Saturday, July 9, 2016

Weekend Music Roundup

The hottest week of the year is finally over, and I couldn't be more thankful for that. I spent most of this sweltering heat listening to a few curious new records. The extreme heat makes me a little loopy, which is probably why I picked mostly quirky albums. Sadly, many of these are kind of forgettable, but they are bookmarked on the top and bottom by some worthwhile records. Hopefully none of you melted over the past few days. Enjoy.

Black Rainbows - Stellar Prophecy: The seventh studio album from the Italian heavy psych band came this past spring and it's quite good. It shares similarities with other current bands in the genre including Kadavar, The Sword and on a lesser scale, Electric Wizard. I love the old school feel of the artwork, and the way it alludes to old '70s psych metal. Definitely worth checking out.

Bear Hands - You'll Pay for This: The Brooklyn indie band's third album is their best to date. While their previous two albums had flashes of interest, neither ever truly came together in my opinion to create something exciting. This album isn't perfect, but it definitely has a defined sound that doesn't seem derivative, and for that alone, it warrants a listen. It's uptempo, but never poppy, and quite a decent summer kind of record.

Bob Dylan - Melancholy Mood: This four sound EP of standards was released in April as a preview to his full length album of standards that came out in May. Not wanting to suffer through a full album unnecessarily, I decided to go with the short version. To my surprise this is quite enjoyable. Despite recent evidence to the contrary, Bob can still sing! Using a crooner, vocal jazz style, he manages to sound like Leonard Cohen on these songs. While it's not anything that I will cherish, it is an album that sets a nice mood. Worth checking out for fans, but nothing essential. 

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy and Bitchin' Bajas - Epic Jammers and Fortunate Ditties: Released in the spring, this is a collaborative album from Will Oldham and the Chicago free folk outfit. Basically it amounts to Bonnie providing vocals over Bitchin' Bajas brand of folktronica, giving the whole thing a freak folk vibe that is quite perfect for the hot and hazy days of summer, or the cold interior days of winter. This isn't an album that calls for attention to tracks but is rather best served as an entire listen like a experimental campfire singalong.

Jarvis Cocker - Music from "Likely Stories" EP: This is a four song soundtrack to Neil Gaiman project by the former Pulp singer. In typical Jarvis fashion, there is a pompous arrogance that colors this EP. He basically talks over the music, saying quasi interesting things which never really amount to anything. The music is good, but overall, it's really nothing special. Then again, I've never been a real fan.

Essra Mohawk - Essra Mohawk: Released in 1974, this is the third album from Sandy Hurvitz, and the second under the Essra Mohawk moniker. Her first album is one of my all time favorites, and this one is nearly just as good. This is one of those albums that I looked for in every record store I entered over the past seven years. I finally came across a beautiful copy for only a few dollars. I've been listening to it every day since. "New Skins for Old," "If I'm Going to Go Crazy with Someone, It Might as Well Be You" and her cover of "Summertime" are exceptional tracks.

No comments:

Post a Comment