Off Key With Eric D: Summer Music Preview

Eric D'Orazio


“Make Believe”

So, it’s been three years since Weezer’s last record, “Maladroit.” Since then, the band has put out a career-spanning DVD, a two-disc reissue of their debut “Blue Album” and frontman Rivers Cuomo finally finished his studies at Harvard. What’s next for emo’s founding band? Apparently, a return to the hip and intrinsically perturbed music that ushered in their stardom some 11 years ago. Their latest effort, “Make Believe,” promises more songs about being rejected and not fitting in, but with the twist of a decade’s experience. Case in point, the new single, “Beverly Hills.” It talks about wanting to live in that locale, but realizes that “I just don’t belong.” Predictable? Yes, but don’t destroy your sweater over it.


“Demon Days”

Few people seem to realize that Gorillaz and britpop giants Blur are actually one and the same band. Same singer, same drummer and, for the most part, same bassist. The only difference is that Gorillaz have far more guest musicians (not to mention that they’re cartoons). This comes across to a brilliant degree in the band’s latest record, “Demon Days.” Their first in four long years, the new album features artists ranging from De La Soul to Dennis Hopper to The London Community Gospel Choir. Throughout it all, Gorillaz’ seamless meshing of rock and hip-hop with a diverse array of genres continues with “Demon Days,” so check it out on May 24.


“Don’t Believe The Truth”

How appropriate that Oasis comes back with a new album just when an incarnation of Blur makes its return. Despite that fact, British rock rivalry is not on the minds of the Gallagher brothers this time around. In fact, they seem convinced that their latest record, “Don’t Believe The Truth,” is their best since 1994’s monumental debut, “Definitely Maybe.” It’s got the same swagger and the same attitude but for a new generation. However, their tried-and-true practice of ripping off The Beatles seems to have come to a close. How so? Well, a good portion of the rhythm for their latest hit, “Lyla,” seems “borrowed” from The Rolling Stones’ “Street Fighting Man.” Well, at least they’re keeping it ’60s-esque.


“X & Y”

Ah, Coldplay. They think they’re U2, but they sound far less. From writing “make trade fair” on his hand to marrying a major movie star, frontman Chris Martin thinks he’s all that. Based on his band’s first two records, he has every right to think so. Yet, the time has come for Coldplay to prove their worth with a third album. Out June 7, the strangely titled “X & Y” will be the band’s longest record to date, standing out with 12 songs. Whether or not these songs will hold up against their earlier material has yet to be determined. However, sources who have heard the album’s first single, “Speed of Sound,” say it is quite similar to 2002’s “Clocks.” Can anyone say “junior slump?”

The White Stripes

“Get Behind Me Satan”

Over the past four years, The White Stripes have become real movers and shakers in the music industry. British rock magazines count them as one of the saviors of modern independent music, and their records are considered instant classics as soon as they hit shelves. This year, the same goes for their latest record, “Get Behind Me Satan.” Written entirely on acoustic guitar, piano and marimba, one would be led to believe that the new album is a mellow follow-up to 2003’s “Elephant,” as well as that Jack White has finally lost his mind. Well, he hasn’t, and thanks to the single, “Blue Orchid,” the band is rocking louder than ever. Eat your heart out, British rock magazines.

Foo Fighters

“In Your Honor”

Has it ever occurred to you that Foo Fighters is the last great alternative rock band left from the ’90s? Though this is strange but true, the thought of whether or not they still have what it takes comes to mind. After all, what can they possibly do after having released four classic albums? Well, they can release a double album, which is exactly what they are doing. Entitled “In Your Honor,” the first disc will concentrate on 10 rocking tracks in the vein of the Foo Fighters we’ve come to know and love. The 10 tracks on disc two will be more acoustic in nature, brooding and moving like the mellower versions of “Everlong” and “Times Like These” heard on the radio. As a whole, “In Your Honor” is bound to be a record that people will be talking about for years to come.



Clearlake, those little-known darlings of Domino Records, are back with their hotly-awaited third album, “Amber.” Like their previous couple of records, “Amber” will focus on florid vocal arrangements, driving guitar riffs and lyrics about life, love and nature. Yet, unlike their back catalogue, the new album promises to be much grander in scale. For example, its last song, “Widescreen,” has been said to make 2001’s seven-minute epic, “Winterlight,” sound like a spring shower. Taking into account the rapidly rising popularity of labelmates Franz Ferdinand, success seems right around the corner for Clearlake.

The Warlocks

“Surgery” (working title)

Having toured incessantly over the past two years, psychedelic rock outfit The Warlocks have finally gotten around to recording a new album. Tentatively titled “Surgery,” the new effort is their third to date and the follow-up to 2002’s mildly successful “Phoenix Album.” Along with the CD version of the new release will come a bonus DVD, while the vinyl version is set to have a slightly different tracklisting. However, all versions of the album are set to showcase the band’s renowned “wall of sound” by way of seven members, including two drummers. Though song titles are unknown as of yet, the album has already been mastered and is set to hit shelves sometime in July.

Black Rebel

Motorcycle Club

“Americana” (working title)

Last year wasn’t so good for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Poor ticket sales, the firing of their drummer and the termination of their contract with Virgin Records left their critically acclaimed sophomore effort, “Take Them On, On Your Own,” in the dust. However, they’ve sorted things out and are ready to release their third album. Driven by socially-conscious tracks like “Complicated Situation” and “Shuffle Your Feet,” the new record will show a different side of B.R.M.C., one behind the endless guitar fuzz and overdriven bass. Needless to say, the album will have some of their classic elements, but in its heart and soul is something new and exciting.

The Dandy Warhols

“Odditorium or

Warlords of Mars”

Usually, it takes The Dandy Warhols three years to release records. After all, it happened with 2000’s “Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia,” as well as 2003’s “Welcome To The Monkey House.” Thankfully, The Dandys have broken the habit and have a record due out this summer, probably in August. Considering they could not settle on a single title, the new album will be called “Odditorium or Warlords of Mars.” It promises such provocatively titled songs as “Smoke It” and “Colder Than The Coldest Winter Was Cold,” not to mention an 11-minute song called “Love Is The New Feel Awful.” With a supposed return to the psychedelic riffs of their first two albums, The Dandys’ latest effort may certainly be the quintessential album of the summer of ’05.