Saturday, 18 October 2014

Short Attention Span Record Reviews: October 2014

 The Louder Stuff

Lots of “poppier Iron Maiden” moments, less party rock hooks, some filler. (7)

Another chaotic, earth-shaking album true to their Sabbath/Satan/weed fixations. Unfortunately for them, 2014 is probably the best year ever for psychedelic doom metal and some of the competition rates higher. (7)

EXODUS – Blood In Blood Out
“Fabulous Disaster” this ain’t, but it still kicks the ass of all thrash newbies. (7)

FISHBONE – Intrinsically Intertwined
Old-school ska/funk/punk/rock vets party like it’s 1988 on this EP and tear the roof off the sucker. Plus it seems they’ve got Rocky George on guitar nowadays. (7)

GODFLESH – World Lit Only By Fire
I’ve always hated that drum machine sound but I gotta admit, this album is definitely worthy of the Godflesh legacy. If you’re into industrial cataclysmic heaviness then this is a must-have. (8)

KAYO DOT – Coffins On Io
Goodbye metal, hello jazz. This makes “Perdition City”-era Ulver sound like Judas Priest. (8)

MELVINS – Hold It In
Replacing two auxiliary members on loan from Big Business with two members of the Butthole Surfers, the Melvins lose some of the sludginess but gain extra weirdness. (7)

ORANGE GOBLINBack From The Abyss
«Περνάμε καλά και αυτό περνάει στον κόσμο.» (sorry Anglophones, I just couldn’t resist the first thing that sprang to mind while listening to this. It’s a fun cross between Sabbath and Motorhead except when it sounds like Grand Magus.) (8)

PRIMUS WITH THE FUNGI ENSEMBLE – Primus And The Chocolate Factory
For 25 years I’ve been unsuccessfully trying to spot the influences of Primus and suddenly it all becomes clear: Primus sounds exactly like what the movie “Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory” looks like. The original one with Gene Wilder, not the stupid Tim Burton remake. (8)

SANCTUARY – The Year The Sun Died
“The Year The Sun Died” sounds much more like Nevermore than like Sanctuary, but most Nevermore albums are better than this. Still, if it’s real heavy metal you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place. (7)

SLIPKNOT - .5 The Gray Chapter
With #’s 0, 4, 5 and 6 stepping up their game to compensate for the missing #1 and #2, Slipknot’s return is every bit the strong, confident metal album their fans were hoping for. (8)

Moving completely away from the band’s black metal/viking roots towards a bleak, dark, moody rock sound that fans of Katatonia, “Alternative 4”-era Anathema and even Primordial will fall in love with, “Otta” is simply stunning. (9)

THE DEATHTRIP – Deep Drone Master
Classic late 90’s-style Norwegian black metal sound in the Satyricon/Dodheimsgard vein, featuring the lunatic former vocalist of the latter and a much better drum machine than Godflesh’s. (8)

The Other Stuff

ALICE GERRARD – Follow The Music
80-year old bluegrass legend in top form, a voice that sends chills down your spine and the most haunting melodies you’re likely to hear this autumn. (8)

Re-worked older songs, some from her previous albums, some never heard before, this is just Anais and her folky acoustic guitar. Nice, but it’s time for a proper follow-up to the exquisite “Young Man In America”. (7)

Unmistakably Aphex Twin-sounding and pop-friendly but not really danceable without risking a slipped disk or three if you’re over 40, “Syro” is probably this year’s best electronic music album. (8)

C.W. STONEKING – Gon’ Boogaloo
Recorded live with two microphones on 2-track in just two days and replacing his 30’s-style horn section with 30’s-style girl backing singers straight out of a vintage Betty Boop cartoon, the crazy Aussie releases a fun, utterly enjoyable old-fashioned boogie-woogie record. (8)

This is a comprehensive triple-CD collection. In other words it includes both the boring pretentious early Genesis crap and the fucking annoying later Genesis crap, as well as some solo Phil Collins atrocities, Mike & The Mechanics monstrosities, Tony Banks flatulence, Steve Hackett onanisms, and three cool Peter Gabriel tracks. (-)

GERARD WAY – Hesitant Alien
Former My Chemical Romance frontman sounds nothing like his old band on his britpopglamrockshoegaze solo debut. Kudos for sticking his neck out, but I’ll still take the “Black Parade” over this any day. (7)

GRAHAM PARKER & THE RUMOUR – Don’t Ask Me Questions: The Best Of
Semi-forgotten but influential pub rocker who, back in the late 70’s, wrote the manual for guys like Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson. Good collection, definitely worth checking out. (8)

If you thought that a 67-year old lady can’t possibly sound threatening and downright dangerous, well, think again. Probably her best album since “Broken English”. (8)

Gothic pop playing to the strength of THAT voice, no major departure from “Blues Funeral”. God I miss the Screaming Trees. (7)

MIKE DOUGHTY – Stellar Motel
Ex-Soul Coughing frontman claims he hates his alt-whatever old band but the fact remains: Even though Doughty is a fantastic lyricist and can always come up with a good tune, the missing Soul Coughing groove was what made the difference. (6)

Not bad but apart from the possibility of the gay community needing a new idol/spokesperson, I fail to see the originality or the appeal: This basically sounds like a homemade demo of Beirut and Antony & The Johnsons jamming on My Morning Jacket cover versions. (7)

Indie folkie “re-imagines” a bunch of traditional songs. Good arrangements, interesting voice, but being on an obsessive folk/bluegrass trip myself lately, I must say I’ve heard more exciting stuff coming from the genre. (7)

The Andreos sisters were, yes, Greek, and they sold 75 million records in America during the swing and boogie-woogie eras from 1938 to 1951. Their pre-rock ‘n’ roll close harmonies still sound fantastic today. (10)

THOM YORKE – Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes
The perfect soundtrack to listen to while you’re listening to something else. (6)

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