The Two Great American Rock Bands

Here are the two bands that I feel best summarize where Rock has been and where it is going. While neither band is new, both are still actively releasing better and better material. Don’t mistake this as idolatry, there is always another band that will come along

Clutch: The desert-highway-philosophy machine encompasses all that is masculine. Fronted by the Socratic Neil Fallon howling and barking tomes of multi-layered prose and backed by the ultimate jam band, Clutch understands the Blues. But, Clutch channels the blues. There are no knock of Stevie Ray Vaughn licks or faux-Robert Johnson musings. Instead Clutch have continually pushed themselves to follow the muse, changing their sound as the change as people. Clutch goes deep as an ayahuasca trip without ever losing rhythm and funk. Clutch are men who play rock music.

Silk Worm/Bottomless Pit: Starting with a bang and drifting to a hum. Silkworm lacked the irony and pretense of nineties indie rock. Instead honest songs about friends, drugs, girls, death and life ruptured from the voices and instruments of Andy Cohen, Tim Midgett and Mike Dahlquist. Dahlquist died when a suicidal motorist drove into Dahlquist’s car. Tim and Andy live with one of the most genuine and heartfelt pieces of music I have ever heard.

Bottomless Pit congealed in the aftermath. Aluminum necked instruments sing together with Andy and Tim’s ever evolving lyrics and vocals. The humanity present in Bottomless Pit is breathtaking in its beauty and in its severity. Listen in.

Mittimus & Nix Pickler-Devices

Curious, a free improv album where electronics and effects are used to create unique timbrel landscapes. My main criticism of most free improvisation is its lack of emotional variety. Most of it is cold, distancing, creepy, or completely unlistenable. This ensemble does a fantastic job of exploring emotional territory most free improvisation refuses to venture into. The unique use of electronics would be enough to make this album stick out. The strength of the three improvisers and their ability to play as one unique exploring a theme puts Devices on another level. This music would be better called spontaneous composition than free improvisation, but semantics aside this is a truly fascinating listen. Download it here.

Drunken Bastards-Assorted Myspace tracks

Carrying the torch of rock, Hungary’s Drunken Bastard pull out all of the stops. Reminiscent of a GG Allin Judas Priest team up the Drunken Bastards lyrics focus on drinking, drinking with Satan, and violence. As stated on their Myspace, “they don’t give a fuck as long as they’re on the Horns of the Wasted! Expect NO sweetie melodies and NO gushy lyrics, just pure metal exekution straight from fuckin’ hell.” If you wear leather and hate your liver listen to Drunken Bastards.

Shamelessy plugging my own work

Check my remix of 薔薇の葬列’s Black Light Beauty EP