Nut Suite. Mini reviews of albums old and new. Minimum words. No fuss. No spoilers [?]. Occasional smugs.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

ALL & DESCENDENTS / Live Plus One (2001)

I’m going to make a list of the most nerdy comparisons to this that I can muster. It’s like:
It’s Chad and Milo together at the same concert, and Milo sings back-up for Chad!!! Don’t worry, though, this is two discs and the second is an entire Descendents set. Wikipedia tells me the latter was a different concert. Whatever, man~ Milo even tries his hand at one of Chad’s songs, to great effect. I can’t hype this enough: Chad sings She’s My Ex!!!!!!!!!!!!


Songs of Note: She's My ExOriginal Me

5 Floors Strong Enough to Bear the Weight of Greatness out of 5

Monday, April 10, 2017

ALL / Mass Nerder (1998)

Most folks will know the majority of this band from their other incarnation: the Descendents. Regardless of who's in the driver's seat, Bill Stevenson is omnipresent musically and with his incredibly poignant and pointed lyrics. My favorite era of ALL is without question Chad Price's. He's a quintessential vocalist and his songs are some of the most eloquent and moving I've ever heard. The one below may possibly be my favorite of all time.

This ping-pongs between hyper-brief blasts and more melodic romps. The band's strength (both as ALL and the Descendents) is that the former aren't always silly and instead often use their abbreviated run times to address things undeniably worth pondering. They've always been both thoughtful and heartfelt and if you aren't familiar with both incarnations, you're doing yourself a disservice.

Songs of Note: Until I Say So; Silly Me

5 Albums That Actually Know How To Make the Most of Thirty Minutes out of 5

WEEZER / Weezer (Green; 2001)

There’s nothing overtly wrong with Green, it’s just that it’s very generic. It’s entirely encircled by monumental albums, which absolutely doesn’t help its case. Thankfully, nothing here is remotely as artificial as Beverly Hills. You won’t suffer by throwing this on, on a lazy afternoon half hour while you’re doing something else that actually requires your attention. But, should you really? No. Hash Pipe exists as a prototype or prequel to Dope Nose, which is neat. Around the time that this was being promoted Scott Shriner joined the band and I just love that guy 😄

Songs of Note: No, not really, unfortunately.

1½….Wait, did he say “I got my ass wiped?” out of 5

Saturday, April 8, 2017

WEEZER / Make Believe (2005)

We're starting with this one? Yes. Yes, we fucking are. I hate Beverly Hills. It's single-bait gimmickry and it can G.T.F.O. Cut it off the same as Jonathan Davis's song on the Downpour soundtrack. The resultant album is as perfect as anything that's not Pinkerton (or Maladroit) can be. In some ways, it seems like Rivers was trying to take a basic approach like he did with Green, but accidentally fell into startlingly stirring sincerity without any undue effort. I'd personally argue that some pieces here rival Pinkerton's unabashed starkness.

Songs of Note: Damage in Your Heart; The Other Way

4½ Guys Actually Self-Aware Enough to Know What They Are out of 5

FALL OUT BOY / Infinity On High (2007)

"I love you in the same way there's a chapel in a hospital: one foot in your bedroom and one foot out the door,
sometimes we take chances, sometimes we take pills, I could write it better than you ever felt it."

That's a definite contender for my favorite verse of all time. It's not alone, here. Some of Pete's strongest couplets call this offering home. I'm even going to spot it the two bonus tracks, because I love them both. While I have to admit that there is a sloggy, schmaltzy number to contend with, this is a generally punchy and pleasing affair. If F.U.C.T. is the blue-collar workhorse, Infinity is the swaggering, faux-tipsy jaunt through No-Man's Land in deliberately rumpled tuxes.

I'm compelled to say that I sincerely wish Pete would scream longer parts more often. Don't look at me like that. You know I adore MCR.

Songs of Note: Hum Hallelujah; Bang the Doldrums

4, Because of the Flawless Extra Credit out of 5
I painted myself into a corner in the Folie nut. I'm tramping the fuck out of it. We can team up and kick Past-Neg's ass.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

FALL OUT BOY / Take This To Your Grave (2003)

💞 "Pete and I attacked the laws of Astoria with promise and precision and a mess of youthful innocence 
And, I read about the afterlife, but I never really lived more than an hour" 💞

I'd have to say that this is almost assuredly the only album capable of finding me singing along even when I'm not intoxicated. That's a feat and a half. It's melodic and eviscerating. Elvis Costello, as always, is very proud. You thought his presence on Folie à Deux was random? Heh~ I would say it's an early classic of the genre but that'd open a can of worms I couldn't give less of a fuck about. It's goddamn good. End of story.

Songs of Note: Tell That Mick He Just Made My List of Things to Do Today; Grand Theft Autumn / Where Is Your Boy

3½ Adamant Refusals to Use the Actual Covers out of 5

PANIC! AT THE DISCO / A Fever You Can't Sweat Out (2005)

I remember loving this. At the time, it was the Fall Out Boy album that Fall Out Boy didn't make. Now I find it...wait for it... annoyingly inconsistent. More inconsistent than FOB themselves. I see you there waiting to say that that's fitting. I. SEE. YOU. They're capable of staying above 50%. I'd now argue that Brendon manages the upper teens, AT BEST. At least he knows how to pick singles. Someday there'll be a greatest hits album worth owning. Some of these songs are just way too camp-clever for their own good. It's tiresome to hear him wax about Victorian-Era-Behind-The-Curtains nonsense at length. Small doses.

Songs of Note: Lying Is The Most Fun A Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off; I Write Sins Not Tragedies

2 Sincere Wishes That This Is Gospel Had Been Written By Someone Else out of 5
Brilliant 😂

Sunday, April 2, 2017

FASTBALL / Make Your Mama Proud (1996)

I wonder how many people even know that this exists? As soon as I was on board with All The Pain Money Can Buy, I immediately tracked this down and was blown away by how incredibly different it is from everything else they've done. The majority of what's on display is very fast and somewhat abrasive. That's not to say that the lyrics are lacking. They aren't. They're just carried along by much faster time signatures.

This consequently holds a teenage sense of nostalgia for me that's still able to be married to my long-held standards in regards to songwriting. I've always not-so-secretly hoped that they'd do something like this again, someday. A VERY special record well worth exploring if the songs of note appeal.

Songs of Note: Make Your Mama Proud; Nothing

4 Verses Max Bemis Would Be Proud Of out of 5

FASTBALL / All the Pain Money Can Buy (1998)

For a long time now, I’ve viewed this as their least successful outing. Depending on how you see things, this could be considered strange or even ironic, as it kicks off with the one song for which everyone in the world knows them. To anyone who bought this and never listened to what followed, FUCKING. SHAME. ON. YOU. There are a lot of quality tracks here and with every listen (to each of their efforts) I appreciate Miles more and more.

When properly conceptualized, their collective output is honestly far better than any single objective score of any given album could ever convey. They are unassuming geniuses.

Songs of Note: Fire Escape; Better Than It Was

3½ Doses of Blissfully Painful Honesty out of 5