high school.
SPIKE: Yeah that Rhodes, that is a good Rhodes.
JASON: "Naive" sounds like Jimmy Eat World at their most rocking.
ALLYSON: What an ending to "Naive".
JASON: "Anxious Arms" definitely has a Brand New influence.
SPIKE: Kinda getting a Christian Rock vibe from "Anxious Arms".
JASON: Apparently this band is like an emotional super-group.
ALLYSON: I suggest we all listen to Scott Stapp. Because YOLO.
JASON: "The Gift Horse" is another piece of JEW-sequel rock.
SPIKE: The bass is really, solid in every song... punchy and solid like Fenix TX. Yeah I went there and I love Fenix TX.
JASON: "Does That Make Sense" has a nice energy to it, with some really nice punchy guitar.
SPIKE: On "Troublesome," there is a synth there, somewhere deep, that came from a Reggie and the Full Effect setup. There is no mistaking that.
JASON: This so would have been one of my favorite bands in 2003 had I of heard of them.
Jason brought Arctic Monkeys’ Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
SPIKE: I am excited to listen to this on vinyl.
JASON: College (and the fact that there was a record store on campus) really helped to expand my musical horizons and find bands I never would have listened to before. This album is one of those discoveries.
ALLYSON: I always get this band and Cold War Kids mixed up.
JASON: I also started reading British music mags at this time (like Q, MOJO, and Uncut) and they were all talking about the hype that this band was receiving from demos and stuff.
SPIKE: This is when they were slated to be the next Strokes. It's a little more punk than The Strokes were, at least at that point.
ALLYSON: They sound like Blur.
JASON: "I Bet That You Look Good on the Dancefloor" still makes me want to break stuff.
ALLYSON: The person on the album cover looks like Adam Sandler.
SPIKE: Have The Living End done this before? (Legit question)
JASON: This album is a perfect mix of melody, songcraft and intensity. It's like if someone took The Libertines and Strokes and mixed in Franz Ferdinand's funkiness and a dash of At the Drive-In's riffiness and put it in a blender.
SPIKE: Oooh, "Still Take You Home" gets a little funky.
ALLYSON: They are so funky.
JASON: They never were as raw and direct again as they were here, which makes sense considering Alex Turner was twenty when he wrote these songs and has matured since.
SPIKE: The bass in these songs is super bad ass too. Tonight has been all about the bass.
ALLYSON: This funk is too much for me.
JASON: Also their show at the Marquee during their tour for this record is still one of the best shows I've ever been to.
SPIKE: The second half of this album just makes me realize they didn't care from the beginning, in the best way possible.
ALLYSON: This album is going on forever.
SPIKE: Arctic Monkeys definitely rode the coattails of The Libertines, but Pete Doherty is a dick so Arctic Monkeys are way cooler.
ALLYSON: Yay! It's finally over!