Music for 3/19/23!!!! MSPAINT

@@@ MSPAINT: Post America (Convulse, 2023) A mashup of hard, riff rock, punk sensibility and white boy hip hop that I got to via Pitchfork’s 10 most reviewed albums of the week. It’s got a lot of energy and some interesting layers but I’m not jumping up and down. The second tune, Think It Through, gets into a pretty familiar post rock territorial. I like what the singer is doing, but he could rock another flow and then return. There are moments here very reminiscent of Rage Against the Machine but with less funk and I have to say the record might lift off if the singer was more flavorful. He’s a bit 1 trick pony and if he had more moves it would make for more exciting proceedings.

Music for 11/11/22!!! Skanks the Rap Martyr, Persher

@@@ Skanks the Rap Martyr: Take it to the Streets (Anarchy Records, 2022) I got to this independent hip hop via a music publicist email. Skanks the Rap Martyr has plenty of jams up on Apple Music but not this track and it’s Friday and I’m lazy so wé’re just gonna rock the GooglePimpTube video below. A brisk retro-ish beat heavy on snare with lyrics lamenting violence in the hip hop community. There’s a really nice flute sample and energetic but not full on rhyming. It’s a straight forward track, I like the lyrics and the bounce.

@@@ Persher: Man With the Magic Soap (Thrill Jockey, 2022) I got to this metal outfit via a weekly email from Crack Magazine out of the UK. I have a conflicted relationship with Thrill Jockey metal releases — sometimes it’s noisy metal and I dig that and sometimes it’s more art school metal and I like that less. C’mon you gotta give props to any record title Man with the Magic Soap. This is not your typical metal, it’s more of an art school noise rock project. Plenty of fuzz, punk drumming, blasted distorted vocals. I like the first track but I didn’t finish it so I skipped to the second while mentioning that’s not a great sign. This second track Calf is pretty good with a spooky bassline and a shuffly beat. It’s cool. I think this is solid B stuff, I like a bunch of what’s going on here but I’m not jumping up and down. To my ears it’s an extension of Rob Zombie’s horror movie music without a lot of metal, more punk and no glam.

Music for 10/9/22!!! Freddie Gibbs, Willow Smith

@@@ Freddie Gibbs: Dark Hearted ( , 2022). I got to this record via Pitchfork’s 10 most reviewed records of the week. The first track is some bloated, overly dramatical Rocky boxing movie type track, oy, it’s a got a stale hip hop flavor and I have dug Freddie Gibbs business in the not so recent past. I’m giving a quick listen to the second track Blackest in the Room and it’s not the rhyming I object to, it’s the lounge-y sounds and the cheesy sounds in other places though in the second half of the track the sounds change. I like it more as the album continues but the sounds aren’t particularly interesting and engaging.

@@@ Willow Smith: WILLOW (Roc Nation, 2022). I think overstuffed is my first reaction to the opening track of this record. It’s very committed to a lot. The question isn’t settled as to how much is too much or just right. I do know if the song feels long and I’m checking to see how much is left that’s not a good sign. It jumps from indie to emo punk with metal flavors and then back to mainstream rock, oy. I like smashing shit together so I don’t protest that aspect of that record, but I’m listening to it as something put together and not really listening to it as music and enjoying it. It seems pretty self concious. I do give respect to her for the energy, she’s putting it out there for sure.

Music for 9/30/22!!!! Handle, OFF!

@@@ Handle: Punctured Time (Upset the Rhythm, 2022) I got to this alternative band via an interesting article in the Guardian when a music writer features music she (I think) found over the course of the year. The video below is for the second track on the record and it’s a brash art school/kraut-y punk feel. I like the no fucks given approach to the arrangements but more abrasiveness and less art school would work better for me. I’ve sample 3-4 tunes and I like the ones with the female singer more. Overall I dig this and think it’s not easy to find this vibe around these days as everybody is consuming music as macaroni and cheese comfort music.

@@@ OFF!: Free LSD (Fat Possum, 2022) Looks like somebody took the Black Sabbath sludgy guitar sound and smashed it into a punk record. I guess this is the original singer from the Circle Jerks. He does sport a sorta Sex Pistols old school barking/spoken word retro approach. The instrumental interludes are interesting and not reminiscent of punk at all, they’re kinda exploratory and Sabbath-y. I think the sound of the record is pretty interesting, it’s not shitass punk production and it sounds pretty mainstream and a tad metal. For those of you who don’t think the sound of a record matters you can just log off right now ya dummies. The not giving a fuck approach is best encapsulated by the interludes where shit breaks down into noisy components, that’s pretty rare these days.

Music for 7/31/22!!! Tom Prekop/John McEntire, Chat Pile

@@@ Tom Prekop/John McEntire: Crossing at the Shallow (Thrill Jockey , 2022) A coupla listens off this week’s 10 most reviewed albums via Pitchfork email. Slotted as ambient on Apple Music this is the second track on the album and it comes out grooving with a classic techno beat. It’s not the only beat happenin’ (great!) and there’s some interesting shit going on in here — to reduce them to squiggles and sheets of sound is a bit degrading but there’s there’s some melodic funk/junk on top that really breaks the rigidity of the beat. This is a record with four tracks and the shortest banger on here is just shy of 9 minutes so buckle in as they’re gonna stretch you shit out. I’m checking out the first track, A Ghost at Noon, and it comes on with some nice sci-fi/space synths. I will hang for the full flowering of the track as I hear the hi hat coming, now the kick. Not a lot of ambient dancefloor music is gonna have this level of melodic development so get with that.

@@@ Chat Pile: Slaughterhouse (The Flenser, 2022) Slotted as rock on the Apple Music it’s got more of a punk/metal flow to my ears but we don’t want to harm the delicate sensibilities of the mainstream listeners. Medium big mess here, slicing guitar notes, grizzy bass guitar and thick ka-chunky drums, it’s more muscular rock than I’ve hear in a bit. I skipped the second track Why and it’s uglier and I like it, it’s just a foul bucket of distortion and bashing. I wish more people would get into this rough stuff, it really helps get the bad feels out. Big ups not only to the sounds, but this second track Why is a really creative lyrical smash in the face.

Music for 6/25/22!!! Hypermass, Mutilatred

@@@ Hypermass: Hivemind (Hypermass, 2022) Very hard rock production here but they do bring the energy and some metal features to their music. The singer traffics in the various metal singing modes and the drummer is amped the fuck up and it’s quite inspiring. I’m on the fifth track and it’s the same formula, ramped hard rock with an insane drummer. I guess a lot of folks would experience this as metal but the super manicured production makes me feel it’s more in the hard rock spirit. Personal preference, no need to beef over aesthetics.

@@@ Mutilatred: Determined to Rot (Self released, 2022) Oh my, this is some filthy ass fully melted down death metal. Tons of static, a breakneck pace, a caveman singer and just a face full of antisocial energy. This feels like watching someone have an uncontrollable medical breakdown, a fit or a stroke or heart attack. Fuck!!! There’s a grinding, ka-chunky sameness to the first three tracks I’ve peeped and yeah if you’re feeling this way just keep circling back on it like picking a scab. Big ups to the drummer, yowsa he’s getting a workout.

Music for 6/23/22!!! Kind Eyes, Clutch

@@@ Kind Eyes: Cruel World (xhsx, 2022) More listening from the 24 metal and hardcore songs of the week over at the Brooklyn Vegan. Part metal, part hardcore with an excellent guitar grind, this is pretty hot stuff. As you can see from the video clipped below the singer is African American and he has African American concerns. Good to see that going on, I love the black metal and black hardcore. They get a good and not cheesy singalong vibe going in the chorus but the key here is the locked tight rhythm of the guitars and the drums. I like these guys, they whip up a solid shitty and the sludgy distortion coming out of the guitars is excellent.

@@@ Clutch: We Strive for Excellence (Weathermaker Music, 2022) This is retro flavored boogie rock with a whole bunch of hard rock flavors. It doesn’t have a distinctly anti-social flavor as in the track above. I like it, but I like anti-social shit more. The singer is actually singing and not caveman throat singing. You get a proper guitar solo and some tasty bass playing. The drummer is full rock and the drums are mixed as such.

Music for 6/22/22!!!! Russian Circles, End It

@@@ Russian Circles: Conduit (Sargent House, 2022) I guess these guys are vets and this is a pre-release track of an upcoming full length. It opens up with that relentles metal flavor before shifting down into some minimal dour melodies. I like the churn, I like the guitar tones, I like the drumming and how they’re all locked together. It looks like this is gonna be an instrumental banger and in that light I guess I could use a bit more lead melody to keep my interest. There are a fair number of sections where they take the sound down and build it back up oh my they just brought back up and it’s pumped up pretty bigly. This is tight tight tight and I lean more towards the chaotic metal, it’s all personal preference. They have a lot of great shit going on here but I’d like a bit more, does that make me a bitch? I would listen to more.

@@@ End It: New Wage Slavery (Flat Spot, 2022) Some black hardcore out of Baltimore that I got to via 24 metal and punk songs on Brooklyn Vegan. The mix tilts towards metal, but the singer is classic ramped up hardcore. The energy here is most definitely ‘hey let’s go burn whitey’s house down’ and that seems very relevant and appropriate. I really love black hardcore as rhythmically it’s a bit more to my liking than your amped up white boy stomping his ass off. To say it’s funkier may be a mistake but it’s more flexible. Great track, would listen to more.

Music for 11/1/21!!! Hans Condor, Frank Turner

@@@ Hans Condor: Pent Up Aggression (Dial Back Sound, 2021) A little bit from the heavy punk side of the tracks, and both tracks today come from music publicists. It’s got a bit of hillbilly rock but the biggest influence here is early Clash business. Big shoutalong vocal hook, lots of power chords, ramped up garage punk/early punk energy. This is a very familiar formula and they bring a lot of caffeine and other stimulants to it. I could use any sort of new twist on it, but that is not to be.

@@@ Frank Turner: Non Serviam (Polydor/UMG, 2021) A major label sorta post punk punky sound. I know post punk punk sounds oddly up its own ass but it doesn’t sport the classic simplicity of the first wave of punk and hardcore. There’s more of an updated sound with some metall-ish grinding at certain points and some section changes that have references outside of punk. He just went into a bridge that was mainstream but not mainstream before he went back into the grind. The punk energy is there, the major label production sound is there for sure and that’s pretty much where it’s at. The player clicked through and the next pre release track has plenty of thinly disguised Thin Lizzy and mainstream vocal hook action. No shame in it, just don’t broadcast punk when it’s only half the game being played here.

Music for 6/23/21!!! Chris Corsano and Bill Orcutt, Divide and Dissolve, Gojira

@@@ Chris Corsano & Bill Orcutt: Man Carrying Thing (Pallila, 2021) This is a guitar and drums improvisation record that traffics heavily in rock tones. Not cheesy rock tones mind you. It’s not a noodly jazz guitar tone and I’m very grateful for that, there’s plenty of bluster and noise to be had here. I’m hearing mostly two tracks of guitars on each tune and from what I read this is a Covid record where one musician overdubbed what another one sent to him. Without getting too simplistic one guitar seems (though not always) to set a foundation for some melodic playing. It makes it feel more like a band without a bass player and two guitar player. It sounds to me like the record leans towards more towards circular motifs and ambient playing over the idea of epic Sonny Sharrock type rock-jazz melodies. Excellent tones on both the drums and guitars, check this out if you like noise, improvised energy etc.

@@@ Divide and Dissolve: Denial (Invada UK, 2021) Another record off the Guardian’s best of 2021 thus far list. This is a dark banger off a record with some really disillusioned and slack titles — denial, prove it, do i have to do something with it, we are really worried about you. This track intros with a horror movie type setup before going full frog stomp. Oh my, this is staticky, and crunchy and delicious. I’m not going to lie, I would like to hear more from a 7 minute banger — a guitar solo, a bassline, the sound of two dogs fornicating in an abandoned parking lot. I love the sounds and the darkness and I guess I’m a bitch for wanting it to be a bit more fleshed out.

@@@ Gojira: Fortitude (Roadrunner, 2021) I believe this is the last listen off the Guardian’s halfway through the year best of list. For those not into the metal scene and shit Gojira is a French prog metal outfit and this record is about climate change I think. Actually the Apple Music has them saying it’s about environmental awareness and civil disobedience. The track below is a 2 minute dirge with a stringy bass sound and some chanting. I’m checking out the second track Amazonia and it’s a rocker with some impressive kick drumming, riffage and maybe a jew’s harp. This is more uplifting hard rock than melted gloomy shit. I don’t have a preference I’m just describing. These guys are clearly a veteran band and the level of playing here is very high. I like it all right, it doesn’t charge me the way a well balanced ball of fury does, it’s a tad on the epic side for my taste. Amazingly clean and manicured sound which I appreciate technically without loving the effect of it.