Sunday, 28 January 2018

Short Attention Span Record Reviews, February 2018


THE HARDER STUFF

CANE HILL – Too Far Gone

Nu Wave Of American Nu Metal for fans of Slipknot & Korn. Funny how people who hated nu metal back in the day now think Cane Hill is da shit. (7)

FIRE! – The Hands

An interesting spin on the power trio format with sax instead of guitar, combining the metallic heaviness of Black Sabbath with Albert Ayler-like free jazz skronk. (8)

MACHINE HEAD – Catharsis

It’s not as bad as you’ve been led to believe but, speaking of nu metal – what the fuck was Robb Flynn thinking? (7)

MAGICK TOUCH – Blades Chains Whips & Fire

With THIS name, THIS album title and THIS album cover you’d be forgiven for passing on this as either run-of-the-mill epic metal or occult bullshit rock, but in reality you’d be missing out on some pretty decent retro-melodic hard rock a-la Night Flight Orchestra, Audrey Horne and Dokken. (7)

PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS –Choosing Mental Illness as a Virtue

Pantera meets Morbid Angel meets the Dillinger Escape Plan in terms of heaviness, but not quite in terms of songwriting skills. (7)

WALKING PAPERS – WP2

You might’ve heard of Duff McKagan from his other band and the rhythm section (also featuring ex-Screaming Tree Barrett Martin) is a major selling point for this Jack Endino-produced Seattle quartet that plays 70’s melodic hard rock as reimagined in the 90’s. (7)

VARIOUS ARTISTS – Dr. Demento Covered In Punk

Really fun compilation tribute to Dr. Demento, featuring lots of punk rock and lots of comedy. Highlights include William Shatner covering The Cramps, “Weird” Al Yankovic covering The Ramones, and Brak covering The Suicidal Tendencies. Good for the moshpit, even better for laughs. (9)


THE OTHER STUFF

CALEXICO – The Thread That Keeps Us

Louder and less polished than their previous albums and not as catchy, this is Calexico going full-on “indie rock”. (7)

FALL OUT BOY – M A N I A

They were nothing special back when they were a pop-punk/emo band, but incorporating EDM elements into their sound just makes them annoying. (5)

FIRST AID KIT – Ruins

Avoided these sisters to date because “Swedish Americana” sounds almost as unappealing a genre as “Chinese Rebetika” but turns out they’re pretty good, combining top-notch songwriting with telepathically perfect harmony singing. (8)

MEAT BEAT MANIFESTO – Impossible Star

Electronic music veterans strike a good balance between abstract ambient soundscapes and heavy beats. (7)

STICK IN THE WHEEL – Follow Them True

Exciting new band that will singlehandedly revitalize the UK folk scene. Not all their experiments work, for example I could live without the Auto-Tuned vocals on the title track, but by the time the haunting “As I Roved Out” closes the album all is forgiven. (8)

TY SEGALL – Freedom's Goblin

The first truly great album of 2018 – Segall takes garage rock to new anthemic levels, often throwing a brass section on top of the guitar fuzz for 75 minutes of pure, unadulterated, messy rawk ‘n’ roll fun. (9)

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