Saturday, October 8, 2016

Weekend Music Round Up

The week is over and the long weekend has begun and there is no better time to check out new music than a long weekend. This week's selections are a mixture of new releases and some older stuff that I finally had the chance to check out. I also had some time to dig through a few Bandcamp goodies. All in all, another fine week of audio satisfaction. Take some time and explore. Enjoy.

Alcest - Kodama: In the nearly ten years since their debut, this French band has always been rather hard to define. They walk a fine line between shoegaze and atmospheric black metal, appropriatedly termed "blackgaze", creating ethereal music that inspires a wealth of visual inspiration. This new album came out last week and it's quite dense and powerful. Recently, the French, with bands like Alcest and Natural Snow Buildings, have begun to do with this kind of drone, folk, shoegaze music what their authors had done years before with the novel, adding layers that have previously not been there. This is beautifully rich album, highlighted by the brilliant last track "Onyx" and one that is definitely worth checking out if you're into this genre.

Chaos Chaos - Committed to the Crime: The two sisters who had formed the indie band Smoosh and made three wonderful albums as children in the last decade went on to form this band in 2012 and released this debut album two years ago. I'm a really big Smoosh fan and can't believe it took me this long to listen to this. Much more indie pop than their earlier work, this is a catchy and fun album and worth checking out for fans. 

Death From Above 1979 - Live at Third Man Records: Since reforming more than two years ago and releasing their follow-up to their 2002 debut, the Toronto indie band has been touring. This year they added their names to the Live at Third Man Records collection by doing an in store performance that was recorded directly to vinyl. This is pretty raw show, and as a result, lacks the crispness that gives their studio work such a fantastic sound. Enjoyable for fans, but otherwise I highly recommend checking out either of their two albums instead.

Lizard Professor - Eccentricity: The debut album from the Texas metal band has been getting a fair amount of attention from Metal blogs and I was intrigued, not to mention thrilled by the album art. The musicianship is high quality. There are so many chord changes and mathmatical progressions that it reminds me of a little of Mar Volta. However, vocally, it features mostly growling, barking, Cookie Monster type black metal vocals, which I've never been a fan of. An interesting listen, but not something I'll return to.

Mermaidens - Undergrowth: The debut album from the New Zealand based indie band is one that I checked out on their Bandcamp site. It's pretty stunning. There are folk elements infused in their rock music, which seems inspired by '90s indie. They remind me a little of Sparrow and the Workshop. "Cold Skin," "Seed" and the title track are among my favorites. This is definitely worth checking out.

John Lennon - The Complete Lost Lennon Tapes Volume 11 & 12: I finally got around to listening to the next volume in this bootleg series, and this is perhaps my favorite to date. This features a lot songs that you don't hear very often. Lennon is channeling his Buddy Holly on a lot of these, and the demos from his early solo work are intimate and fantastic. "Call My Name," "What You Got," "I Know," "Honey Don't," "I'm Stepping Out," "Run for Your Life," and "When a Boy Meets a Girl" are standouts.

White Owl - In League with the Devil: This British band's self released new album is a fine piece of lo-fi psychedelic garage rock with gothic roots. It reminded me of the recent album from The Frights and was quite decent. "Of All the Things We Could Have...," "Don't Give a Shit," "The Witch's Tear," and the title track are standouts. Definitely worth giving a listen on their bandcamp site, linked above.

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