Saturday, May 6, 2017

Weekend Music Roundup

The weekend has arrived the way it always seems to every seven days or so. And like the weekend is predictable, so is the fact that when it comes, I'm prepared to ramble on about music. This week I talk about new releases by a pair new bands to me, both of which were very impressive. I also continue to plow through some Record Store Day purchases, one released for the event and two that I picked up just because. A nice mix here of varying genres of rock. Hopefully there's something you be intrigued by. Enjoy.

Aye Nako - Silver Haze:  Four years after their debut, the Brooklyn indie outfit released their second record this past month. This album reminds me of some '90s bands, bands that were inspired by punk and crafted into lo-fi indie rock, bands like Bikini Kill and others that were born from Sonic Youth's 80s NYC sound.  "Half Dome," "Muck," "Nightcrawler," and "Practice Mace" are standouts for me on an interesting album. 

The Sword - Low Country: Released after 2015's High Country, this is the Austin stoner rock band's acoustic version of the album. For Record Store Day this year, it was released on vinyl. Though I found High Country somewhat disappointing, I picked this up, knowing that at the very least it would be interesting to hear them play acoustic. These songs seem better suited for these versions, which make them less cliche than the electric versions. I love the gothic folk feel that comes out on here.

Black Doldrums - People's Temple: This is the debut album from the London duo and it's quite impressive. It has Jesus & Mary Chain and Spacemen 3 elements of fuzzed out guitar, mixed with garage rock elements. The result is something pretty great, and I found myself really digging this record even it it wasn't revolutionary. "Take Me," "Dreamcatchter," "Sidewinder," and "Maya" are standouts. Definitely worth checking out.

David Gilmour - About Face: Though I've been a huge Pink Floyd fan since I was 15, and though Gilmour has always been preferred to Waters, I was slow to get into his solo work until recently when I discovered the brilliance of his self-titled debut from '78. Finally got a copy of 1984 follow-up and it's another quality album, with "Murder" being an epic track. Not a strong as his debut, but still a great record that fans will like. A nice addition to the collection.

Count Five - Psychotic Reaction: Released in 1966, this is the sole album from the San Jose proto-punk band and became an inspiration for generations that followed, especially the unbelievably brilliant title track. This was re-released on 180g vinyl in Mono for Record Store Day. Limited to 1,500 copies, I'm glad I was able to come across one of them. This is years ahead of its time and a pure piece of garage rock bliss. 

Ralph Stanley - I Want to Preach the Gospel: I first heard Ralph when he recorded the "O'Death" song for the film O'Brother Where Art Thou and his voice was instantly ingrained in my consciousness. I came across '73 album during my Record Store Day shopping and it's a brilliant gothic blue-grass record. "Great High Mountain" is a real stand-out on this spiritual journey. 

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