3/31/16: Amon Amarth, Prince, Greg Cordez, Tancred

@@@ Amon Amarth: Jomsviking (Metal Blade, 2016).  Some heavy music off the Apple Music front page.  They sound a lot like Metallica but the drummer isn’t as good as Lars Ulrich and the singer is more gruff than the redneck that fronts Metallica.  Big production and huge epic metal jams with lyrics revolving around being an outsider.  There’s some cheesiness to the lyrics that you don’t get with Metallica.

@@@ Prince: HitNRun (NPG, 2015).  I was a huge Prince fan back in the day so I thought I would check out his latest.  Oh man, nobody combines sweet pop music with funky black music in the way Prince does.  This tune Baltimore treads a fine line between sweetness and the darkness of the Freddy Gray murder.  I don’t like the second song, RockNRollLoveAffair as much as the opener.  The arrangements are tight and super sophisticated but I think I miss raunchy punky Prince.  Check out Baltimore if you didn’t hear when it came around the first time.

@@@ Greg Cordez: Paper Cranes (Ninety and Nine Records, 2015) Some straight jazz off this week’s London Jazz blog email.   It opens up distant and ambient before moving into a simple groove held down by the pianist’s left hand and the bass player.  Instrumentation is two horns, sax and trumpet, piano, bass, and drums.  It builds and I’m enjoying the drums and the sax not as much.  The second tune, 8.23, is a ballad and while the mix is really quite nice I think I will move on.  As I’ve said before I struggle a bit with the straight jazz and tend to prefer my jazz spicy and out.

@@@ Tancred: Out of the Garden (Polyvinyl, 2016).  A retro 90’s power pop indie guitar record I got to via a music publicist email.  If Nirvana and the Breeders had a baby it would sound like this, except not as sharp elbowed.  Fans of big rock drums and guitars will feel this record.  The female singer is solid but the lyrics might be trying a bit too hard.  Stick with the drummer and the guitar player.

YTD recordings listened to: 310
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 174
Not good music: 116

Honorable Mentions: 5
Buys: 4

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 Parker, Divanhana, Troum, Unrestrained, Carrie Rodriguez, Moken, Ghostlimb, Cruciamentum


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