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Quick Spins: Miike Snow, Discovery, Wonderlick

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 2, 2009 5:40PM

In which we take a quick look at a few recent musical releases.

2009_07_02_quick_spins.JPG Miike Snow
Miike Snow

Miike Snow's "Animal" off their self-titled debut is in the running for two prizes this year. Prize #1: It may beat Phoenix for "most remixed track of the year." Prize #2: It's in the running for summer tune of the season. It's simple melodies, and the interesting laying of a reggae beat over a driving snare transform it into something simultaneously sunny and laid back. The remainder of the album never reaches the heights of "Animal," but it provides enough energetic and cooly catchy moments--and by cool we mean air conditioning in a convertible--to keep the listener entertained. And right when you think you have the group pegged, all breathy falsettos and electronic drive, they throw in a mind-bender like the reverse tape-loop disco of "In Search Of," to keep you from underestimating their pop smarts.


Discovery is the side project of members of Vampire Weekend and Ra Ra Riot, and honestly, this should suck and grate our nerves into fine Parmesan since we're not exactly huge fans of either band. But we're pros, so we soldiered on a gave the disc a listen. And then another. And another. And it's good! Rostam Batmanglij and Wes Miles take the more winning points of each of their day-job bands, primarily playful beats and engaging lyrical phrasing, and set them over an electronic pastiche of simple beats and inventive melodic turns. It ain't IDM, but we would go with allowing cerebral hip shakers and a descriptive here. It's simple, effective, and altogether harmlessly enjoyable.

Topless At The Arco Arena

Did you know that one of the guys from Too Much Joy went on to become the VP of Programming at Rhapsody, and another became a TV producer and video director? We didn't either. Nor did we know that the two in question, Tim Quirkand Jay Blumenfield had gotten back together and had been messing around in the studio under the name Wonderlick. Nor did we know that they had recorded an album, Topless at the Arco Arena, that comes out next week. Or that said album would be stuffed with genre jumping tunes, some of which are awesome power pop and some of which are overproduced alterna-dreck, but most of which are just solid workmanlike songs that actually do carry the unmistakable stamp of dudes kinda just making music for themselves and then releasing it later almost as an afterthought. And it's that segment of the band's work that has caused Topless at the Arco Arena to keep creeping onto our playlists with silly synth-punk like "Everybody Loves Jenny (Except Jenny)" or the Lite-NOFX (yeah, that one got us too) of "This Song Is A Commercial." We have a hard time taking Wonderlick seriously, but we don't think that's what their aiming for, and we're cool with that.