Rival Karma – Honey
Genre: Alternative Rock
John Frusciante once questioned why Jimi Hendrix’s music wasn’t made illegal. He argued that when he heard the famous Seattle guitarist play he routinely felt like beating people up being so engaged with the jagged distortion of the guitar. See, music can make even the wisest of us people do crazy things.
I feel the same way about music that makes you want to shake your bones, throw your hands in the air, or go nuts and avoid responsibilities on a Saturday night. It seems odd that this should be legal when chemical refreshments that do much of the same thing should get you thrown in the hokey.
Rival Karma’s Honey is unashamedly one of those dance-rock tunes. It’s built on a groove that rides with the confidence of Robert Plant shirtless approaching a stadium filled with people back in 1975. Sure, there are smarter ways to go about making rock music, but none that make their bones shake quite as much.
Opus Orange – Got It All Wrong
Genre: Indie Rock, Indie Pop
Similar artists: Pixies, The Shins, Ra Ra Riot, Local Natives
There are some musicians, who usually moonlight in a jazz combo when they’re not playing pop or rock, that seem able to play the most complex series of notes in the most difficult grooves, and who make it look easy. It’s the equivalent of watching a great Brazilian football player slaloming to opposition defenders.
Then again, there are some bands that consistently sound like they’re going to fall apart. The groove is hanging on by a thread. The singer looks dehydrated and might collapse. The guitar player seems to only know one scale and might head into a Jimmy Page note (one not quite in the same scale as the song) every second. Yet, they somehow pull it through. These are the best bands in the world.
Opus Orange’s Got It All Wrong sounds like that. At the heart of it, this is a college-rock, Pixies-inspired piece of pop-rock. It’s the way that the engine to it trudges up that hill that really sells it. No, it doesn’t fall apart, but it looks pretty well spent by the time it’s reached the peak, and that makes the journey worthwhile.