Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Black Tusk: "Desolation of Endless Times"

Black Tusk is not the only Savannah-based metal band to face vehicular-based tragedy in the last year or so: while their own bass player Jonathan Athon lost his life in a motorcycle accident in late 2014, fellow Georgians Baroness collectively survived a tour bus crash, only for two of their members to have to bow out of the band due to critical spinal injuries afterward. But whereas there is a certain amount of resigned pathos to be found on the latter's new Purple album, Black Tusk come roaring back pissed and looking for a fight as ever on new single, "Desolation of Endless Times".

Monday, January 11, 2016

RIP Thin White Duke

Unlike news outlets, who smartly compile obituaries for celebrities ahead of time so all they have to do is plug in the date and cause of death when it finally occurs, I'm never really prepared for these sorts of things. Especially when the artist in question does such a commendable job of keeping their condition on the DL. So, that said, I'm going to collect my thoughts and come back with something more meaningful here in the next few days, but pending a full eulogy I leave you with a representative slice of David Bowie genius, and while it would be both easy and expected to post something off of his carefully crafted farewell, last week's Blackstar, I'm going to skip the obvious ("Lazarus"? Really?) and go with something that straddles the line between apt and distasteful, which is for me the dichotomy that Bowie did best.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Tindersticks: "Were We Once Lovers?"

Tindersticks are pretty O.G. when it comes to this whole dialed down, darkened mellow shit. Starting off in the early 90's as an early, fairly straightforward chamber pop ensemble - think Belle & Sebastian on methadone but with surprisingly advanced musicianship - the band have spent the past two decades mutating that sound slightly but never deviating too jarringly from their central ethos. "Were We Once Lovers?" attests to this, the chamber pop elements subdued up front but gently creeping in over the gently shuffling indie pop backbone as the song advances.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

KILLER COVERS || Exmortus: "Appassionata"

Heavy metal covers of classical songs are a dime a dozen, and in the era of Youtube playthrough videos - where complete unknowns, often teenagers, credibly shred their way through one virtuosic metal classic after another - the market seems as unaccomodating as ever for yet another commercially released Beethoven rendition. But Exmortus approach their appreciation for classical music with an energy and showmanship that is often lost on the Yngwie clones who think it's enough to just show up and flex nuts.

Exmortus are touring early this year with a plethora of other old school-sounding young metal bands, including Enforcer, Cauldron and Warbringer.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Red Pill: "90's Money"

Mello Music Group (not to be confused with the other MMG) keeps both feet planted firmly in the backpack hip hop vein, having released albums by Apollo Brown, Oddisee and L'Orange, among others, and this recent cut by Detroit rapper Chris Orrick a.k.a. Red Pill hardly breaks the mold. As someone who is still very much making the same sort of salary he did a full two decades ago, I can relate wholeheartedly with "90's Money". Probably not what homeboy meant, though.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Yuri Gagarin: "At the Center of All Infinity"

Yuri Gagarin seems like a glaringly obvious name for a space rock band, particularly one that is doing so little to reinvent the wheel as this Swedish export, but what these guys lack in originality they make up for in execution, compounding the droning synths of Hawkwind with the riff-focused intensity of Ufomammut amidst a sludge-like wall of sound that certainly transgresses the average Kluster knock off. At the Center of All Infinity arrived a bit too late in 2015 to make it on any year end best of lists, perhaps, but it isn't for lack of effort.