8 feb 2016
- Game Theory – listening to the “Lolita Nation” reish. Many thoughts TK
- Svetlanas – Raucous, raunchy Russian punk with English lyrics delivered in a thick, thick – so many trilled r’s! – accent. Vocalist Olga snarls about her body parts like they’re weaponized. I liked the recent EP “Naked Horse Rider” and their half of a split with New Cold War enough to explore the back catalog. The new stuff is catchier and better recorded, but I especially liked the cover of The Runaways’ immortal “Cherry Bomb” on “Tales from the Alpha Brigade.”
- Giant Sand – Of all the things I love about the music of Howe Gelb with and without Giant Sand, I think the key element is the controlled introduction of chaos — whether it’s introducing odd arrangement details or bursts of scarcely controlled guitar noise, Gelb usually weirds up the tunes someway somehow. This is also a prime example of why I struggle to make timely year’s best lists, somehow GS snuck “Hearbreak Pass” out past me last May and all my early-alert systems failed until now.
- Washer – wrote about Washer last week but maybe it’s worth mentioning that I’m liking this more as I listen to it more
- Step Forward – Boston straightedge crew with only 2 releases in a decade. Concise (most under a minute) hxc jams with a bit of metal edge. Narrowly focused, but consistent
- The I Don’t Cares – Is it me, or is it Paul? I’ve liked a lot of Westerberg’s post-Replacements releases, but I haven’t loved very many. This isn’t an exception – it’s pleasant, catchy, and for what it’s worth, sonically closer to the ‘Mats than anything in a while — but it doesn’t cut to the quick. Maybe it’ll be a grower. Juliana Hatfield’s harmonies are nice, but surprisingly sparingly utilized.
- Chris Mars – listened to the whole “Sing Our Song” album thinking, man, this is nothing like the pleasantly barbed growly rock I remember from the former Replacements drummer, but my respect for the man is such that I will persevere — and it turns out there’s a very good reason for that, because this Chris Mars is a dude who was in Flock of Seagulls’ touring band. So yeah, caveat streameur.
- Rats in the Wall – Hardcore with metallic flourishes and some solid, if abrasive, hooks. Kinda think they should tour with Cloud Rat, despite the singular/plural mismatch it would be a ferocious bill.
- Bill Frisell – “When You Wish Upon a Star” finds the deservedly-venerated jazz guitarist tackling familiar (and slightly less familiar) themes from television and film, backed by a small combo featuring the vocals of Petra Haden (of undersong 90s altrockers That Dog, also of being Bill’s daughter). There are remarkably few recordings in Frisell’s vast discography that don’t connect with me — his melodic sense must be encoded in my DNA — and this certainly isn’t one of them.
- Bob Mould – Mixed feelings about Beauty & Sleep. Like “Silver Age,” it’s a prime slice of Mould in late Husker/Sugar mode, and I think Jon Wurster may be an even better rhythmic foil for Mould than Hart (heresy, I know). And I like it better than almost all the weird electronica-fied or de-electricized albums. But on some level it also seems like a retreat back into the comfort zone.
Tags: 2016 · weekly top