Fellow site reviewers Michael and Ryan, our shithead friend Nick, and I attended this wonderful, little show last week. Nick and I are big Enslaved fans. Ryan likes Royal Thunder, who we all love, and Michael just goes to whatever shows we tell him to go to. Needless to say, we were all pretty pumped for the bill. I love Ancient VVisdom and couldn’t wait to see them live for the first time. The rest I’ve seen before, but that made me all the more excited to see them again. Ryan was what you would call a bitch the whole time. He had a “cold” or something and whined from the get-go. Nick and I like to wait outside the venue for hours so we can get up front; however, waiting outside in forty degree weather in NY made sick Ryan more cranky. A strange, small man in a wizard hat chatted us up a bit before we entered the venue. Once inside we all took some pisses, cold medicine for Ryan, and headed up to the stage area. After four seconds of standing in the front row, Ryan decided he was too sick and headed up to the balcony to be lame. Nick followed so he could get drunk. Michael and I stayed front row. Flash-forward through an hour of waiting and us talking about Dark Souls and the concert begins. Context over. Continue reading
m b v
My Bloody Valentine
The twenty-two year-long vacuum without a My Bloody Valentine record has finally come to end, as Kevin Shields’ new record m b v has finally come out (earlier this month, on February 2). The band that popularized and mastered the genre of shoegaze, if not also created it, couldn’t have picked a more appropriate time to release this album; the droning, wall-of-noise guitar sound has been making a comeback recently. Yo La Tengo’s last release had its shoegazing influences front-and-center, fellow hiatus-stoppers Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! had half of the songs drone-filled, and plenty of “nu-gaze” bands have been popping up (Yuck, Wild Nothing, and M83). So, Shields has capitalized on this resurgence of his beloved genre, and with perfect timing, m b v has not given this generation a reason to be crestfallen. Continue reading
The Afterman: Descension
Coheed and Cambria
Hundred Handed/Everything Evil
After a few months of grueling waiting and about half the songs being teased all over the internet, Coheed and Cambria have finally released the second part of their Afterman double album. With twists and turns the other did not posses and a traditional happy-go-lucky with dark lyrics and ear-piercing vocals song, this album doesn’t exactly put the other to shame, but meets it on a totally different level of creaminmypantsness. Continue reading
Alright folks, here’s a CD I purchased a while ago but never really listened to. To those unfamiliar with Mountain, they are the authors of “Mississippi Queen,” a song that is featured on the album being reviewed, the debut album released after their appearance at Woodstock in 1969. The distorted sounds and rocky-bluesish vocals give the album a very unique charm, along with the additional instruments, like a keyboard which can be heard in a few of the songs. This band is attributed as being a heavy metal band, and considering the context of 1970, this is most definitely true.
The first song is their well-known hit, “Mississippi Queen”. The immediate heavy sounds clue you in to an album that is, in general, pretty rockin’. The second song, “Theme for an Imaginary Western,” however, is quite mellow given the buildup from the first track. The rest of the album barrels into some more hard rock with some very strong bluesy undertones. The vocalist, Leslie West, brings a sound that is almost Clapton-esqe, especially in the fifth song, “For Yasgur’s Farm,” which gives the bluesy sound some familiarity, but still enough difference to be very enjoyable. Continue reading
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
“Who cares what God is?” singer Ruban Nielson intones over the psych-stoner jam of “Monki,” the seventh track of the new Unknown Mortal Orchestra album. Consider that query the thesis for II, a half-hearted attempt at the process of undermining. Undermining who or what? Doesn’t matter. Nielson and his power trio of a band — Jake Portrait on bass and Greg Rogove on drums — are simply delivering a powerful record of psych-rock grooves, an expansion upon their sound from 2011’s self-titled release.
Seductively adorned with British Wiccan Janet Farrar on the cover, II may act like a subversive record, but overall, isn’t. With song titles like “So Good At Being In Trouble” or “No Need For A Leader,” one might expect something other than the mellow funk sounds of UMO. However, there the beauty lies. The fun of the album isn’t the (weak) anti-establishment message but instead the music; the surreal soundscape combined with the imagery of Nielson’s lyrics is what actualizes II as an enjoyable experience. Continue reading
So, Ryan has got me to join him in a random rotation album shuffle — basically selecting twenty-five albums at random from our collections and listening to them from start to finish before moving on to the next one. Once the twenty-five are finished, we repeat. It’s a good way to bust out the stuff you don’t listen to as much or that you haven’t listened to at all. I completed my first five albums the other day, so here are some shitty thoughts on them.
NEMS / Warner Bros. / Vertigo
Black Sabbath is one of my favorite bands. From the Ozzy era, the first six albums are incredible, Sabotage being number six. I do listen to this album somewhat regularly, but since it came up in the random shuffle, I gave it a good, solid listen. For some reason I liked it more this time around than I remembered liking it. Sabotage is an excellent mix of heavier Sabbath, such as “Symptom of The Universe” — which is a fantastic track — and some more experimental stuff. The only song I wasn’t too crazy about is “Am I Going Insane.” It feels a little too poppy for the rest of the album. Otherwise this is a sexy slice of Sabbath. Continue reading