April 9, 2009


Thenewno2- a review

The line up is an interesting one: synthesizers mingling with a bass, drums, acoustic guitar and a lead singer with a distinct English drawl. However, I was not impressed by thenewno2 fronted by George Harrison’s thirty something son’s (Dhani Harrison) new band. Although Yahoo Music, as well as many other more established music media sources like Rolling Stone and Spin Magazine are pushing “thenewno2” as the next big thing, I found their sound boring and contrived.
The first song on their myspace page, “So Vain,” is Dhani Harrison’s attempt at the blues with electronic undertones. However, all the song does is showcase his limited musical writing skills. After repeating “its all so vain all the same” at least ten thousand times, before breaking out into a dream-like lyrical tangent, where he tries to sound as philosophical and deep as possible within the span of 30 seconds, it is clear that Dhani Harrison is a musician who takes himself way too seriously.
Most of the other songs are an attempt to capitalize on the new psychedelic rock revival popularized by artsy egotistical act MGMT. The sound is more "surf meets acid rock" with Dhani Harrison’s voice slowly mumbling and moaning over the sea of sound, with no direction, melody or any stylistic technique.
There are some highlights however, like the song “Say.” The female vocals mingling with Dhani’s voice on this track create an interesting haunting sound. Unfortunately, the remainder of the song is a mess of too many instruments competing to be heard at once. What ever happened to the simple concept of a instrumental solo? Thus, “thenewno2” is an amateur band that sounds like an amateur band. Dhani should spend less time “at
tempting to sound intelligent and deep” and more time creating a cleaner sharper sound.

you can listen to them here: http://www.myspace.com/thenewno2


Now on to a band that I am excited about. Telekinesis is Merge Record’s newest band and their debut record Telekinesis! Comes out on April 7th you can preview it here: http://www.mergerecords.com/store/store_detail.php?catalog_id=600&link=sidebarLink-home
Telekinesis offers bouncy indie pop reminiscent of a more mellow Apples in Stereo - New Magnetic Wonder. They also seem to take some cues from the Shins' Chutes too Narrow, while adding a harder, more rock and roll sound. Songs like “Foreign Room” are more jumpy indie rock anthems, while tracks like “Great Lakes” are softer with a bouncy electronic undertone. But I mostly like them because they are fun to listen to; they sound clean and happy -- like Alphabeat without the obvious parallels to high school musical, which is sometimes off putting.

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