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For fans of the addictively-catchy indie-pop sounds of The Shins, the news that broke this January – that lead guitarist vocalist James Mercer would be taking a break from the band until at least 2011 – was discouraging, to say the least.
By many people’s standards, naming your band Zeus is a somewhat pretentious move. While shows of extravagance aren’t exactly unheard of in the world of entertainment, coming out and implying that your musical skill is Olympic in nature could definitely rub some listeners and critics the wrong way. Given the name, then, it’s surprising just how unpretentious and understated Zeus sounds on their debut full-length, Say Us. The album is refreshingly absent of self-aggrandizing statements and pomp; Say Us instead delivers subtle bolts of lightning in the form of catchy, creative sounds that are often gritty but never a grind to get through.
Let me be the first to say this – Ke$ha’s “TiK ToK” is the song of the decade. Forget about the fact that the song was released in October of 2009.
In this day and age, when originality and creativity seem to be dying breeds in the music scene, a musician that tries to think outside the box and push the envelope should be commended.
At a time when the music scene is dominated by the likes of the Jonas Brothers and Auto-tune is everywhere you turn, intensity and talent seem to be lacking. So where do you turn when you’re sick of poppy love ballads and over-produced, unemotional radio-friendly “anthems”? Look no further than August Burns Red.
Yelle may be young and pretty but she is also a very explosive character entering a slightly rigid French pop scene.