2013 Honorable Mention Pick 19

Melt Yourself Down: Melt Yourself Down (The Leaf Label, 2013)

An explosive blend of dance rhythms, Eastern European/Middle Eastern melodies, and free improvisation.  There is a singer on the record, but it’s more in the exhortation/chant neighborhood than the songwriting vein.  I really couldn’t even tell what language the singer was workin in.  To my ears, the drummer is the star here, he/she is tight and driving the show with a very high energy level and interesting playing.  I also found myself listening to the bass player quite a bit and I dug his fuzzy tone.

I thought the second half of the record was more original and hard hitting, but it’s very common these days for people to front load the catchier, more recognizable tunes up front.  There’s not a huge difference between the first and second half of the record but I thought it got deeper as it rolled along.  If they had gone hardcore all the way through, it would easily have been best of year material.

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