Review Rundown: Rammstein, the New Heathers, Oh, Sleeper, Chase Long Beach, Weezer

The Review Rundown this time out will feature brief looks at new releases from Drink Up Buttercup and the Dead Formats, as well as takes on new discs from Rammstein, the New Heathers, Oh, Sleeper, Chase Long Beach and Weezer.

File Under: Spastic punk-core
Who Gives a Tweet? (Reviews 140 characters or less) - The Dead Formats – The Dead Formats (Visible Noise): Equal parts Every Time I Die and Amen with a bit of the Refused’s rock here and there. Kudos to these UK-sters on this unrestrained debut. (   
Grade: B
Go Download: ‘Again And Again’

File Under: German Metal Ready for Combat
Rammstein – Liebe Ist Fur Alle Da (Universal Records): There is enough churning riffing and synth laden melody to keep the pace dizzying, a stranglehold on which Rammstein does not let up. Expect the same German belligerence and militant stomps that this band has paid their bills with the past decade, characteristics of the band that have gotten better with Liebe Ist Fur Alle Da. This disc isn’t quite perfect since Rammstein still manage to toss in a couple of head-scratchers here and there (“B********,” “Pussy”). “Pussy” might be the most off the mark the band has ever been, even though it is funny. “Fruhling in Paris” is an endearing offering from a band that doesn’t often sound vulnerable, but the band is quick to get back to what brought them to the dance – marching, electro-infused metal charges like “Wiener Blut” and “Liebe Ist Fur Alle Da.” This record should be solid proof that Rammstein is back with a vengeance, perhaps better than ever, but if not, just go ahead and skip to “Mehr.” That should just about do the trick. (
Grade: A
Go Download: “Liebe Ist Fur Alle Da”

File Under: Unheralded Indie Pop
The New Heathers – The Fuel, the Fire, the Spark (Redbird Records): For those that may not be aware, the New Heathers are an offshoot of the band Ludo. Well, the word offshoot might be undercutting it a bit. Hell the New Heathers are Ludo, minus frontman Andrew Volpe. Their new singer sounds similar though, so the band doesn’t lose too much there. Obviously the comparisons to Ludo are there. Tim Ferrell, Tim Convy and Matt Palermo even said before this EP was released that it was going to sound like them. There is that venerable Ludo quirk throughout the Fuel, the Fire, the Spark, with an underlying quiet cool that leads to the record sounding collectively endearing. While this may not be as hilarious lyrically as Ludo fans may be used to, it is still something they should own. All comparisons aside, this EP stands on its own two feet. It doesn’t need to name drop. It is haughty without sounding over-confident and varies its pace from time to time. (
Grade: A
Go Download: “Santa Rosa”

File Under: 60’s era trippy noise pop
Who Gives a Tweet? (Reviews 140 characters or less) - Drink Up Buttercup – Even Think EP (Yep Roc Records): 3 song EP from DIY noise popsters who still think it’s the 60’s. Judging by this, their Even Think album, out 2010, should be pretty rad. (
Grade: B
Go Download: “Even Think”

File Under: Tired and True Metalcore
Oh, Sleeper – Son of the Mourning (Solid State): While the conversation about Oh, Sleeper as a band could be all over the place, the conversation about their latest record begins and ends with lead singer Micah Kinard. His vocal prowess pulls this record together, and it’s his wizardry with a microphone that keeps this disc entertaining. Even though Oh, Sleeper are playing some tested and approved metalcore, a sound that often gets bagged on, they aren’t out to reinvent the wheel so to speak. With Son of the Mourning, they are looking to incite mosh pits, maybe some dance pits and just flat out kick some ass – something this record accomplishes in less than ten minutes. See openers “Son of the Mourning” and “the New Breed” for audio proof. There is a lot of Every Time I Die and Underoath in their sound, but there is some tempered moments of Thrice as well. Those tuning into “In All Honesty,” that is not Thrice’s Dustin Kensrue you’re hearing. As Cities Burn’s Cody Bonnette is just a dead ringer for him on this track. Come for songs like “World Without a Sun,” but stay for songs like “Reveries of Flight.” (
Grade: C+
Go Download: “World Without a Sun”

File Under: Newbie Ska with a Bright Future
Chase Long Beach – Gravity Is What You Make It (Victory Records): This record is 11 tracks of tightly played ska with hints of old school nods to No Doubt and Sublime and new school looks similar to Less Than Jake. Its boasts slick production and killer hooks, not to mention superb vocals from Karen Roberts. A female fronted ska band is a great idea on paper and the translation to wax is flawless, and it doesn’t hurt that she tends to come off as a young Gwen Stefani here and there. This record is light and fun through and through and the band tosses in an instrumental (“The Beginning”) and a hidden (oops – there goes the secret) acoustic track. Everything seems to work for Chase Long Beach on Gravity Is What You Make It. Above all else this record shows promise. Hell, it’s been said to death, but maybe ska isn’t dead after all. (
Grade: B
Go Download: “A Diamond Bullet to the Brain”

File Under: Weezer
Weezer – Ratitude (DGC/Interscope): Sure, to some Weezer fans the idea of the band bringing in a troupe of Indian singers and teaming with Lil’ Wayne is daunting, but those fans should rest assured that these boys still know what they’re doing, steadily proving that idea throughout their latest, Ratitude. They have caught all sorts of flack for not only the afore mentioned quandaries, but also the name of the record, as well as the dog on the albums cover art. Listen – it all works. “Can’t Stop Partying,” featuring Lil’ Wayne, is one of the better songs the band has written lately, not to mention on the albums better hooks, and Ratitude overall has all the eccentric foibles and quirky idiosyncrasies the band has used throughout their career. Ratitiude is a natural evolution for Weezer, and whether you choose to accept it or not, the guys haven’t changed. This is a good Weezer record, so just deal with it. Do yourself a solid and give it a chance. (
Grade: A
Go Download: “Can’t Stop Partying”