From the list of new albums at Good Records this week, we chose some messy hip-hop, first by the punky (Brewsters) of Tiny Masters of Today, and then by the less inspiring but extremely weird Amanda Blank.
Tiny Masters of Today: Skeletons [Mute]
One of the most interesting records of the summer so far was made mostly on GarageBand by New York public schoolkid siblings known simply as Ivan, 15, and Ada, 13. In their young lives, Tiny Masters of Today have cut tracks with Karen O and Kimya Dawson and earned acclaim from the likes of David Bowie -- he christened their first single "genius." Songs like "Two Dead Soldiers" on Tiny Masters' latest bring dance punk, garage, and the lowest-fi hip-hop together for a pure, energetic sound, served with lyrical parables that gain weight when told in small voices. Whether or not critics' hopes for the band as a new chapter in the true-punk saga are made good as the kids enter teenhood and their tastes change, the creative collaborations they've inspired are a bright spot in a sometimes-tiresome Brooklyn scene.
Amanda Blank: I Love You [Downtown]
If you were thinking Amanda Blank is just a more vulgar Fergie, you could be forgiven. "Might Like You Better," the less than subtle single from Blank's new record, is garish but intriguing in its spontaniety, the kind of song that could have been written in a few alcohol-charged, sequin-costumed minutes. Curiously, the album boasts producing cred with Diplo in the notes and appearances by Lykke Li, Spank Rock, and Santigold, but Blank went on about Madonna's influence on the record in an animated interview with Fader. Blank's work with the band Sweetheart makes the case for her over-sexed persona as artistic irony; but with the doe-eyed tranparency of Blank's demeanor as she talks about her music, it doesn't add up. Blank brings her junk-drawer new material to Dallas on Thursday to support Santigold at House of Blues.