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Mister Pinkerton

The Positive Album Review Topic

Recommended Posts

Bruce Khansey

DIAMOND HEAD - LIGHTNING TO THE NATIONS

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YEAR: 1980

GENRE: Heavy Metal

TRACKLIST:

1. Lightning to the Nations – 4:00

2. The Prince – 6:27

3. Sucking My Love – 9:35

4. Am I Evil? – 7:21

5. Sweet and Innocent – 3:13

6. It's Electric – 3:50

7. Helpless – 6:05

 

 

One of the albums that changed my life.

 

United Kingdom, 1980.

We're in the golden age of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, While some bands like Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Motörhead and Saxon definitely made it and got into the mainstream scene, other bands like Angel Witch, Praying Mantis, Tygers of Pan-Tang and Tokyo Blade drowned in the limbo of the underground scene.

The most underrated of those bands, however, are definitely Diamond Head, later known as Metallica's greatest musical influence. I would describe this band as the link that joins Led Zeppelin and Heavy Metal. Their most famous album, the one I'm about to review, is Lightning to the Nations, known as "The White Album", due to the lack of an actual cover.

 

I won't write hundreds of lines, I think these reviews are made for a quick read and to tempt/encourage other people to listen to these album we chose; what I'm going to say is that if you're into classic heavy metal and hard rock from the early 80's, then this album's definitely for you.

 

Why has it changed my life? Because I tried so hard to find other bands with a sound like this, and apart from Angel Witch I still haven't found another.

Songs like "Sucking My Love", "Helpless" and the terrific, monumental "Am I Evil" will tell you more about the golden age of Heavy Metal than anything or anyone else. There are more guitar riffs in these songs than in an entire discography of a moder days metal band.

 

Rough sound, fresh songwriting, originality, great guitar work, pounding drums and clean, earthshaking vocals will lead you into 40 minutes that every hard rock/metal fan should know by memory!

Edited by Bruce Khansey

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unbid

Melodyofcertaindamagedlemons.jpg
Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons (2000)
By: Blonde Redhead


I started listening to this album after I learned that Rick and Morty used this
for one of their characters. I like that song and I decided to give the album a try on Spotify.

This one is the 5th studio album released in the year 2000 from an alternative rock band called Blonde Redhead. At first glance, you can see that this album has dark and grim tone to it, and I can tell you that it will getting darker at the end. The album itself contains many variations of genre, from Alternative Rock, Post-Punk, Electronica, Dream Pop, to the grim Chillout tune as the closure for this album. Although the first 10 minutes of the album are very enjoyable with the flow that match on each songs, the rest have an off-putting flow that makes the album flow very stagger, especially with the inclusion of Electronica and Dream Pop in the middle of grim rock ballad.

There are several songs that definitely deserve my highlight:
- "In Particular", the 2nd song of the album which has a dark-ish Dream Pop tune to it which complements the intro very well

- "Melody of Certain Three", a fast-paced Rock tune that reminds me of later years Blur but with more pace and cheer-y grim tone

- "For the Damaged", a very dark song, accompanied with the slow-paced acoustic, somber vocal, and dark lyrics that represent the album very well.

- "For the Damaged Coda", the song that became popular thanks to Rick and Morty. Has the same formula as the previous song, but only has scream for help as the lyrics which is why I said that this is the perfect ending for a dark themed album.

The last two songs I mentioned goes well together, but alas, both are separated by another song which breaks the flow of the album. Fortunately, someone did a God's work and
.

Now, I'm not a fan of something dark and gloomy, and this album is no exception for something that I might heavily consider to get despite my love with some of the songs on this album. Besides that, I recommend this album if you want to find something new to add into your music collection. Edited by unbid

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Spadge

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Just take a listen, just came out. Can't do a critique, it's too new. All I know is I like it. Spent the day in bed & Jacky are my to favs so far.

Edited by Spadge

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Mr_Rager

nothing,nowhere - reaper

 

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nothing,nowhere as far as I know is a one man act, which considering the sound he's crafted, is pretty cool. n,n takes the bedroom trap rap style Bones introduced earlier this decade and combines it with both midwest emo and the more post hardcore inspired screamo emo. Although that sounds odd on paper, it all comes together to create this sound that's both new and aged with nostalgia. I was really impressed with this project, although I hope he doesn't abandon what makes his music unique, as it's tempting to try to make generic trap bangers.

 

Best tracks: houdini, black heart

 

7/10

 

Marilyn Manson - Heaven Upside Down

 

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Manson has really gotten their sh*t together musically since Pale Emperor, which was the first good album the band released since Holy Wood. What made Pale Emperor so good was the new, blues inspired sound that the group incorporated into the record. The production fit Manson's cry for help vocals, which was consistent throughout. On this new album, the blues sound is pretty much gone. What were given is a pop version of Antichrist Superstar, infusing modern trap production, like on Say10, but with the aggression of the Manson of old, like on We Know Where You f*cking Live. As much as I enjoyed hearing a bit of the old Manson, it's just too polished. The new production elements work, but not with the other half of the equation. Lots to like here though, but it doesn't justify its existence like Pale Emperor did.

 

Best tracks: Blood Honey, Say10

 

6.5/10

Edited by Mr_Rager

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SeroH

Returning with reviews :D

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Imogen Heap - Ellipse

Release date: August 24th, 2009

Genre: Dream pop, Folktronica, Ambient

Label: Megaphonic

Review: I think some guys would know her thanks to the "mmmm whatcha say" (Hide and Seek from her former album Speak for Yourself) and then that excerpt became a meme and used on a Jason Derulo song. In my case I know her thanks to her 1998 album IMegaphone and her project Frou Frou. Then Imogen made that is far away from her "best moment" in 2005, Ellipse hits the nail on the head with something fancy and eclectic, First Train Home gives a nice mood of synthpop and mellow rhythms, while Wait it Out takes a soothing path which is like a mixture of neo-classic Olafur Arnalds and soothing Kate Bush. But Earth disappoints me a little, the style isn't bad but as a matter of fact it brings me back to Speak to Yourself. Swoon is the same as Earth, not my type (you guessed it). Tidal reminds me the style of Frou Frou, the iconic mellow DnB style, then Between Sheets feels soothing at all, right? The after-shower electro pop Bad Body Double is kinda interesting, and now here the best park, If I could put Little Bird, 2-1, The Fire and Canvas at the end of the album, both tracks are the most soothing and chilling best part of Ellipse.

Favorite tracks:

  • First Train Home
  • Wait it Out
  • Tidal
  • Between Sheets
  • Little Bird
  • 2-1
  • The Fire
  • Canvas

9.0/10 - Highly recommended


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B. Fleischmann - I'm Not Ready for the Grave Yet

Release date: October 5th, 2012

Genre: IDM

Label: Morr Music

Review: I am not only focused on great British IDM/ambient talents, as I can't believe there's great talents from Center Europe, I think I am gonna have a zealotry and forget Aphex Twin and Boards of Canada forever (just kidding :p ). Bernhard Fleischmann is such an interesting guy, just like other IDM artists. And this album gives anything that you would really enjoy, pure experimentalism of instruments and genres. It is likely a soup mixed with IDM, glitch, grime, post rock and folk. I stand out the Bernhard vocals on tracks like Don't Follow, I'm Not Ready for the Grave Yet and Your Bible is Printed on Dollars. Post rock influenced Who Emptied the River, This Bar and At Night the Fox Comes. And Beat Us, a grime influenced track which reminds me some Emika and Flying Lotus songs. I highly recommend to discover far beyond from UK.

 

Favorite tracks:

  • Beat Us
  • Who Emptied the River
  • I'm Not Ready for the Grave Yet
  • This Bar
  • Tomorrow
  • Your Bible is Printed on Dollars

 

8.5/10 - Recommended

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SeroH
Posted (edited)

I am back with a new reviews:

 

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Zero 7 - Yeah Ghost

Release date: September 28th, 2009

Label: Atlantic Records

Genre: Experimental, folk, indie, downtempo, pop, soul, IDM, drum and bass

Review: This happens the same like Boards of Canada' Geogaddi, some people like it, some people hate it. But this time, most of the people hate this release from the former errand boys and trip hop duo (currently they are dropped out unfortunately). In my case, it took me a lot of listens to give a chance to Yeah Ghost, we know Zero 7 is alive without grief and glory and sincerely sometimes surprises us. Starting with the review, this album has a lot of different styles each song we listen: "Count Me Out" is the intro from this album which is likely an attempt of power electronics with ambient elements but then there's the lower point from this album..."Mr. McGee", a cheesy but annoying R&B/Soul song that is like a failed attempt to get into Billboard Top 100 with vocals provided by ESKA, I might say this is like the Zero 7 track I hate. Then we got a track that is mostly used in supermarkets or furniture stores (Yes, what a cliche!) called "Swing", a twee-pop track with sad lyrics from Binki Shapiro, "Everything Up (Zizou)" is a homage to the former soccer player Zinedine Zidane, vocals from Henry Binns (which is not the first time he sings, check "Your Place" from Zero 7 former album "The Garden") and electronic indie rhythm which reminds me of Phoenix. Martha Tilston (which is my favorite folk artist) gives us an hypnotic folk trip with "Pop Art Blue". "Medicine Man" is another track that I would like to remove from the album (apart from Mr. McGee), ESKA together with a gospel cheerful voices makes another cheesy R&B/soul song with catchy parts like "outragerous...outrageous" or "contagious...simply outrageous". Finally it's over with a track I love so much; "Ghost Symbol", something that it's worth, IDM melodies that reminds me of Plaid or Arovane, and then we got "Sleeper", an attempt of mimicking a track from Aphex Twin' Richard D. James Album (Seriously, Zero 7 needs some IDM lessons), mostly predominant drill and bass melodies but distorted vocals from ESKA and Rowdy Superstar, I think they did well with the former two songs. "Solastalgia" is the interlude, mostly soothing space ambient with angelical vocals which reminds a little bit of "Parallel Stripes" from Aphex Twin' Selected Ambient Works Volume 2. Then there's "The Road", a soul track but in a sad side, certainly depressing and suicidal like "Breathe Me" from Sia. The final part of this album is quite acceptable, "All of Us" is like Four Tet meeting Path Metheny, a folktronica but experimental masterpiece which ends the entire album.

 

Favorite songs:

  • Count Me Out
  • Swing
  • Pop Art Blue
  • Ghost Symbol
  • Sleeper
  • Solastalgia
  • All of Us

8/10 - Recommended

 

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Zero 7 - The Garden

Release date: May 22th, 2006

Label: Ultimate Dilemma

Genre: Trip hop, downtempo, chillout, folk, jazz

Review: Sincerely I miss Tina Dico, Sophie Barker and Mozez, but...oh well, Sia worked on this album but with a new contribution of José Gonzalez, the Argentinian-Swedish folk artist. This album had not too much impact than the former two albums (Simple Things and When It Falls), but I appreciate Zero 7 touched new territory, instead of convenient chillout and lounge that people could listen on Starbucks or dentist waiting rooms. Jose Gonzalez and Sia has a predominance in this album with mellow vocals, as the album crosses paths of downtempo tracks like "Throw It All Away", "Today", "This Fine Social Scene", "If I Can't Have You", "Crosses" and "Waiting to Die", folk in "Futures", "Pageant of Bizarre" and "Left Behind", pure jazz on "Seeing Things" and "Your Place" and sparkly glitch on "You're my flame". Sia always were a lucky charm to Sam Hardaker and Henry Binns, apart from José Gonzalez which both made a good job indeed, after all.

 

Favorite tracks:

  • Futures
  • Throw It All Away
  • The Pageant of Bizarre
  • You're My Flame
  • Today
  • This Fine Social Scene
  • Your Place
  • Crosses
  • Waiting to Die

8.5/10 - Recommended

Edited by SeroH

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Neptune Homme

DEATH GRIPS - Year Of The Snitch

 

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Death Grips is an experimental hip-hop trio originating from the Sacramento area of California. During their relatively short career they've released six studio albums, a debut mixtape and about as many EPs. Whilst prolific, their sound doesn't particularly lend itself to radio friendly airplay and that's somewhat the point. Death Grips have a way of taking conventional sounds and running in the completely wrong direction, baffling those unfamiliar and thrilling those familiar. The anticipation train for Year Of The Snitch began not long after their 2017 EP Steroids as the band teased a new studio album shortly after its surprise release. Hints first began from the band's Twitter page, as the slogan "Death Grips Is Online" became the running meme for fans. This began almost a year ago, and the band is not unaccustomed to toying with their audience, which is made up of some of the most fanatical and frantic of followers. With each album or EP, Death Grips explore another avenue, so fans were eager to discover just what the future had in store. As it turns out, this album has been a polarising listen, further driving a divide between what is mainstream and what is underground.

 

I'll be completely honest - I wrote about 90% of this review earlier today. I went through it track by track, discussed some of the lyrics and then went on to describe what I thought was being inferred. I was about two tracks from the end and I suddenly realised it was the most sterile, boring, trite review I'd ever seen. I read it back twice and it was so devoid of life I couldn't bear it. I deleted the whole thing and went to run some errands, listening to it once on the way there and again on the way back. To break this album down track by track like I had done before felt like an insult, because there's so much going on in each track it would be impractical to even talk about. I then deleted everything I had already written and here I am, spitballing, hoping I can pull off a semi-respectable review.

 

The thing about Year Of The Snitch is it feels alive. It feels like a pet. With each release following their debut, Death Grips have always had a story, or a piece of lore surrounding it. For one album, there was a deep web ARG that invited fans to pull apart elaborate and esoteric lines of code in order to piece together scraps. For another, in this case a double album, fans were left dangling by a string as the two parts were separated by a nearly nine month gap. Clearly aware of their fan's anticipation, Death Grips instead released a completely unrelated instrumental album titled Fashion Week which used letters as track titles. These track titles spelled out "JENNY DEATH WHEN" which was the common chant on social media whenever somebody even dared to type the band's name. It's this connection that helps fuel part of what makes a Death Grips album special.

 

What I will talk about here is the theme of Year Of The Snitch and that is straight-up sex. There's talk of murder, suicide, drug use and nihilism, but the overall vibe is sex. From sleazy overtones played over corrupted circus fanfare to perverted cooing that teases anal in a mosh pit, it's clear that this is the band exploring their filthier side. Even the album's artwork is a vulgar display, with six hungry and open mouths wet with saliva. I can almost feel their tongues in my ear. I would argue a second, more subtle theme is the internet itself, or online culture and how disposable it all seems to be. From the use of memes to having the director of Shrek as a collaborator, it's a powerful display of how Death Grips acknowledges online culture and still manages to twist it to suit their own agenda. The album from start to finish is practically seamless in transition, with little to no gaps between songs and often the previous track will bleed into the next. Despite this, the band released six singles in anticipation for Year Of The Snitch and each one sounded like they were from different projects altogether. Individually, the songs felt lacklustre, especially when the transitions teased what was to come. It felt like I was being shortchanged.

 

There's an argument to be made that states context is important, and I'll be the first to admit that I didn't so much care for many of the singles released. I didn't even like the album when I first heard it. As daft as it sounds, I felt betrayed. I have enjoyed this band's music for years, and for about half an hour I couldn't believe what I was hearing. It felt like a joke. I saw a few people that felt the same, but much of the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. I just didn't get it. I didn't want to force myself, but I took some time to actually sit down and listen to this. Something eventually clicked, and now I consider it one of the band's strongest projects to date. I don't know if it's being presented with the entire album or how my opinion changed because of the songs I had heard previously now had a home, but it simply works.

 

There's something for every type of fan of Death Grips here, and I think that's key when we talk about endurance of an album. Part of the joke to me was that the last song on this album is called "Disappointed". This felt like the band was saying there was even a song for those that hated it, as if they had pressed pause and yelled "look, there's something here for you true fans too" through a wave of eye-rolls. This album is as terrifying as it is comical, as cryptic as it is in your face.

 

The best part though? The album is believed to be named after Linda Kasabian, one of the key players in the conviction of Charles Manson in 1971. She even gets a song too, the aptly named (if a little taunting) "Linda's In Custody". The band has used Charles Manson's incoherent speeches as samples in previous works, and the band has even sampled their own older material in Year Of The Snitch which brings things right back to the beginning in quite nicely. When did Death Grips release the album? On Linda Kasabian's 69th birthday.

 

That's right - this entire album is a massive 69 joke. Year Of The Snitch indeed.

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MyNameHere
Posted (edited)

vC2J0uD.jpg

 

DIAMOND HEAD - ST (Aka: Lightning to the Nations)

Year: 1980

Genre: Heavy Metal

Q: 10/10

 

This album don't need introduction, to me is the bible of Heavy Metal.

 

No one can top the heaviness, gloomy, melodic and ferocious riffs from guitarrist Mr. Tatler with chaotic solos, rembombat bass and catchy drums patterns, along with a angel beautiful voice by frontman Sean Harris, creating shaking songs with a brilliant execution and a perfect/excellent writing. There is no filler songs, all in his place with a perfect timing.

 

Influence for many, imitated by some (Metallica, Megadeth and such), almost 40 years is still an album second to none.

Edited by MyNameHere

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Neptune Homme

BURIAL - Kindred

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Today I want to talk about Burial’s Kindred, an EP released with little fanfare on Hyperdub in 2012. If you are already familiar with Burial, you’ll also be familiar with his unpredictable release tactics, giving you the feeling he really does what he wants, when he wants.

Burial is the alias of South London music producer William Bevan and… that’s pretty much it. I don’t know much about him, and any other information is difficult to source. For someone so respected in his circle, William is about as far away from the scene as you could possibly be without losing sight of it. Maybe this is the secret to his rising success and recognition - his music has never been about what’s happening, but rather about what has already happened. I know when I first discovered his music a few years ago, it already felt nostalgic. I was never much for the club scene, preferring to stay in reading the backs of CD covers and waxing lyrical with friends over a couple of dozen beers. I’d wake up with a head full of wool but the songs would be resonating long after the speakers had turned off. There were stories in Burial’s music, at least as close to a story you could get from somebody recovering from a heavy night. Like their anecdotes, there are blanks to be filled in from Burial. You can either take his cryptic samples as gospel, or assume they're a part of a puzzle you were never a piece in. You’re simply watching somebody else complete it. 

We begin Kindred with the title track, which makes more sense than I’d like to admit. For any fans of his already, the mourning synths and bad weather vibes should be well-tread territory by now. Backed by rain on wet pavements, we hear something almost choral and heavenly which is as intimidating as it is welcoming. As quickly as it came, a ripple of vinyl scratch static takes over and briefly brings us back to Earth. You realise then that the bad weather wasn’t just nature; this is Burial at his best and at his most consuming. Through this wall of thunder a beat lunges at us in his unmistakable style, creating enjoyable tension and anticipation not unlike that experienced before a heavy night out. Occasionally, the enchantment returns in the form of a soothing female vocal sample that sounds like it fell from the fickle 90s charts into murky depths of obscurity. About two thirds in, we feel a shift in mood and pace - the drums drop out but return unchanged, bringing with it a lighter and more forgiving backing bass line. Because of this, Kindred feels lengthy, but doesn’t outstay its welcome. For those that wished some of Burial’s songs were longer, this is truly theirs. 

Through the dying static outro of Kindred, we’re met with Loner, the second track on this EP. The name is not coincidental - this is a haunting track, make no mistake. The fluttering opening is delicate, but still fights the ever persistent hiss and crackle so much so that neither command your attention. Out of nowhere, and through more dissonant vocals we’re met with one of the most beautiful chord progressions I’ve ever heard in electronic music. As it takes hold, you feel like you’ve been knocked to the floor in a night club. Everyone in your immediate vicinity has turned to help. You can see their mouths move but their expression is insincere. You don’t hear words, but the melody continues. In between heads you see people that have either not noticed you or are choosing to ignore you altogether. Something that sounds like almost like a default alarm tone on an iPhone kicks in, and breathy bass strikes break up the intensity and help you to your feet before the crushing agony takes hold and you’re sent to the floor once again. Your vision is blurred, almost like you’re opening your eyes in a chlorine-rich swimming pool. As with the first track, Loner ends destructively, like the master tapes themselves have begun to fall apart. For some, it’s a relief, but only in the same way you feel your head hit a pillow after a long and memorable night out. 

Finally, we are faced with the last track Ashtray Wasp which is as monstrous as the title track from this EP. Again, the name feels apt - the sound is dense and thick, almost like a swarm of wasps angrily gathering in the clouds of thick plumes of cigarette smoke with nowhere to go. Much as we heard on Kindred, beats and synths seem to stutter in and out, breaking down this behemoth without losing any of the cinematic flair. We’re treated to more lush vocal sampling which is more coherent and just as ethereal as before. Towards the end we experience a terrifying pitch shifted moment which is no less intimidating in an MP3 as it is on wax. Vocal samples climb and descend over a contradictory melody which is probably the chirpiest example we’ve heard through the entire EP. As with the previous two songs the fade out is presented as a wall of crackling static, leaving us with nothing but the feeling of shared anonymity one experiences in a big city, whether it’s home or not. 

We’re taken on a journey, where we visited isn’t clear. There’s a sense of loneliness ever present in Burial’s music, and this EP certainly reinforces this. Kindred is an unknown trawl through the city hours before dawn, but it all somehow feels so familiar. This EP may well be Will Bevan’s journey or experience and he may not let his entire guard down, but there’s enough tangibility that we can see his form in the fog, giving us something to follow. As long as Burial keeps making music, we’re never really alone.

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Neptune Homme

BOARDS OF CANADA - In A Beautiful Place Out In The Country

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In A Beautiful Place Out In The Country was released in the winter of 2002, two years following the release of critically acclaimed album Geogaddi. I have been a fan of Boards Of Canada since around 2005/2006, just on the cusp of leaving high school. After falling in love with the atmosphere of Geogaddi I sought more releases by the duo in the form of EPs after I played their debut album (Music Has The Right To Children) an exhausting amount of times. I couldn’t get enough. The nostalgia was heavy and confusing, mainly because I was too young to really feel nostalgic about much of anything. As I think back, most of my fond memories surrounding the small town I grew up in can be tethered to Boards Of Canada songs. While the nostalgia may have been manufactured by expertly crafted music and technique, it certainly lay foundations for what would be my fondest period of being a teenager. 

If Geogaddi is a mind-bending acid trip, In A Beautiful Place Out In The Country is the morning after where all you’re thinking about is a shower, breakfast and a cigarette in the garden. You don’t regret what you did the night before, but you’ll think twice. The EP begins with "Kid For Today", which hosts swirling and scraping drones behind lazy clicking percussion. The sounds pan from one ear to the other suggesting fragments of a previous trip, and after a minute or so you feel truly surrounded. Tight snares cap the percussion and a synth line that’s as woeful as it is beautiful carries you through the six and half minute run time. The swelling drones mentioned prior sweeten up and as the track expands, hollow bells can be heard echoing in the background adding further layers to what is set up to a brighter experience to the previous album. 

In track two, "Amo Bishop Roden" we again hear more sustained tones that lead us by the hand into glitchy but soft drum programming. The two don’t compete for attention as you would expect, mostly because the faltering sounds of the percussion give the vibe that whatever technology is playing this song is on its last legs. String synths gently drift in and out before we hear what sounds almost like tuned water drops, providing a backing bass beat that is barely there at all. In the closing minute of the track we hear organic yet manipulated chirping, like something from the previous night is trying to communicate and tell us it misses us and it’ll see us soon. As soon as it came, the bass and lead synth drops and leaves us once again wth the tone heard at the start of the song. 

The third (and title) track on the EP kicks off with slightly sharper and harsher synth leads bookmarked by children’s laughter, which sounds joyous enough to begin with but grows slightly more haunted thanks to the addition of a robotic, authoritative voice commanding us to come with it, and “live in a religious community in a beautiful place out in the country”. A part of me would like to believe this is with innocent intent and the fresh environment is real, but one is right to be suspicious following the exploration of the occult and thrilling Satanic themes presented in Geogaddi. In the closing third of the track, a brief background synth can be heard very briefly which sounds like an advertising jingle fed through a filter, which just about sums the constant barrage of hassle from the machine that wants us to blindly follow religion and surrender with total obedience, probably for our own good. 

The closing song "Zoetrope" is a thankfully light but melancholy piece, featuring no percussion whatsoever save for a few hard piano chords that accompany a syncopated and heavily delayed synth lead. Once one gets their head around the mismatched nature and stagger of the song, it is a welcome end that tickles the ears and assures us that yes, the countryside is our friend and is as indeed beautiful as it has always felt. In a refreshing change of pace, Zoetrope sounds and feels like your eyes have glazed over whilst looking at something, only to snap back and realise you had never left in the first place.

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The Odyssey
Posted (edited)

Dismemberment Plan - Emergency & I  

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Date released: October 26 1999

Genre: Indie Rock, Post-Hardcore, Post-punk revival 

 

 

"The only thing worse than bad memories, is no memories at all" - Travis Morrison, Gyroscope

 

Growing up sucks. That may sound like a cliche thing to say but realistically, there comes a time in everyones life where they encounter a fork in the road - Grow up, or get left behind. And much like the people who skip the tutorials and jump straight into the game, a good portion of these people realise that 20 years down the track, they still aren't prepared for a commitment like that. 

 

Straight off the bat with the opening track, A Life Of Possibilities, Emergency and I reflects these themes. The narrator, singer/songwriter Travis Morrison describes "Digging the underground" As both a struggle to conform to mainstream culture, and as a means of escape from reality. Naturally though, in the underground there aren't any "signs or north stars" just "earth in all direction" Add to this the intoxicating bridge which connects the previous nihilistic life views to a message about passion to strive for your goals and aspirations, Emergency and I starts off with a bang.

 

The album often outputs a nervous, cacophonous sound, not only to the instruments but also to the singers voice.

For example, the song Memory Machine starts with some odd, cluttered bleeps, and with constant repetition of the terms "red wire, blue wire" as if the narrator is painstakingly trying to defuse a bomb while performing. Luckily, though, the stress which the song appears to output is quickly cut short by a soothing, ethereal guitar driven chorus that backs the narrators hopes for a way to wipe out bad memories. 

 

The song Girl O' Clock features a stuttering Morrison describing the stress and anxiety which buckles upon his wellbeing, while the song Gyroscope features chaotic, fast paced, punk inspired instrumentals with a fast talking Morrison. Most of the time, really, Morrison manages to figure out the perfect tone to match his instrumentals. 


 

 

Not all of the album sounds chaotic, however. The song The Jitters features a downtempo riff and lyrics which embody the feeling of hopelessness as opposed to anxiety and stress. Similar lyrical themes are explored in the song The City, which is probably my favourite song on the album. It describes the feeling of loneliness, and ones boredom with the things that used to make them happy. 

 

 

Quote

"There’s no one to know
There’s nothing to do
The city’s been dead
Since you’ve been gone"

 

It's a haunting yet beautiful song which manages to capture the isolation of feeling disassociated from society. 

 

 

Quote

"The parks lay empty like my unmade bed
The streets are silent like my lifeless telephone
And this is where I live, but
I’ve never felt less at home"

 

And the final track "Back And Forth" works as an excellent closer to the album - promoting the listener to strive for the shades of hope in otherwise dark on grim times. To seal broken relationships that you might think are beyond salvageable. Basically, to accept that this f*cked up thing called adulthood is an emotional roller coaster and you aren't getting anywhere by staying still. 

 

9.2/10

Favourite tracks: A Life Of Possibilities, Memory Machine, What Do You Want Me To Say? Spider In The Snow, The Jitters, Gyroscope, The City, Girl O' Clock, 8 1/2 Minutes, Back And Forth

Least favourite track: I Love A Magician 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by The Odyssey

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The Odyssey

Sweet Trip - Velocity:Design:Comfort 

 

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Date released: June 17, 2003

Genre: IDM, Shoegaze, Glitch Pop, Dream Pop

 

 

This album is the musical equivalent of taking a sh*t load of acid and then tripping balls at the arcade. It's an absolute beauty of musical experimentation, combining elements of IDM and Glitch with Shoegaze and Dream Pop. The song "Tekka" is an explosive introduction to the album, a no holds barred glitchy soundscapes a-la Aphex Twin that is reflective of the rest of the album. Shoegaze fans will find joys in songs such as "Dsco" and "Chocolate Matter" with distorted guitars that sound like something out of a virtual reality. The album has fairly lengthy songs, but these in no way drag on or become repetitive, due to the constantly switching sounds and genres. Take "International" for example, going from ambient to shoegaze to glitch pop to a folkish outro. The album feels oddly nostalgic, as well. Like you're logging into Windows XP on one of those computers with the fat backs for the first time again. A criminally underrated album which still stuns me to realise was released in 2003, considering how fresh it sounds to this day.

 

9.5/10 

Favourite tracks: Tekka, Dsco, Velocity, Fruitcake and Cookies, Sept, Pro:Lov:Ad  International, Chocolate Matter, To All The Dancers, Design 2:3

Least Favourite Track: None... But if I had to pick, Design: I

Edited by The Odyssey

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sivispacem

Author & Punisher - Beastland

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Release Date: 5th October 2018

Label: Relapse Records

Genre: Industrial/Drone/Doom

 

A sceptic may view electronic engineer Tristan Shone's one-man act- comprising self-designed and home-built "drone machines" and "dub machines"- as something of a gimmick. The use of unorthodox instrumentation, from scrap metal to power tools, has been well-ingrained in the more provocative side of Industrial music for decades now, and as potentially interesting to hacker-nerds as a four-input tracheal microphone and rail-like drum machine trigger may be, they're not really revolutionary, are they?

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Wrong. The custom instrumentation and the physical force exerted in order to play it gives a strangely organic feel to the music, completely at odds with the synthesised nature of the sounds that are being manipulated. Beastland doesn't represent a radical departure from earlier Author & Punisher releases; at its heart, it's still Us and Them era Godflesh channeled through abrasive Power Noise and Scorn-esque lo-fi dub and drone. Compared to earlier releases such as Ursus Americanus and Drone Machines the levels of ear-splitting distortion have been marginally reduced (probably for the best, as "Lonely" remains almost nauseatingly unlistenable on headphones). Nor does Beastland embrace the same structural and compositional experimentation that Melk En Honing exhibited. However, these omissions benefit the overall sound; the distortion dialled out has been replaced with density, experimentation with an almost poplike catchiness. Shone's vocal delivery has also changed; instead of distorted screams, some softer passages see him employing a Trent Reznor croon which somehow makes the impending wall of noise seem all the more powerful. Odd moments- like the tape-cut ending to "Nazarene" and the unexpectedly melodious chorus of "The Speaker Has Been Systematically Blown" keep the listener engaged and on their toes, sometimes delivering surprising beauty in amongst the chaos.

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Beastland shouldn't, however, be confused with a Nine Inch Nails album. It remains incredibly oppressive, suffocatingly heavy and often uncomfortable. Kurt Ballou's mastering job is uniformly loud and generally well-balanced, though at times it could do with a little more dynamic range in order to let that crushing sub-bass swamp the listener. Oppressive yet emotive, uncomfortable yet beautiful, Beastland is a near-enough perfect demonstration of Author & Punisher's unique brand of industrial doom, and is absolutely essential listening for fans of Godflesh/JK Flesh, Sunn o))) and Wolf Eyes.

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MyNameHere

White Coven - Overseas

Year: 2018

Genre: 70's blues based rock

Q: 10/10

 

When Gene Simmons says "Rock is Dead", you can think is obviously wrong with many bands creating awesome records everywhere, calling them 'retro' or 'revival', but they have a distinctive sound apart from old bands.

 

This band "White Coven" from Spain comes with a monstrous debut album, there are no filler songs, perfect production with a glossy mix atmosphere, all members creating a unique sound in each song from slow/mid to near fast tempos, sometimes make you dance or just bang your head with those precious vocals lines and all instruments behind them playing with an elegant execution and precision, this album can match old records for sure and they have future bringing old rock back with a mix of other genres.

 

 

 

Edited by MyNameHere

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Jerking For Soup

Kids See Ghosts - Self Titled

 

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Kids See Ghosts is a collaborative effort of Kid Cudi and Kanye West. Being reunited after years of having a rocky relationship, both Kanye and Cudi come together once again after Cudi's last involvement with West on The Life Of Pablo in 2016.

This LP is definitely a huge step for both artists with both of them surrounded with controversy and suffering with their mental health. Fortunately, they both bring out the best qualities in each other on arguably their best work in a while. Kanye hasn't been this down-to-earth since the days of The College Dropout (2004). On the other hand, Cudi hasn't been this likable and motivated since Man On The Moon II (2010). The samples on this LP are well put together and ooze some of the rock/grunge tones Cudi has placed in his music before on WZRD (2012) and Speedin Bullet 2 Heaven (however, in this case done MUCH better) like on the track "Cudi Montage" where they sample Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain's instrumentals on "Burn The Rain". The grungey sound and Hendrix-esque tone of the album really compliments the messages contained within the songs and come off as second nature to Cudi.

Every track on this LP is an absolute banger with psychedelic tones, catchy hooks, well-written verses and heartfelt vocals like on the track "Reborn" where Cudi and Kanye start anew on their rocky relationship. The slow, dreamy tones call back to Cudi's previous work on both MOTMs. On the track "Feel The Love", Kanye utilises his voice and onomatopeia to create a unique sound for the track that not many other artists have considered in their music.

When compared to the duo's past collaborative projects such as Watch The Throne (2011) or WZRD (2012), Kids See Ghosts really hits it out the park and in some regards, even outshines the duo's most cherished releases such as My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010) or Man On The Moon II: The Legend Of Mr Rager (2010).

In addition to all of this, Cudi and Kanye still find a way to discuss major issues in the U.S. today like on the track "Cudi Montage" where they both talk about gang mentality and being stuck in a cycle of violence. On top of this, Kanye calls back to the same messages he scattered across My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010) of the plagues of fame and media coverage.

In conclusion, this is the arguably the best put together LP both artists have released in a long time. I'm going to give this a 9/10 overall. I love it's commentary on global/social issues and more internal struggles of the two.

Seeing as this is my first review, I will explain my rating method.

Production is self-explanatory.

Experimentation is how far the artist(s) went to change up the sound of their music or the music industry entirely. Innovation is what makes a lot of music great. Through experimentation, artists innovate. This is more centred around the individual(s).

Advancement is the rating of their innovation. Is it something that pushes music forward? Is it something that is different or unique to the industry entirely? This is more centred around the evolution of the industry itself.

Relevance is how the music reflects the time it was created, whether it be political climate or social issues that inspired it.

Lyrics are also self-explanatory.

Production: 10/10
Experimentation: 8/10
Advancement: 8/10
Relevance: 9/10
Lyrics: 8/10

Overall: 8.8/10

Edited by Jerking For Soup

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