Enjoy an unintentionally B-themed Three for... with lots of free music!
The Blakes -
Garage rockers The Blakes have returned with another helping of DIY rock 'n' roll on what is their second widely-available album, Souvenir, though the Seattle trio have been steadily recording music since their formation in 2001. The new record doesn't really expand much on the band's simple guitar-rock formula, but what they lack in invention they make up for in hook-filled, pop-rock songs with rough, unrefined edges that are impossible to deny. As they work their way through fiery punk songs ("Batista"), lonesome power ballads ("So Easy"), and slinky garage-pop tunes ("Tommy") it's clear that the band is having a great time, and chances are you will too. They may be taking the road well-traveled, but The Blakes have crafted a rock album that's simply too good and too much fun to ignore. Make sure you check out the links below - there's some quality stuff down there.
Basket (Zipped MP3)
Ramshackle Hearse (MP3 via Under the Radar)
Listen to the album on Spinner (this week only)
Beaten Awake -
The name Beaten Awake may bring to mind some sort of death-metal band from Sweden, but the Ohio-based trio - while definitely a rock band - are more interested in melody and hooks than thundering guitar riffs and screaming. Their sophomore effort, Thunder$troke, features recording assistance from none other than Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney, whose label the album was released and with whom Beaten Awake singer Jon Finley plays with in the new rock outfit Drummer. Connections aside, however, Thunder$troke is a solid album with an almost 90's grunge/rock vibe - updated and modernized with indie rock overtones to make songs that sound somewhat familiar but fresh as well. Highlights from the album include the driving "Suite Cheetah," the scuzzy, groovy title track and the brooding "Danger Pins." Check out a complimentary song from the new album below or head to the band's MySpace to hear more.
Coming Home (MP3)
Bear In Heaven -
I'm not sure exactly how to label Bear In Heaven. Psychedelic space rock, maybe? That's probably as close as I can come to describing the way they blend digital and organic elements into a subtly trippy listening experience on their latest album, Beast Rest Forth Mouth. The quartet's unique sound has earned them some well-deserved acclaim though this isn't the kind of music that's likely to win them a large audience, at least not immediately. Songs like openers "Beast in Peace" and "Wholehearted Mess" don't really wear their hooks on their sleeves; instead, the band buries them under layers of synth, programming and droning guitar, which threatens to almost obscure the vocals at times. Still, there's something very "pop" about this album once you dive into it. "You Do You" has a insidiously catchy synth riff, "Lovesick Teenagers" has an almost anthematic chorus, and "Fake Out" includes a funky, danceable drum riff. Definitely not easy listening, but more than worth the time it takes to uncover its charm. Links below:
Lovesick Teenagers (MP3)
Wholehearted Mess (MP3)