Music for 1/30/23!!!! Vanessa Rossetto, Tigercub

@@@ Vanessa Rossetto: 1-4 early girl (Erstwhile Records, 2022) This could be my last listen off this Stereogum best of experimental records list as I have not been as impressed with this list as other Stereogum best of year lists. This is the fourth track on the record and it appears to be a spliced or long running field recording of folks in an urban environment. Maybe or maybe not on the urban part. I’m about halfway through and it definitely feels spliced with radio excerpts, vehicle sounds, etc. I like the handful of big jumps in environment that you you experience during the track but I’d like more going on here.

@@@ Tigercub: The Perfume of Decay (N/A, 2023) I got to this arena sized guitar driven rock via a music publicist. It’s most notable for the guitar shredding as wells as the contrast of soft dare I say shoegaze-y vocal stylings. The rhythm guitar is pretty standard with growling tones and big splashy rock drumming. I really like how the long, descending, somewhat rock star/somewhat non-rock star guitar riff drives the whole track and lifts it. I wish they had done a bit more in other areas but normie mainstream music can roll like that, it usually does.

Music for 1/4/22 Zeal and Ardor

@@@ Zeal and Ardor: Zeal and Ardor (MVKA, 2022) I got to this record blending hard rock, heavy metal and black gospel music influences via a best of 2022 list. There’s a lot of shit to listen to. I checked out the first few tunes yesterday and my draft blog post got smacked around and lost so today I start with the rave up fourth track, Emersion. It goes from poppy, looped sections to full on smashed thrash, a classic relax and release program that’s been run for decades. I like this, it’s uplifting and extreme in its way. Maybe the younger crowd doesn’t hear the cowboy hard rock of Bon Jovi and Bad Company but I sure do and I don’t love it, it’s needlessly macho. To be honest, this record does jump around quite a bit, it has electro influences as well as arena rock, hard rock, thrash, I have no problem with the mashing it’s more the end results. I really felt the fourth track Emersion, that hit me the most. I would like this more if it upped the black music quotient and took down the cowboy rock but hey that’s just me.

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 10/4/22!!! Sherelle, Rachika Nayar

@@@ Sherelle: 160 Down the A406 (Sherelle, 2022) I got to this UK dancefloor banger via UK music magazine Crack. It opens with a frantic beat composed of hand drum and hi hat, then the chill keyboards come in and then dubbed out female diva action. I would dub this an atmospheric banger, thick and running on the bottom with a lot of gauzy reverbed out sounds up top, at least til the hammered marimba sound comes in and then the tune really firms up and boogies. Unfortunately that’s halfway through the track and it should have happened much sooner in my opinion. From the marimba it swaps over to the arpeggiated synth climber and oy this is sweet but late. I would listen to more of this artist.

@@@ Rachika Nayar: Heaven Comes Crashing (NNA Tapes, 2022) Another Crack Music listen this time alternative and not electronic. The video below is track 7 on a record that came out in late August. There’s some dreamy, echoed Lord of the Rings type female vocals, barely discernable floating across the top of two noodling, dueling guitars. It’s a bit claggy as Paul Hollywood would say, I could use some drum beats. Just shy of halfway the tune explodes with some fat bass pulsing and a drum ‘n bass (reworked a bit) and this is a full across the sky cheese bomb, yowsa!!!! Boy, that’s really something right there. I’m giving a quick peep to the second track as I finish up today’s post. It’s more epic guitar threedling.

Music for 10/3/22!!! High Vis, George Riley

@@@ HIgh Vis: Talk for Hours (Dais, 2022) I got to this punky/rocky English band via a music publicist email. Imma tellin’ you people we’re gonna see more rock in the short and medium term. These guys are not American which makes sense as American rock music has been boiled down to pretty much the Foo Fighters for a bunch of years now and other places did not swear off rock the way we have here in the U.S. This is pretty straightforward stuff with a lot of guitar rocking, and the track below is the opener for the record. It leans epic with big power chord action and melodies, I have nothing against it. Recent records by The Morlocs and a record I reviewed from the label Flenser are more interesting and original but some folks want that familiar shit. Pretty strong Oasis flavors here.

@@@ George Riley: Time (PLZ Make it Ruins, 2022) This is one of the records on this week’s Pitchfork’s 10 most reviewed albums of the week. I can’t tell if the background to the track clipped below is a guitar player or a roughed up synth but it’s a really interesting combination as she works the mike with a fair amount of energy. Once the beat comes in it really smacks hard. I’m now on the fifth track, the title track, and there’s a certain intense energy to this music — like she means it. God forbid someone hit the big red button called passion. The record is slotted as electronic up on Apple Music but it’s really a r&b record with some really hot arrangements. Start with the track below and go from there.

Music for 8/10/22!!! Cruel Sister, Mail Grab

@@@ Cruel Sister: Chihiro (N/A, 2022) I set up this blog post last week before I fell off a low roof and fucked up my ribs and landed on a bunch of pain meds, no oxy! Long story short I can’t remember how I got to these two listens. I can’t listen to Apple Music on this Apple laptop (fuckin weird) so we’re stuck with GooglePimpTube. The opening here is very U2-ish, big chimey echoed guitar, thumping drums, oh I have to shut my eyes when the band comes in full because the female singer is doing some way dramatical movement in the video and it’s making me want to stop the song. This is a shoegaze slammed into U2 rock thing with drums high in the mix. Big reverbed vocals which I don’t like but the drums high in the mix does work for me. I think Edge’s kid is up on this track that’s how close to biting it they are. Rawk is a tough sell for me and the video is not helping.

@@@ Mall Grab: Patience (N/A, 2022) Oh, here we go with the classic skittering techno hi hats, four on the floor kick drum but sitting under a carefree female singer saying almost exclusively ‘that’s how we work’. It’s a nice contrast, the tightness of rhythms and the chill sitch vocalist. In between the vocalist and the drum machine is a thick layer of marshmallow fluff synths. Okay I’ve rocked what I can hear let me see if I can get my ghetto Apple Music GUI to play another track by these guys. I’m checking out another track called Hand in Hand in Wonderland and it’s a similar Kraut-y drum machine vibe with echoed vocals I like, and an arpeggiated synth I’m agnostic about. I like how this track is closer to being a dub track than a formal track.

Music for 7/1/22!!! KMRU and Aho Ssan, Power Pose

@@@ KMRU & Aho Ssan: Limen (Multiverse, 2022) Also off the Vinyl Factory top 20 of 2022 that I’ve been listening to this week. This ambient record consists of three pieces, a 5 minute, an 11 minute and a 20+ minute banger. I will be peeping the first tune Resurgence which opens pleasantly swirly with some high end percussive elements that sound a bit like a seasoned drummer working the brushes on his/her snare. It’s an extremely dramatic piece and not a minimalist amount of sound going on here with a guitar like sound in an epic feedback struggle. Let me give a quick peep to the next track, the short one as this first one may be a bit too dramatic for me. I like this short piece more as the guitar component is dialed back and there’s a fat wedge of low frequency going on. It’s bit too frantic for my tastes in the high end of the spectrum, lots of panning static and crashing which provides both action and distraction.

@@@ Power Pose: Honey (Wine N Orange, 2022) I got to this via a music publicist email. If you’re looking for a tad of surf/rockabilly swirled into you pop punk this could work for you bigly. The singer is the low energy component here compared to the guitarist and the drummer, oops proved a liar as she jumps an octave and lets loose a bit, I like that. Now if there was a full on meltdown at this point I would shit my pants. I don’t they’re going to flip out though it’s the logical conclusion to the situation they’ve created. But alas the trousers went unsoiled and the shitty was not whipped.

Music for 6/11/22!!! aldn, Carrie Underwood

@@@ aldn: denial (Geffen, 2022) I got to this young producer via the Line of Best Fit and as somebody who is one of the top listeners in the country there is a concerted effort to bring back some form of updated rock. Duder here brings some grunge with some different framing including distorted vocals and crushed drums. Now I now that crushed drums and blasted vocals are not a new thing, the definitions change and this is trying to be both similar to and different from Foo Fighters for example. I like the additional crunch here but it’s gonna take more than that for me to get into some rock. Oh arpeggiated synth solo then back into the guitar crunch that’s also an update.

@@@ Carrie Underwood: Ghost Story (Capitol Nashville, 2022) I got to this mainstream country pop via the front page of Apple Music. This is music that the label has spent a lot of money polishing and producing and Underwood is presented here in an epic manner with huge reverb and a super pimped microphone. Is it a satisfying song? Not for me, it’s quite without soul and it does make you wonder if folks are more comfortable putting out music that’s technically perfectly executed and very little emotion is passed on. It’s a cowgirl cheese bomb. She’s gonna be your ghost story — I’ll be haunting you, you’ll be wanting me, I kinda get that but meh. Gawd, mainstream music can be quite sterile and boring and the trend is not going in the right direction.

Music for 5/14/22!!! My Chemical Romance

@@@ My Chemical Romance: The Foundations of Decay (Reprise, 2022) I saw folks absolutely filling their diaper that My Chemical Romance had bequeathed unto us a new track. It’s a big arena rock sad banger that really revs up in the chorus with some buzzsaw power chord action and big vocal hooks. I mean this doesn’t make me fill my diaper. Parts of it are directly lifted from another track but as I’m not a huge mainstream music guy I can’t recall what it is. It’s going to a bridge section with two big power chord beats with a bleating guitar and a vocal scream in between and let’s just be clear that there’s nothing here that hasn’t been done before and done just fine. I’m guessing this hits home for the shopping mall crowd and that’s either a demographic that either craves predictability or isn’t knowledgeable enough to know that this is pretty hurtin’ rock. Maybe listen to something else? That’s what I would recommend. One last thing, the mix is pretty crunchy in places and hurt my ears which I guess is cool.

Music for 5/9/22!!! Jack Harlow, Halestorm

@@@ Jack Harlow: First Class (Atlantic, 2022) Pole position on Apple Music and fourth track on the record, this white boy is doing a pretty drawl-y cleaned up trap vibe. It’s kinda hilarious, he can put you in first class (with all the white people!!!). The piano progression provides the harmonic structure, you get a little synth melody, some fat bass but not too fat, but I can’t get past his vocal delivery. He’s a mayo Drake, and Lord knows Drake is pretty white. I like the bass, it’s the best part of the track, the beats are a little backed off, the piano is fine, and his voice, Cracker Barrel got the voice for all those Elvis Presley hip hop fans.

@@@ Halestorm: Wicked Ways (Atlantic, 2022) This is some cheese ass hard rock also on the Apple Music new music section, yowsa it’s more cheese for America and America has already been dipped in cheese three times over! Big power chords, some synth action and urgent female rock singer feels. Big female rock star feels, I mean big, Trump big. Bloated Trump big, Trump on the toilet big. It’s like two Bon Jovis boiled down with a vagina slapped on there, it’s at that level. What do I like here? Nice snare sound and big energy, the drummer is all right. The guitars aren’t notable and the singer is just a bit extra as far as I’m concerned.