@@@ The Hirs Collective: Affection and Care (Get Better Records, 2021) Herky jerk metal with an ‘at the end of a rope’ singer. Pounding and thrashing in a more desperate than angry way, I dig this. This is a somewhat normal length song off a record entitled the third 100 songs, which funny enough contains 100 fucking songs with irreverent titles like ‘Fuck you Dad’ and ‘Trans Woman Dies of Old Age’. I find this a bit exciting as I don’t get excited for much but 100 songs in 78 minutes is something to look forward to. One sentence from their charter statement is: We are a collective of freaks and faggots that will never stop existing. I’m a freak but not a homosexual or anything but a boring ass straight person (poor me) soI hope I can be a part of this just being just a hetero freak. I dig collectives and I look forward to hearing more of this music. More important than who these people are is the music, it’s quality and passion.
@@@ Midnight: Masked and Deadly (Metal Blade, 2021) Both of today’s listen’s are off Apple Music’s metal section and I’m shocked that something like the above listen by the Hirs Collective ever made it up there. This, on the other hand, is a blend of classic metal, thrash and even a bit of punk and classic hard rock which is pretty standard in its construction and its intent. It’s got a little AC/DC a little Iron Maiden and other ’80s old school bands in its DNA. The singer is pretty standard and you can hear him — in the heat of hell you will fry, that’s pretty clearly enunciated and seems to be a sensible statement about the actions of humans as well as climate change! I know it’s all hippie and shit to discuss the planet’s heating up but in the heat of hell we all gonna fry, motherfuckers!
@@@ Olafur Arnalds: Still Sound (Mercury/Decca, 2021) Some classical crossover electronic music off Apple Music’s electronic section. It’s basically a few delayed keyboards with some additional glitch sauce and a cello like sound seated way back in the mix. It’s keyboard heavy in the front of the track and cello and flute heavy on the back end with a crossfade between the two vibes. Less delay and overt simple melody as the track moves. It’s all right, to me it’s just too soft.
@@@ Andras: Revegetation Area 2002 (Public Possession, 2020) More delayed keyboards but with a thicker sound and less New Age aspiration. And you get a beat! As the Apple Music makes clear this is more on the downtempo tip and less on the classical crossover. The goal here, as described in the video cover image below is chillness and it succeeds at that. It might also succeed at inducing a nappy. Just sayin’ there’s a fine line between chillin’ and falling asleep. Towards the end you get a similar cello-like sound that I think is a synth cello patch. And there’s no shame in that.
@@@ Heather Valley: Emily (Independent, 2021) I got to this track via an email from the artist herself. I’m always nice to artists who send me listening requests. It starts out with some simple strummed guitar that is pleasantly darker than a lot of guitars in this genre. Valley has a very sweet voice that she’s decided to put in a very large reverbed room. It wouldn’t be my first choice but I would have gone for a medium sized room. I don’t know who this Emily person she’s singing about is but the melodies are very nice. Cello sounds good, background vocals maybe not super necessary and overall a fine track.
@@@ kerri: Moon/Sun (Queen City, 2021) I got to this track from a r&b singer from Montreal via the Australian music magazine Happy Magazine. It opens cloudy and ambient with a pulsating synth. A chill 808 beat comes in with a falsetto singer. It’s a lush, loving sort of thing. There are at least three singers here and that’s the most dynamic part of the song. Different cadence, different ranges, etc. I’m digging the low key singer asking ‘what are you thinking about?’ that’s pretty nice. It’s more about cosmic love than sex and I think the lyrics and the sounds are compelling. I’m checking out more of this record and enjoying it — it seems to reflect a sad, beautiful isolation.
Episode 17! This week's episode is inspired by Kenya Eugene's opening track 'Bun It.' Crab in a bucket mentality, we bun it. Social injustice, we bun it. And it just rolls on from there. #FreeDanielHale
Join your host, The Magic Organ Guy aka The Skeptical Chimp for a respite from all that's going on. And as usual we're hung up on quality, not on genre. Thanks for listening!
Excerpts from this episode:
Kenya Eugene: Bun It
Cryptosis: Death Technology
Dijah SB: New Balance
JJ Gray and Mofro: Country Ghetto
LAttirail: La Main Du Mort
Kelly Moran: Helix
Questions, comments, review requests — hit me up at skeptical.chimp @disroot.org! Continue reading →
@@@ Sad Alex: Until (Red Bull, 2021) This is one of the few tracks from the Red Bull imprint that didn’t sound like all the musicians had been shot in the eyeball with funny enough Red Bull. Female singer, sly post relationship lyrics, medium funky beats and a sparse arrangement. It works all right, I’m not a mainstream kinda fella but a lot of people are. She even went for the dude, what the fuck! I like the chorus except for the insane backing vocal stacking
@@@ City Girls: Twerkulator (UMG, 2021) You can count on the major labels to crank out the stripper pole female hip hop tracks right at the beginning of the summer. Two fleshy lipped black females just airing out the booty, it’s what a good chunk of America works on. Ooh, the first verse was not obscene but they bust out on the second verse with mad pussy references. It’s light, a little disposable but also catchy and horny for that hot vax summer. Could be an entry for the song of the summer.
@@@ Good Job Honey: Balls from the Back ( , 2021) I got to this stoner folk thingy via a music publicist email. The PR email said these guys are cannabis farmers and somebody was mad baked when they slotted this as folk music. This is what I affectionately called ‘frat boy’ rock with shades of Red Hot Chili Peppers, white people fake funky beats and lyrics sung by a woman who goes on a few different stories of encountering men and jonesing for some balls from the back. It’s fair game as men have spent centuries grading and degrading the female butt/onion but the song is not folk and I think any other format besides this low IQ frat rock would surpass this.
@@@ Cannibal Corpse: Inhumane Harvest (Metal Blade, 2021) Oh my, get out the gasoline and the matches and start planning as to where you might start a huge fire. Via the Apple Music blurb this is Cannibal Corpse’s 15th record and it most definitely is not lacking in energy and these guys don’t need a Red Bull. In fact they should carefully monitor their Red Bull consumption. This album reminds me a bit of Carcass’ Surgical Steel record — the production is quite intricate but it certainly does not soften the music. Excellent playing all around as you would expect from a seasoned band like this, I love this shit! I will be circling back on this record for sure, it’s got the focus and energy of a best of year effort. I will wrap up this pocket review and check this shit out while I get the plastic tank out and head out to the gas station.
@@@ Fringe Candidate: Fringe Candidate (N/A, 2017) Some midwestern hardcore/hard rock I got to via the home recording magazine Tape Op. A singer that’s pissed but you can hear what he’s on about. They really get closer to the hardcore ethic with the fourth tune, the boy who cried Hitler. Excellent frantic puck action. These guys do a good job of riding the fine line between crusty anti-social aggro and songs and music and being able to hear what’s going on. I really like the tune Attention Merchants and as mentioned earlier the balance here is really good for me. It’s a familiar formula but I’m not bored or disengaged, I want to go burn somebody’s house down.
@@@ Ziew: Stop Being Poor (Showtime, 2021) I think it’s entirely possible for folks on both sides of this ‘debate’ to enjoy and find solace and comfort in this tune. It is ironic and show its face but not enough for the Ted Cruz types out theres to surf right through the joke of it and say it with some mustard on it. Sonically it’s a blend of krautrock and stripper hip hop. I can’t wait for Donald Trump to hold a rally with this blasting in the background.
@@@ Wayne Snow: Nina (Roche Musique, 2021) A pre-release single I got to via a music publicist email. It’s an updated ’80s stripped down funk/r&b thing with a delicious delayed marimba type patch. Snow is rocking a falsetto before he brings in the classic Prince 1999 era synth lead to demolish the doubters. I don’t really know what demolishing the doubters means but it looked good on the screen. I’m listening to this track on a fairly decent set of headphones and the sounds here are lush and quite edible. I’m not sure what the song is about lyrically but the sounds are quite satisfying.
@@@ Kasai Allstars: Like a Dry Leaf on a Tree (Crammed Discs, 2021) The second track I’ve peeped as I checked out the pre release single. I’m a Crammed Disc fanboy with no shame. It’s been a struggle to finish today’s review post, not sure why, I’m tired etc, who isn’t tired? but this is my second listen off this record and I’m hopeful. I like the singing here but not necessarily the drum machine, it sounds like a lo fi bedroom indie rocker. Of course, indie rockers can’t sing or play guitar like this, that is for sure. I find the sounds a bit endearing but the playing not unusual enough to really catch my ears. Could you use a beat upgrade and some more unusual guitar playing. Do like the bass player though, he/she’s working.
@@@NATIK AWAYEZ: Egaf (Sublime Frequencies, 2021) Slotted as folk music I got to this artist and track via this week’s WRIR weekly playlist email. Born in southern Iraq and living in Cairo I’m most into the hand drumming and violin playing which is just awesome. Oh whoever is on the fiddle is just tearing it out, a mournful solo for the song title perhaps? Regular readers know that I prefer the less smoothed out super produced world music as if the edges are filed down for sensitive imperial white listeners. The production here is pretty straightforward without massive reverb patches and epicness introduced. The music here is more than powerful enough without the production flourishes. Instrumentation is hard drums, oud, violin and voice. I’m certainly no expert on Middle Eastern music and the various differences between music from Iraq vs. Egypt etc but the scales and melodies are similar. I will be swinging back on this record for sure.
@@@ kezia: south! (Never Seven, 2021) I got to these first two listens via the Line of Best Fit. A drawly MC celebrating black Southern culture over what I hear as slowed down stripper sounds. I have no beef with stripper pole rap tunes just to be clear. Trappy high hats, thick booty bass, slower tempo. If you dig her delivery you’ll probably dig the tune but if you don’t love her low energy vibe you might find it a bit draggy. ‘You like it when I’m down South, when it’s all said and done you know I’m the only one.’ That’s the vocal hook. There are some pleasantly trippy keyboard parts and processed vocal samples. I like it all right.
@@@ C. Tangana: Tu Me Dejaste De Querer (Sony Music, 2020) Fully piimped out urban Latino music from a Spanish MC. Beats are high in the mix, the keyboards are chill and he comes over the top with the sophisticated loverboy flow. A plinky guitar line separates the verse from the chorus and I think there are advantages to not knowing the lyrics as they’re most likely cheesy as fuck. Additional things I like are the hand drums, and the appearance of a flamenco guitar briefly. Lots of romantic sonic posturing going on here. It’s a guest track with a couple of other Spanish vocalists I don’t know so there’s a lot of vocals. Fully pimped sonically, slightly crowded mix, lots of singers providing a type of party vibe.
@@@ The Offspring: Gone Away (Concord, 2021) I’ve never been a huge Offspring kinda fella but when the piano hits and the huge vocal sound hits I know why. It also has a full string section and oy this is some middle aged shit for sure. I don’t know if his love has died or she divorced him or maybe she went on a post Covid cruise but this is some high falutin’ cheese that I don’t really think I can let go by undenounced. He just reached out to the sky and screamed out her name. Really? In my humble ass opinion America needs less of this, not more of this. I’m checking out the first track and it’s your classic SoCal thrashabout punk. Again not my favorite thing ever but I feel especially fucked over for checking out the ballad. I got to this track via music biz commenter Bob Lefsetz and I think he has a soft spot for the cheese bomb.
@@@ Origami Angel: Footloose Cannonball Brothers (Counter Intuitive, 2021) Two listens off a Pitchfork editors’ list, go Pitchfork! I mean not really rooting for that Conde Nast orifice I would prefer the attention go somewhere else. Slotted as EMO in Apple Music, and you may ask yourself why the capital letters? This track opens acoustically before the band comes in rocking that classic power pop punk, then back into the acoustic vibe and that’s the move here. Nice vocal melody in the chorus and while the lyrics seem to be intererior and about relations between humans it’s not super EMO, it’s shopping mall EMO. There’s a line about how somebody is acting like they’re sponsored by Adidas and that line really fucking bothers me. It shows how deeply branding and corporate bullshit has soaked into music. The band plays well, nice vocal melodies, but not much impact past the impact of the band.
@@@ Kings of Convenience: Rocky Trail (EMI/Universal, 2021) Get out the flavored coffee or the mint juleps for you former slave owners out there cuz it’s macaroni and cheese time with some white dude bossa nova. Oy! I feel weird listening to this as my values have changed. It’s like eating waffles drowned in syrup served on a dead infant’s body. No I kid. Shades of Simon and Garfinkel with the dual male vocalists. I think it’s possible the dude in the back of the video image below is Brazilian from an accent I hear but I beg you do the right thing if he is and put his ass right along side of the blond white guy. The dividing line when a track goes from sweet to toothless is a line each individual has to draw for him or herself but for me this is just not where I’m at.
@@@ Musketeer: The North Sea (Self released, 2021) I got to this tune via an email from the band. This is a slice of your classic of UK/Irish folk flavored beautiful misery. Lonesome acoustic guitar strum and downer-y vocal stylings. They put a fairly good sized room on the singer but they didn’t take it full Celine Dion. The singing gets more impassioned about 2 minutes in when he starts going off on the worms on the deep sea bed which is weird but I’m not opposed to weird. There is some distinctly Thom Yorke flavors to the singing here but it’s less alienated and without the electro framing of the Radiohead. I’m guessing the deep sea bed is symbolic of the human unconcious level or death itself. Anyway I give these folks some respect for trying to convey a feeling besides the feeling of showing one’s ass in public and inviting people to comment on or spank their ass.