Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Proof that I don't just listen to old stuff with good vocals.

So, enough nostalgia and reflection! I listen to a couple dozen records a week, and not all of them are old things that I've listened to before. Here's the new stuff I listened to this week:
These Branches- This one's on You. - Such a shame! this is a really good mod-ish punky power pop band ruined by a lousy singer. Now, as a fan of guys like Frankie NW Stubbs and Lemmy, I can take some unusual singing styles, but this guy just has no real tune to his voice. So if you can really tune out vocals, this is a pretty good record, but that voice.....
Ruptures- Adormidera. Super angular hardcore-influenced chaos metal. Like Blood Brothers meets Botch to play 1st album Refused songs. No, the vocals aren't spectacular, but the post-everything thrash makes up for it. Then, just when you think you have a handle on this breed of aggression, they play a melodic interlude like "Soma", and you're confused by it. I think the edge they're going for is "constantly unsettled". It's more than the sum of the parts. It's good- but only if you can stand the mathy chaos.
Damascus- Salutations, Distant Satellite! Really good post rock. I know, I know- post rock is pretentious jazz fusion for jerks who couldn't actually generate enough swing to play jazz fusion. This is like the more linear, yet still proggy bits of bands like Mars Volta, but subtracting the vocals. I can appreciate it- it's decent listening, that gets the mix of volume and gentleness to do instrumental rock.
Old Growth- out of the sand and into the streets. Really garage rock. No, I don't mean that they play stuff that's stylistically "garage"- I mean they sound authentically like they a bunch of dudes rocking out in their garage, trying to do a bargain basement version of "rawk'. I haven't checked, but I bet they love grunge bands, and I bet not a one of them is over 25. Add 10 years, and 100,000 bucks and they'd be Nickelback, and would add to the "suck" quota in the world, but as it stands, I bet they have a core following of friends who are blown away by their genius. If I could offer them any advice it would be to stay in the garage. Don't progress- keep it as raw as this, and you'll eventually turn into Crazy Horse, and that's infinitely better than Nickelback.
Also, not exactly a new thing, but getting newer- check out the Bloody Beetroots website. I could really join the Church of Noise.

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