@@@ The Bronx: Curb Feelers (Cooking Vinyl, 2021) This full length banger is out in 5 days and this track rocks a hybrid, quasi-mainstream rawk/punk combo platter. More melody and less thrash but plenty of energy, the sounds here are polished and modern. Very riffy with a singer, not a metal orc or a classic metal opera singer, just a normal rock singer. Rock is so out of favor something that’s decent and not fully shopping malled out that’s not metal seems like a strange animal walking across the street. I checked another track and it’s big rawk energy as well.
@@@ Willow Kayne: Two Seater (Sony Music, 2021) A single from a major label and this might be a Sony music arm that’s not located in the U.S. because this is too odd and not in line with the steady diet of garbage coming out of major labels heah. The chorus does indeed straighten out into a pretty tuneful section but hold up, let me google this Willow Kayne and indeed she be from Bristol in the UK. I like the bass sound and arrangement is quite sophisto, the lyrics are pretty shallow with reasons why she’s gonna buy a two seater but whatevs. Interesting feels in the verse, grabs you when it opens up, not sure it follows through.
@@@ Greentea Peng: Man Made (EMI, 2021) Off this week’s Line of Best Fit. I know various parts of the UK music press are trying to hard to make Ms. Peng a big star. She has a jaunty vocal style and she gets a lot of backwards sounds to go with her vocals. Funky and downbeat rhythms. Very nice production, elaborate and lush. Let me peep a few other tracks. The first track Make Noise is more sparse and a well framed arrangement. I’m right on the cusp of really liking this but there’s something about it that isn’t moving me. I’m on the third track and it’s the corporate packaging and the cool temperature of the sounds, lyrics and message keeps me from jumping up and down. If you feel cool about your stuff I hear it that way, if you’re worked up I get worked up.
@@@ Martha Skye Murphy: Found Out (Self-released, 2021) A fragile, bedroom indie guitar thing sounding as if you look at Ms. Murphy she might swoon and fall over! Then comes some ugly electro washes/sounds and I like those. I didn’t like the beginning of the tune but I’m more into what she’s built it into. Regular readers know how I struggle with indie music and its conceits but the electro boom bap and other unusual sounds are nice, though the the double tracked vocals are a bit downer-y for me as a listener. I will survive so don’t be too concerned. It’s darkly dramatic and appealing in places.
@@@ Chief Ghoul: That Was A Lie (Chief Ghoul, 2021) I got this dirge-y country business via a music publicist email. While the guitar jangling is tried and true I dig the strings panned out to the sides and I find the shuffle beat to be a nice touch. Halfway through we are lucky to get some tambourine, the tambourine only surpassed by the cowbell in its percussive virtuosity. In general the formula and the vibe is pretty standard but it’s executed well here. I checked out other tunes and there’s a punky rocker but mostly backwoods, deep mosquito country.
@@@ Lithics: Tower of Age LP (Trouble in Mind, 2020) I got to this record via an email from Stranded Records which I thought was a reissue shop but this record is out this year so it’s not, it’s a blend of vinyl reissues and new stuff. Title track and if Devo and the Minutemen had a lovebaby it would sound a whole lot like this record. Aggro punky New Wave you might say. A tight white people’s groove, detached female singer, straight as an arrow drummer. Solid nerd rockin’, could stand out a bit more, krautrock is a tough sell for me.
@@@ BAIUCA: Linares (Raso Estudio, 2020) The last track on this EP and it’s slotted as downtempo. Let me Google up this outfit, I’m guessing Brazil. Madrid, I’m a fucking idiot. The tune has a laidback drum beat, but is spiced up bigly with some chopped hand clapping. Over that is a thick wedge of female voices, it’s an interesting blend of retro flavors and up to date production. The rest of the sandwich involves some pretty straightforward synths and nylon string guitar loops. I dig this, I wish it had more action/evolution after it establishes itself.
@@@ The Garifuna Collective: Black Catbird (Shika Shika, 2020) I really liked the record by these guys last year so that earns them a listen for this track. It’s an ambient rock kinda thing-y with bird calls/sounds sprinkled across the stereo field, grooving and lounge-y. But with wings, metaphorical wings that is. For people who shower regularly.
@@@ Omar Souleyman: Shlon (Mad Decent, 2020) Imma a Souleyman fan and I got to this via a 6 month old All Music notable release weeky email. Listening to Souleyman relentlessly rhythmic Arabic dance music is pretty close to a hot coffee enema or a shot of Red Bull in the eye. To call it uptemo does it a disservice. This tune comes out a bit slower but it’s still firm with delicious electro sounds. While the tempo comes down a bit the playing is tricked out with melodies running wild on a variety of instruments. There is a profile here of him and a review of this record saying his lyrics are mostly love songs, which is interesting as there’s a devotional vibe to my ears to the music.
YTD recordings listened to: 422
Good music, not list worthy: 218
Not good music: 191
Honorable Mentions: 0
Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, 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, Noname, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge, Nico Gomez, Nohe and Sus Santos, schroothoop, Tiny Bit of Giant’s Blood, Pole
@@@ 2 by Bukowski featuring Kid Moxie: Follow You Home (Inner Ear, 2018) A downtempo rock/electronic tune from a small Greek label that I review from time to time. Everything is slow — the beat, the electro string flourish in the back, and the vocals. Pleasantly slow. It goes epic synth around 2:10 and I like it less but I can only take a certain amount of synth. The synth is balanced out by some spaghetti western sounding guitar playing so that works for me. There is a climactic outro that I dig where it reaches it’s bigly-ness (Trump word) with an arpeggiated synth that works and drives the section.
@@@ Naomi Cowan: Paradise Plum (single) (Zinc Fence, 2018) A newly added reggae single at WRIR in Virginia. It opens up with a mix of modern and vintage reggae sounds. Super smooth and reverbed vocals with some tasty dub delays. I can’t tell if this is a drum machine or a drummer but the rhythm section is adequately root for my ears. Cowan has a soaring and sweet reggae voice which is front and center in the mix.
@@@ Robert Dallas: Bearer of Bad News (Medtone, 2018) Another reggae single off this week’s WRIR playlist email, this one super vintage. Takin your time drum groove with thick bass pumping beneath Dallas’ voice. The vocal melody is old school as well with some guitar and keyboard tucked under the voice. Another solid springtime roots reggae effort. As always check it for yourselves. There are brief horn lines that push and then fade for the singer to take over and you get a dub of the track as well.
YTD recordings listened to: 250
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 132
Not good music: 109
Honorable Mentions: 4
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, 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, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris
YTD recordings listened to: 216
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 141
Not good music: 58
Possibles: Isaiah Toothtaker (2011), Sidsel Endresen & Stan Westerhus, The Ones to Blame, Boyd Rivers, Abdoulaye Alhassane Toure, Cryptopsy, Nick Waterhouse, Patterson Hood, Skyzoo, Philippe Petite, Chris McGregor, Brother Ali (2009), Alvin Youngblood Hart, Bob Gluck Trio, Kayhan Kalhor, Ether Net, Oddisee, Holly Williams, Matt Davis’ Aerial Photograph, Hollis Brown.
@@@ Old Man Markley: Down Side Up (Fat Wreck Chords, 2013). Progressive bluegrass (not sure what that means) that comes out very uptempo with ‘Blood on my Hands’. The vocalist sounds a bit like Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day and there is a punk rock vibe to the playing on this record, especially the drums.
@@@ Julia Kent: Character (The Leaf Label, 2013) An All Music weekly email selection. Instrumental/orchestral electronic music. No beats, melodic, ambient but not super so. Interesting as it’s slotted as indie music in the weekly email, but it’s really electronic music. Very sountracky, not cheesy and not very dynamic.
@@@ Stubborn Heart: Stubborn Heart (One Little Indian, 2013) Downtempo electronica songs. Not a random dreamy female voice thrown in for flavor. Slick production with most of the energy focused on the beats. Elaborate beats and smoothness are the key elements here.