Music for 12/12/18!!! Mammoth Grinder, Primal Rite, Sumac

@@@ Mammoth Grinder: Cosmic Crypt (Relapse, 2018)  I haven’t heard a ton of metal this year that made me jump up and down but I snagged a few choices off a year end list at the AV club and this one led by the drummer for Power Trip looks engaging.  It’s got a nice friendly mosh flavor to it.  Just your meat and potatoes smackdown.  It doesn’t have the same energy as Power Trip’s 2017 release which I really liked but it’s solid.  It’s got a couple of the dudes from Iron Reagan whose name I like but about whom I know little.

 

@@@ Primal Rite: Dirge of Escapism (Revelation, 2018)  This recording has a bit of a different feel to it than the Mammoth Grinder one above.  That band name is very accurately chosen and this first tune is a bit math-y with a nice muscular stomp and some punk flavorings.  The singer’s voice is fucked with and he sounds like he’s inside a big concrete tube and barely understandable.  By the third tune Antivenom the water is at a full boil and the thrashing and grinding about is quite intense.  I’m not feeling like this is best of 2018 for my list but it’s got a lot going for it.

 

@@@ Sumac: Love in Shadow (Thrill Jockey, 2018) Marketed as a largely improvised metal record there are four long ass pieces three of which clock in at over 15 minutes.  I’m listening to the second tune right now and it is a noisy and energetic guitar record without being a full metal meltdown kinda record.  The focus here is on playing as one would expect with 15 minute pieces.  I like how it’s not a sloppy record by any means but it’s looser than most metal records.  It is a big metal jam record.  I like the sound of it and I will circle back on it when I have closer to 1 hour and 6 minutes.

YTD recordings listened to: 684
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 371
Not good music: 265

Best: 16
Honorable Mentions: 8

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, 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, 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, Converge, 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

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Music for 8/20/18!!! The Freaky Baby Daddies, Howling Star, Black Arkade

@@@ The Freaky Baby Daddies: Feed Your Ego (N/A, 2018)  I saw on the Line of Best Fit there is another black punk festival besides Afropunk.  It’s called, simply enough, Black Punk, and these guys are the first band listed.  There is most definitely some rocking going on here but I’m not sure how punky fresh it is.  There’s a lot of melody, and higher end production, and guitar shredding but I will not be a genre bitch.  This is more like Living Colour than Bad Brains.  Very high energy power trio playing even comes with tambourine at the end of the tune when it blows out.

@@@ Howling Star: GIN (North Elements, 2016)  Another track from the black punk festival.  This is punkier for sure with some metal sounds thrown in.  Black female singer which I’m totally into, and a thick wall of guitars blasting away.  The tune is about gentrification and she’s giving gentrifiers what they deserve.  This outfit is from Atlanta but it could be Brooklyn of San Francisco getting the shout out.  I like the energy, the topic and the singer does really solid work here.

@@@ Red Arkade: We don’t sing too Pretty EP (N/A, 2018)  Here we go some straight up pogo punk out of Queens NY.  Singer sounds like Ice T and I’m sure Donald Trump flings his pumpkinhead hair to this kinda shit.  After he burns a cross out on the White House lawn.  The second tune is called ‘Fuck that Shit’ and I don’t think they could be more direct or straight ahead in their sentiment.  The production is not super shiny by any means but it’s not dirty crusty punk style either.  The longest tune is 2:44 so it’s get in and get out commando style anti social punk.  I dig the drummer, you get a walloping bucket of distorted guitars and plenty of sing along hooks.  If you’re looking for a blast of hostility to get your week started turn away from the Trump Toilet Tweet Tirade and get some from Queens.

YTD recordings listened to: 483
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 251
Not good music: 202

Best: 8
Honorable Mentions: 5

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, 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, 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, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, 700 Bliss

Music for 7/19/18!!! Chastity, Lie, Split Cranium

@@@ Chastity: Death Lust (Captured Tracks, 2018)  Some grungy guitar rock I got to via this week’s All Music notable release email.  There’s been such a tidal wave of indie electronic music that I’m more than a wee bit shocked to hear guitar rock.  This is pretty smoothed out without collapsing into art school pretension.  Oy, interwebz screwup and I skipped the second tune, Choke, which is an uptempo kinda emo thing.  The sounds are high quality, the energy is high, and I don’t get a lasting impression from the lyrics.  I would put this as Stone Temple Pilots thing without the glam and a few pubes of Jane’s Addiction artfulness.

@@@ Lie: Hounds (Mint/Monofonus, 2018)  More guitar rock this time off the CFUV weekly playlist email.  Huge Sonic Youth vibes on this first tune — guitar squall, manic drumming, detached female singer.  There’s no need to give these folks Red Bull, the tank is full up already.  I actually prefer this to the Sonic Youth as there’s a definite lack of pretension and NYC downtown bullshit to be had here.  Very high energy here with a full on swirl of distorted guitars which I’m feeling.

@@@ Split Cranium: I’m the Devil and I’m OK (Ipecac, 2018)  Also off this week’s CFUV playlist email in the loud section.  After a little fucking around intro they get right into the moshing.  Thrash drumming with punkier rather than metal guitars.  It’s really not a typical metal mash.  The singer is a caveman with punk leanings, the guitars are loud but not super distorted.  The overall feel is more hard rock/punk with metal — it’s cheap beer lose your nut punk business and that’s a good thing unless you’re a Nazi skinhead fuck and then you can go suck it.

YTD recordings listened to: 419
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 219
Not good music: 186

Best: 7
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, 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, 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, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez

Music for 7/4/18!!! Jungle Rot, Deafheaven, Immortal

@@@ Jungle Rot: A Burning Cinder (Victory, 2018)  A pre-release full metal dome banger off the Apple Music metal page.  Big double kick thwacktion, super guitar ka-chunk and a post hardcore singer.  It is a full steroided muscular formula.  ‘It’s time to pull the trigger’ is a lyric that jumps out of the mix and the vocal hook revolves around the world being reduced to ‘a burning cinder.’  It switches to a more mosh-y vibe with a shoutalong vocal section as the tune moves through its second half.  An angry nugget for sure.

@@@ Deafheaven: Canary Yellow (Anti-, 2018)  Another pre-release tune off the Apple Music metal page.  I’ve always considered Deafheaven to be the metal band of NPR listeners as it’s thoughtful and not super rough.  This is no exception as the extended intro is a proggy/indie guitar jam.  Oh fuck, this is a twelve minute shot of Deafheaven, I didn’t think I was signing up for that.  About 2:30 it sets itself to rocking with some orc singing and an overall hopeful vibe to the music.  I skipped ahead and it rocks for about six minutes before it gets back to a variation of the formula that started out the song.  And then more rocking, oh I can’t hang.  It’s all right, not really my thing — I get the idea of hard music escaping its darkness but I’m not enjoying it.  Maybe you Hillary Clinton voters might.

@@@ Immortal: Mighty Ravendark (Nuclear Blast, 2018)  We will finish up today’s listening with a 9-minute death metal track that Melania Trump puts on before the mighty Cheese Doodle mounts her and doth soil her punani.  God, the horror of that orange fishing line hair flipping back and forth.  Not that he’s Satan mind you, he’s our fearless leader.  Goddammit Melania put some action on this, can you at least give a bit of a flying fuck here, I spent good money bringing you over from that Eastern European shithole!  These guys get a good guitar grind going on with a rock drum sound and a righteous orc singer.  Gravelly and staticky like the guitars.  It has a plain but epic vibe to it.  I’m sure the Donald can not continue with the feverish pumping of his wife for the full 9 minutes especially after a long day of rage tweeting at the world.  I don’t care, do you?

YTD recordings listened to: 382
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 200
Not good music: 170

Best: 7
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, 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, 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, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts

Music for 4/3/18!!! Basa Basa, Special Interest, Starchild, Portal

@@@ Basa Basa: Homowo (Vintage Voudou, 2018). I got to a page of Bandcamp’s best records of winter 2018 and this reissue is right at the top of the list.  I would call the first tune an African disco groove, laidback with funky dancefloor flourishes.  In addition to the laidback polyrhythms there’s a plethora of slack guitar sounds and space organs.  Mind you this is not white boy slack, this is African motherland slack.  Chill and funky.  I like the fourth tune, African Soul Power, the best but I could have used more uptempo dancefloor bangers and I prefer the guitar shredding over the slow jams.

@@@ Special Interest: Spiraling (N/A, 2018). Queer punk out of New Orleans that I got to via the very same Bandcamp best of winter 18 records.  I can’t help but think of Sleaford Mods and their insane British punk hip hop when I hear this bass sound and the drum machine drumming.  The singer is whipping quite a negative shitty on the second tune, Disco.  Disco, disco, disco we want disco!  Well, not really but I get it…..I’m always up for some lo fi punk aggro but this could use a Red Bull or some hot sauce.  More nihilistic than pissed off, though she tears it pretty good on the sixth song, Nerve.  Shoulda put this tune upfront, it’s the best of the bunch in my dumbass opinion.

@@@ Starchild and the New Romantic: Language (N/A, 2018).  ’80s inspired funk off the very same Bandcamp best of winter list.  I saw Prince namechecked but my first impression is that the guitar playing is not going to be up there with Prince hall of fame fretwork.  He should have been more than namechecked as this is a love letter to the Purple One.  This second tune, Mood, surely evokes him bigly and the singer is doing some inspired falsetto loverboy work in the third tune Only if U Knew.  I like this record as the songs are heartfelt so it doesn’t feel like it’s just biting to get his listeners.  It is a bit uneven as some of the tunes work better than others.  My favorite Prince music is his very earliest work in the mad early ’80s.

@@@ Portal: ION (Profound Lore, 2018) My last listen on Bandcamp’s best of winter 2018 releases.  The Profound Lore releases I’ve check out have been sludgy and slow and while this one doesn’t appeared to be heading in a straight metal direction it is sludgy for sure. Oooh, I was totally wrong as it shifted markedly from a dark swirly looped opening to a sped up freaked out metal shitshow.  Jumpy thrash drums and super Red Bulled guitars that sound like they’re coming out of a giant AM transistor radio.  Painfully static and needly.  The singer is a giant exhaling thing, slowly releasing gravelly clouds of doomy gas.  It’s not particularly inviting but I don’t think this is supposed to be aimed at the Miley Cyrus crowd.  This some of the best metal I’ve heard in a while, Imma have to circle back on this foul brew.  Check it out as the guitar player and the drummer really get into some chaotic spillage.

YTD recordings listened to: 182
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 97
Not good music: 80

Best: 4
Honorable Mentions: 3

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, 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, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal

Best of 2018 Pick 4

Magrudergrind: II (Relapse, 2016)

It takes me time to digest all the potential best/honorable records but if you want a record that doesn’t stop once it starts this one will work for you.

All the players in the band are above average and they are tighter than a welldigger’s ass in the middle of the winter but it’s the drummer who takes the gold start.  He thrashes, he sprays, he grooves, he drives the bus.

The guitar player and he get into some really interesting places as the sections of these tunes herk and jerk around.  The various pieces of the tunes with changing vibes make the whole record less predictable and tres engaging.

This is not a record NPR listeners — it’s got a lot of anti-social shit in it.  It takes the bilious fuck society of hardcore punk and smashes that into high impact metal and hard rock.

Have a big ol’ cup of coffee or shoot a Red Bull into your eye and throw this on the platter.

Check it out!

Music for 2/7/18!!! MGMT, Grand Analog, Shining

@@@  MGMT: Me and Michael (Columbia, 201). Super mainstream synth pop I got to via a music publicist email.  Soft buttery vocals, gated snare sound, some arpeggiated guitars but a plethora of synths.  This is some pretty cliche pop shit as far as I’m concerned.  A lot of manicured sounds and a song structure but pretty lacking any soul or passion.  Cloudy and pretty synth farts.  I made it 2:49 out of 4:49 and it hurt a little bit.

@@@ Grand Analog: Survival (Grand Analog, 218). A Canadian dub/hip hop project I got to via the CFUV weekly playlist email.  The first tune has sort of a darker chopped feel while the second one is pretty standard old school funky drum machine dance floor banger.  Digital Kool and the Gang but with an MC.  The tune with Posdnuos from De La Soul (clipped below) is really well done, check it out.  Somebody with solid knowledge of sounds did a really good job on these sounds.

@@@ Shining – X- Varg Utan Flock (Season Of Mist) Some black metal off the CFUV weekly playlist email.  Looks like a blast of Scandinavian metal from the looks of the word salad titles which I won’t waste the time here typing.  After a initial intonation they get into a pretty nice throw down.  Big energetic hard rock drummer and dual guitar attack.  The singer is really quite upset but since it’s in some language that doesn’t matter.  Hey that’s just a joke, I love wherever he comes from.  He’s doing good work emotionally and these guys are kicking hard. They have just a bit of boogie woogie that gives way to some acoustic bullshit in the middle of the track.  I hate the epic acoustic guitar breakdowns and intros, it just pusses out the whole thing.  If I want a giant fucking military parade with some boot stomping fucknuts (like El Trump-o!) I don’t want to stop and have a fucking tea party in the middle of it.  And now we’re back to the noise and squall, good goddammit.  These are big sandwiches from 6 to 8 minutes each track and they’re a little math-y as they move from section to section so get your cup of herbal tea and your thinking man’s metalhead hat on.

YTD recordings listened to: 71
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 40
Not good music: 30

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

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, 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, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo