@@@ Billie Black: This Simple Pleasure (Bblk Records, 2015). A 5 song EP of club inflected chill r&b off the Beats highlights page. Black’s voice is super smooth and framed by some bouncy house synths in the first tune, This Simple Pleasure. You get the standard building climax/EDM snare roll and some church organ patch vamps. The second tune, Fool for Feeling, is more of an Alicia Keys slow jam without the drama the Alicia Keys insists on putting in her music. Production is slick, the songs are good.
@@@ Entrails: Obliteration (Metal Blade, 2015). Switching gears we head out for a beatdown from a record I saw on the CFUV weekly playlist email. How can you not check out a band called Entrails? Fuck. This first tune, No Cross Unturned, features some full on caffeinated/speedy thrash drumming, some spilly all over the place guitar riffage interspersed with some sweet rolling nastiness. The singer is a bit of a caveman but you can hear what he’s saying, if you’re also part caveman. This is a solid beatdown, I can feel my spine compressing as I listen. The second tune, Epitome of Death, is more of a midtempo masher, oh wait they just upped into an uptempo rock section. The tunes are well structured bouncing you around more than a Baltimore Police Department van. R.I.P. Freddy Gray, you died at the hands of a psych cop. The third tune gets more into some melodic guitar work and more mainstream so the record looks set to be a mash of various metal subgenres.
@@@ The Intelligence: Vintage Future (In the Red, 2015). A single I got to via a music publicist email. Opens up with a giant rock drum/bass sound with blasts of guitar, evoking The Breeders, but when the singer rolls out the vibe changes to a different type of hipster flow, even though there is a female background vocal part, a la the Breeders. I can’t place who the singer sounds like, my hard drive is spinning slowly. It’s a stripped down number, some might say a tad underclothed and slow to evolve but it’s streaming on Brooklyn Vegan so it’s gotta be hot.
Brooklyn Vegan here.
@@@ Steve Lewis: Off this Rock (Self-released, 2015). Some throwback power rock I got to via a music publicist. Crunchier and less slick than the Foos, the tune contains a lot of guitars — power chords, little figures/noodles and a few riffs. Lewis’ voice is pretty low profile, no Roger Daltrey action here. Coulda used a little more time on the editing block.
You can stream it up over here.
YTD recordings listened to: 616
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 358
Not good music: 211
Honorable Mentions: 15
Possibles: Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, About Group, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Bone Dance, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Debruit, Slidhr, The Whammies, The Chewers, Alexander Hawkins, Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, Spacesuits, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mohamed Abozekry, Dawn Richard, Leo Welch, Mastery, Leviathan, Xibalba, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Ellen Jewell, Akitsa, Chico Trujillo, Richard Thompson, Evan Caminiti, Jeremy Pinnell, Hope Drone, Pat Thomas, Ultramantis Black.