Saturday, November 12, 2016

Weekend Music Roundup

The weekend has arrived, the first weekend in a brand new world, I won't say brave new world, because there was no bravery in the results of the disastrous election that has set the course of my country in a very uncertain direction. But I've always found there is no better refuge from bad times than music and this week I feature a lot of new releases that just might help get me through the coming weeks and months, if not years. Hopefully you will also be able to find some solace in tunes. Enjoy.

Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions - Until the Hunter: This is the third album from the Mazzy Star singer with her other band. They seem to average an album every seven years, and that is the case here as well. It doesn't stray far from the sound that Hope has cultivated throughout her career, a soft dreamy sound that soothes the brain into lullaby visions. This isn't quite as great as the last Mazzy Star album, but still one that fans would enjoy. "Liquid Lady" is a true gem on this album.
The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Third World Pyramid: It's hard to imagine a band hitting their creative peak nearly twenty years, and nearly as many albums, after their debut, but that seems to be what's happening with the San Fran psychedelic rock band. The follow-up to last year's fantastic Mini Album Thingy Wingy (aka PISH), they return with another fuzzed out psychedelic gem. Ever since original members returned several years ago, the band has been making one solid record after the next. "Don't Get Lost," "Assignment Song," "Lunar Surf Graveyard," and "The Sun Ship" are some of the finest songs they've ever put out. A must for fans.

2 Chainz - Hibachi for Lunch: The newest mixtape from the Atlanta rapper was released online a few weeks back. Of all the trap rappers out there, I've always believe 2 Chainz to be one of the more talented and like to check out his material every now and again. This seven song EP suffers a little from too many guest spots by less interesting rappers, in my opinion. And though I never expect too much in way of enlightenment on his records, this one a little too surface level for me. Still, interesting beats, good flow, and makes for decent background music for engaging in recreational activities. "Doors Open" is my personal favorite.

Kings of Leon - Walls: The seventh album from the Nashville band is their first in three years. On the last record, they reclaimed their Southern rock sound that made their debut such a classic. This album finds them returning the sound of their breakout 2008 album Only by Night. This is the closest they've come to capturing that easy to love rock sound. "Reverend," "Find Me," "Waste a Moment," "Over," and the title track are standouts on album with no real weak tracks.

Quicksilver - Just for Love: The third album from the San Fran psychedelic band was released in 1970 and one I picked up a few weeks back on vinyl. This is the record where the band first begins to put it all together and falls in line with other bands from the area, like Jefferson Airplane and The Dead. They songs take off into soulful fits of psych weirdness, while staying grounded in a blues base. "Cobra," "Gone Again," "Just for Love 1 and 2" and the epic Traffic-esqe "The Hat" are all outstanding tracks.

Helmet - Dead to the World: The newest album from the L.A. post-hardcore band is the first one that I've listened to since their '90's heyday. It was an impulse listen, wondering what the band that made In the Meantime back in '92 would sound like now. It's actually far from the same band, with only the singer/guitarist still a member of the band. They don't sound anything like the band that I remember, except for the grinding guitar work. This is a rock album that isn't quite metal enough to live up to what the songs try to build. It reminded me of Soundgarden more than anything that I remember from Helmet. It was an okay listen, but not anything that I see myself returning to. 

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