Single Take: This Song Is Awful/Awesome And You Are Stupid for Liking/Not Liking It (Here Lies Man, Los Angeles Police Department, Xiu Xiu, Drahla, OCSs, US Girls)

Single Take is a Reviler feature where multiple people give a passing glance at some new music and causally rank it somewhere between 1 (Justin Beiber) and 10 (really amazing). Fun, right? Check out the latest installment below and feel free to tell us who stupid and out of touch we are based on our opinions. Arguing on the internet: the greatest of American traditions.  

I

Here Lies Man – Sorrow Tears and Blood (Fela Kuti)

Josh  (7/10)

Should anyone cover Fela Kuti? Probably not, but if you do (and you’re not related to him), it pays to add some different wrinkle to the song. I dig the Sabbath guitars that add some crunch to this cover and have dug other things by this band, so I’m inclined to dig this track. 

Jon 6/10
Some part of me is a little weird with a bunch of (mostly) white dudes taking a highly political Fela Kuti song and turning it into a kind of psychedelic hard rock jam session. It sounds pretty good though I guess? 
 
Adam (7/10)
Great fuzzed out guitar lead. Not a huge fan of the vocals but the end has the proper amount of chaos to not care.
 

II

Los Angeles Police Department – “Drugs” (Live)

Jon (5/10)
With some exceptions I tend to like my male singer/songwriter types to sound like they only took up singing after their careers as professional drinkers fell through so this one is a little sweet and saccharine for my tastes. Not a bad little melody I suppose. I guess all songs about drugs don’t necessarily need to be “Heroin.”

Adam (2/10)

I was trying to remember what the lead in the song reminded me but was too distracted by the flip flops.

Josh (4/10)

Have liked some of their stuff in the past but this is too gooey, too polished and just lacks anything that feels real. 


 III

Xiu Xiu takes on ZZ Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man”

Josh (7/10) 

Not nearly as off-kilter as I had hoped, but still a quirky-yet-funky take on this greasy classic.

Adam (9/10)
Way more enjoyable than it should have possibly been. Drummer pushes it up to a 9.
 
Jon (6/10)
I kind of expected Xiu Xiu to take this in a bit weirder direction honestly. 
 

IV

Drahla “Form of Luxury”

Jon (5/10)

This doesn’t do a ton for me, honestly. Just a kind of retread of a 90’s alternative rock genre I never found that interesting the first time around. But I don’t like HATE hate it. 
 
Adam (10/10)
Cool Sonic Youth vibes on some solid noise rock. 
 
Josh (8/10)
I always dig sharp, angular post-punk, and this track checks all of the boxes. A good mix of a churning beat, noisy guitars and warm melodies. Would be interested in hearing the whole album to see where they take their sound on other tracks. 

V

Adam (8/10)
Like most time I hear an Oh Sees song, it sounds really cool and then I remember there’s 400 albums and I get scared and don’t go further. This is really good though with some British folk vibes 

Josh (6/10)

I am fascinated by John Dwyer and company. Even when the song doesn’t totally float my boat (like this track), I always know it is something real and the music is from a genuine place. While I’d prefer clanging garage-punk, I appreciate this past (and now current) version of the band that explores softer, more melodic avenues. 

Jon (7/10)

This sort of pastoral acid folk sound has a lot of appeal for me. It could maybe use a scuff or two but otherwise I think it’s pretty nice. 
 

VI

Adam (6/10)
The sort of dancey vibes that I get into these days but the hooks only do so much for me this time around 
 
Josh (5/10)
Not my favorite iteration of this band. I loved their Motown-meets-Black Tambourine stylings from a few years back, especially their song “Overtime.” This poppy, polished sound just isn’t living up to that for me.

Jon (8/10)

I like this quite a bit and have always felt that the U.S. Girls’ sound scratches and itch that I didn’t know I had. I hope the rest of their new record is this good. 

 

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