The Crap Stack: Anjulie, Jihae, Zebrahead
-- on first glance we were convinced it was a depiction of a slender Asian male with a penchant for rockabilly and some seriously leaden makeup application -- but it's not! Jihae is actually a rather attractive young lady, we'll have you know. She's pretty talented, too, as this effortlessly cool album demonstrates. To describe her voice would call for comparison with the likes of Keren Ann with a dash of Grace Jones thrown in, and her luxuriant singing style blends words and phrases together in such way that she lulls the listener -- this stuff is big headphones/darkened room fare of the first order. Track five in particular,'Fig Leaf,' has a gloriously silken feel that Bryan Ferry-era Roxy Music would be proud to call their own with some reverbed-up guitar parts that seem to be straight out of the Phil Manzanera guide book.
Jihae is not afraid to stomp about some, though, as the third cut on the album, 'Pink Sands,' shows. This duet with a Bowie-esque sounding male vocalist, is probably our favorite track. The chorus calls to mind Tori Amos' 1994 collaboration with Trent Reznor, 'Past the Mission,' with the differences in the singers' voices starkly apparent but with perfect harmonic juxtaposition. In conclusion, this album is super-cool, with some delicious composition. It's clear that Jihae knows what she is all about and has a clear musical direction. We have no choice but to strongly recommend you check her out. Thank you, Crap Stack!
Zebrahead: 'Mental Health' (single): This tune makes us want to skateboard down a vertigo-inducingly steep San Francisco hill. Very fast. Into a bus. Bonkers, right? Well, SoCal punkers Zebrahead's 'Mental Health' is all about being completely doolally, so why the hell not? Take the wicked guitar lick