Interpol Live EP Junk Sounds like: Interpol by numbers
Short take: Live, not necessarily interesting
As cool as Interpol may be considered among hipster music fans, the New York City act's live show has never been transcendent. This notion is reinforced on the new, thinkindie.com-only release Interpol Live EP, which was recorded this past July in London. Besides notable early tracks "Obstacle 1" and "Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down," the tunes come from the band's latest disc, Our Love to Admire. The problem is that these live performances don't vary too much from the studio efforts. Aside from the extended, ambient opening to "Pioneer to the Falls," it's pretty much old Interpol hat singer Paul Banks' starch-like vocals out front, with U2-esque precision on guitar. If Interpol in concert isn't engaging, why would Interpol Live EP be any different? John Benson
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Angel Down MRV Sounds like: Rocking 21st-century- style
Short take: A non-sucky Bach album!
Ex-Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach is hoping to parlay his recent reconnection with Guns N' Roses singer Axl Rose which resulted in a solo Bach opening for GNR last year into metal relevance in 2007. Oddly enough, Bach kind of does that with his new album, Angel Down. In the six years between solo efforts, he's finally eschewed his severely dated '80s shrieking theatrics into a focused, modern-influenced metal sound that often finds the music taking precedent over his vocals and ego. Skid Row fans will find solace in "Falling into You" and Rose's contributions to the Aerosmith cover "Back in the Saddle." "(Love Is) a Bitchslap" and "Stuck Inside" are naturally interesting, but it's the title track's aggro stylings that paint Bach as something he hasn't been considered in decades: relevant. John Benson
The remix of Nine Inch Nails' Year Zero is, if anything, more vitriolic than the album itself. To wit: take-back-the-streets emcee Saul Williams screams anarchy over two machine-gunning tracks, sounding like a drill sergeant for a black-flag militia. Elsewhere, Trent Reznor's voice is a mere sonic conduit for the busy fingers of artists such as Ladytron, The Faint and Fennesz. Mostly, the remixers go for distortion, turning the original exercises into happy experiments in heaviness, distressing their instruments to Reznor's crunchy standard. Gladly, Y34RZ3R0R3M1X3D is an entire album remix, instead of just two or three songs remixed several times over. It's a novel idea, too. And with the positive results from recent Bloc Party, Beck and, now, Nine Inch Nails remixes, it deserves greater distinction. Matt Martin