Sounds of silence

Prefuse 73, T5 Soul Sessions Volume1
Blip hop superstar Scott Heron starts off the Triple 5 SoulSessions series with an hour of the finest spaced-out psychedelicaSpain has to offer. While the feedback flamenco groove of T5 may beoff-putting to fans of the previous Prefuse albums’ southern friedbeats, those who know Heron better by side project Savath andSavalas will feel right at home. In fact, many of the tracks mixedinto the T5 album are source songs for his recent album under theS&S moniker, thus resulting in an irritating lack of songtitles. Why do DJs feel it is so imperitive to keep their sourcesunder wraps? As a whole, the album flows seamlessly through dreamyvocals and fuzzed guitar, working brilliantly as a mood piece. Itbrings to mind images of smoke filled rooms in flower-era 1960sSpain. This may not be the best album to romance your girl to, butif you’re feeling the need to light up and leave your life for anight, Heron made this just for you.

Tracker, Music inspired by CraigThompson’s “Blankets”
As far As I know this is the first comic book-related soundtrack tocross the Vanguard review desk and I must say I’m pleasantlysurprised. Rolling minimalist guitars and environmental noisespopulate this album, mixed between delicate full instrumentals� la Jim O’Rourke. Tracker consists of Portland’s own JohnAskew and any number of regional musicians, including MountAnalogue mastermind Tucker Martine on the mix. As a stand-alonepiece this is a beautiful and gentle composition, harmonious andrich. As a soundtrack for “Blankets,” it is a remarkable companionto an unashamedly nostalgic comic pushing the 600-page mark. Isuppose you’d have to repeat the album a couple of times to make itthrough Craig Thompson’s tome, but this album is such anatmospheric dream you may not even notice.

Eagles Of Death Metal, Peace LoveDeath Metal
Sometimes I wonder if the kids today even remember the mid ’90s.EODM are so obviously biting off the ironic-rawk stylings of JonSpencer, the Royal Trux and Wolf Colonel it leads me to think theymay have never heard of them. Which in turn leads me to wonderwhere this over-the-top bluesy rock ‘n’ roll bullshit comes from.Are the sexed-up call and response and two-chord crunch drippingoff this album a genetic trait? Do tight pants and trust fundsbreed silly bullshit rock? I don’t know and I don’t care, justplease turn it off.

RTX, Transmaniacon
Speaking of Royal Trux, Jennifer Herrema is back with an all-newNeil Hagerty-free band and an album named after a Blue Oyster Cultsong. And where Eagles Of Death Metal can get anything right, RTXcan’t get anything wrong. Rather than fall back into the grey areabetween art and rock that the Royal Trux skirted so gracefully,Herrema drops all pretense and plays straightforward anddirty-as-fuck. Transmaniacon seamlessly fuses speed metal riffs andRunaways-esque singalongs into an album that drives faster and morerecklessly than that girl you never had a chance with in highschool. This album should be playing really loud anywhere cheapbeer is being served.

MF Doom, VV2 VenomousVillain
I’m hoping this album is just a taster for Doom’s upcoming “MMFood” album, because at just over a half an hour “VV2” is a bit ofa disappointment. Doom only rhymes for maybe a third of the albumand doesn’t do any of the beats, instead giving production dutiesover to Insomniac Records staff. Despite their name value, theguests on this album come off as after thoughts. With Doom and MCslike Kool Keith, Poison Pen and Manchild this album should be aninstant classic instead of an awkward segue. It just feelsuninspired, the performances phoned in. There are moments whereclassic Doom shines through, like the brilliantly dark “BloodyChain” and the surprising “Pop Quiz” remix, but in comparison withthe first Viktor Vaughn album and the amazing Madlib-producedMadvilliany, this is like watching MF Doom’s wackiest bloopers.