@@@ Melt Yourself Down: Pray For Me I Don’t Fit In (Decca, 2022) I got to this major label slightly punky and brash rock that hit the Guardian’s best at mid year list. I like the attitude, and after that it’s pretty manicured which as I’ve been through a million times before is contradictory to the pose. This is attitudinal music for centrist people who get a bit disoriented when shit gets hectic and out of hand. I like the bass player, he/she/they are killing it and then you know it’s less interesting. It’s not disappointing it’s just aimed at another set of listeners of whom I’m not a member.
Monthly Archives: December 2022
Music for 12/29/22!!! Satellites, Noori and his Dorpa Band
@@@ Satellites: Satellites (Batov Records, 2022) The #3 record on WRIR’s best of 2022 list and it’s a banger. Comes out rocking, slinky, melodic, rhythmically strong on the opener Big Baglama. I don’t know if we have a singer on this record, I’m hoping yes. Oh yeah, after a long intro we get a sultry female singer, noice, on track 2. Oh man, these guys can play, I’m feeling this. Lemme peep a coupla more tracks but this one is headed onto my best of 2022 list. This is a really good record with really great playing, clear production and flavorful arrangements.
@@@ Noori & His Dorpa Band: Al Amal (Ostinato Records, 2022) A different type of African record out of Sudan. Plenty of guitar playing (as usual) but a more loping tempo on this opener instead of your classic desert blues burner. There are six tracks on this record and while the first one is just shy of 4 minutes most of these are long bangers, mostly 6-7 minutes with the finale weighing in at 11+, that’s a big rooster. There are plenty of spots where the tenor sax and the guitar play melodies in unison and that I find a tad cliche and pretty hypnotic at the same time. The guitar player here is big nuts, he’s got the tone and the melodic prowess to back it up. They’re not gonna rip yer face off but they’re gonna keep at it until you’re a tad dizzy and up in the middle of all the swirling melodies. They had a little bit of a spaghetti western twang and I dig that. Even though this has a bit of a background music feel without a singer and a mellow tempo I’m not sure I would recommend it as the circular repetition will get in your head.
Music for 12/24/22!!! Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard
@@@ Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard: The Harvest (New Heavy Sounds, 2022). I found a pretty good list of off the beaten path metal records and this record which is described as an homage to 1980’s science fiction shows up on it. These guys are from Wales and they do bring it on the opener with some space lasers and weird synth melodies on top of the big bucket of crunch. There’s a little dreaminess packaged in here with the singer framed angelically. It’s a creative formula and I’m feeling it. There’s plenty of Black Sabbath sauce on the big long banger Logic Bomb, keeping the angel voice but cranking the riffs up bigly, it’s quite a mindbending contrast. Somebody did a bang up job on putting this record together sonically. There’s some really great sounds and songs on this record so if you’re sitting around waiting for Santa have at it, it’s a big ol’ stocking of guitar sounds.
Music for 12/22/22!!! SOM, Dischordia
@@@ SOM: The Shape of Everything (Pelagic, 2022) I got to this via a best of list and my first impression if you took the fuzzy, Dave Grohl vocals and put them into a heavier context it would sound a ton like these guys. They also sound a bunch like the band Torche I was into for a bit. This is slotted as gazecore on Youtube and I get that. Big wall of guitars but less squally than yer usual shoegaze, this is most definitely a ‘metal’ pick for NPR listeners as it’s not full on stuffed with desperation and hopelessness. And not molten it’s gauged. I usually don’t dig this formula but the vibes here are good. There are alot of reference points for this flavor, Smashing Pumpkins big guitar rock also comes to mind and I’m not a Pumpkins fan. While this wouldn’t make my best of year list it’s good shit and quite solid for normies who can only go so far in their listening.
@@@ Dischorida: Triptych (Transcending Obscurity Records, 2022) More metal you shittaz!!! This is some chaotic rocking business with overlapping guitar action and a sparying drummer. It’s doesn’t have stomping feel as much as it has a stumbling drunken bum fight feel, I dig it. The first two songs are hot nuggets for sure with surprising riff action, mathy explosions and an in the moment flavor. The ‘singing’ here is not particularly noteworthy but I’m finding the playing super engaging. These guys are very talented musicians and they’re showing off by segmenting their tunes with quiet sections, herk a jerk transitions and wild unexpected guitar madness. If you like metal and you appreciate heavy musicians playing their asses off check this record out, they’re killin’ it here.
Music for 12/20/22!!! Mizmor and Thou, Gaston De La Cruz Quinteto
@@@ Mizmor and Thou: Myopia (Myopia, 2022) I’ve come up a bit short on the heavy music this year which can always be remedied by hitting the interwebz and then hitting the streaming service. These guys are a no brainer from a blog called No Clean Singing and I got to that via a twat on the Twatter. Go Elon you dumb fuck! This record comes out of the gate swinging with both thrash and drama. Great drumming and impassioned singing — he sounds both very human and like an orc at the same time. Big melodies in places, this is pretty happening but let’s peep more. At 1 hour 14 minutes and eight tracks these are big bangers, epic metal bangers. I like everything about the record but it’s not making me jump up and down. It could be an of the moment thing where I could feel differently about it later. I’m going to circle back on this. As for execution they’re on it, great guitar sounds, great drummer, really impassioned singer.
@@@ Gaston De La Cruz Quinteto: Constelaciones (Self released, 2022) I’m closing in on being done with bandcamp’s best jazz of 2022. I can’t say I’ve been blown away or found a bunch of stuff but I keep digging. This is a medium sized outfit and it’s the very definition of shambolic. It’s not one of those superbly manicured jazz/post jazz records, it’s got some swing and jank to it. I wouldn’t say the playing is straight fire but they sound fully caffeinated. I’m checking the third tune before I tip out. This third tune is a sweeter ballad that I’m not super into, let me check track 4. Track 4 is another sweet potato and I think I liked the opening track the most of what I heard and I could have used a full record of janky bangers but hey it’s his thing and other folks may super like it.
Music for 12/19/22!!! Potsa Lotsa, Gilad Hekselman
@@@ Potsa Lotsa XL & Youjin Sung: Gaya (Trouble in the East Records, 2022) A couple of listens from bandcamp’s best jazz of 2022. This is a medium large ensemble jazz outfit smashing into traditional Korean music elements and it’s pretty interesting. One of the co-lead musicians here, Youjin Sung, is rocking a traditional Korean stringed instrument called a gayageum. I like the vibe player, partially because I love vibes. The vibe here is firm and a bit laidback, nothing too skronky. That said I didn’t find the compositions to be particularly noteworthy. I wouldn’t put this record on my best of 2022 list but it’s interesting to hear these sounds put together.
@@@ Gilad Hekselman: Far Star (Edition, 2022) The first track here opens with a whistled melody before moving into a loping jam rock neighborhood. The second tune sounds like the opening of a progressive television show with some glitched out sounds, a little drum machine action and Hekselman’s guitar. I like some of the ideas here but overall it’s somewhat an elevator music and I would find some grit and/or contrast to be of use here. This is most definitely for people with jobs, good jobs, people who throw brunches where they drink mimosas and listen to music like this and say ‘oh my’.
Music for 12/18/22!!! Pole
@@@ Pole: Tempus (Mute, 2022) I got to this record via a meh 10 best list on the Guardian. This looks set to be an abstract and dubby techno record with some techno feels but other stuff and I like other stuff with electro bits. These are all six and seven minute bangers, the opener a tad sleepy but this second one, Grauer Sand, is brisk with some low dub bass and lots of squiggle action. I like it as it’s tight and loose, some techno be too tight. Duder is quite expert at layering in the sounds, processed and otherswise and then dropping some tight snare sounds and other bits to make a fully assembled burger. There’s an awareness of time and space here that I dig, it’s fresh and unfolding in a way that I find really enjoyable, lots of good bangers on here. Check this out. Could be a late in the season find and I’ll take it. You can chill on this while also paying attention to how it rolls by.
Music for 12/14/22!!! The Front Bottoms, The Prince Daddy and The Hyena
@@@ The Front Bottoms: the bongo song (Elektra, 2022) I saw these two bands listed at a Philly Show tweeted out by someone on the Twatter. This is a major label release so it’s gonna only go so far and this (the second track on the record) is a Violent Femmes type tuneful rocker but not as slack. Tighten up this is a major label. Big panned electric guitars widened out with a catchy (and classic) acoustic guitar strum. It’s a nice big sound and well executed. I’m checking out the third tune, Hello World, and this looks set to be an ironic cheese bomb. I fell off for a minute or half as I fell into a big lull because it was indeed a huge cheese bomb. God Bless America and the part of it that loves the cheese and needs the cheese. I’m not for the cheese.
@@@ Prince Daddy and the Hyena: I Forgot to Take My Meds (Pure Noise, 2022) I think it’s gonna be a send up as the record opens with a strong Beach Boys vibe. Big organ swell and stacked harmonies, here comes the noise. It lasts the whole song, the Beach Boys thing and then it gets into a rough melodic punk in the second time. Ramped up for sure and spillier guitars than what you usually encounter in this formula. The third tune Jesus Fucking Christ is a slower Superdrag flavored rocker. I like this tune most of the three I’ve sampled and think these guys are good candidates for a new Replacements type band.
Music for 12/14/22!!! Little Simz, Danakil Meets Ondubground
@@@ Little Simz: Who Even Cares (AWAL, 2022) Off an email from Australian music mag Happy. Fresh out of the oven meaning just released, I think I heard a pre-release track from this record. This is track 9 on the record and it sports a slightly retro, soft and medium funky attitude. She’s more than solid on the microphone here. Slotted as hip hop she’s more straddling r&b and hip hop. I’m checking out the second track Gorilla and it’s more raucous and more hip hop with an upright bass, splashy hi hats and sassy rhymes. I’m on the third track and she’s got spot on production and she’s skilled microphonically but I don’t find myself pulled in by the tunes.
@@@ Danakil Meets Ondubground Part 2 (Baco Records, 2022) I got to this big fat modern sounding dub record with trap hats, dub and blunted feels via the WRIR playlist email. There are a ton of guest singers on this record from loverboy to dancehall toast to rough boys. The sounds are very new with drum machines and synth basses. I’m on the fourth tune and it’s an interesting blend of sounds, a lot of which I like and some I don’t like as much. It’s cool to take sounds that are central to other genres and then put them into a genre I super dig but I wish it hit harder and had more classic reggae funk. Not funk from classic reggae but the overall funkiness of reggae is a main draw for me.
Music for 12/13/22!!! Horse Lords, Wau Wau Collectif
@@@ Horse Lords: Mess Mend (RVNG, 2022) I got to this instrumental proggy rock band via Aquarium Drunkard’s best of year list. At first I thought this is just an updated Yes record but then they do get more layered and polyrhythmic as they layer the guitars and they do layer them, I can’t even count them. I’m on the third tune May Outage and it’s going in a Captain Beefheart direction. I like a bunch of the sounds here but I’m not sure I would choose this record over the playing superiority you would find on a well done improvised music record.
@@@ Wau Wau Collectif: Yonou Natangue (Sahel Sounds, 2022) Regular readers know I love African music especially when they hit the electronic music sound palette and get grizzy on it. I’m on the second tune and the singer is going into a quasi rap type sitch over a hand drum, a synth bass and some sparkly tinkly business. I peeped a bit of the third tune with a female singer and I’m onto the fourth track which features a deep voiced gent and has an ominous tone to it. There are a fair number of guest vocalists here which make the record sound a bit more fractured than I would like this is an interesting record. It has a great feel to it, funky and both low brow and high brow at the same time. There’s also a lot of different feels on this record, some groove, some electro, a bit of hip hop up top, classic hammered percussion on track 6 it’s a big slab of African sounds and textures. I will be circling back on this.