Music for 4/24/17!!! Forro in the Dark, Kondi Band, While She Sleeps

@@@ Forro in the Dark: Sandcastle (Nacional, 2017)  Some popping Brazilian music I got to via the WRIR weekly playlist email.  This first tune features some great hand drumming, trippy melodic guitar work and an energetic singer.  I see from the GooglePimp that these are Brazilian expats in New York city.  Ooh, this second tune is starting out hot as well — excellent percussion with some wicked flute over the top.  Please don’t tease me, be an awesome record all the way through.  The third tune sports vocals and it’s a narrative about a lawyer in New York — it’s a sophisto cabaret kinda track.  The fourth tune is back to an instrumental, which I prefer and I will check this whole record when I have a chance.

@@@ Kondi Band: Tit Dem Doo Service (Strut, 2017)  A pre-release single I got to via the same WRIR playlist email.  This is a small ensemble track with some fairly furious thumb piano, a singer with some backup and simple drum accompaniment.  As the tune grooves towards the finish line there are some very light and tasteful synth accents and a more urgent floor drum/foot tap.  I would check out more of this record when it comes out.

@@@ While She Sleeps: You are We (Sharptone, 2017)  Some mainstream drama metal off the Apple Music metal section.  I think there are some Linkin Park records up in this band’s collection — they’re a tad rougher but it’s the same art school metal formula.  The singer is upset, I get that, but I much prefer the working class heavy metal.  This is the purdy boy business as far as I’m concerned.

YTD recordings listened to: 264
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 144
Not good music: 97

Buys: 5
Honorable Mentions: 1

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, 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, Drone, 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, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark

Best of 2017 Pick 3

Neurosis: Fires Within Fires (Neurot, 2016)

This band is on a 30+ year arc and the playing on this record reflects that.  It’s not a bunch of dudes standing and blasting full on raged out metal, although there are some epic head blows to be found here.  They’re tight, the arrangements are tight, and the playing is lean seasoned with heavy doses of old school punk, noise, and of course, metal.

The mood is dark but three dimensionally so — some nice ambient sections, a few contemplative less dynamic and even a bit of mainstream rocking.  The singer is neither standard metal pissed or shredding his throat.  Let’s just call him disgruntled.  Just a taste below.

Music for 4/15/17!!! Sam Outlaw, November’s Doom

@@@ Sam Outlaw: Tenderhearted (Six Shooter, 2017) I’m assuming this is gonna be an outlaw country record cuz dude’s last name is Outlaw.  That’s called paying attention.  But keeping you on your toes, the first tune is a ballad.  Very lush and heartfelt.  Oh shit, this tune exploded into a mariachi/crunchy guitar break so it went for snoozy to cosmic on the drop of a cow pattie.  Let’s peep more. This second tune is another ballad.  I don’t feel ripped off but this is not outlaw at all, maybe this guy should change his name to Sam ThoughtfulRedneck.  Shit, that was the third tune, damn you interwebz player.  I’m on the second now and it’s a friendly shuffle beat but it’s got the same big, slow feel.  I’m on the fourth tune and this is starting to feel like John Mayer record with a cowboy hat.

@@@ November’s Doom: Hamartia (The End, 2017)  Some heavy metal off this week’s All Music notable release email.  Opens up with some tom heavy drumming, thick power chord sauce, and some classic metal riffing.  Yes, the Neanderthal is up and grunting!  The caveman is accompanied by some orc singing as well.  I saw a documentary disputing the disappearance of the Neanderthals.  They did not lose out to the humans, their genetic material is implanted in humans from inter-breeding.  Which would explain the appearance of these grunting, throat shredding caveman singers.  Don’t go around town saying you don’t learn shit on this blog, that’s totally inaccurate and just mean.  Fuck, you assholes.  Wow, we have a pretty boy singer on this second tune.  Color me confused.  Regardless of singing style you are guaranteed to get some thick guitar sauce and big arena rock drumming.

YTD recordings listened to: 245
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 133
Not good music: 91

Buys: 3
Honorable Mentions: 1

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, 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, Divanhana, Moken, Juan Atkins, Drone, 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, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee, Feral Ohms, Orquestra Baobab

Music for 4/11/17!!! Jake Xerxes Fussell, Saturn, Geotic

@@@ Jake Xerxes Fussell: What in the Natural World (Paradies of Bachelors, 2017)  Lonesome folk off this week’s All Music notable release email.  The record opens up with clean, arpeggiated electric guitar and Fussell’s voice.  I think this is a cover so Imma move ahead and we got a full band on this second tune (clipped below). Nice production influenced by Daniel Lanois.  I like this track, nice playing, no extra cheese, just playing and singing.  Very pretty but not over the top.

@@@ Saturn: Beyond Spectra (Rise Above, 2017)  Some proggy metal with some mainstream hard rock that I got to via the All Music notable release email.  This is some leather pants with large cucumbers stuffed down there music (Spinal Tap reference!)  The first tune is called Orbital Command but I thought he was singing Vegetables on Demand, which is fine as well.  Very intricate guitar and bass work with an operatic singer.  This second tune has a bit of boogie rock up in there.  If you dig a big ass guitar riff with big vocal sauce slather all over it, well then come and get it.

@@@ Geotic: Abysma (Ghostly Int’l, 2017)  Some chill techno off last week’s All Music notable release email.  A super pleasant, dare we say uplifting boom titch that gets some comfort synths layered over the top.  As a way of saying where this is at the first tune is called Sunspell and the second one is called Actually Smiling, the latter coming in with some tremolo oscillator action and a happy beat.  It’s not my thing but the sounds are real nice and there’s no shame in it.  Not for a rainy day, but more for the day you get a new puppy!  Yeah, a new puppy!!!!

YTD recordings listened to: 236
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 128
Not good music: 88

Buys: 1
Honorable Mentions: 1

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, 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, Divanhana, Moken, Juan Atkins, Drone, 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, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Tinariwen, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee, Feral Ohms, Orquestra Baobab

Music for 3/29/17!!! Enragement, Joe Marson, Tim McGraw/Faith Hill

@@@ Enragement: Blood for the Sun God (Enragement, 2017) An epic metal single I got to from the indie music blog Indiepulse.  A monster walking tempo with a punishing drummer and massive guitar bludgeoning and shredding sauce.  The singer is rough but not totally incomprehensible.  There are a few operatic flourishes, a little prog, and a little Lord of the Rings evil chanting action so it’s a blend of a lot of sounds.

@@@ Joe Marson: Explore/Explode (Per Diem, 2017)  Slotted as an alt-soul artist on an Indiepulse blog post, it’s a bit of white boy falsetto, a little John Mayer soft rock, and a little electro in the production.  It’s got a tinge of melancholy and a little arena rock in there as well.  I like some of the sounds, especially the guitar but the beats are not quite up my alley.

@@@ Tim McGraw & Faith Hill: Speak to a Girl (sony, 2016)  A new country cheese ballad  off the Apple Music hot tracks section.  It has a lot of advice on how to speak to a girl but then there are some lines about being nice to your mama which is a little Freudian. I would say that this tune is metaphorically a smooth cream cheese — big reverb, heartfelt lyrics and a straight Kentucky Fried Disney soundtrack production sound.  Somebody should send this tune to ol’ President Grab-A-Pussy, that’s about all it’s good for.

YTD recordings listened to: 206
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 109
Not good music: 78

Buys: 1
Honorable Mentions: 1

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, 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, Divanhana, Moken, Juan Atkins, Drone, 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, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Tinariwen, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee

Music for 3/23/17!!! Spoon, smno, Fit for an Autopsy

@@@ Spoon: Hot Thoughts (Matador, 2017) I’ve always thought Spoon overrated but I check every record as these guys are critical darlings. To me these guys are a funk band trapped in a white boy indie band’s body. They’re TRANS, so to speak.  They bit a Led Zeppelin drum intro on the second tune and immediately go angular.  I don’t think I like the singer — if he had David Bowie vibes I might appreciate it more.   Oops that was the third tune, interwebz situation.  I’m on the fourth tune and I’m sure the singer is the most awesome guy ever but I don’t like his microphone work.

@@@ Smino: blkswn (Zero Fatigue/Downtown, 2017)  Hip hop off the Apple Music new music section.  Same with the Spoon record.  This first tune is syrupy with a blunted feel.  I like the arrangement on this first tune, minimal, slinky and funky.   The sounds here far surpass the tunes.  There are a few guest vocalists so you might find a vocalist you dig.  Or you could just listen for the sounds, plenty of folks do that.  The MCs aren’t awful they don’t elevate the tunes for me.

@@@ Fit for an Autopsy: The Great Collapse (Entertainment One, 2017)  Some of the metal on the Apple Music new music section is mainstream leaning, but this is not one of those choices.  Ah wait, they’re doing that common Linkin Park move where it’s rough and heavy in the verse and it soars in the chorus.   They either have two singers or a shapeshifting one — it lurches from caveman growling to quasi-operatic art school singer in the chorus.  The band can be quite rough — not crazy molten, methed out metal but some more than solid work through herk-a-jerk moves.  It’s all right, solid B- but check for yourself.

YTD recordings listened to: 194
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 106
Not good music: 72

Buys: 1
Honorable Mentions: 1

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, 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, Divanhana, Moken, Juan Atkins, Drone, 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, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Tinariwen, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee

Music for 3/22/17!!! Foreseen, Pallbearer, Memoriam

@@@ Foreseen: Power Intoxication/Dying Spirit (Triple B, 2017) A Scandinavian thrash single I got to via Invisible Oranges.  High energy, hardcore punk style vocals, and a mix of guitar grinds and quick explosive shreds.  This first tune goes out on a nice power stomp.  The second tune seems more metal but with a big singalong chorus.  These are big full tunes with plenty to chew on.

@@@ Pallbearer: Heartless (Profound Lore, 2017) Also off the Invisible Oranges new music section but in the new release area.  I’ve checked these guys before and I dig them.  They’re a tad gloomy with bits of classic rock floating in the offal.  Big epic guitar melodies as expected and a jammy feel.  I don’t remember their previous music being this muscled up classic rock but this isn’t far from Kansas or REO Speedwagon.  Not in the guitar sound but the overall vibe.  I like it a bit rougher than this.

@@@ Memoriam: For the Fallen (Nuclear Blast, 2017)  These guys also have three tunes up as a preview of their upcoming full length.  They have a dark sound with a commitment to thumping you to death via kick drum or power chord, take your pick!  They crank up the beatdown on the second preview track Surrounded (by Death), it’s really quite a thumping.    The singer sounds a bit like Lemmy but with more sand in his mouth and this tune (clipped below!)  is the best of what I heard today.

YTD recordings listened to: 191
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 104
Not good music: 71

Buys: 1
Honorable Mentions: 1

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, 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, Divanhana, Moken, Juan Atkins, Drone, 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, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Tinariwen, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee