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Album Reviews

Luna Kafé record review

Canada - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 23 - 09/06/98

Mean Red Spiders "Places You Call Home" - teenage USA recordings

The baby-blue cover of Places You Call Home says "the new analgesic white sound" and "a natural relaxant"; both of these things describe the album deliciously well. It is white sound, it makes you feel like you are floating. The vocals make me think of Stereolab, and little sounds here and there make me think of Versus. There is a multitude of sounds on each track, each one very gentle and repetitive. The sound sort of engulfs you like water, little elements bubble up around you. This is the debut album from a Toronto band that has been around forever.

Despite the slight crudity of one or two tracks, this album proves that they are talented and ingenious musicians. This is one of those albums should never require an accompanying activity. Just turn it up loud and recline in your seat until you are inside the maelstrom they create. The album gets increasingly vigorous as it progresses so it should not put you to sleep. It is a beautiful and fuzzy, noisy album made in the best tradition of pop music.

Laura Bowman
go to: Luna Kafé

Cotton Candy Van Album Review

Mean Red Spiders "Places You Call Home" Teenage U.S.A. Records This Canadian release starts off with bright, crisp, jangly guitar with loads of tambourine in the first two tracks. The singer's voice accompanies this well, she's vibrant and crystal clear (apologies, I don't know her name b/c the names are printed funny in the booklet). The pleasant sounds continue as the record takes a slightly spacey feel on a cover of Burt Bacharach's "Trains, Boats, and Planes", and now I can see how they've opened for Windy and Carl. The styles continue to vary as "Places You Call Home" progresses - somemore catchy pop, beautiful space-pop songs, and a couple heavier, edgier tracks towards the end. Me, I prefer the janglier beginning tracks, like "Shiny Skin". All in all, a nice release from Teenage U.S.A.
go to: Cotton Candy Van

Pop Culture Detox Mean Red Spiders- Places You Call Home (Teenage USA) This album is indiepop sweetened by cute vocals. The music mixes lo-fi, to distortions, to shoegazerish guitar stylings. I found myself getting a bit lost in the music and eventually couldn't distinguish one song from the other. It might be a good album to throw on whilst studying because it allows you to concentrate on something and still provide some pleasant background noise. In general, it's recommended to indiepop fans who like bands such as B'ehl, the Softies, and even the first Lush album. - Cindy Wong
go to: Pop Culture Detox