Sunday, August 25, 2013

Raumskaya: "Tolerance, Beauty, Love"

I love me some juke, but with all due respect DJ Rashaud and the Teklife crew, the genre is starting to get as stale as acid house circa 1991: a great concept run into the ground by too many self-limiting producers trying to make a buck off the sound without really developing it into new forms. Raumskaya does his part to make sure footstep doesn't follow down that same dead end path by going for short, choppy beats that are kind of variations on a theme... the track doesn't develop greatly throughout its length, but the drum patterns never repeat themselves. Not as danceable as the Teklife stuff but I guess the universe is ready for artjuke, eh?

Youngblood Brass Band: "Ain't Nobody"

I don't get many chances to throw up brand new jazz funk on WKMR too often, so when this gem came across my desk I really had no choice, did I? Apparently I'm pretty out of the loop, though, since I'm just now hearing of this band and, according to their Soundcloud bio, this is the second single released off of their fourth album. Whoops.

(via URB):

Polvo: "Total Immersion"

Noise rock and math rock are both pretty big right now. Since Polvo had a hand in shaping both it's only fitting that they make a triumphant return with their upcoming album, Siberia. Their actual comeback was more properly 2009's In Prism, but even if four years is only a third of the time they took off for their break up it's still kind of an eternity in today's age. "Total Immersion" is almost too busy - I literally had to double check to see if I accidentally had two songs playing at once - but somehow they manage to tie it all together.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Windhand: "Woodbine"

A lot of the stoner doom bands these days are veering in the direction of groove/boogie, so it's nice when you run across another band vying with Yob to win the sheer wall-of-sound sweepstakes. I was going to review their previous, self-titled debut last year, but I kept finding conflicting street dates which indicated it may have just been picked up for wider re-release by a bigger label, so I took a pass. Won't be making the same mistake when Relapse issues Soma next month.

Christicide: "Upheaval of the Soul"

Guess this has been out a few months already but Ad Hoc just turned me onto it so big ups to them. The epic song lengths may fool you into thinking this is keyboard-driven, atmospheric black metal but these Frenchmen stick to the rapid fire guitar-bass-drums setup. They raise a hell of a racket without making it all about velocity, which is always appreciated.

You can grab Upheaval of the Soul through Hospital Productions (US) and Those Opposed (Europe).

Watain: "The Child Must Die"

Reviewed this for Metal Injection a minute ago so not a lot to add that I haven't already said there, but yeah... this was a good choice for a single, giving you the most accessible tune on the album to draw you in while not revealing all their secrets the way those comedy trailers that give away all the film's good jokes do.

Watain's The Wild Hunt came out today on Century Media.

Vattnet Viskar: "Apex"

Vattnet Viskar is Swedish for "the water is whispering", yet the band adopting this moniker is from... New Hampshire? Either way, they've got a definite post-black metal sound going on that's more associated with Cascadia than New England... lots of songs with ascending and descending waveforms (IE. extensive intros and outros), forlorn takes on shoegaze, etc. This style is arguably getting long in the tooth to just be getting around to your debut album using it, but VV sound anything but derivative here.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

CBGB (Movie Trailer)

Right... so, a bit shit, eh? I'm getting tired of these hacky, overly self-conscious biopics that pretty much telegraph "HEY, IMPORTANT HISTORY OVER HERE!" in every single scene. There are many divergent methods of crafting a good - even great - biopic, but one thing that will ensure you don't hit the mark is by feeding your characters deliberately understated quips, the kind that only work if the actors are openly aware how everything is going to pan out all along. 

This is simply wrong. Your characters can't seem like they know the end game while they're still knee deep in the thick of the narrative. That's not ivory tower prescriptivism, by the way, if you're doing this with your writing no one you take seriously will ever commend you on your work. "Show don't tell" is hardly controversial advice.

Christ, just look at that trailer. "The name of this band is Talking Heads". Oh shit! There was a live album by that same title! Reference!

I kind of feel like we've slipped into a Pavlovian rabbit hole, where both context and execution have become expendable and all that's really required of a filmmaker is to evoke a totemic image, whereupon collectively as a society we are all expected to instantly devolve into Orgasm Guy from the old SNL skits.

Man, we're fucked.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Vista Chino: "Barcelonian"

As much as I hate to say it, if Josh Homme was Kyuss' secret weapon then John Garcia was easily their weak link. I've always found his voice too thin and labored for the kind of bluesy bluster he's going for, so frankly - as long as Queens of the Stone Age was still hitting their mark - an actual Kyuss reunion wasn't something I actively pined for.

I got one anyway... sort of.

True Widow: "Creeper"

Remember how - back in the 80's - Enuff Z'Nuff always got lumped in with the hair metal crowd even though they might as well have been a dayglo Beatles cover band? That kind of incredulous marketing strategy surrounds Dallas band True Widow, who are signed to Relapse and - yes - have a slight doom sound about them, but effectively they're more of a shoegaze group with space rock tendencies than anything resembling metal proper.

Hey, at least the Metal Archives aren't fooled.

Pelican: "Immutable Dusk"

Unlike post-metallic peers Isis, who were starting to get a little twinkletoes there toward the end, Pelican have always kept locked in to the riff. They tend to work that riff for all it's worth, so some material goes over better than others, but "Immutable Dusk" finds the band playing to their audience's comfort zone: it never gets too new age-y or experimental, but over the course of seven minutes throws a suite of material at the listener at once satisfying and reasonably adventurous.

Forever Becoming is out October 15 on Southern Lord.