Floating Pointe is a rock/pop band from Portland who just released their debut self-titled album this June. The main songwriting force is the duo of Jason Mockley and William James, who between the two of them have crafted a nice little set of dreamy pop songs. The pair experiment throughout the album with electronic elements as well as some more ambient textures which are surprisingly effective when melded with standard acoustic guitars. This record was also self-recorded at home and while the album has a certain lo-fi quality, the sound is still strong. Overall, Floating Pointe’s debut album shows that they can craft a good pop song and are worthy of a listen.
This recently released debut from Portland native Jon Garcia has one thing going for it ?” it’s nicely presented in a chipboard package. The music itself, however, is unremarkable and more than a little annoying, with slow jazzy guitars and "soulful" crooning mixed with very "emo" vocalizations (particularly on the song "Sweet Misery"). Nothing about this release is at all memorable or interesting; it’s a standard mixture of acoustic guitar and singer/songwriter self-aggrandizing snooze inducement.
Jaime Kennedy and Stu Stone
Jaime Kennedy is a cross-promotional media master. His invasively irritating presence has somehow found its way into almost every medium available ?” TV, film, and music have all been subjected to the king idiot of Hollywood. This new album, Blowin’ Up, is meant to support a TV show of the same name that will be airing soon on MTV. Let me make something clear: Jaime Kennedy is possibly the least funny person to ever exist. His shtick-that of the white guy who wants to be a rapper-is so tired and boring that it’s amazing he continues to get work. Needless to say, the music contained within this album should not exist. Not only should you not buy this album, you should destroy any physical copies that come within your reach. This gem of a lyric (from the first track) demonstrates exactly why: "Circle circle dot dot, I think I got my cootie shot, you think that girl is hot? I think I’d rather not, ok, uh huh, ok, I’ll fuck her anyway." If this is a joke it isn’t fucking funny.
The Shys (formerly known by the oh-so-clever moniker The Gun Shys) are a band that wears their influences on their sleeves. Their recently released debut full-length mixes three parts Rolling Stones blues-rock with one part punk attitude a la The Clash. This is the sound of generic modern rock; the Shys could be Jet or The Vines or any number of other very similar sounding bands. That said, the songs contained within Astoriaaren’t bad. They are well-composed and polished to unobtrusive shine. The Shys will probably find some success after starring in a cell-phone commercial or something similar, but any albums after this debut would be a surprise.
Metridium Fields (August 22)
Giant Squid seem to have a lot going for them as a band. They list such diverse and solid influences as Neurosis, Isis, and Pelican when describing their sound, and indeed those artists aren’t far off the mark of what Giant Squid is creating. Heavy and down-tuned but with a strong sense of melody, Metridium Fields is a diverse conglomeration of sounds. Giant Squid utilize a unique arabesque melodic space as well, with three distinct vocal styles that lead to an atypical sound when compared to their contemporaries. There are passages of fast, very prog-rock like guitar and keyboard which can sound a bit tired after a while, but overall Metridium Fields is a strong debut from an up-and-coming band.