The Haunted Continents are this glorious mix of 50s pop and 90s rock... Indie powerpop rock n roll extraordinaire. Matt and James are from Connecticut, and I want to be their best friends. I think their Last.Fm page says it best when it says "Weezer (Pinkerton) meets Buddy Holly and The Crickets. That’s it." This is their first album, and it's really cute... I wanna listen to it on the beach, or in a spaceship. That's really the best way to describe them.
"2nd Ave. Blues" is such a great way to start an album. Oh my gosh. I got this CD in the mail this week, and I kept meaning to listen to it, but for some HORRIBLE reason I just now started to listen to it... I wish I woulda started sooner, cause this is my shit. This song has these falsetto harmonies that immediately lit up the BRIAN WILSON BRIWLSON BRINWILSFONNNNNN light in my head. (Yeah, it exists. It's a goofy neon light, with one of those naked pinup outlines on it.) I was really happy with it. Even besides that, the general vocals just rock. He's got a really clean, light hearted voice. It's awesome. And then the guitar has this sweet, heavy, vintage sound- even though it's a light song. The guitar really carries the melody around. And then the piano is pretty much large and in charge. There are drums in this song, but the piano helps a lot with the percussion. It's wonderful. I feel like I should be at the diner in a poodle skirt, or something. I don't know. I have a feeling I wouldn't be wearing a poodle skirt. More like matching leather jackets with Idle. Not to say that this song is totally old school- it still has a modern sound in it. It's like a modern take on an older sound.
"Nola" has more of a 60s rock sound- it's like the Kinks to me. It picks up the beat, and has this heavy rhythmic guitar line. I love it. It starts off kinda slow, but as the song progresses, it keeps the same melody but keeps changing tempo. It's such an addictive sound, you don't even know. Dear James and Matt, are you shooting up magical fairy dust? If so, I called it... The bridge is adorable- it fades from chorus into this soft almost a cappella bit, and then it picks straight back up into the chorus. Y'know, as most bridges do.. But this one is special.
"Nola" fades perfectly into "Way Down," which starts off strong and adorable. It set off my falsetto light again, and made my heart melt with the lyrics.... If these guys have slampieces, those are some happy slampieces. And any guy that can sing in that range that well is a-okay in my book, too. Love songs are the best, especially in their style. It just fits. The instrumentals in this song are very light and staccato. And then it picks up with some awesome harmonies and a bit faster guitar line towards the end, and transitions perfectly into an awesome outro.
"Cure for the Blues" is so my favorite! I could listen to this song for hours and not get sick of it for at least a day. You know why? IT SOUNDS LIKE THE DEAD. Warning: You're about to lose all your respect for my music tastes.... I have an addiction to the Grateful Dead. And this song sounds like Sugar Magnolia! Even if you would rather die, go listen to that song, and compare. Anyway, back on topic. Shakers, and the cutest damn melody I've ever heard. At some point when I get my free time back, I'm going to learn to play this song on guitar... And play it until Idle tries to kill me! ^_^ Oh, fun. The first person to dance with me to this song (oh yes, swing dancing or moshing, whatever guys) wins the trophy of being my best friend. That's a tres, tres esteemed position in places that don't exist.
"Nothin' to be Done" is a soft adorable heartbreak song. This song really showcases what talent these guys have when it comes to not just their music, but their writing. The instrumentals could very well be guitar, mandolin, or ukulele... Who the fuck knows? Who cares? It's awesome.
"Darlin' Why'd You Leave Me" is another song about breaking up, but this one is more upbeat and starts to throw in more instruments again.This song is a legitimate toe tapper. I wish I could phrase that some other way that didn't suck so badly, but that's the only true way to put it. It's a toe tapper. It's got a great prominent beat, and makes me happy. Oh, and a guitar solo! Ears perked up! I really like his style. It's exciting without being overboard. Woo!
"Played Me Like A Drum" really taps into it's roots. A lot. The majority of this track is a vocal showcase, with a little bit of guitar to keep the beat. They really do dynamics very, very well. I also like how they transition their music. They can make it completely natural to switch dynamic levels and syncopation every few minutes... Which by the way, a lot of bands do all the time.... Just usually not well.
"She's My Only One" intro... Holy shit guys, Santa is coming to town. JKLOLOLOL, it's actually the girl of his dreams. Sounded like Santa, anyway.... The rest of the song is awesome too. It's really, really cute. I think cute is The Haunted Continent's speciality. I like the original rock n roll sound they have.
"Acceptance" is a great song. If I was at prom in the 50s, I would slow dance with you to this song. It's a slow romantic song with a melodic guitar part and easy paced vocal line. I can imagine this song going really well into an indie film soundtrack. I know that's weird, but I can.
Lastly...."All My Women" kicks ass! I fucking love the guitar riff. It's so cute. This song starts off by going back into the heavy style, but slows down into a heart-throb lady-themed song. It's awesome. The guitar reminds me of Dave Davies, the vocals are Brian Wilson and Buddy Holly all the way. I love it. This song is a great feel good song for anyone..
I am officially addicted to The Haunted Continents. A lot of our readers won't appreciate their style, but the people that will are going to REALLY love it. It's so awesome. They just have such a great aura, and I adore it.
With love, Bear.