Music Review: AMERICA by Thirty Seconds to Mars (Polydor)

30SecondsToMars-America“Your ears start bleeding” when one cranks modern music up to 11, Thirty Seconds to Mars frontman Jared Leto observed to Rolling Stone‘s Brian Hiatt. He has a point — modern music production methods tend to lean towards loud, busy and highly-compressed recording. “It used to be pleasurable to crank up Zeppelin or Nirvana to 12 in your car,” he continued. “Now everyone would complain — it’s so piercing, so bright.”

This observation struck me as a little odd coming from Leto: Thirty Seconds to Mars is one of the most melodramatic, cinematic rock bands working today: pretty much the whole of their This Is War album, for example, is operatic and bombastic. The concern about modern production, and the “brightness” of contemporary songs is popular among ‘purists’ and classic rock fans — it’s common to see comparisons of sounds wave graphs (which I admit is extremely nerdy) of Beatles recordings with those of recent singles. This concern seems to have informed Thirty Seconds to Mars’s America throughout. Continue reading

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Music: PVRIS

Pvris-WhiteNoiseI stumbled across PVRIS‘s music quite by accident. But, after just one listen, I’ve become rather hooked on the album. There’s definitely a more pop-sensibility than I’ve usually seen in a Rise Records release, but the band’s debut album — White Noise — is damn fine. It offers a nice mix of pop’s pristine melodies and production, some electronica flourishes, some rock and/or punk attitude (but not contrived). Quite excellent, really.

Here are the band’s two music videos to date:

“My House”

“St. Patrick”