Thursday, March 26, 2015

1972. How 'Bout You? Thirty Albums In A List Form I Made Up!

To minimize the amount of inevitable butthurt, here is how I came up with the list: I have a copy of the album or at least part of it on my hard drive.  If I don't, it doesn't qualify because I didn't feel like tracking down X number of albums to definitively blah blah GOD this sentence is boring.  So if you're like "Why isn't "What's Going On?" by Marvin Gaye on here?!?!  That shit's a classic!!!," you'll know why.  (It came out in 1971; THAT'S WHY!  IN YO FACE!!!) 

All right.  On with the show.  The Top 30 Albums Of 1972:


30. Dave Brubeck "Truth Is Fallen"

Probably his worst album.  It's a concept record about the Kent State massacre, and it's like a low low LOW rent version of Jesus Christ Superstar.  At no point would you think this was a Dave Brubeck record at all.


29. The Doors "Full Circle"

Speaking of bad ideas, The Doors made three albums after Jim Morrison died, two of which do not have Morrison on them and none of which were good ideas.  In fact, "Full Circle" was the second of this ill-conceived triad, and it came out thirteen months after their erstwhile singer's passing.  Not really sure how their quality could decline so rapidly between "L.A. Woman" and "Other Voices" (especially since they were released six months apart), but to hear it dwindle further in the 10 months between "Other Voices" and "Full Circle" is...kinda predictable, really.  The writing was on the wall.  Fact is, this is tripe that shouldn't exist.  The end.


28. Joan Armatrading "Whatever's For Us"
27. Bonnie Raitt "Give It Up"
26. Alice Cooper "School's Out"
25. The Edgar Winter Group "Frankenstein"
 


24. The Rolling Stones "Exile On Main Street"

WHAAA???  One of The Rolling Stones' most revered masterworks coming in at the low end of the spectrum?  BLASPHEMY!  Hey, I dig The Stones casually, but this album was not my cup of tea.  I liked about four songs out of eighteen.  I've always been a bit of an iconoclast, and this list comes down to personal taste.  Is what it is. 


23. Frank Zappa "Waka/Jawaka"

22. Styx

Styx wouldn't hit it big until 1975 or 6, but they had a ton of albums before that.  This was the first, and none of the songs are knowns, though there are decent head bobbers to be had.


20/21. [TIE] Michael Jackson "Ben" / "Got To Be There"

News Flash for the uninitiated: "Off The Wall" was Michael Jackson's fifth album.  "Got To Be There" was his first solo joint.  It has some okay songs, but ultimately stays in a narrow box.  "Ben" has less good songs per capita, yet the good ones stand out more than those on "Got To Be There", so split the difference.


19. Frank Zappa "Just Another Band From L.A."

Side One of this album is a 24 minute story song about an anthropomorphic mountain and his wife winning a free vacation and going across the United States crushing everything in their path because they're fucking mountains.  Frank Zappa, y'all.


18. Little Feat "Sailin' Shoes"

If I was to do a "Top 20 Songs" blog for 1972, "Cold, Cold, Cold" would be in the Top 10 without question.  But aside from "Easy To Slip", "Got No Shadow" and "Willin'", there's not a lot else to write home about.  Still, I grew up on this shit, and it gets a space.


17. The Guess Who "Rockin'"

Only four semi-decent ones on here, though "Guns, Guns, Guns" is pretty flippin' sweet (also Top 10-worthy; possibly because of the three word repetition theme...).  Toward the end of the band's run and near their creative ebb.


16. David Bowie "The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars"

I'm not much of a Bowie guy, it turns out.  I didn't dislike this album, but it doesn't do anything for me either.  Outside of "Suffragette City", there's nothing that really reaches me.  The lyrics to "Five Years", maybe.  That's just how I feel, or rather don't, about Ziggy.


15. Tower Of Power "Bump City"

Title track is classic in my household.  Album is so-so.


14. Savoy Brown "Hellbound Train"
13. Pink Floyd "Obscured By Clouds"
12. Brian Auger's Oblivion Express "Second Wind"


11. Yes "Close To The Edge"

An album with three songs on it, about six decent spots, and about half of it is absolute whispy garbage.  This is the perfect representation of albums in 1972.  Not one of them is without potholes, but there are some really great gems in the midst of the minefield.



10. Gil Scott-Heron "Free Will"

I can't really say much about this as an album, as I came to Gil-Scott Heron through a bunch of compilations.  As a result, his first three albums are all just mish-mashes to me with a few stray deep cuts I haven't heard yet.  It's hard to let go the collection of songs I know and just judge the quality of "Free Will" as an album.  To confound matters further, side two is all spoken word pieces, so it isn't just songs we're trying to assess here.  Still, "Free Will", "The King Alfred Plan", "Billy Green Is Dead" and "Ain't No New Thing" are hella important parts of the Gil Scott-Heron canon. 



9. Loggins And Messina

Yes, that Loggins.  Kenny Loggins used to have good songwriting game in the early 70's, especially when paired up with Jim Messina.  If You're Mama Don't Dance and your daddy don't rock and roll, shoot them some Angry Eyes, then sip some Whiskey with a Good Friend Til The Ends Meet.  I just named the five good songs on this album in that last sentence.  Figure it out.




8. Paul Simon



7. The Doobie Brothers "Toulouse Street"



6. War "The World Is A Ghetto"



5. Traffic "The Low Spark Of High-Heeled Boys"




4. Frank Zappa "The Grand Wazoo"

You're not reading incorrectly; Frank Zappa put out three albums in 1972.  This was not his most productive year, and he did this on the reg.  "The Grand Wazoo" was a good set up to the career height of 1973's "Apostrophe (')", with highlights "Eat That Question" and "Cleatus Awreetus Awrightus" being worth the price of admission alone.  Hell, Fila Brazillia sampled "Eat That Question" to make the equally awesome "Ridden Pony" from "A Touch Of Cloth".  It's jazz fusion goodness up and down.



3. Captain Beyond

In 2003, I saw an LP at Half Price Books that said "Captain Beyond", and it was only $5, so I was like "I have to have this".  I didn't know anything about the band (only later did I find out it was made up of members of Deep Purple and Iron Butterfly).  Bucking the trend, this is a solid album for its entire 35-minute run.  Nine minute, multiple-part songs, hard charging rock n roll, fucking decent vocals...if you can lay your hands on this album, I recommend you do so.



2. Led Zeppelin "Houses Of The Holy"

As an album, "Houses" doesn't quite measure up to some of the surrounding Zeppelin albums, but it's loaded with some of their most recognizable songs.  "Dancing Days", "No Quarter", "Over The Hills And Far Away", "D'Yer Maker" and "The Ocean", with the bonus of "The Rain Song" and "The Song Remains The Same".  Pretty solid, dude.



1. Black Sabbath "Vol. 4"

"Vol. 4" is one of Sabbath's best albums.  In spite of a few throwaway noise tracks, there's still "Wheels Of Confusion", "Snowblind" and...oh yeah, MUTHAFUCKIN' "SUPERNAUT".  Seriously, if you've never heard this song, you don't know what hard rock is all about.  LISTEN to this shit:



That's my fucking jam!  "Vol. 4" was not perfect, but the good was real good, so I can't help but give it the crown.


And that's it.  Check another one off the list between now and 1963 (which was the first year I could scrape a Top 5 together for to retroblog back in 2010)!  So hey, keep the eyes peeled for the next one.  Biggie's Ghost for President!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Reviews of a library playlist for a Tuesday Night

Hey, Nick Nutter here, coming as live and direct as a blog can be (especially one I started writing in the library on Tuesday night) with a batch of music reviews.  Since it's still a few weeks before anything good comes out, I just reviewed whatever I ended up listening to this past Tuesday night.  This is what came out:



The Cranberries "Bury The Hatchet" (1999) ***

Not an Earth-changing album by any stretch of the imagination, but not bad either.  "Bury The Hatchet" is "better than average" to the core, for better or worse.



The Hush Sound "Like Vines" (2006) *** and 1/8

Really dig "A Dark Congregation" and "Don't Wake Me Up".  The vibe is Ben Folds Five-ian, but by way of Eisley because of the female vocal approach.  And oh snap, this is the female vocalist from Gold Motel?  Word.  (What up, Emily White?)  The album gets a bit same-y during the back half, but it's short, so it's not like it's a painful experience.



The John Butler Trio "Grand National" (2007) ***

Vocally reminiscent of Brandon Boyd, but without any of the theatrics (i.e. the moaning or wailing that make Incubus what they are).  It's a folksy, bluesy kind of rock, but with a poppy tinge to it.  They have enough groove to overcome the smoothness of the production.  So really, same as "Bury The Hatchet", though for different reasons.  At least this album has more energy to it.  Decent if you're sick of Dave Matthews and Blues Traveler, but don't want to stray too far from either; it's enough of a fresh take to be worth a shot.



Morta Skuld "Serving Two Masters" (2014) ***

Better than I thought it'd be.  I was given a copy of this EP by a friend, given that we've not only seen this band live together, we've met two of the members moms.  (All this in spite of neither of us liking death metal.  Yes, I have a band called Death Penis, but don't like to listen to death metal.  Go figure.) (Another aside, then I'll get to the point: She's actually responsible for me having all four of these albums for the review.)

Point being, I thought this'd be all blast beats and terrible vocals, but it actually has GROOVE; something sorely lacking in a lot of music these days.  I wound up liking four of the five songs ("Presumed Dead" being the only pothole), and would recommend this to the headbanger set.  It's pretty dees.


Whelp, that'll do it for now.  Keep checking back, cuz you never know when I'll strike...

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Most Bullshit Album Of All Time

Well, I got bored over the New Year's times, so I made an almost eight hour long album.  Thing is, there's not really any songs on it.  It's 24 separate noise "experiments" (really just 22 sound collages, one sped up deal and one slowed down).  For most of the tracks, I took every song from a particular GV Crew album and lined them up to play simultaneously.  Then I trimmed the end once it got down to one or two songs, because then you're just listening to that song, and who wants to do that?  I also took the entire catalog of other projects I've been in and lined them up too.  Then I lined everything up for one big fucknuts crescendo.  Then there's over five hours of one song slowed down several hundred percents.  So...yeah...

The results are pretty brutal, so if you're into noise, then this might be something you're down with.  Have fun, listen at your own risk, and feel free to skip around.  If you go to the Youtube page, there are time codes to listen to each track, or you can find the individual videos on my channel (http://www.youtube.com/thenicknutter).  Enjoy, I guess?



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Top 11 Bad-Ass MF'ers Of...This List!

Hey, whut up?  We divertifyn' naw, so we'z do listicals up in dis piece, y'dig?  Here's 11 people with the initials M.F.!  (Number 9 is a surprise? [No it's not.])

1. Millard Fillmore



The 13th President of the United States (1850-1853).
 

2. Michael Fraunti
 



 3. Morgan Freeman
 

 

4. Maxwell Factor
 



5. Matt Flynn
 

 

6. MF Grimm
 

 

7. MF Doom
 



8. Megan Fox
 

 

9. Marty Friedman
 

 

While this might seem odd to Westerners, Marty Friedman calls this "Tuesday".

10. Myron Floren
 




 11. Um...Mana Flare?  Sure, Mana Flare.



NOW RETWEET THE SHIT OUT OF IT!!!  (This ain't twitter.)  Fuck!



Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Quick Album Review: KoRn "The Paradigm Shift"



KoRn "The Paradigm Shift" **

A less interesting version of 2002's "Untouchables", and that's saying a lot because "Untouchables" is probably their least interesting album besides "KoRn III: Remember Who You Are".  Still tolerable in small pockets, though.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

THE TOP 38 ALBUMS OF 2014

Hello, and welcome to the 2014 Year End Music Extravaganza!!!  This year, we've got three blogs instead of two, because last year I had a meltdown.  But fear not, consumer!  Our stark-ravings have turned into your savings!  2013's album list can be read right here, and The Top 20 Songs Of 2014 can be read right here.

So, coming off a year last year that had me doubting my interest in writing and music in their entireties, how did we do this year?  Well, music is pretty fucking weak, to be honest.  Impressively enough, there is something good I can say about every entry on this list, and that's never happened before, but that's also part of the problem.  The distance between the top and the bottom entries in quality has never been so small, and therefore everything kinda averages out.  It was an average quality year.  Couple that with a dismal year for quantity (I can make a top 40 out of every year going back to the 80's if I wanted to, with the possible exception of 2006, and maybe 2002), and you've got one kinda dogshit year.  But like I said, I can say something good about every single album on this list, so there's that.

So now, let's see what 2014 had to offer.  Here we go!


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Top 20 Songs Of 2014

This was actually a pretty weird year for songs.  I could've subtitled this "The St. Vincent Show", because, lo and behold, she has SIX entries on this list.  SIX.  Her album only has 11 songs.  That's fucknuts.  Animals As Leaders has four.  There have been nine acts that have notched three before now, but both of these are record breakers.  (For the record, they were: 2013: Janelle Monae, 2012: Death Penis, although if you count me as an artist, I'd get four that year since I'm part of The GV Crew too, 2011: Company Of Thieves (God, I miss that band...), 2010: Gorillaz, 2009: Spiral Trance and Method Man & Redman, 2008: Meshuggah, Busta Rhymes and, unbelievable but true, Ashlee Simpson.)  Shit, Skrillex is on here three times, and that ain't shit.

Anyway, it's been a weird year.  (Another bizarre stat is that neither the album I picked for number one OR number two are represented on this countdown.  Let the rampant speculation begin...)  I figured I'd switch it up, since I don't normally offer commentary on the song lists, and throw a few thoughts and facts your way.  Y'know.  For fun.

(One more side note: Cheese is mentioned unmetaphorically in two songs in the top 5, and possibly metaphorically in the number seven song.  I d'no; I heard ziti mentioned; I'd hafta go back and listen closer.)

20. St. Vincent "Bring Me Your Loves"
19. Animals As Leaders "Lippincott"
18. Skrillex feat. Diplo, G-Dragon & CL "Dirty Vibe"

17. Mastodon "Halloween"

This song's craziness didn't hit me until last Saturday night.  (Hell, most of "Once More 'Round The Sun" still hasn't.)  I was only half paying attention, then I lingered in my car after getting home from work and heard this blistering metal shit that sounded effortless.  I'd heard this song a couple of times before, but it had never registered how crazy it was.  This shit don't give a fuck.  Peep it.

16. St. Vincent "Prince Johnny"
15. Animals As Leaders "Another Year"
14. Body Count "Talk Shit, Get Shot"
13. St. Vincent "Digital Witnesses"
12. St. Vincent "Birth In Reverse"
11. Prong "Retreat"
10. Animals As Leaders "Tooth And Claw"
9. St. Vincent "Huey Newton"
8. Animals As Leaders "Physical Education"

7. 2 Mello "Figaro Kids"

This is a mashup of music from Final Fantasy III (originally VI in Japan) and a Ghostface Killah song called "Apollo Kids".  This shit goes together perfectly.  In fact, 2Mello's entire album "Final Fantasy: The 3-6 Chambers" (get it) does this shit all day.  This one was my favorite example.

6. Umphrey's McGee "Educated Guess"

The middle section of this song needs to be heard to be believed.  It has a power E chord chugging through the entirety, but...the vocals just go...off into the ether...into keys they're not supposed to...and somehow it all works.  Beautifully.  I'm telling you, THIS SHIT ISN'T SUPPOSED TO WORK!  IT'S NOT SUPPOSED TO WORK!  BUT IT DOES!!!  It short circuits my brain to think about it!

5. Skrillex feat. KillaGraham & Sam Dew "Stranger"

4. Countless Thousands "Gang Fight"

The closing theme song to the Unpopular Opinion podcast with Cracked.com writer Adam Tod Brown (not a typo).  This song gets me so fuckin' pumped, it shouldn't be legal.  (A funny trick: this song and the song he uses for his opening are both in the same key.  (As is the "This Week In Me" segment music; being that he's not a musician, this is suspicious...)  So if you're too lazy to get up and you're listening on Soundcloud, one podcast ends and the next starts playing right away, without missing a beat.  In the same key!)

3. Skrillex feat. Fatman Scoop, Kill The Noise & Michael Angelakos "Recess"
2. St. Vincent "Regret"

1. Imogen Heap "The Listening Chair"

Because this song is so next level, I felt I had no choice but to put it at number one.  I mean really, almost anything else on this countdown is catchier, but that's not what this is about: This is about Imogen Heap writing songs and albums that sound like they belong in the future 100 years from now.  Seriously, listen to "Sparks".  That shit sounds like nothing else I've heard.  Besides Imogen Heap.  She even says she likes to tell the future in this song, so fuck it.  Imogen Heap wins the year in songs.  No arguments here.


And that's it.  Stay tuned sometime early next week for "The Top Albums Of 2014".  Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy the music!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

COUNTDOWN ABORTED: A Look Back At 2013's Top Albums Countdown, And Why I Didn't Write It

Last year, I went to write my annual "Albums Of The Year" list, and something...happened.  Reading back the diatribe I posted in its place, I caught a faint whiff, a reminiscence of the anxiety I felt at the time.  I went back there for a second, and holy shit was it unpleasant.  I feel justified for having did what I did.  I was more burnt out on not just music but writing itself than I'd ever been in my life.  Why should I write a long, 10 page essay about music?  (In fact, I thought about quitting writing altogether.)

I've since come to realize: I don't hate writing.  I just hate my college major.  I wish I'd realized that before it was too late to switch, but c'est la vie.  That's one of the main reasons there's been a major drop-off in the amount of content on this blog.  (The other being too busy writing bullshit for J.A.M.S.  Yes, I major in something called J.A.M.S., and my institution of higher learning has managed to suck all the fun out of that somehow.)  (Also, I'm supposed to be writing a 12 page paper on how music can't make as much of a cultural impact as it used to because of the fragmentation brought about by digitalization, but I'm taking a break, so eat it.)

Anyway, I did get about four pages into writing the countdown last year, counting the introduction.  That's not nothing.  (1,711 words according to Works.)  It's just that...in the introduction to it, I'm my usual enthusiastic self, but by the third page, you can tell I despise having to pretend to give a shit.  That's a product of both the aforementioned burn out and the fact that, yes, even with the albums I liked, I just didn't (and still don't in most cases) give enough of a shit about them to write something.

So with that in mind, be on the lookout for my "Top Albums Of 2014" list, coming next week!!!  (The Top 20 Songs list will be up soon too.)  I can't really be more specific than that, since I am still writing this 12 page paper.  (Current progress:  Um, zero pages, technically, but I've done research and have a page and a half outlined.  See how it goes in the next 39 hours...)

Until I do manage to find time to wing out my year end lists on an unsuspecting (and possibly apathetic) internet populous, here's what I managed of last year's countdown:

[BLOGGER'S NOTE: I changed the original order by flipping "The Marshall Mathers LP 2" to number 1 over Janelle Monae, because I've listened to MMLP2 at least five times this year and "The Electric Lady" just once.  MMLP2 suffered from coming out in early November, so it wasn't until the end of January when I realized "Hmmm...that should've probably been #1.  So hey, now that I can change it, I did.  (I didn't bother changing anything else, because I didn't feel like it.  It stings a little seeing Rob Zombie at #11 since I couldn't tell you anything that's on that album beyond the single, but whatever.  I could look at a lot of my past countdowns and nitpick the order.  Hell even 2012 is a prime example.]

[Also, in spite of what I say below, E-40's "The Block Brochure" Volumes 4, 5 and 6 will not be appearing on the 2014 countdown, because, well, this.  Ironically enough, he just put out two more albums last week, but the copyright date on the back of the CD said 2015, so...tough titties Earl!  We'll peep "All Four Corners" next year.]


THE TOP 52 ALBUMS OF 2013

Hello, and welcome to the 2013 Year End Album Countdown!  I'm your host Nick Nutter, and we're going to take a look at what came out this year and put it in order (according to yours truly).  So let's get it started!

First some ground rules: This is, as always F.E.P.O. (For Entertainment Purposes Only).  If u mad, sound off in the comments.  If you're new here, that would make you one of only two non-bot, non-people-I-know to ever comment on this blog, and that would make my day!  I would love to make this a discussion.

Second, I have to have had a copy of the album in my possession at some point.  Sure I could go watch a Full Album YouTube video of the new KoRn album, but a) I don't feel like it, and b) I haven't bothered to get that shit yet, and probably won't for another three years until I get bored and torrent it to see what the fuck happened there.  So even though it came out this year, I didn't count it because I couldn't even be bothered to steal it.  There were also albums that I just didn't get to, like Pearl Jam, and albums I didn't know about (at least not until an hour after I initially typed this paragraph) like Jazz-Iz Christ.

This brings up one exception, however: E-40 just dropped three albums last week, and given that I already knew I had finals to prepare for, more wrestling blogs to write, two bands to practice for, a lack of discretionary income and the fact that I knew this was coming out a week after the release date, I've decided to include that one in next year's countdown, given that out of the last three years E-40 has landed or narrowly missed my top 10 (he landed at #11 in 2011 with "Revenue Retrievin': Overtime Shift / Graveyard Shift").  As it is, this is only one entry missing, since he releases two or three albums at a time all the time now (12 since April 2010!); I just put the ones that come out on the same day together to save time and space.  (And they're usually sequels to one another.)  Point is, "The Block Brochure: Welcome To The Soil Vol. 4, 5 & 6" was close enough to the deadline of writing this blog that I'm going to give it a pass for next year.

Okay, with that out of the way, if anybody has any questions, sound off in the comments and I'll be happy to answer them for you!  Let's light this candle!


52. Meshuggah "Pitch Black" (EP)
This was a free EP from Scion's series of metal releases that have their logo on the cover.  There's two songs on here, one of which is a live version of "Dancers To A Discordant System" and the other is some solo thing Frederik Thordendaal was tinkering with in 2003 called "Pitch Black" that he finished for this EP and voila.  An okay Meshuggah B-Side paired with an uninspired live thing (I'm not a huge fan of live albums unless they do something different with the material).  Meh.

51. Skrillex "Leaving" (EP)
It might surprise a lot of people to know I like Skrillex, but yeah, I like Skrillex.  This EP is even more lazy than "Pitch Black", as track 2 is just a sample palate and track 3 is pretty lame, but the song "The Reason" kicks ASS.  Pairing the ultimate uselessness of the format of an EP in this instance with the awesomeness of the one song averages out to a slightly better package than the Meshuggah one.

50. Junip
I heard a few songs from these guys, and thought they were pretty good, if a little too mellow, so I bought one of them (which turned out to be mislabeled; thanx Amazon) and wow did I forget real quick why I liked these guys in the first place. 

49. The Civil Wars
This wins the award for most disappointing album of the year.  I heard "The One Who Got Away" on a promo comp. and the song made such an impression on me that I ran out and bought the next day (making that my second trip to the record store in 18 hours).  Then I listened to the album, and by track 4 I was falling asleep.  The song I already technically had a copy of was the only one I liked.  The rest just didn't have any energy, going for a sleepy, folksy, country vibe that just didn't mesh with either my tastes or expectations.  Sorry y'all.

48. Conniption "Kamikaze"
Kick ass live band, just can't seem to get it together on LP yet.  Don't know what it is.

47. Injustice - Gods Among Us OST
This soundtrack sucked pretty damn hard, but there is one song on here that made my Top 20 Songs Of The Year list (the top 10, in fact), and that is Minus The Bear's "Walk On Air".  That shit is the shit.

46. Jay-Z "Magna Carta Holy Grail"
What a piece of shit this was.  FUCK this was lame.  The only two things Jay-Z has done that were worse than this were "The Dynasty: Roc La Familia" and "Unfinished Business" with R. Kelly.  The rhymes and beats are just so fucking lazy that I can't even be bothered to finish this senta

45. Sevendust "Black Out The Sun"
I think Sevendust...just needs to stop.  The album isn't bad...but why does it exist?  It's the same thing as everything else they've ever done, just...not notable in any respect.  On the other hand, side projects like Call Me No One and Hello Demons...Meet Skeletons are producing listenable joints.  They should break up into three or four groups for awhile and maybe reunite in ten years or something.  I dunno.

44. Sepultura "The Mediator Between The Head And The Hands Must Be The Heart"
This is the worst album the Sep has put out with Derrick Green, and one of their worst albums period.  It's a goddam MESS.  And Ross Robinson is at least 60 percent to blame.  He ruined this album with his terrible production.  Of course, it would've helped if there were some songs on here besides "The Age Of The Atheist".  The only thing this band has put out in any incarnation that's worse than this is "Morbid Visions", and I'm not even sure about that, because at least that has nostalgia attached to it.

43. Spock's Beard "Brief Nocturnes And Dreamless Sleep"
Spock's Beard is now on their third singer, and unlike their last change, I don't like this new guy.  They also have a new drummer since the dude that left was also their drummer, but whatever.  The songs here just aren't as good as the Nick D'Virgilio-era jams, and really don't quite measure up to much of the rest of their catalogue.  It feels like a "Hey!  We're still alive!  We promise!" album more than anything else.  Let's just hope it's a placeholder until the two new dudes can acclimate to the gig and start writing kick-ass shit again.

42. Intronaut "Habitual Levitations (Instilling Words With Tones)"
This is probably the second most disappointing album of the year.  2010's "Valley Of Smoke" was so awesome, I proclaimed these guys the next Tool.  Then they come out with this unfocused piece of shit.  It has moments, but none of them last for a whole song.  The closest this comes to a good song is "Milk Leg", which narrowly missed my Top 20 Songs Of 2013 list.

41. Anup Sastry "Ghost"
Impressive that the only real instrument on this album is drums (it's usually the other way around), but the whole album sounds the fucking same.  There were four songs that stood out, but everything just kinda blahed together.  (And yes, Anup Sastry is the guy's name, not the name of a group.)

40. The Winery Dogs
Run of the mill rock with technical proficiency on the edges.  If that's your bag, go nuts.

39. Ghostface Killah & Adrian Younge "Twelve Reasons To Die"
It's a concept album with a tired ass concept about mob shit.  The twist about coming back from the grave for revenge is somehow played as well; not sure how they managed to make that boring.  At least the songs are...ehh, okay.

38. Misery Signals "Absent Light"
37. Mega Ran "TRAP"
36. Chris Duarte Group "My Soul Alone"
35. Spiral Trance "All In Due Time - Acoustic" (EP)
34. She & Him "Volume 3"
33. A Pale Horse Named Death "Lay My Soul To Waste"

32. Alice In Chains "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here"
The worst Alice In Chains album of all time, but hey, I still liked half of it.  Than ain't a bad average.

31. Alter Bridge "Fortress"
30. Jolly "The Audio Guide To Happiness Part Two"
29. And So I Watch You From Afar "All Hail Bright Futures"
28. Mindless Self Indulgence "How I Learned To Stop Giving A Shit And Love Mindless Self Indulgence"

27. Kanye West "Yeezus"
Self indulgent bullshit taken to the extreme.

26. Megadeth "Super Collider"
Yeah, it's pretty bad, but "Risk" is still worse.

25. Stone Sour "House Of Gold & Bones Part 2"
24. Fates Warning "Darkness In A Different Light"
23. Flotsam And Jetsam "Ugly Noise"
22. Red Fang "Whales And Leeches"
21. Deb Oh & The Cavaliers "Hieroglyphs" (EP)
20. Daft Punk "Random Access Memories"
19. Scale The Summit "The Migration"
18. Eisley "Currents"
17. Bad Religion "True North"
16. Soulfly "Savages"
15. Philip H Anselmo & The Illegals "Walk Through Exits Only"
14. Tomahawk "Oddfellows"
13. Suicidal Tendencies "13"
12. Neko Case "The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You"
11. Rob Zombie "Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor"
10. Got Your Back Foundation Vol. 1
9. Oh Land "Wish Bone"
8. Halestorm "ReAnimation 2.0: The Covers EP"
7. Soilwork "The Living Infinite"
6. Lady Gaga "Artpop"
5. Clutch "Earth Rocker"
4. The Lonely Island "The Wack Album"
3. Coheed & Cambria "The Afterman: Descension"
2. Janelle Monae "The Electric Lady"
1. Eminem "The Marshal Mathers LP 2"


Thursday, December 4, 2014

MIX-TASTIC: "The Last Shall Be First" & "The First Shall Be Last"

Recently, I started jotting down ideas for a new mix, and wound up with more than enough songs.  Instead of cutting down the list, I broke it in two and here we are.  Each mix is almost exactly eighty minutes and has sixteen songs.  They're a little on the downtempo side, but that serves to make the impactful moments more so.  Check 'em out:

Friday, November 14, 2014

Okay, Who Else Gives A Shit? Really? Okay, More Music Reviews.


Bette Midler "It's The Girls"

Still has a good voice, but sings the standards in an unremarkable way.  Next!



Azealia Banks "Broke With Expensive Taste" 1/2 *

Okay, I said last time that I missed albums poorly made and shittily executed, and here we are a mere blog entry later and YAY!  We found the suck!  If early 90's B-Movie Hip-Hop was a genre, it would be this album!  It's really lame, but not in the same way as everyone else, so I'll give her half a point for trying something different!  (But DAMN is this record crap!)



Tenth Avenue North "Cathedrals"

The same as every Christian rock band from the last...ten years?  So hard to hear uniqueness in this genre.  I don't have a problem with wanting to say something you believe in with your music.  I just don't like lame soft rock.  Later.



The New Basement Tapes "Lost On The River" [NEGATIVE 1 STAR]

Just like any other indie folk thing you care to mention, but somehow more so.  Just really irritating in its refusal to be substantial, or even to be here at any point.



Machine Head "Bloodstone & Diamonds" ***

Now we're talkin'.  If you're familiar with Machine Head, you know what you're getting into.  The album has problems: Some songs are a little too much like "Meh"chine Head, if you know what I'm sayin', "Night Of The Long Knives" works in context with the album but by itself is ham fisted at best, and the last four tracks could disappear and I'd never notice, since I'd hit stop after "In Comes The Flood" (which feels like it should have closed anyway).  But there are some cool surprises like "Sail Into The Black" (one of the more dynamic songs they've ever done) and "Beneath The Silt" (their first eight string venture and a welcome surprise in the middle of the album).  A few other songs are decent, and like I said, shave the last four tracks off and you have an album ready to fight.  But only if you're really in the mood for it and are sick of "The Blackening", "Unto The Locust", "Through The Ashes Of Empires" and "Burn My Eyes".



Teyana Taylor "VII" **

Some modern soul?  I can dig it.  Unfortunately, it gets unbearably repetitive by track four (which is a shame, because "Just Different" and "Request" really caught my ear).



Angie Miller "Weathered"

Shamelessly panhandling at the intersection of Kelly Clarkson and fun. .



Knife Party "Abandon Ship"

The title is the best idea they had.  RUN AWAY BEFORE YOU PRESS PLAY!!!  (Though maybe I should give them points for being self-aware enough to make a song called "EDM Trend Machine"?  I...NOPE.  Song's garbage.)



Migos "Rich N**ga Timeline"

I had fun listening to the samples, I gotta admit.  Migos is Mike Jones levels of bad at rapping.  This album scores a zero, but we'll just say those two asterisks in the name serve as a reminder to listen to this shit at least once.  Seriously, go to iTunes, look this shit up and click play on at least the first four tracks.  Tell me that didn't at least make you chuckle.



Royksopp "The Inevitable End" *

I've enjoyed Royksopp from time to time, though I confess I checked out around "Junior" in '09.  ("Eple" is a fucking BANGER.)  If this is any indication of what they've been up to, I can't say I'm sad to see them go (this will be their "last album"), but hey, "Save Me" is pretty good.  (The rest is an extremely cut-rate Daft Punk.)



The Lox "The Trinity 2nd Sermon" * and 1/2

I was just lamenting 2014's almost complete lack of good rap earlier today.  The Lox try, but it's just not the same, in spite of sounding like they dug five songs out of Double R's vault and put them out as an EP of new material.  But somehow, this would make the top five for rap releases this year.  THAT'S how dry it's been in '14.



Nick Lachey "Soundtrack Of My Life"

Much like Bette Midler, Lachey goes the standards rout, but covering more modern songs like Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes", The Goo Goo Doll's "Iris" (for those who wanted to like the Goo Goo Dolls' version, but felt it was just way too hardcore), Dido's "Here With Me", Aerosmith's "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" (see "Iris", yet put in 1998 Aerosmith), the most pansiest version of "What A Wonderful World" you'll ever hear, and fucking "Streets Of Philadelphia", I shit you not.  What vengeful God was wronged in what ways for this to be foisted upon an unsuspecting populous?!?!?!?  Oh woe is mankind!!!



Bobby Schmurda "Schmurda She Wrote"

Take Migos and add it to...pop radio?  Definitely more commercially palatable than Migos on track 1, but with about as many N-Words per second or more.  But hey, autotune singing in the hook!  That's HOOD!



Kyuhyun "The 1st Mini Album [Kanji I can't translate] At Gwanghwamun"

Stereotypical K-Pop ballads.  South Korean teenage girls get it in, yo!  (Think Backstreet Boys but halfway across the globe.)



Jon McLaughlin "The Christmas EP"

Damn, this is the worst Mahavishnu Orchestra album of all time.


Okay, that was another train wreck.  But wasn't it fun?!?!?  Let's do it again sometime!