It's another weekend in the new year, and another installment of my ramblings on music. This week begins with a few 2017 releases, two of which were highly anticipated, and one which is sure to be in steady rotation throughout the year. Also on the list are a few albums from the past that I'm just getting around to listening to. All in all, its one of those nice mix of music kind of lists that I hope everyone can find something worth checking out. Enjoy.
The Screaming Thieves - Hooligans Heathens and Crafty Devils: This is the debut album from the Austin rock band. This has a distinctly 80's hard rock sound which I can appreciate. This the second album in recent months that I've heard and thought that had this album come out in the late '80s, it would've been a hit. That said, it wouldn't have been a smash it, as it holds more in common with lesser bands like Telsa and Black Crowes than with the really big bands of the era. Still, a nice listen and worth checking out on their Bandcamp site. "So Says the Criminal," "The Fix" and the title track are standouts.
Ty Segall - Ty Segall: The lo-fi garage rocker has been one of the more prolific artists of the last decade, releasing material under a variety of variations from solo to Ty Segall Band to collaborations. In 2013 and 2014, he released three dynamite albums, but this one goes even one stop further. It pulls together all of his different styles into one album that is sure to be one of my favorites of the year. "Orange Color," "Break a Guitar," "Papers" and the epic "Warm Hands" are among my favorites.
The xx - I See You: It took years for the London dream pop band to record their third album, their first in five years. Not much has changed with their sound in that time as this record feels very much like a continuation of the wistful indie ambient sound that dominates their previous efforts. As with their other albums, my feelings are basically that I enjoy it, but it never seems to grab me completely. There are moments where it feels as though it's perfect, and then it drifts away and loses me. Others are going to love this more than me, but either way, it's definitely a nice addition to the year's music.
Korn - Follow the Leader: The nu-metal pioneers' third album was released in 1998, but I was on a totally different trip back then and ignored this Cali band. And though I've been into them for about a decade, I just finally got around to exploring this one, and I can see why it was so popular. As with most of their early work, there are a some huge misses on here (a duet with Fred Durst anyone?), but when everything comes together, they are a great band.
Sharon Van Etten - I Don't Want to Let You Down: This EP was released in 2015, off the heels of the Brooklyn based singer songwriter's breakthrough album Are We There. These five songs are fantastic and reveal what makes her such a great voice in a crowded genre. I actually think this EP might be stronger than the album, and five songs could be the perfect amount for her sound, allowing each track to reach through and leave you wanting more. Definitely worth picking up.
Stone Angel - Stone Angel: This 1974 album was the only album released by the British Folk band until they reformed in 2000's. This is one of those classic British folk sounding records that incorporates old tyme folk with progressive psychedelic folk of the time. It sort of falls into the Canterbury scene, and has a sound that would later come back into fashion in the last decade with bands like Indigo Moss. It's a pretty album, and worth checking out.