14th January 2014
If you came here from CVLT Nation you should stay and peek about. If not, you should go there now, come back, and peek about.
(Winners have been selected: Alex G., Bon F., and Roger J.)
16th December 2013
AARON (SLAVE) Here are a few of mine - Nine Inch Nails “Hesitation Marks”
Wavves “Afraid of Heights”
Merchandise “Total Nite”
Kanye West “Yeezus”
Nails “Abandon All Life”
Pissed Jeans “Honeys”
Drew Price’s Bermuda Triangle “Friends and Family”I’m sure there are more but those are off the top of my head.
ANDERSON (HADALS, PORNOGRAPHY, TAPES OF A NEON GOD) Deafheaven - Sunbather
Short-hairs playing metal, same as it ever was, always fucking with the formula. The occult’s been done to death so the boys give us maudlin songs about perving on chicks and wearing black leather gloves. Post-post-black; blackened pink/pinkened black metal. Blast Beat City quickly gentrifying from an influx of sparkling melodies and blurry shoegazisms. Sad and beautiful like my dick and balls, respectively. Gorguts - Colored Sands
(Season of Mist)
The ‘guts didn’t try to out-skronk themselves this time, but dropped a dense slab of their particular ridiculousness instead. This album has all the silliness of metal, absurd levels of technicality, surprising mosh bits, anastrophe, clanging steel girders, hoarse yawps, and horse clops you’d want since their last one. It’s plenty weird while still being traditionally heavy-as-fuck for overtly evil Buddhist death metal. The soundtrack to the A Nightmare on Elm Street sequels but even badasserer. Great Falls - Accidents Grotesque
(Hell Comes Home)
Fast, slow, angry, sad. Everything tasting of Dramamine, Zoloft, and copper as the band plays while falling down the stairs into their Sadness Basement. This album is as bitter and dark as an imperial stout and twice as likely to fuck you up. Lash out at strangers and loved ones alike today because everything is shitty and horrible and you’ve been chewing tinfoil all morning. Then be sure to follow these guys on Twitter, Instagram, and Vine.
Pissed Jeans - Honeys
Self-deprecation that crosses the line into self-loathing served with a smile… now that’s paper. Pencil-pushing petty pessimism in the professional workplace… also paper. The best songs here goldbrick their way through feedback and slovenly drag-ass through sludge while Mr. Danzig Rollins swaggers, slithers and grinds into your head. I am disappointed, though, that there aren’t Ray Stevens-style videos for every song on what amounts to a comedy album for miserable dads. The most fun I can admit to having all year and still maintain my credibility as a grump.
Raspberry Bulbs - Deformed Worship
(Blackest Ever Black)
A gang of reprobates in ripped jeans who’d steal your crystals and bones as soon as look at you. More horned lizard spitting blood than human. This is knuckle-dragging cavernous hardcore full of howling, wailing, and the sound of skinny kids landing on your head in the shittiest punk warehouse ever. Practiced looseness and deliberate degradation made complete with a light glaze of death rock and black metal aesthetics. The sound of not giving a shit, but still kinda, y’know, giving enough of a shit to record it.
AUSTIN (HADALS, JAPANESE WOMEN)
Carcass - Surgical Steel
This is the best album i’ve ever listened to while walking my dog around the neighborhood. I put these over produced metal jamz on my mp3 player and then I imagine that i’m flying x-wings around and blowing up deathstars. Endor needs protection and i’m the pilot for the job. Seriously, this is way too clean but the rhythms never slow down and the energy stays up the whole time. The guitar leads are almost pure cheese and as close as i’m ever gonna get to melodic power metal but it makes for a great time. I read alot of comic books this year and even started playing some video games. This is the everyman metal album for nerds and dorks that bands like Mastodon wanna make but always fail at. You could have bought Gorguts or Deafheaven for your metal needs but they demand that you care about art and concepts. Carcass could do that, but they just can’t slow down and stop spitting out dork riffs.
Neko Case - The Worse Things Get, The Harder I (…i’m not writing out the rest of this long ass title)
Breaking News: Indie rock princess does well. Makes more money. Has the same fans as crap that I hate like Death Cab for Cutie, Decemberists, and NPR Pitchfork indie rock. I overlook this and still champion her album. - Seriously, it’s a good album. She always does good albums but this one has less fantastical lyrics about tigers and tornadoes and shit. You’ve read that in the reviews and know this already. I don’t know why i’m telling you. You’ve already made up your mind whether you’re gonna like over hyped dad rock stuff like this or not. It’s pretty awesome and i’m not really gonna try to sell it to you. She writes good songs and has good lyrics. She always has some of the best musicians on her albums that get the goal of the songs. This time she’s angry and bitter but still trying to play upbeat songs. The double tracked background vocals rock. She says “fuck” a few times. It sounds like she spent $100k in the studio. What else could you ask for? Lo fi hardcore that can’t quite decide what genre it’s in and therefore sounds like a crappy version of His Hero is Gone? Yeah, I love that stuff too. But give this a chance. I know it doesn’t have any Neurosis tom roll build ups but you can handle it.
Natural Snow Buildings - Daughter of Darkness
I guess it’s technically a re-issue because most of it came out a couple of years ago. But that was in England on cassette and there was only about 100 copies made. You didn’t buy one. Plus this has some bonus tracks. Anyway, I love monolithic big ass records. This one is 8 hours or so. That’s crazy. I love ideas that are bigger than everything else. 8 hours for a single album is way bigger than everything else I own. Plus, it’s not just a compilation of bullshit. Unless you consider a french husband and wife duo making 30 minute noise drone ragas straight to tape to be bullshit. Which you probably do. That’s not the point. The point is that I bought the handpainted 6 cd box set and it’s badass. Either you dig it or you don’t. It is kinda a hard sell. But I dig it. Great for reading comics or relaxing after you protected Endor. Get in the zone. Space out to this great stuff. And then buy the $100 eight record box set for me.
Arctic Monkeys - AM
I always hated this band. That first album was super over hyped. The best British band in years. The new Clash? What a bunch of wankery! Bollocks! Did I use those terms correctly? I thought they just sounded like ska without the horns. Then a year or two later they had a side project called The Last Shadow Puppets that I dug but I had trouble getting into them because I always thought about how much I hated the Arctic Monkeys and how they didn’t deserve any press. Then the Arctic Monkeys released some more albums that I didn’t give a shit about because I remember hearing singles that were whatever and I had still written them off. Then I heard the first single for this new album on the radio before it came out and my interest was raised. Hmm, when did these guys start making something that didn’t offend me. The song sounded good. I bought the album when it came out and that’s what the whole thing is. Good Stoner doo-wop with brit pop vocals. They are basically succeeding in what Queens of The Stone Age has recently been trying to accomplish. I bought that new QOTSA album but I just didn’t end up caring about it. I think the secret for Arctic Monkeys may be ripping off Questlove drum beats and Blur vocals. QOTSA got Dave Grohl instead. Which sounds like a good idea until you remember that he’s in the Foo Fighters. Arctic Monkeys had the good sense to have shitty R&B drums and cheesy lyrics that sound like they were written by the Flight of Concords for some type of parody album. Actually, that sounds like a terrible idea. But it’s the truth that for big dumb rock to be good, it has to be extra big and extra dumb. Proof: This album was recorded in California.
Savages - Silence Yourself
I think this is a bullshit record. That’s all I really have to say about it. It’s just a bunch of posturing. This shit doesn’t have a real message or any substance despite it trying so hard to convince you of its importance. They just rip off a bunch of 80s post punk instrumentally and vocally. I can’t stand it when big name indie bands try to tell you that they’re making something of worth these days. I feel like musicians already made all the statements that we’ll ever need to hear from them and that was pre 2010. Actually, I probably think it was earlier than that. I mainly buy old records at the flea market from the 60s,70s, and 80s. Then I listen to most newer shit on spotify or bandcamp and then sometimes download it on my mp3 player. I don’t live in a town with a big record store so I don’t buy everything new on physical media till it’s too late. Anyway, I got super psyched when the first single from this band came out and then I followed all the blog hype for a year while they just built momentum and they got so big without even having an album out. Then the album came out and it just hit me as being filled with shit I had heard before. I bitched about them everytime they made it on music blogs for news about how they banned cell phones at concerts and how they used the band to espouse their “brilliant and radical ideas” about music. Fuck em. Who cares. But then I found myself continuing to listen to the album. I actually have the record on the turntable in my house now and i’m blasting it while my dog is trying to sleep and dream about his past life as an Ewok in the Endor battle. This album always reminds me how much bullshit is in music and how it’s probably always been like that. But that you can get past that and even generic stuff can end up pretty good. It always reminds me that you that the key to a successful rock band these days is having easily recognizable points of reference for listeners to hear so they aren’t challenged too much. I’d like to think i’m in an inventive enough band and that i’m offering something new to folks, but that it’s too challenging to people and that’s why they don’t care about Japanese Women. In reality I know that is what every band with no fans tells themselves that and in reality, we are probably as generic as the next hardcore band and that it really doesn’t help that we never play any shows. We hope to remedy that show problem in 2014. Then I think about the handful of fans we actually have and how they are in bands that no one really cares about either. But I like their bands and they all sound pretty odd and challenging to me as well. They should be popular and people should care. I feel your pain Anderson, Mcleod, Panzram, Deism, and Great Falls Demian. You guys should be blowing up. The music is good. But you aren’t ripping off death rock and putting Siouxsie vokills over the top like Savages are. Would I join or start a band that made super generic stuff if that opportunity ever came up? Would I tell myself that the end product may not be groundbreaking but that it would still sound pretty listenable. Maybe, but I hope not. Anyway, there was a ton of good music out this year and it will take me years to discover and buy. And alot of it was better than this Savages album. But this one made me reflect much more on music and my hobby. Music is bullshit …and I love bullshit.
DEMIAN (BLSPHM, GREAT FALLS)
So here we go.
1. Gorguts - colored sands
. This record is super fucking good. Even the goofy “classical” piece is pretty awesome. That’s sayin something.
2. Mount Eerie - pre-human ideas
. If you enjoyed CLEAR MOON and OCEAN ROAR by Mount Eerie you probably have somewhat decent taste in this sort of music. Pre-Human Ideas is basically a collection of those songs as demos, I think. The vocals are all through a vocoder so it basically sounds like a TRONned up version of Phil Elverum doing a whole album covering that one song from the Drive soundtrack that we are finally all sick of. Even with all of that this record rules. For weirdos who don’t own umbrellas.
3. Blue Sabbath Black Cheer/Pig Heart Transplant collaboration CS
(Meaning Corrupted) No list is complete without something by Bsbc. Don’t tell Stan or William but they basically make my favorite slices or horror. Any time they work with PHT it just gets better. I can’t ignore this very limited release.
4. Inquisition - Obscure Verses for the Multiverse
. Best black metal record of the last few years. I like that it’s from the Pacific Northwest but that doesn’t really matter. The only issue with this band is that they could use a bass player, even just for the record. You don’t really miss it most of the time, and it doesn’t hurt what is basically a perfect record but it would make it that much better. Still this probably belongs in the number 1 position. But these are honestly not in any particular order.
5. Ulcerate - Vermis
. I wish I could play guitar this well. I love this band. They sit in my brain directly next to Deathspell Omega although though don’t sound much like them they seem to be players cut from the same cloth with the same sense of taste but on the other side of the globe. Real good.
I wanted to talk about how good the Sutekh Hexen - monuments to decay 2xcs is. I also feel that the cassette by Slave that Tapes of a Neon God put out needs some love for being so good. The last couple Mamiffer/House of Low Culture cassettes on sige have been amazing and that Jackie-O Motherfucker cassette that Hand Made Birds did was killer. I would also mention Portal’s new Lp. It sounds like it was recorded so loud that they entire record was a mistake. I kinda want to talk about how overrated that Deafheaven LP is but that seems pointless. When every song needs a piece at the end so it can flow into the next song you know there is a problem. I saw them live and had to chuckle at the singer’s “front-man” costume complete with fancy show gloves. But that all aside I still like that record. In fact I listened to it today. So, fuck it. Yeah. I stick to my list. I guess.
Disappears - Era
(Kranky) The Howling Wind - Vortex
(self-released) Lychgate - s/t
(Mordgrimm/Gilead Media) Portal - Vexovoid
(Profound Lore) Teeth Of The Sea - Master
(Rocket Recordings) VHOL - Vhol
KEVIN (KNOLL, SLAVE)
eh……in no order
Albums: GorgutsUlcerateNine Inch NailsPissed JeansMidlakeCalifornia XDeftones
Live: DeftonesNeutral Milk HotelNine Inch NailsGodspeed You Black EmperorYautjaEx-BreathersRoomrunnerIron Lung
MICHAEL (FANTASY ISLAND)
The Haxan Cloak “Excavation”Pharmakon “Abandon”Emptyset “Recur”Autechre “Exai”Youth Code “Youth Code”Vatican Shadow “It Stands To Conceal”TM404 “TM404”Tim Hecker “Virgins”The Secret Chiefs 3 “Book of Souls: Folio A”Paper Voices “Clover Hill”Lady Gaga “Artpop”R. Kelly “Black Panties”Abyssal “Novit Enim Dominus Qui Sunt Eius”Kerridge “A Fallen Empire”Burial “Rival Dealer EP”Black Rain “Protoplasm EP”
Top 5ishCastevet - Obsian
(profound lore) Inter Arma - Sky Burial
(relapse) Pissed Jeans - Honeys
(subpop) Arvid Noe - Islington
(hidden temple tapes/midnight werewolf records/surveillance investments) Ex-Breathers - Collision
(Living Lost) Gorguts - Colored Sands
(seasons of mist) Other stuff I really loved: Nameless Cults - Nameless Cults
(self-released) Ulcerate - Vermis
(relapse) Staer - Daughters
(gaffer records) Portal - Vexovoid
(profound lore) Kayo Dot - Hubardo
(self-released) Good Luck At The Hog Slaughter - Ghost Stories
(self-released) Fat History Month - Bad History Month
(exploding in sound) Caveman - Fucking Hip Hop
(self-released) Death Engine - Amen
(tapes of a neon god) Hell - Tour Through Hell 2013 Tape
(lower your head) Sur - Shadow Puppet
WESTON (JAPANESE WOMEN)
Wild Billy Chyldish & CTMF - all our forts are with you
80s Stallone - Anthems For The Dearly Departed
V/A - Carry on Rioting
True Widow - Circumambulation
The Courtneys - S/T
Classixx - Hanging Garden
HOAX - HOAX LP
Hard Skin - On The Balls/Why do Birds Suddenly Appear LP
Daft Punk - Random Access Memories
Aye Nako - Unleash Yourself
Youth Lagoon - Wondrous Bughouse
Catholic Spit - A Pact with the Devil LP
New Flesh - Reality LP
Pure Bathing Culture - Moon Tides