Music for 11/27/17!!! James Arthur, Neck of the Woods, Blank Range

@@@  James Arthur: Naked (Sony Germany, 2017)  Having half of you is not enough, he’s standing naked!  He’s not really saying why he’s naked — he’s got relationship problems in this electro pop tune.  He’s giving all he can for chrissakes!  It’s building like a stock market rally though his voice is kinda doughy.  I see from his Apple Music discography that he’s a tattooed bitch so that’s the marketing sell.  He’s a rough boy going pop loverboy.  I can’t really figure out how he’s going to give her everything when he’s standing there naked.  Maybe he has the world stuffed up his ass.  It’s possible, he’s keestering the world.  A lyric video, Christmas is early bitches!

@@@ Neck of the Woods: The Passenger (Self-released, 2017) Some hard rock/heavy music off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  Oh my the singer is pissed — his vocal cords turning to fiberglass threads with a rough but not crazy metal band behind him.  I feel bad the singer is so out of sorts — it’s the holidays and the stock market is at record highs!  I prefer my metal much messier and crushed but check this out for yourself.

@@@ Blank Range: Marooned with the Treasure (Sturdy Girls, 2017)  Classic roots rock off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  Shades of the Band, Blues Traveller with a twangy singer, a lot of guitars and a little hippie looseness to get you over the hump.  You also get some old school organ to go with the duel guitar attack. I’m not particularly in the mood for this but it’s all right.

YTD recordings listened to: 761
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 407
Not good music: 317

Buys: 9
Honorable Mentions: 7

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, American Lips, Sudan Archives, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Boubacare Traore, Les Filles De Illighadad, Curtis Harding

Advertisements

Music for 11/25/17!!! The Light Wires, The Body and Full of Hell

@@@ The Light Wires: The Invisible Hand (Sofaburn, 2017)  I dug Jeremy Pinnell’s first solo record so I wanted to listen to the band he had before he went solo.  This is a reissue of previously released music.  This first tune sports a heavy Replacements vibe (including his voice) which I dig.  Big American guitars.  The second tune is a couple notches above a ballad still with the big ass guitars.  It’s more rocking and less lonesome than his first solo — more classic American rock and I like it.  It’s crazy how much he sounds like Paul Westerberg on these tracks.  I’m going to swing back on this record but fans of Tom Petty, the Replacements (obviously), and Soul Asylum should check this.

@@@ The Body and Full of Hell: Ascending a Mountain of Heavy Light (Thrill Jockey, 2017)  Some death metal/black metal off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  I would say this definitely has some art school noise blended into this black metal.  It’s full on but with art sauce.  I like it.  The second tune does the same thing as it presents a little electronic intro before diving deep into the mosh pit.  A mosh pit whose overlord is an orc.  The guitars are noiser and less slab like than a typical metal record so there are most definitely variations to the formula going on here.  I usually don’t like to mix electronic elements with my heavy metal but this works for me.  Check for yourselves.

YTD recordings listened to: 758
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 405
Not good music: 315

Buys: 9
Honorable Mentions: 7

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, American Lips, Sudan Archives, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Boubacare Traore, Les Filles De Illighadad, Curtis Harding

Music for 11/10/16!!! Rich Chigga, NE-HI, The Used

@@@ Rich Chigga: Crisis (Empire, 2017)  A trap single occupying the #1 position on the Apple Music hot tracks section.  Slack rhymes in the verse but the chorus opens up into a half sung description of a touring hip hop act going through cities all the time each city containing ladies, if you know what I’m saying.  Standard skitter/fat bass contrast and a thin arrangement with some trippy synth arrangements.  Mr. Chigga is pretty clear that he will steal your bitch and I have no reason to doubt him.  I get that the slack vocal rhyming is a style/pose but it’s snoozy unless you’re busted out on cough syrup or something similar.

@@@ NE-HI: The Times I’m Not There (Manic Static, 2014) I saw on the Twatter that this track had been reworked so Imma guessing it’s a great indie track (or hipsters think thus) and they’re recycling it for some deep reason.  Let us peep and talk amongst ourselves.  It’s gonna benefit Chicago Public Schools so you can’t shit on that.  I saw that on the GooglePimp, I love the GooglePimp.   It starts out with an indie guitar riff and then they bring in some luscious female r&b vocals which is a nice flavor combination.  After the initial musical statement it kinda remains and floats in that vibe — I coulda used a bit more flavor added at the end.  Don’t call me a bitch, I’m just saying.

@@@ The Used: The Canyon (Hopeless Records, 2017)  I got to this post hardcore record via last week’s All Music notable release email.  It starts with the singer talking about holding somebody’s hand and telling them how much they loved them.  Okay!  After that it’s a man and his acoustic guitar and while the dude does a really good job with the vocal melody it’s a cheese fest for sure.  Let’s peep more and see how this goes.  The second tune abandons all that and goes into a clean, mainstream hard rock groove.  By the time it reaches the chorus it’s a lot of energy and tempo though it is careful not to fully melt down.  The singer is driving the bus here as the band is not as powerful as his voice and its deployment.  Big choruses here, it’s arena rock with a few pubes of emo and a lot of heavy pop.  This is aimed right at the heart of alienated mall walkers.  For me it’s short on genuine, messy human emotions and for that folks should check out Rites of Spring.

YTD recordings listened to: 729
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 391
Not good music: 305

Buys: 9
Honorable Mentions: 7

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, American Lips, Sudan Archives, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Boubacare Traore

Music for 11/9/17!!! Jess Abran/Steven Voyce, Boubacare Traore, The Thick Uns’, Thunderpussy

@@@ Jess Abran & Steven Voyce: Sour Cherry (N/A, 2017)  A super lush stripped down tune that is part r&b as well as retro-grunge melodies.  The female singer has her drama on but she’s counterbalanced by the the guitarist who also participates on the microphone duties.  Tasteful arrangement with guitar, simple drums and the breathy singer.

@@@ Boubacare Traore: Dounia Tabulo (Lusafrica, 2017)  Some West African blues music from a 75 year old musician.  I got to this record via the WRIR weekly review email.  Instrumentation on this first track is two guitars, harmonica, fiddle, and Traore’s world weary voice.  It’s very close to being old school American acoustic country blues and I’m aware that it came from Africa to the U.S.  There are three pre-release tunes (including one remix) up on the Apple Music and this first tune, Dis Lui Que je l’aime comme mon pays, has a good shuffle going on.  There is some tasty, ear catching cello shredding on the second tune but the star here is Traore’s voice.  He’s got mad soul.  I’ll swing back and listen to more of this record when it comes out.

@@@ The Thick Uns’: Deadly Bargain (Self-released, 2017) Super slack lo-fi take on late ’70s power rock.  A little bit of Captain Beefheart sprinkled over these proceedings as well.  It’s a solo bedroom production so it gives the rocking a different feel.  I got to this music from the musician himself who followed this here blog and then sent me a note afterwards.  A fair number of musicians follow this blog in hopes of snagging a review but they don’t send the note afterwards.  For fans of weird rock.

@@@ Thunderpussy: Speed Queen (UMG, 2017)  We’ll finish up with an arena/corporate rock single off the Apple Music hot tracks section.  It’s a pretty standard fat rock riff but I dig the way the female singer (who I assume to be Ms. Thunderpussy) comes in with some kitty claws and a short delay on her vocals.   It’s pretty standard double entendre about keeping her engine clean.  It’s an all right track but if you’re gonna bite the Led Zeppelin in this manner you should put a little freak in your guitar playing.  It’s not that the guitarist needs a Red Bull, he’s amped up but he needs some doobie up in his funk.  Solid B yo.

YTD recordings listened to: 726
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 389
Not good music: 304

Buys: 9
Honorable Mentions: 7

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, American Lips, Sudan Archives, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Boubacare Traore

Music for 11/8/17!!! Moonspell, Black Gardenia, Cannibal Corpse, The Boxer Rebellion

@@@ Moonspell: 1755 (Napalm, 2017)  Some dramatic, Portuguese language heavy metal off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  Halfway through this first tune and no distorted guitars in sight.  Heavy on the orchestral strings and the gruff caveman on the mic.  The second tune, the title track looks like it’s set to crush albeit in a very operatic manner.  A huge chorus of female background singers to go with you distorted guitars and the double kick drum.   Not really my thing, but maybe yours?

@@@ Black Gardenia: Lucky Star (Black Gardenia, 2017)  Old timey vocal jazz I got to via the CFUV weekly playlist email.  Instrumentation is two guitars, upright bass, minimal percussion/drums and a female singer.  The energy on this first tune is high but not manic and it comes with a tasteful guitar solo.   There’s a horn player on this second tune and I thought I heard minimal snare brushwork on the first tune but I could be wrong.  These are all well known jazz tunes done in a straightforward intimate manner without too much polish.  I kinda can’t stand the high end jazz sound but luckily this record does not employ it.

@@@  Cannibal Corpse: Red Before Black (Metal Blade, 2017)  Angry beheaded chicken thrash metal from a veteran band.  I got to this record from the Apple Music new release area.  The singer is an angry orc which is not my thing but the drummer and the guitarist bring some serious blood pressure raising to the record.  Let’s peep more.  Same on the second tune, Red Before Black.  This might be a dual guitar attack, it’s a wall of buzz, threedle and distorted guitar syrup.  Blasting with an occasional burst of guitar shred melody.  This is music for people with shitty jobs and only money for cheap beer.  Good shit, check it out.

@@@ The Boxer Rebellion: Love Yourself (Absentee Records, 2017)  Oh, back to society with its conventions, superficial pretty and fake emotions.  This tune would qualify.  If you could ask for help, the first thing I would say is love yourself — that’s the vocal hook here.  I don’t think he means you should sprint home and rub one out as the world is not short on masturbators, public and private.  So he means to love yourself spiritually and emotionally and shit.  Not sure what to say to this as I’m dead inside.  I like the bass player, the drummer is all right but a little douchey in his choice of beats, and the singer is your friend.  No doubt the singer is your friend, he’s telling you to love yourself.  Emotionally and shit, stay off the johnson rod — give that a rest as you’re gonna cramp up.  It’s pretty standard, corporate, self-help rock.  Love yourself, everybody, c’mon!  I have no idea what to expect after those words are spoken.

YTD recordings listened to: 722
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 387
Not good music: 302

Buys: 9
Honorable Mentions: 7

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, American Lips, Sudan Archives, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge

Music for 11/7/17!!! Hamilton Leithauser, Josh Nelson, U2, Beans on Toast

@@@ Hamilton Leithauser: Heartstruck (Glasnote, 2017)  I saw a shout for this retro soul single on the Twatter where somebody had twatted about the singer’s greatness.  It’s more early ’60s r&b style with an emphasis on string flourishes over grooves.  It has a groove but the strings eat away at it.  Leithauser does a good job with the vocals and the guest female vocalist does well.  It has a wee bit of indie pretension but people love that shit.

@@@  Josh Nelson: The Sky Remains (Josh Nelson, 2017)  On the very same twat I saw this record described as being one of the best of 2015 which is a bit confusing as the Apple Music has a 2017 date for this release.  Details, schmetails….this has a polished, highbrow sound to it that doesn’t work great for me but it does have a pleasant orchestral feel to it.  It doesn’t make me want to reach for the international coffee flavors but I do want to put on clean clothes and nice sweater.  This is music for people with jobs and purpose.  The second tune has a female vocalist and it’s just a couple of steps away from being a Disney movie title track.

@@@ U2: The Blackout (Island, 2017)  I’m really enjoying the awfulness of U2’s new music.  Bono made a deal with the devil and dodged his taxes and his music has suffered.      I guess he’s up late at night smoking a fat cigar and counting his money — 100! 200! (Achtung Baby reference there).  Bono has always been a cornball blowhard but the New Age tint to his recent lyrics is pretty bilious.  This tune is manicured like a porn star’s va-jay-jay.  The guitar riff is all right but you can see the lyrical hook below.  Don’t doubt the light that you can really be — I gotta pee on that.  I don’t listen to rock music for self help lyrics.  He should go back to dodging taxes where he’s doing much better.

@@@ Beans on Toast: Jamie & Lily (Xtra Mile, 2017)  A pre-release single I got to via a music publicist email.  I’m all for lesbian love affairs so I don’t know why I find this song kinda annoying.  It’s simple in structure with strummed acoustic guitar, a friendly coffee shop folks singer and fiddle playing.  I guess I’m not feeling these lyrics and the delivery, it’s just so….it’s a painfully explicit lifestyle song.  I don’t care about the veggie lasagna and the glasses of juice.  Maybe I would feel better about the proceedings if the video didn’t cheese the whole thing out more.

YTD recordings listened to: 718
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 385
Not good music: 300

Buys: 9
Honorable Mentions: 7

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, American Lips, Sudan Archives, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge

Music for 11/3/17!!! Spit Syndicate, Willow Smith, Kid Rock, Converge

@@@ Converge: The Dusk In Us (Epitaph, 2017)  Also off this week’s All Music notable release email.  I’m a big Converge fan.  Ah, thank God the bands that discard all manner of bullshit and get on with the transfer of energy.  These guys are obviously close to legends and they blur hardcore punk and metal depending on the record.  This one (to my ears) has an emo feel to it and I’m feeling this first tune.  Let’s peep more.  Oh my this second song is awesome, just full tilt herky jerky, coming off the rails hardcore.  Same with the third tune, this shit is perfect for this Golden Era of Assholes.  I don’t have the time to eat this whole sandwich but this will be on my best of 2017 list in some manner or form.

@@@ Spit Syndicate: Emperor’s New Flows (1 Day, 2017). I got to this hip hop single via an email from Happy Mag.  These guys are in Australia and to my ears they are rocking a quasi retro ’90s New York sound.  Their accent is subtle and changes the vibe of the track.    I would put these guys a few rungs above Macklemore and a bunch of rungs below Eminem who is a rough bitch. Beats are all right, arrangement sorta familiar.

@@@ Willow: The 1st (Roc Nation, 2017).  Some alternative music from the daughter of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith.  She has an odd singing style and appears to have a British accent at certain points.  It’s an aspirational highbrow sort of thing with big, meta lyrics, quasi improvised string arrangements and a generally artsy feel.  The second tune opens up with a classical-esque piano so that continues.  I’m assuming she’s playing that interlude.  I’m on the fourth tune and it’s a bit all over the place aesthetically — confessional lyrics and unrestrained youthful singing, classical flourishes in places and singer songwriter vibes in other places.  It’s a bit messy for my taste and I think she would be best served with a producer/partner who could focus her energy.

@@@ Kid Rock: Sweet Southern Sugar (Top Dog/BMG Rights, 2017) Motherfucking Kid Rock has a new record and I’ve read in more than one spot that it’s good.  How can this be?  Kid Rock is a super huge dickhead  Let’s peep this shit.  First tune, Greatest Show on Earth, we’ll see.  It’s a classic rock nugget with a hip hop potty mouth.  It sounds pretty good as opposed to his last album which sounded like ass.  The musical arrangements are pretty much xeroxed, beyond familiar from the guitar hooks to the vocal melodies.  I’m on the fourth tune and this one is most definitely a step down in quality from the first three and a step up in cheesy sounds.  Yikes.  One more and that will be enough Bob Ritchie until the next biscuit drops out his ass.  You can call this redneck rock or country rock but it’s classic rock with a little hip hop attitude and this crazy ass trailer trash element thrown in for racial confusion.  This fifth tune American Rock ‘n Roll is going to be on offer at Cracker Barrel as a super cheesy biscuit as part of a cross promotion.

YTD recordings listened to: 711
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 381
Not good music: 297

Buys: 9
Honorable Mentions: 7

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, American Lips, Sudan Archives, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge