Archived entries for album art porn

Album Art Porn: DJ Fresh – Kryptonite

I seem to be overly infatuated with skulls lately, as this is now the second time one is making an appearance in Album Art Porn, and I’m also completely in love with the skull-centric logo Shawn of Branded in the 80s recently designed for an awesome new podcast project I’m 1/3 a part of (I’ll be revealing what that is within a few days). I found this album by browsing Spotify’s Related Artist tab for Skrillex (who I was just talking about the other day), because I was hoping to find some new music to add to my dubstep playlist. Like a laser-guided missile, my eyes homed in on THIS:

DJ Fresh - Kryptonite (2010)

Also like a missile, my mind exploded on impact. Skull? Check. Neon? Check. Graphic design that looks like it was lifted from a bottle of L.A. Looks hair gel (or Caboodles, I can’t decide which)? Check. This has me written all over it. I like the simplistic use of shapes here. It never really occurred to me that triangles are perfect for representing noses AND teeth. You’d think I’d have learned something from years of pumpkin carving experience. But I do have to wonder where the kryptonite comes into play. Is this what ultimately happens to Superman if he’s exposed for too long? Does he transform into a radioactive decayed skull with an innate appreciation for 80′s fashion? If so, I don’t get what the big deal is with kryptonite.

But what does it sound like?

Well…not like Skrillex, surprisingly, which is what I was kind of hoping for expecting. This seems to be more drum & bass vs. dubstep, but to be quite honest, some days I have trouble understanding the difference between both of these genres–maybe one of you hardcore dubstep and/or drum & bass fans can set me straight? Anyway, I quite enjoyed this even if it wasn’t exactly what I was seeking, but it’s certainly dubsteppy enough. DJ Fresh is a UK-based artist who’s resume includes remixing tracks for Pet Shop Boys, so there’s another 80′s connection. I really like the way he blends sounds and beats, especially on the title track. I like too how each track is unique-sounding enough not to all blend together into one big ear-orgy, as a lot of this type of music tends to do. “Chacruna” is a great, chill track that I probably listened to more than all the others. (In fact I’m still listening to it right now.) Overall I like this album enough to want to check out more stuff from DJ Fresh’s discography. He’s got a new album out this year called Nextlevelism that also features MORE NEON AND TRIANGLES on the cover, so that’s a good sign that I’ll probably like it.

ShezCrafti’s Rating:

7 out of 10 stars.

                           

What is Album Art Porn?

A recur­ring fea­ture in which I ran­domly pick an album I’ve never heard of to lis­ten to and review based solely on its cover art. It could turn out to be the most amaz­ing thing I’ve ever heard…or com­pletely suck.

Album Art Porn: Greenskeepers – Live Like You Wanna Live

To piggyback off my last post in which I discovered a Chicago-based band–very possibly one of my new favorites–called Greenskeepers, I went digging further into their discography because any band with 80s musical sensibilities that puts out a song inspired by Silence of the Lambs is GUARANTEED to get my attention. I just had a feeling I’d find something even more awesome if I looked into their back catalog, and low and behold I was right.

Scanning album covers, this is the one I knew I had to listen to right away:

Greenskeepers - Live Like You Wanna Live (2010)

I’m still trying to figure out what this little black puffball with horns-looking guy is supposed to be, but one thing’s for sure: he’s a hell of a dresser. Look at all that STYLE! I mean, he has lightning bolts on his fucking shoes. See, back in the 80s it was cool–necessary, even–to dress like you were ready to work out even if you had zero intention of ever doing so. I was certainly guilty of following the trend at one point, or so my collection of barely-used Get In Shape Girl! toys leads me to believe. I’m also going to pretend that’s a pink Casio SK-1 keyboard he’s toting around because I used to have one just like it. And that blue ribbon bearing the band’s name? That’s a well-deserved award for such a rad album cover.

But what does it sound like?

Like a cross between Ween, Talking Heads, and…something else I can’t quite put my Ring Pop-wearing finger on. There’s lots of bass-y hooks, synth-y jabs of melody, computerish bleeps & bloops and even some off-the-wall elements like slide flutes. The male vocals are simple and a little blah, but the beats are so damn catchy it doesn’t matter. I think my favorite song is the instrumental track “Pulstar,” followed by “Creatures of the Night.” The title track is pretty great, too. I have no doubt I’ll be listening to this album many times over, so once again my attraction to cool-looking album art has led to finding great new music. I think I’m starting to develop a real knack for this.

If you have Spotify, you can listen along with me:

ShezCrafti’s Rating:

8 out of 10 stars.

                          

What is Album Art Porn?

A recur­ring fea­ture in which I ran­domly pick an album I’ve never heard of to lis­ten to and review based solely on its cover art. It could turn out to be the most amaz­ing thing I’ve ever heard…or com­pletely suck.

Album Art Porn: Bubblegum Graveyard

The Crypt KeeperHello, boys and ghouls! I’m back with another sin-tillating slice of Album Art Porn, and today’s random musical discovery is simply to die for. We’re now in the midst of the Halloween Countdown, which means my regular recurring features like Album Art Porn will all take on a Halloween theme (and also I will sometimes inexplicably talk like the Crypt Keeper–because who doesn’t love making bad horror puns?)

I’m gravely serious when I say I want to give today’s album 10 stars for the sheer awesome-factor of its artwork alone. Try to maintain decomposure as you feast your eyes on this grimtastic treat:

Apache Dropout - Bubblegum Graveyard

Yup, that’s Death in the middle of a candy graveyard chewing on some bubblegum. He’s (awesomely) using his scythe to mix up a rather goopy-looking concoction of miscellaneous confectionery that includes gummy worms and candy canes, attracting a hungry horde of undead. (Sidebar: What kind of gum do you think Death enjoys? I bet he’s fond of Juicy Fruit–that taste can move anybody.) He also appears to be wearing what looks like a Black Power pin on his lapel; I’m not sure what that’s all about. For a guy who’s chewing gum while making candy ghoulash, or whatever the hell he’s supposed to be making, Death doesn’t seem all that excited. In fact he looks downright bored as he casually blows a bubble while surrounded by tombstones of dead candymakers.  For some reason I think I love this album cover even more because of that.

I also love that the style is reminiscent of those old horror comics (like Tales from the Crypt!) and the neon minimalism of the psychedelic 60′s color palette. The entire presentation is frightfully fun and it appeals to my inner pulp sensibilities.

But what does it sound like?

I was pleased to discover the album art isn’t the only thing retro about this album. Though it was released in 2012, Apache Dropout’s Bubblegum Graveyard sounds like it could be from the early 60′s during the era of weird rock & roll–and that’s not a bad thing. The band’s Facebook page offers the following: “a fuzz-drenched sonic assult – shocking lost souls into a Frenzied Lysergic Boogie!” I have absolutely no idea what that means, but I like it.

I must admit, this is not the type of music I typically listen to, but during the Halloween season my ears are wide open to new listening experiences. This is not a Halloween album per se (or at least I don’t think it’s meant to be), but it contains plenty of low-fi nods to the season on tracks like “Candy Bar,” “Ghost Stories,” and “Lady Blood.” Singer and guitarist Sonny Alexander howls and yowls over jangle-pop melodies and rhythmic guitar riffs. I’m still having trouble believing this album was made in 2012. I can easily picture a couple of bored teenagers on some Halloween night long ago getting completely stoned and spacing out to this, pondering over lyrics like “Archie’s army is marching, marching–sugar, sugar, how we need you now! Undead Jughead, rise!” and trying to apply some deeper, hidden meaning in between bong hits . That sounds like my kind of Halloween pastime.

If you have Spotify, you can listen along with me. Death brought enough bubblegum for everyone.

ShezCrafti’s Rating:

6 out of 10 stars.

                            

What is Album Art Porn?

A recur­ring fea­ture in which I ran­domly pick an album I’ve never heard of to lis­ten to and review based solely on its cover art. It could turn out to be the most amaz­ing thing I’ve ever heard…or com­pletely suck.

Album Art Porn: Glass Candy – Beatbox

As it turns out, randomly picking albums I’ve never heard of to listen to based 100% on cover art I find attractive is proving to be a viable method of discovering good new music. So far my Album Art Porn project has yielded three new-to-me albums with at least a 7/10 rating, and today it produced another winner.  I’m 4 and 0.

Today’s discovery came about during a highly scientific process in which I typed a bunch of words into Google Image Search and skimmed through the results. The words I input were “candy,” “electric,” “feverish,” and “album.” This is the image I was most compelled to click on:

Glass Candy - Beatbox

If I were a more attractive, fashion-conscientious kind of girl (and dropped about 20 pounds) and like a thousand times more narcissistic, I would totally have a Warholesque self-portrait like this hanging in my living room. I would even glue jewels to my face, or whatever those are supposed to be on her left cheek. It’s hip, it’s glamorous, it says, “I went crazy with the fuchsia eye shadow by smearing it all over my head and look at all the fucks I give!”

I must have an affinity for those shocking shades of hot pink and electric blue, because that’s the same color combination that drew me to The Electric Punanny Mixtapes which ended up being unimaginably awesome. The above album is called Beatbox. It was released in 2007 and is the second studio album of the electronic outfit Glass Candy, who Wikipedia describes as being a blend of No Wave, glam rock and Italo Disco–so far so good.

But what does it sound like?

The first track was an awkward but intriguing introduction. It starts off like an 80s aerobics class with the instructor encouraging everyone to “work that body!” over a simplistic beat, and then vocalist Ida No gives something of a cheesy pseudo-lesson in metaphysics: “Our world, our lives, our bodies, they are constantly changing. But there’s a rhythm that runs through it all and that’s where we’ll find our true selves. We live in a universe of transformations, but the heavenly beat is a constant. So keep on dancing!” OK, space lady!

The rest of the tracks are pure gold. Some of them, like “Last Night I Met a Costume,” could be part of the score for Beyond the Black Rainbow. Breathy, sensual female vocals over heavy synth waves, chill, low-frequency bass lines and simple electrical beats with frequent square and sawtooth leads. (At times like these, when I’m trying to describe the subtle differences in electronic music styles, I wish my musical knowledge was more expansive.) None of it is very melodic, but it all sounds so very avant-garde and 1984-ish, much like that Rise of the Obsidian Interstellar chiptunes album I reviewed a while back. I thoroughly enjoyed all 9 tracks of this Beatbox album and fully plan on further delving into Glass Candy’s other synth-tastic musical offerings.

ShezCrafti’s Rating:

8 out of 10 stars.

                                      

What is Album Art Porn?

A recur­ring fea­ture in which I ran­domly pick an album I’ve never heard of to lis­ten to and review based solely on its cover art. It could turn out to be the most amaz­ing thing I’ve ever heard…or com­pletely suck.

Album Art Porn: The Darkness – Hot Cakes

I was idly browsing the “What’s New” section of Spotify last night when, like a moth to a flame, my eyes were drawn to the warm, goldeny brown of syrup-covered pancakes. To me, pancakes are what I imagine crack cocaine must have been like to Whitney Houston–the greatest love of all (sorry, too soon?). Once I get pancakes on the brain, I won’t be satisfied until I’m shoveling forkfuls of buttery, sticky-sweet dough cakes down my gullet. Denny’s? 3:00 AM? Grand Slam? Yeah…I do that.

Looking a little closer, I find these pancakes are actually Hot Cakes, the new album by The Darkness. (By the way, do you call ‘em “pancakes” or “hot cakes?” Or are you one of those weird “flapjacks” people?) And not only do these pancakes look delicious, they’re topped with hot, half-naked women dripping with scrumptious maple syrup!

The Darkness - Hot Cakes

I don’t know about you, but sex and pancakes is one of the most awesome combinations I can think of. On the other hand, pubic hair and syrup is one of the most horrific combinations I can think of. Ouch. Still, though I give this album art top marks for aiming high in concept, even if its practical applications are not grounded in reality.

But what does it sound like?

When I first saw this was an album by The Darkness, it took me a moment to remember that they were a band I haven’t really heard from since 2003, when they came out rocking with their first single, “I Believe in a Thing Called Love.” It was memorable for lead singer Justin Hawkin’s ball-grabbing falsetto vocals and bitchin’ guitar riffs that sounded like a throwback to late 70s rock. Hard to believe that was almost ten years ago. Remember how awesome that song was? Well that’s what the entire album of Hot Cakes sounds like.

This album rocks HARD. It kind of sounds like something out of Detroit Rock City, without the lameness of being K.I.S.S. From the first track, “Every Inch of You,” which drops a hearty “SUCK MY COOOOOOOCK!” scream on you, I knew I was in for a good time. From start to finish, it’s one bangin’ glam rock song after the next. Hawkins’ vocals are just as high-pitched as you might remember, but a little more refined and controlled (read: less annoying). I give The Darkness a lot of credit for being the throwbacks that they are and having the balls to put out an album like this in 2012. It really does sound like something from the 70s, and quite different from the banal, unlistenable “modern rock” bullshit of their peers. You just don’t hear music like this anymore. Which is a shame, really, because it fucking rocks. \m/

ShezCrafti’s Rating:

9 out of 10 stars.

                    

What is Album Art Porn?

A recur­ring fea­ture in which I ran­domly pick an album I’ve never heard of to lis­ten to and review based solely on its cover art. It could turn out to be the most amaz­ing thing I’ve ever heard…or com­pletely suck.

Album Art Porn: Keytar Hero

I was randomly looking up music on Spotify during one of my typical “let’s type random shit into the search bar and see what happens!” browsing sessions when I discovered a three-track EP called Keytar Hero by an artist named Vodge Diper. (Cute.)

My eyes could not help but be drawn to this breathtaking album art for obvious reasons:

Vodge Diper - Keytar Hero

You know, because it’s a SKULL WITH KEYTARS COMING OUT OF ITS EYE SOCKETS. As if this weren’t awesome enough, there are two backup skulls blasting frickin’ laser beams from their eye holes, presumably for the purpose of vaporizing people who don’t like keytars. To which I can totally relate.

Gut Check:

Keytars Flowchart

But what does it sound like?

Keytariffic! I quite like all three tracks on this album, so much so that I’m still listening to them on repeat as I type this.  It’s a synth-heavy, upbeat instrumental mix of phat beats and danceable techno/trance that sounds like what I wish was the expanded soundtrack for Marble Blast Ultra, for the one nerd reading this who understands that reference.

Vodge Diper, I think, is a DJ from Daegu, South Korea. At least that’s what I was able to piece together from a SoundCloud, Facebook, and a few other places I found the artist. I’m giving him (or her?) an enthusiastic thumbs up for this album, or whatever it is, and have already started consuming everything else I could find from this artist on Spotify.

Come for the keytar and laser beam shooting  skulls. Stay for the delicious electronica.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tapu3lL5AOE

ShezCrafti’s Rating:

7 out of 10 stars.

                          

What is Album Art Porn?

A recur­ring fea­ture in which I ran­domly pick an album I’ve never heard of to lis­ten to and review based solely on its cover art. It could turn out to be the most amaz­ing thing I’ve ever heard…or com­pletely suck.

Album Art Porn: Electric Punanny Mixtapes

Right, let’s get this party started–and I mean that literally because after listening to these albums, you’re going to want to party.

I give you Electric Punanny Mixtape, Volume 1 and Volume 2.

Electric. Punanny. Let the combination of those two words sink in for a moment. Pronounce them slowly and let the syllables roll sexily off your tongue as you try to envision what electric punanny looks and sounds like.

I discovered Electric Punanny while doing a completely unrelated Google image search for screencaps of the “punanny” scene from Poetic Justice to use for this post. Yes, my Google search history now includes the phrase “you wanna smell my punanny?” Great.

Whilst skimming through the results, my eye was drawn immediately to Electric Punanny because HOLY NEON SHITBALLS look at these album covers:

Electric Punnany

Electric Punanny Mixtape, Volume 2

It’s like Lisa Frank got a tiger blood transfusion and snorted coke with the Thundercats. And the name is motherfucking Electric Punanny. At this point I don’t care who’s behind these albums or what they’re all about, I’m a fan.

But what does it sound like?

These mixtapes can’t hear you over the sound of how awesome they are.

Electric Punanny, I learned, is the NYC-based dynamic duo of Jasmine Solano and Melo-X who combined their respective loves of reggae, hip-hop and electronic music into a series of monthly, underground dance club parties of the same name.

These mixtape albums represent a “best of” sampling from those parties and feature a bunch of DJs I’m not cool enough to have ever heard of remixing tracks from artists that, for the most part, I’m also not cool enough to have ever heard of. But every now and then something I know will pop up, like an interjection of MC Hammer’s “Stop! Hammertime” and familiar samples from rap and hip-hop interspliced with dance beats, insanely fast-paced reggae, music your Sega Genesis could have produced and delicious dubstep.

I want to go on, but I’m fighting back an overwhelming urge to get up and start dancing around like an idiot while imagining myself riding neon tigers through a pixellated jungle leaving a trail of hot pink and electric blue sparkles behind me as I high-five every animal I pass. You win, Electric Punanny.

 

ShezCrafti’s Rating:

8 out of 10 stars.

                           

What is Album Art Porn?

A recurring feature in which I randomly pick an album I’ve never heard of to listen to and review based solely on its cover art. It could turn out to be the most amazing thing I’ve ever heard…or completely suck.