3/3/16: Los Hacheros, Zac Brown Band, Darq E. Freaker, Alex Napping

@@@ Los Hacheros: Bambulaye (Jacob Plasse, 2016).  I really dug the last record by these guys in 2012.  It was an ambient salsa record and this first track still sounds vintage but not as spacious.  These guys have an energy I can really get with and the rock guitar can be cheesy but it isn’t in this tune.  What starts as a fragile melodic open is a burning salsa fire by the end of the track.  I’m very critical of singers, but this guy has skills and flavor.  The second tune Pintate comes out swinging.  I’m 99% sure this record will end up on my year end list but Imma gonna have to swing back and listen to the whole thing.

@@@ Zac Brown Band: Beautiful Drug (Republic, 2016)  A super cliche set of lyrics on a pop country tune that is the #1 on the Apple Music country playlist.  It has elements of arena rock with the whoa dos, it even sports an EDM breakdown with some swirling synths and four on the floor.  But it’s really the lyrics that will turn your stomach if you believe in any sort of art or have any expectations of integrity and honesty when listening to music.  She’s a beautiful drug and he’s addicted.  Gimme a break.   Imma attaching the lyric video because it really is that special

@@@ Darq E Freaker: Venom (Not sure, 2015).  A single I got to from the NPR best bands at South by Southwest.  The rhythmic foundation of the tune is updated drum ‘n bass with an aggressive synth pounding the melody.  It’s both poppy and aggro at the same time.  It’s pretty pumped up, too much I would say for the dance floor but just fine for the meth heads.

@@@ Alex Napping: This is not a Bedroom EP (Alex Napping, 2014).  It might be a mistake to listen to a record with such a sleepy moniker as Napping, but I give folks a chance.  This first tune is all right — jangly, dreamy female vocals and a retro ’90s guitar indie sound.  I find this record more acceptable than other versions of this sound as the playing is of higher quality and the arrangements are better as well.  I’ve had enough of indie guitar players that can’t play, these guys have some chops.  If you’re up for some Clinton era guitar indie check these guys out.


YTD recordings listened to: 214
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 119
Not good music: 75

Honorable Mentions: 4
Buys: 3

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, 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, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Dawn Richard, Mastery, Leviathan, Xibalba, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Akitsa,  Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Destruction Unit, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Mystic Braves, Matt Walker, Divanhana, Troum, Unrestrained, Carrie Rodriguez, Moken, Ghostlimb, Michael Daves, Los Hacheros


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