Thoughts on The Needle Drop

I found Anthony Fantano from his Have One on Me review. On the one hand, there are many worse things to do with your life than dedicate it to music, especially great music. But on the other, calling yourself “the internets busiest music nerd” is a little off-putting. I get a general air of someone whose tastes are a mile wide and inch deep. Though I may be wrong.

Also I think reviews that are essentially taxonomic, i.e. comparative or emphasize the history or biography or region of a group are in some ways inhuman and wrong. He’s not the only one who does this.

It’s hard to use any sort of tangible language to describe what it feels like to move through a song, but I think trying to dig in with your bare hands, to put the qualitative experience of a song into language as best you can is the right thing for reviews to do.

It strikes me that most reviews nowadays are 90% taxonomy/10% attempt to describe the experience.

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Ys, Have One on Me

Just for fun. Graded songs on Joanna Newsom’s last two albums, Ys and Have One On Me:

Ys

1. Emily: A+
2. Monkey and Bear: A+
3. Sawdust and Diamonds: A+
4. Only Skin: A+
5. Cosmia: A

Have One On Me

CD 1

1. Easy: A-
2. Have One On Me: A+
3. 81: C+
4. Good Intentions Paving Company: B+
5. No Provenance: A-
6. Baby Birch A+

CD 2

1. On a Good Day C+
2. You and Me, Bess C
3. In California A
4. Jackrabbits D
5. Go Long A-
6. Occident D

CD 3

1. Soft as Chalk C-
2. Esme D
3. Autumn C+
4. Ribbon Bows C+
5. Kingfisher A-
6. Does Not Suffice B

Kehlvin – Orchard of Forking Paths

Top-notch post metal that feels a lot like Callisto’s True Nature Unfolds (I’m still waiting for ANY band, Isis excepted, to write a song that encapsulates post-metal as perfectly as Callisto’s Blackhole).

A nice alternative to the many darker sludge-based offerings that have carried the genre’s flag for the past few years. The massive natural force of OoFP’s slow rhythms is leveraged for passages that feel positively inspiring. And sometimes releases to peaceful moments. The structural iteration of the songs is addictive and hypnotic in exactly the right way.

If you want to feel like you were transported back to 2004, the golden age of the genre, pick this up!

Putiferio – Lov Lov Lov

It’s hard to describe the sound of any noise rock outfit without just saying “lol its noise rock.” And its no easier with Putiferio. Think of the sophisticated, positive sounding math-rock of Tera Melos, but tinged with dirtier distortion and highly emotive, sometimes raspy sometimes almost-screaming vocals reminiscent of Carey Mercer (of Frog Eyes & Swan Lake).

There are also moments of strong At The Drive In resemblance, and some experimental but highly structured stuff in between the post-punk post-hardcore space, where I could again insert some comparison if I hadn’t already maxed out my band reference quota for this review.

Rather than these characteristics coming together to form one continuous sound or style, it’s more like one aspect of the Putiferio personality lurching forward to carry the song for a moment, that then gets carried away to take on a new identity.

And beyond the sound itself, it’s the kind of, evolving, ramshackle structure which organizes the sound that makes this album appealing. Bits of math-rock like noodling will become progressively punctuated by bombs of distortion which become the basis for a new rhythm. Or, as on the track Hopileptic, the song starts “normal” but breaks down into a warbling, mutating guitar distortion, backed by violin straight out of Devil Went Down to Georgia and drums that sound like they’re falling down the stairs.

Still, there is never a loss of momentum or meaning even between very unlike passages. There is a sense that the riff always means something, is always making a statement. Maybe like how a dog knows that human words mean something without knowing exactly what. And that’s as it should be- experimental music isn’t necessarily about getting rid of structure, but creating new ones that exist on completely unique terms. Putiferio is triumphant on this score.

The last thing I’ll say is, while it’s experimental, the music itself is not quite as infuriated or teeth gnashing as Comity- which could also be categorized as experimental noise music. Putiferio is much closer to post-punk than post-head trauma-core or whatever. No go and listen!

Graf Orlock!!!!

Film-centric California Grindcore. A harsh soundtrack to a very depressing movie about modern industrial culture. Their tunes balance high-minded concepts with gut punch rockin’. If you like heavy music you will like this band

 

http://graforlock.com/

Hanetration: 10th Oar

I love love love this glitchy ambient album. Found sounds stretched into ambient pieces make Scott a happy reviewer. I love this album so much I had to remix it.

http://hanetration.bandcamp.com

http://barrenwaste.bandcamp.com/album/broken-by-the-number-10

Valve: Demo

This is one of the better demos any band has sent my way. Valve mashes sludge and post-hardcore together to great effect. I like sludge, but I can’t sit through a full sludge album or sludge set without being blazed out of my mind. Valve tempers the creepy slow crawl of sludge with odd chords and guitar tones. Throughout the demo Valve manage to temper metal chugging with prog-rock guitar runs and well-timed break downs. Their singer utilizes a very raspy tone that fits the tunes well and doesn’t overpower the music. He also has a pleasant clean singing voice that fits the less heavy sections beautifully.  Its a sweet Demo by an interesting up and coming band.

http://valve.bandcamp.com/