Music Submissions: Katatonia & Hockey

10/08/2009

By Eve Marcellus

Katatonia -Night is the New Day
Katatonia is a Swedish goth-metal band whose upcoming Night is the New Day is their eighth studio album. The band has been together and making music since the early 1990s. When discussing the recording studio the band choose for the album this is literally what their website describes: “Broken glass, blood on the walls at the front door to the building and threatening messages written on the elevator. Even excrement and urine on the floor in the basement makes you wonder if the caretaker is a serial killer himself.” Right. Well, whether or not that story is true, one would assume the outcome of such, let’s say, inspiring surroundings would be one bad ass album. And in it’s own way, it sort of is. There is an obvious skill that comes from almost two decades of hard rocking, and many tracks on Night is the New Day seem to show that off. Unfortunately, nothing remarkable seems to be happening. The combination of a lack of lyrical complexity and a surprisingly high number of slower, quieter songs doesn’t quite grab you by the heartstrings or inspire but a few headbangs. Whether or not this album is “possibly the greatest heavy record in the last 10 years” as their website touts, it’s certainly not something to seek out if it’s not your “thing”.

Sounds like: You know, Swedish metal, right?
Listen to: Forsaker

Hockey Mind Chaos
Plaid shirts? Check. Floppy hair? Also, check. A mustachioed band member? Oh heavens yes. So Portland, Oregon’s Hockey is totally a hipster band. They are also making fully infectious, totally likable dance music and making it well. According to their website, they started making music people could have fun to at the parties they played. With Mind Chaos, they have certainly succeeded.
Instrumentally, the synth is mostly the star of the show, often recalling either late 70s disco rhythms (“Learn to Lose”) or 80s new wave on “Song Away”. The vocals end a bit of a harder rock edge to the music and the lyrics, which range from witty to complex to tongue-in-cheek and self-aggrandizing, seem like a real bonus when so many contemporaries seem to treat them as an afterthought. “Too Fake”, the single, stands out as the star of the album, recalling such recent blog hits as The Teenagers “Rich Girls”, but not one track on Mind Chaos disappoints. That’s reason enough to throw a party, isn’t it? Hockey’s finishing up a few more U.S. tour dates with Portugal. The Man before heading to Europe.

Sounds Like: Arctic Monkeys, The Killers (Hot Fuss)
Listen To: Too Fake, Wanna be Black