Sunday, December 20, 2015

Weekend Music Roundup

With Christmas coming next weekend, this is most likely the last Roundup before I wrap up the year in music. This was another week where I crammed in some late minute 2015 releases, but also some older stuff that I'd been meaning to listen to for quite some time. Some very interesting stuff on here that goes all over the place. Definitely some curiosity pieces and a handful of things to look out for. Hopefully there's something here that perks your interest. Now I must go and refresh and revise my likings for the year and see what's what. Enjoy your holidays, and may you get all the albums on your wishlist.

Circus Devils - Stomping Grounds: The new album from Robert Pollard's post GBV band is classic Pollard, featuring practically fragmented short songs full of intrigue and hard hitting bursts. Heavier than he usually is, this is quite rocking, but still lo-fi. It's more psychedelic than some of their previous albums, feeling a bit more like Ty Seagell than GBV which isn't necessarily a bad thing. "Girl in Space," "Dr. Pompous," "Schedules of the Dead," and "Cold Joker" are stand out tracks.

Papadosio - Extras in a Movie: This is the fourth full length album from the the North Carolina band. One of those albums that defies classification as it weaves across genres, but I suppose if I had to put a label on it, I'd call it electronic psych. It reminds me of early Yeasayer or even Menomena, though it lacks the crispness of those two bands, except on a few perfect songs, such as "Bypass Default" and "2am." All in all, interesting and definitely worth checking out.
Strange Faith - Love & Poverty: This is a collaboration album featuring Jeb Loy Nichols, the country sounding UK singer songwriter. This is a very east to listen to bar kind of record, that feels like Ben Harper at times, and at other times it's seems more '70s country folk. "Fair Weather" and "Just a Man" were the two standout tracks on an album that I found easy to like, but would never really love. Decent for getting drunk to, which can't be said for every album. 

Violent Femmes - Happy New Year: Released for Record Store Day back in the spring, this is the first new music by the legendary folk punk band in 17 years! These four songs have a classic VF feel, and could easily be B-Sides from their first two classic albums. Though they've grown older, they haven't lost their sense of humor or sense of being wronged by the world. "Love, Love, Love..." and "Good For / At Nothing," are amazing. My only complaint is that I wish it were a full album. A must have for fans.

Archive - Demo 2015: This Philly band made their debut 4-song EP available on Bandcamp back in march and it's a classic hard rock groove, inspired by 70's greats like Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin, but also later bands like Alice in Chains. There is heavy blues metal influence on these songs and it works quite well. In some ways, it reminds me of another Philly band from the 80's. Though more blues inspired, it has elements that remind me of Cinderella's "Night Songs" album, which comming from me is a compliment. I hope these home town boys make it far. 

Ghost - Meliora: The third album from the Swedish heavy rock, released at the end of the summer, is a bit of a blend of many metal and rock styles. There are prog elements, thrash and heavy psych, and when they all come together, it's a BIG sound. I had really high hopes for this one, but in the end, it just didn't grab me. The guitar work and the drums are quite good, but the rest is a little to orchestrated for my taste, and lyrically, it just didn't do it for me.   

憂鬱 - 秋: Anyone who knows me, or my work, will realize that for obvious reasons I had to check out this Japanese EP. Consisting of only two songs, these are ethereal ambient tunes with, the title track with soft dreamy vocals. It's fine background music, great for early morning sleepy time. I'm not sure CatKid would appreciate it, but give it a listen on their Bandcamp site if you want.

The Ladybug Transistor - Clutching Stems: Somehow 20 years has gone by since the formation of this Brooklyn band, and somehow I managed to miss all of their post-1999 work until I decided to give a listen to this album, released in 2011, and their last to date. This is a decent in album, and in a way it reminded me why I let them drift off my radar, because while it's decent, it's just not that memorable, or rather, there are just other bands who do the same thing in ways that just a little more appealing to my ears. It's a solid okay, and there are definitely people out there who will love this more than me.

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