The Crawling Ear: the return of the Stampede

James rounds up all the new music worth listening to. Only, he's not calling it "new music", because that wouldn't be cool...


The Stampede’s back this week. Yes, I dropped the “New Music” prefix in a blatant attempt to sound less establishment and appeal to the younger demographic. I’m down, kids, I swear. I wear my visors upside down and never tuck my shirt in. Interest rates? I don’t even know what those are. I’m too busy skateboarding and having a nose ring.

Hey, you can’t think I’m that lame. I put links in most of the entries this time so you can actually literally hear these bands right now. Shakespeare never did that for anybody, did he? That asshole was never thinking about the interactive experience. James Greene 1, The Bard 0. Tough luck, Willy. Maybe you’ll get me on that whole remembered-four-hundred-years-after-death thing.

Okay, enough already. Let’s get on with my lousy Christgau impression.

Biffy Clyro – Puzzle

Ad – content continues below

Why does it feel like I should be doing math homework when I listen to this record? “Love Has a Diameter,” “As Dust Dances 2/15ths,” “9/15ths” – where’s my geometry primer when I need it? Biffy C. is hopelessly Fallout Boy modern rock sounding on this one, which apparently isn’t very representative of their overall body of work (or so the Internet tells me). If their other albums conjure up images of calculators and volume equations, I’m out. Check the Biff Clyro site for the latest haps:

The Breakup Society – Nobody Likes A Winner

Bittersweet indie pop that may be too cute for its own good. If you can’t get Fountains of Wayne, call these guys. The singer sounds a lot like the whiny blonde guy on “Stroker & Hoop.” That’s strangely endearing. A few of these tunes might stick in your craw like a peanut butter enema. Ouch. The official BUS Internet presence:

Brian Glaze – Rainsplitter

Mopey, acoustic sophomore effort from former Brian Jonestown Massacre dude-meister. Brian’s bio throws out the term “folk psych” and I ain’t gonna argue. Various LSD-tinged nuances lace every song. Don’t be surprised if the purple things on your arm come to life and start biting you when this one’s on. Recorded on Thanksgiving, 2005. I don’t want to know what Glaze was glazing his turkey with.

Midnite Snake – Shaving The Angel

Ad – content continues below

Generation Y’s latest stoner rock champions offer up the soundtrack to the best/worst pre-dawn desert road trip you’ll ever take. Layers of dense guitar rub your rhubarb raw while leaden percussion dulls your senses. “Bigfoot ‘69” has more soloing than should be legally allowed. Crawl outta yer bong and get this one. Get a taste at the Midnite Snake myspace page:

Nightwish – Dark Passion Play

Scandinavian power metal. The only three words in the musical dictionary more frightening than angry white rapper. Apparently this is Nightwish’s first effort with their new singer. She fits into the Mannheim Steamroller by way of Yngwie just fine. All the ninth level dragon slayers on your block will be rockin’ this joint. Sample the majesty at

Times New Viking – Rip It Off

Fuzzy lo-fi heart-pokers evocative of all the pain I felt in high school when I got dogged by guys in Jordan jerseys and ignored by girls dressed like Kathleen Hannah. You’ll think someone threw the Rentals in a blender. This one doesn’t drop until next month, but you can hear some of TNV’s old yazz here:

V/A – He Put The Bomp! In The Bomp

Ad – content continues below

A musical tribute to Bomp! Records founder Greg Shaw featuring garage cover tunes from the Briefs, the Fuzztones, the Dwarves, and lots of other bands who are the somethings. Standout moments? The Black Keys track is pretty hypnotic, and the Coffin Lids prove “Sonic Reducer” never needed an organ. The rest is a pretty standard tambourine shake.

Next week: most certainly another column! Last week: James went to see GWAR, but all he got was a lousy t-shirt.