Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Yes, I am incorrigible. Allow me to introduce you to the three newest (to me) artists on my Ipod. Yes, some of this may be old news, and no, none of it is "fresh", or "avante garde". It's the same stuff I always listen to, and I love it.
First, the most sophisticated stuff is from How to Destroy Angels. Basically, this is Trent Reznor's new band. I do not miss his voice whatsoever, having never been enamored with it. But, his wife has an excellent haunting little girl voice, like Hope Sandoval, and the music is much more concrete, and closer to a sound collage than a melody, and so I like it. I've always liked pretty voices with noise. But, let's face it, that's no more challenging than a Timbaland track. Still, I like the notion of "music" that cannot be notated.
Second, I've liked the Gallows, and Kid Dynamite, and the Bronx and other latter day thrash bands- mostly because I liked the former day Thrash bands. (Oh, and no, the so called "thrash metal" of the late 1980's means nothing, nada, zilch to me. I'm talking about speedy hardcore punk rock, based on the "three letter band" codex, and the straight edge beat). So, it's a bit sad to me that I was late to the party with The Steal. It's too bad they're gone, but really, download, or buy "Bright Grey" which is about as fine a thrash record as I can recall from the past ten years. It's not up to the glories of The Capaces, mind you, but they're on another level. If you had a buzz cut and skate shoes in 1986, you'll probably dig it, if only for nostalgia.
Third, I won't say much, because you've probably heard them already- I think they even have records in Target, but I have to admit I finally gave The National a fair shot, and they're decent. They're certainly breaking no ground that Wilco, or a host of canadian bands haven't already done (basically a mix of New Wave and Americana) but I hummed along to enough tunes that I finally downloaded some. Call it a reluctant thumb shakily pointing up.


  1. Grabbed the HTDA. Been watching the teasers as Trent tweets about them. This is cool but it sounds exactly like NiN with a girl singer. I dig it. The Steal I wasn't blown away by. I like Gallows loads better. The National? meh. Thanks for the suggestions.


  2. Yes, nothing to be blown away with in any of it. But what am I gonna do? I can't think of a good reason to blog about bands like The XX, St Vincent, or what have you- I really think this is a pretty fallow period for music, right now. I do like the Gallows a lot, but they're doing stuff that The Bronx did better, in my opinion. The Bronx, meanwhile, owe a pretty huge debt to Rocket From the Crypt and the san Francisco dirt punk bands like the Oblivions. So, by the time you get to neo-thrash bands, really saying "about as fine as" is fairly faint praise. HTDA? You're right- it's like Year Zero & The Slip, but with better vocals- I never liked Trent's voice, and felt that NIN only approached greatness when that part was downplayed- stuff like The Fragile and the "Fixed" remix CD was far better than his pop compositions- so I'm hopeful more than I actually enjoy HTDA- I'm hoping that it gets more "soundscape" and we can get some better vocals than NIN ever provided....