Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Short Attention Span Record Reviews November 2017

BELL WITCH – Mirror Reaper
This is doom metal for the real sickos, basically one 84-minute long track that’s heavy like the tombstone under which you’re being buried alive. Amazing artwork. (8)


The first 2.5 minutes of this sounds like Radiohead. Then you get some proggy black metal, then the second and third tracks have clean vocal parts copy/pasted from Mastodon, then there’s some saxophone too. So it’s either a band trying too hard to impress or a band giving zero fucks, your call. (7)

GRUNTRUCK – Gruntruck

Third album of pioneering Tier-2 Seattle grunge band featuring members of Skin Yard and The Accused, recorded in the 90’s and finally released. A nice piece of nostalgia. (7)

LYDIA LOVELESS – Boy Crazy & Single(s)

The EP that paved the way for the Music Geek’s top album of 2014 now re-issued including three non-album singles and the three best covers you’ll hear this month (Kesha’s “Blind”, Prince’s “I Would Die 4 U” and Elvis Costello’s “Alison”). (8)

MARGO PRICE – All American Made

Very traditional country in the Loretta Lynn/Dolly Parton tradition, the only non-traditional thing about it is the Jack White association. Includes the mandatory Willie Nelson duet and the title track includes a tribute to Tom Petty, most likely recorded before his passing. (7)

NAZORANAI –Beginning To Fall In Line Before Me, So Decorously, The Nature Of All That Must Be Transformed

Avant-garde supergroup consisting of Keiji Haino, Stephen O’Malley and Oren Ambarchi improvising in the black hole between noise, jazz and rock. If you play this loud enough you’ll not only see God, but feel like He just fucked you in the ass. (8)


Arabic-flavored drone rock from legendary vocalist. Hats off to Plant, instead of making millions on a Led Zep reunion he chooses to keep his creativity sharp. (8)

ST. VINCENT – Masseduction

Smart pop music for people who think they’re too smart for pop music. (8)

THE PACK A.D. – Dollhouse

Canadian female garage rock duo releases yet another solid album, totally rips off P.J. Harvey’s “Meet Ze Monsta” on title track. (7)

THE USED – The Canyon

This is unheard of: A mediocre second-rate emo band that never mattered or showed much of a promise and has been around for 15 years releases its seventh album and suddenly has a near-masterpiece in its hands. Deep heart-wrenching lyrics, excellent production (Ross Robinson) and songwriting on par with My Chemical Romance. (8)

YELAWOLF – Trial By Fire

Eminem-endorsed Alabaman rapper drops fun southern rock/country-infused fourth album with guest spots by Kid Rock, Wynonna Judd and others. Good for a few spins. (7)

VARIOUS ARTISTS – Sounds Of The Unexpected: Weird & Wacky Instrumentals From Pop’s Final Frontiers

A collection of exotic instrumentals, a cornucopia of surf, rockabilly, Arabica, funk, animal sounds and strange ur-electronica sound FX. (7)

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Short Attention Span Record Reviews Oct 2017

Post-punk you can dance to, sort of like a Sisters Of Mercy/Bauhaus/Billy Idol hybrid. Slightly better than “Dreamcrash”, not as good as “Climax”. (7)


Second album by French-Cuban twin sisters merging soul, jazz, hip hop and world music with solid results. +1 point for Kamasi Washington playing on the first single “Deathless”, -1 point for the autotune. (7)

J.D. McPHERSON – Undivided Heart & Soul

Oklahoman rockabilly star (check out 2015’s excellent “Let The Good Times Roll”) and Josh Homme buddy modernizes his sound with special guests and songwriting collaborations (Aaron Lee Tasjan, Parker Millsap, Butch Walker etc). Party time! (8)

JOHN ZORN’S SIMULACRUM – The Garden of Earthly Delights

Bassist Trevor Dunn (Mr. Bungle, Tomahawk, Melvins) joins Zorn’s progmetal vehicle for a mostly instrumental musical extravaganza loosely based on the work of Hieronymus Bosch. Not for the faint of heart. (7)

KAMASI WASHINGTON – Harmony Of Difference

If “The Epic”’s 3-hour epicness was too much for your attention span, you smartphone-generation goldfish, this wonderful EP only contains 5 short pieces so it’s the perfect opportunity for you to finally meet the guy who made jazz cool again. (9)

PRIMUS – The Desaturating Seven

Concept album based on a children’s book about goblins eating rainbows. Yes, I know. And even though it does figure the original 90’s line-up of Claypool-LaLonde-Alexander, there’s nothing as catchy as “Jerry Was A Race Car Driver” or “My Name Is Mud” here. (6)


Real talk: 2017’s top-5 metal albums to date were all released by punk bands. This is one of them. (9)

PROTOMARTYR – Relatives In Descent

A much better post-punk record than Grave Pleasures’. But you can’t dance to it and the girls won’t like it much. (8)

SONS OF APOLLO – Psychotic Symphony

Progressive/metal supergroup, basically a Dreamer Theater spin-off, exploring their inner Rainbow. I don’t hear stuff like this often nowadays and I sort of miss it. (8)

THE WEATHER STATION – The Weather Station

We’ve already had great albums by Laura Marling, This Is The Kit, Jesca Hoop and Joan Shelley this year, the Weather Station/Tamara Lindeman’s latest is OK but adds little to the female folky singer/songwriter genre. (7)