Thursday, December 28, 2023

A List of 50 Releases from Connecticut Musicians in 2023

  There was a lot of music released in the year 2023.  There was also a lot of quality music coming out of Connecticut this past year.   This will become a column of fifty releases from 2023 all from artists who claim CT.   This is being done in chronological order because I just can't compare some of these with others in terms of which is better because it's like apples and oranges.  

Whatever the future might hold for music in CT, I'm excited for it.   I also realize I may have missed some reviews in here (and I did try to keep it at 50) but that just goes to show how much music is being put out by CT musicians every year and how damn good it is.  





Underwear "Farmer's Guide to Dance Music" (1/5/23)

Underwear has been one of my favorite artists overall this year to see live and listen to on CD / streaming.   The discography of music underneath Underwear is awesome, but this album really comes out as that best example of what the overall sound is like.   It's such a good place to start when diving into Underwear!


SPACE CAMP "GOLD STAR" (1/13/23)

One of the loudest bands you will ever hear, SPACE CAMP continues to crush genres and this album (which has a cassette release!) was my introduction to them but it seems like it will be a lifelong friendship.  I only saw SPACE CAMP one time in 2023 and that's one of my biggest regrets.  I wish I had seen them live more times.  


Michael Larocca & Caleb Duval "drum and bass" (1/14/23)

Perhaps two of the musicians I've seen most live in 2023, Michael Larocca and Caleb Duval came together to do what they do best.   They both have other releases (I think) in 2023 and they also have releases with other musicians so this album here feels like a good starting point for you to branch out into other musicians from CT who make similar sounds.


Pond View "SLUDGE" (1/14/23)

Pond View is one of those bands that if you're in CT it feels like it's impossible not to know who they are because they're just everywhere.   This particular blend of rock n roll with punk just makes me happy.  It's not quite that throwback to the rock n roll my dad listened to and it's not quite grunge either, but it's somewhere in between.   My favorite song on this album is "ALLIGATOR".  


Human Flourishing "Patterns of Welcomes and Partings" (2/2/23)

Put this cassette on my all-time favorites list.   It's just too damn good.   Read the whole review again if you have to, but if you're not listening to this or Human Flourishing in general then you're really missing out.


CHOP CHOP CHOP CHOP CHOP CHOP CHOP "We Live as Ghosts" (2/3/23)

One of the best all around releases of 2023, this was put out on cassette and then quickly sold out.  Though in December, CHOP CHOP CHOP CHOP CHOP CHOP CHOP would go on to release an EP on lathe cut record (with barbed wire!) this release has still kept me going throughout this year. 


Wally "Day By Day" (2/7/23)

Wally creates such beautiful, dreamy and sort of trippy songs.   This EP is a perfect example of that and let's face it, there just isn't any other artist out there right now like Wally!


Sonorous Rising "Disinformation" (3/1/23)

That combination of punk and ska music is kept alive with bands like Sonorous Rising.  While I might be biased, being from CT, I've always felt like the best ska music within the United States was coming out of CT.   This album just continues to prove me right.


Shirese "Rose of Smiling Faces" (3/17/23)

One of my favorite memories from 2023 was attending the show which was for this album release.  There were a few shows where I could've seen Shirese again but ended up other places.   In 2024 though, I just really want to see Shirese as many times as I can.   They really need to do a worldwide tour and show everyone this rock n roll.  


Them Airs "Viper Island" (3/17/23)

Them Airs are such a special band and I've listened to this EP more times than I should admit.  While the easy answer to these songs is that they are indie rock, it's the other layer they add to their sound that makes them so unique.  



Cat Crash "CAT CRASH: DEMO-LITION" (3/31/23)

This sounds like folk punk but it has electric sides to it as well.   The melody and everything in here just makes this a joy to listen to.   These are "demos" but you wouldn't know it.   Cat Crash is poised for world domination and once that happens, lemons will be extinct.  


JEALOUS MIND "JEALOUS MIND" (4/6/23)

Four songs coming in at about six minutes.   This is an exceptional hardcore album.  It's about quality over quantity and if you're not pumped up listening to this then you need to maybe get your hearing checked.  


Chaser Eight "Wide Awake EP" (4/14/23)

Chaser Eight is one of the biggest bands in CT right now because they're positioned to opened for the big touring acts that come through.   This is not an accident.   Chaser Eight has a sound that you can relate with some other artists, but overall it comes together to be a sound all their own.  One day, this band will be much bigger than they already are and I'll be happy knowing they came from CT.  


Zoo Front "Re-Entry" (4/23/23)

One of my favorite rock albums of 2023, I definitely listened to this one more times than I will admit.   It's that clean rock n roll sound, like Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper.   I really enjoy this album and hope to see Zoo Front live in 2024!


KILLER KIN "KILLER KIN" (4/28/23) 

This is one of the most rock n roll albums out there right now.  Along with Shirese, I think KILLER KIN really have that rock n roll lifestyle and sound captured perfectly.  Many artists will try and they will claim they are this wild rock n roll lifestyle band, but few can do it on the same level as KILLER KIN.   Whether or not anyone can do it better, not from where I sit.  


Mother Juniper "Write The Soil Lighter" (4/28/23)

This is some of the most beautiful folk music you will ever hear.   It's not just folk in the way that it is acoustic though, as it has some of the most ethereal elements within these songs.   I'm just taken to such a pleasant place within these songs and I love that about them.  


77 Apes "Genres" (4/28/23)

On long drives I really enjoyed listening to this album.  It's called "Genres" and the songs, all performed by 77 Apes, take on different genres.   Though they are all tied together in that consistent rock sound.   77 Apes also released an EP after this, but this album is just full of so much sound it's difficult to put on anything else.


Tongue Depressor + John McCowen "Blame Tuning" (4/28/23) 

This wasn't the only release by Tongue Depressor this year and it wasn't even their only release on cassette, but it was among my favorites and it was released on Full Spectrum.   I've been following Full Spectrum for several years now, so to have them and Tongue Depressor work together just feels so great.   This is also an album where you can listen to it and get taken down a rabbithole of music by either Tongue Depressor, other artists on Full Spectrum or all of the above.  


Tallbois "An Intimate Moment With The Tallbois" (5/1/23)

Somewhere between rock and punk, this is wild.  I enjoy that the whole first song is about the movie "Osmosis Jones" and just forgetting the name.   Bill Murray in that movie confused me because I'd have those moments of "What was that Bill Murray movie where he was really gross?" and I'd forget that "Osmosis Jones" had the live action mixed in with the animation.  Still, this is a really fun EP.  


Intercourse "Halo Castration Institute" (5/5/23)

Loud and chaotic, Intercourse really are in a genre all their own.  I've spent the past year listening to this one when I needed some clarification.   Whether it be for nostalgia and longing for the days when I'd see Bane once a month or just because I like my music fucking loud, Intercourse has been there for me.





SLYNE AND THE FAMILY STONED "IS HEAVEN SWEET" (5/6/23)

Michael Slyne appeared on numerous projects during 2023, but this is the one which came out as a record and sold out rather quickly at that.   This is a good place to start to get into SLYNE AND THE FAMILY STONED, but it is also just a great rock record that more people should be made aware of.


Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean "Obsession Destruction" (5/12/23)

This sounds exactly how you would imagine it sounds based on the same.  Sludge.  Doom.  Just being handcuffed to a car and driven around with your flesh ripping off on the hot pavement.  Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean also released an EP to close out 2023 and they are one of the most destructive slow moving artists you will ever hear.  


Nervous City "FANGS" (5/19/23)

Somewhere between Foo Fighters, Cheap Trick and Samiam, Nervous City has a rock sound that becomes unique to them the more times you hear this album.   I feel like I say this a lot when it comes to artists from CT (and rightfully so) but these just feel like songs in a genre that only the artist can claim and it's now up to everyone else to be influenced by them.  


MORTIFICA "Land of the Blind" (5/30/23)

This is very specific type of brutal metal that will always remind me of when bands like Dead to Fall and Scars of Tomorrow were taking over Victory Records.   This is just that sound of pure destruction you would put on when you wanted to wipe out an entire universe.  


Nick Di Maria "Indigo Seven presents Portals" (6/2/23)

Nick Di Maria is quite possibly one of the hardest working musicians within all of Connecticut and beyond.   This is not the only piece of recorded music out there in 2023 featuring Nick Di Maria (As this is technically an Indigo Seven release as well, since it is a group of musicians) but for my money Nick Di Maria is one of the best jazz trumpet players doing it right now.  


Pulsr "A view of everything" (6/9/23)

Dreamy and acoustic, glitchy and sublime, Pulsr is perhaps one of the most unique bands in all of CT- and that says a lot!   This really has a lot of that "you have to hear it to believe it" vibes, but I do enjoy that this sounds like a lot of bands I had in the mid to late 1990's all at once.  


FaFa "FAFA DEMO" (6/29/23)

One of if not the best hardcore band to come out of CT.   This EP was released on cassette and that just takes me back to a time when hardcore cassettes were where it was at because music wasn't streaming yet.   FaFa is one of the best bands you will ever hear and this demo is proof of that.  


DETCORD NOOSE "Infinite Regression EP" (7/28/23)

One of my favorite artists from 2023, DETCORD NOOSE has a style of violence that others simply do not.  This EP is very much in your face, metal mixing with hardcore and it's something which I simply cannot get enough of.


Dagwood "Everything Turned Out Alright" (8/2/23)

A different type of rock album, Dagwood is somewhere in between that pop punk genre, Ben Folds and Weezer.    Other musicians out there might be making music similar to this in one of these genres (for example: music that sounds like Weezer) but I highly doubt anyone is making music which sounds like Dagwood and that is the biggest reason to be listening to this one.


XUR "XUR: The Second XUR Album" (8/8/23)

Somewhere along the lines of metal, this is pretty experimental.  At times there is screaming and it feels like XUR would fit in well best with a hardcore/metal crowd, but at other times it drifts off into other places which just make it feel like so much more.  



The Terrible Fates "The Terrible Fates" (8/18/23)

Does your state have an acoustic duo who write folk songs about things such as The Legend of Zelda?   I'm going to guess not, but even if you do they probably don't do it as well as The Terrible Fates do.   Video games + music... What a wonderful thing!


James Burke "Here, Right Now" (9/8/23)

Not only is this a lot of synths, but it's a lot of fun.  It might seem difficult to find fifty different artists all within the same state making such different types of music, but James Burke has made it easy for me to find such talented people out there.   This is such a solid album and deserves so much more attention.


THE MISSING Inc. "No One Cares" (9/14/23)

THE MISSING Inc. is this perfect blend of rock with metal.   At times this can sound like Alice In Chains to me, but at other times it just has that flat out metal sound which I think would fit in so well with Ozzfest (is that still a thing?)  Hints of System of a Down and this is just wild and loud!


SKAVS "Polymer Forest" (9/16/23)

Another entry in the "It rocks like this, but also like this" rock genre of music which the CT scene seems to be exploding with.   I love how CT can have so many different bands playing so many different versions of rock n roll, but yet if you put them on the same show it still works.  I really love SKAVS and this is that type of album people worldwide should be appreciating for sure.  


Big Sigh "Don't Cry" (9/22/23)

Picking a genre for Big Sigh isn't easy because they remind me of this cross between Blind Melon and They Might Be Giants.   My favorite part about this EP though, aside from the music itself, is that the first time I ever listened to it I was in the car, driving, with Quentin.   As the last song came on and the lyrics were about "pissing my pants" Quentin and I just both started laughing.


The Rezistors "The Cost of Living" (9/30/23)

There exists a certain style of punk rock that just doesn't seem to be as present in music anymore.  Partly this feels like the type of sound that would've come out of CBGB's back in the day, but there is also some ska influence in here as well.  Once again, CT showing that it is full of music which is defining genres and not copying them.  The Rezistors should be on everyone's end of year lists.  


Damnation Is Today "We Are The Damned - EP" (10/6/23)

This is such powerful metal.  It goes to show you that whatever genre you feel like you want to listen to, someone in CT is making the best possible version of it.   Damnation Is Today is the best possible version of a metal band that you can hear and this EP is proof of that.  


The CarLeans "Melodrama" (10/9/23)

What I love about The CarLeans is that their sound is country rock overall, but it has that slow, drawn out way about it that can feel like there is more emphasis on the rock side of it than the country part.   Look, I don't listen to a lot of music traditionally classified as "country", but I love the hell out of this album by The CarLeans.  


EGG! "CATCH" (10/15/23)

When it comes to bands in CT, I tend to say a lot that they don't sound like anyone else and they only sound like themselves.   This couldn't be more true for EGG!, who cross genres on these songs but tie them all together as well.   This is one of my favorite albums released overall within 2023 and I really think EGG! is one of the best bands out there right now.  


Head with Wings "Without Intervention" (10/20/23)

I didn't know that bands were still making music like this.   It's that alternative rock mixed with emo, along the lines of Thrice and Chevelle.  I enjoy this album so much and not just because it's from CT but that does help!




Laini and the Wildfire "Hold On To Your Soul" 10/27/23

Some of the most soulful music you will ever hear, Laini and the Wildfire are one of those unique bands you really need to keep your eyes on.  I've been listening to this album almost every day since it came out.  If you haven't yet heard it, you're really missing out.  


Minus Points "Never Again, For Now" (10/27/23)

A healthy mix of emo, punk and alternative rock, Minus Points has a sound that fits in with a lot of other bands within CT but just also can make their own sound.  While this has elements of pop punk, for example, it isn't neccesarily a pop punk album.   For that, Minus Points is really doing something special here.  


Bob The Weather Cat "POWERSCHLOP" (11/3/23)

Everything about the title of this album is accurate.  Fast and distorted, this reminds me of early Mudhoney.  The sounds are just so raw that I can't help but love it, as I'm someone who was very much musically shaped during the grunge and alternative rock scene.  


Believe It, It's Easy "Patriotic Songs" (11/10/23)

I found a Believe It, It's Easy cassette at Never Ending Books this year and I wrote a review of it.  My goal was to see them live at some point but it didn't quite work out.  However, this new album of music here is my motivation to see Believe It, It's Easy live in 2024!


Pocket Vinyl "Live at the 1000th Show" (11/18/23)

If you didn't know, Pocket Vinyl released a graphic novel this year and this was in some ways the musical piece to accompany it.   Whether or not you've seen Pocket Vinyl play live before or not, this should be something you listen to so you get a piece of that experience, but ultimately, yes, you need to see them live still for that full experience vibe.  


VVEBS "VVEBS" (11/26/23)

This is such a fun album because it's between rock and punk, something experimental and overall just loud.   I think of "In Utero" era Nirvana, but there are also these other sounds within which just make VVEBS live in their own genre.    This is definitely meant to be loud and destructive and I am here for it.  


The Ambulance Chasers "Two Step in The Dark" (12/1/23)

This is that Replacements meets Bruce Springsteen sound with something else put in for good measure.   What I love about The Ambulance Chasers is that they can so easily fit in with any number of other bands in the CT scene, yet it also feels like they could play these sounds acoustic if the setting needed it to be as well.  


Zach Andersen "Zach of All Trades: Volume of Three (live at Sage Sound Studios 9/22/2023)" (12/1/23)

Zach Andersen runs a series called "MOAR: Monsters of Acoustic Rock" and this show was a part of the 50th edition of that!  What I like about this too was that it was very much hyped before hand, so you knew going into this show that you'd be a part of something special and this live recording.  Andersen plays the acoustic guitar, sings and is one of the most important people in the CT music scene.  


Low Ceilings "Dig That Hole Again" (12/15/23)

Upbeat acoustic rock with very specific lyrics highlights the sounds of Low Ceilings.   This was one of those late year contenders people might overlook but I'm hoping that it gets some more love in 2024.   Definitely catchy!


Sarah Dunn "Too Much" (12/16/23)

This was somehow the last album released in 2023 that I really paid attention to.   It's always difficult when you release an album after a lot of other websites have already posted their end of year lists.   But Sarah Dunn finds the beauty in these acoustic songs and if you happened to miss this or any of these albums in 2023, then you better get listening in 2024!



In the interest of keeping this at 50, artists such as Moon Matrix, who released "Put on the Glasses", were left off of this list as well as artists like People's Club and Sober Bill, who released EPs this year as well.   That doesn't come without mentioning artists such as Haunting Titans, Illuminous, Vicki F, Adelaide Punkin, The Problem With Kids Today (who have a new album due out in February), Midnight Psychic, Untold Joys, Or Anywhere Else and Slow Pines who released singles this year.  On top of that there are so many wonderful artists in the CT Music Scene (too many to name really) who didn't release music in 2023 but were still out there playing shows and it was such a joy to see them!  

Friday, December 22, 2023

Music Review // The Sugarhill Gang "Live at the Print Shop"

 



The Sugarhill Gang has been making music for just a little bit longer than I've been alive.   They may not have started it, but they really brought hip hop to the mainstream like no other artist has.  I ask the youth of today who the greatest rapper of all time is and they always tell me someone who is currently putting out music and young.   But if not for The Sugarhill Gang, artists like J Cole and Kendrick Lamar wouldn't be where they are.

Aside from the history lesson, I just enjoy old school hip hop.  I'm not really sure why or how it became the first genre of music I really explored, but back in the day I had all rap cassettes.  I'm not as excited about hip hop now as I was back then in the sense of the current artists won't ever be as good- in my opinion- as those that came before them, but hopefully this live performance here will shine a spotlight on The Sugarhill Gang and have the younger generations go through and take a trip back in time.

Along with these live performances of songs there are moments in between for an interview type of setting.   It's interesting because they discuss a number of topics and that includes the infamous East Coast - West Coast feud.   I really think hip hop was about having fun, as serious as it was, up until 2Pac died.  I feel like that changed a lot of the way people saw hip hop and the way the music came out, but The Sugarhill Gang has always been this positive force for music and this shows exactly why.

I really wish we could go back in time and just pull out some cardboard and break dance to solve problems rather than pulling out guns.   During this performance, I'm reminded of all the artists who came in between The Sugarhill Gang and what's on the radio now and how it feels like they're slowly fading away.   Whether it be someone learning or someone just trying to keep the memory alive, this is an extremely important performance not just in the history of hip hop but in the history of music.

CD Review // Pain Chain // Idol Brain "Soul on Fire"


https://pain-chain.bandcamp.com/album/soul-on-fire


Distortion comes through in waves.   Singing joins it and this feels like harsh noise with this lullaby type of singing, almost like a song for children but it's obviously not.  It just has that same sort of melody- the singing does- as something children might sing on the playground.   Laser shots are fired through as well.  

This takes us into a song where it feels more like a haunted chanting for the vocals.  It's calm, droning and peaceful as lasers are behind a quieter distortion now.   This feels like somewhere between Enya and harsh noise.  

Sharp synths come through as we enter the Idol Brain part of this split.  Beats come in now and this feels like an electro dance number.   It feels also like we're in a sci-fi movie from the 1970s.   Synths come in like a fun carnival ride on the next song as the lyrics ask "Who is the man with an upside down pyramid for a head?"  I'm not sure I've seen him, but if someone tells me who he is I'll likely agree.

This takes us into a song with these serious Law & Order type of synths and I believe it says "In dreams I'm bleeding infinitely".  I really like how this is experimental music but with poetry as lyrics.   The final song has this beeping synth way about it but it sings like a rock song, almost like some sort of Nine Inch Nails song, but this is just so beautiful overall.  








CD Review // Arvo Zylo "333" (NO PART OF IT)

 



This begins with light-hearted beeping, which just feels like we're bouncing around and having fun.   There are these sounds which sort of feel like squealing, almost like the way a cassettes rewinds as well.   Eventually, these sounds take over the entire song and it just becomes this screeching where I feel like a VHS tape rewinding machine is being used to create it.

We drop off into a more industrial sound now, you can hear the metal clanking.  This just feels like we're deep in a basement, it's somewhat haunted.   Beeping comes in with organs which makes it sound like we're in a funeral home now.   It begins to move, back and forth, but still in that squeaky static way.   An emergency type beeping drone and we've drifted off into static.

A banging of sorts now creates a beat.   We're headed right back into that industrial sound.   This takes us into a groove now which feels like an old school SNES video game but also just has some horror undertones to it.   Beeping through that static still.  

Glitchy distorted synth drops like bombs now.  A sharp, mechanical loop now which feels like a cash register on error.   Higher frequency tones now make it feel as if we're going to be taken away into the clouds of a video game.   The keys come back in and this is just distorted chaos by this point.   We're definitely moving now and then some harsher glitching distortion comes through.   

A sound like whipping is coming through now.  We're very much into some video game sounds now and it's quite fun.   A certain static electricity makes its way on the next song now.  By the end it feels like we're falling apart on some amusement park ride as there is that overall carnival type of sound going on.  










CD Review // THIRTEEN HURTS "UVB-76" (NO PART OF IT)


https://nopartofit.bandcamp.com/album/uvb-76


This one begins with these distorted beats but then has sharp screeches coming through it, as if missiles are being fired.   Words are being spoken behind this all as well.   Big blasts now like sirens.   Static crackles now.  It's a failed transmission.   A phone call.   It gets quieter, but comes back with loud sharpness.  

Those Knight Rider type of synths come through next and then cut.   A ringing in a metallic way joins them.   Lightsabers and radio frequencies now, this one is driving.   Big distortion explodes now as those submarine beeps come in.   Loud sharpness now, as if to upset dogs.  I can hear my neighbors moving around, I'm not sure if they think this is a smoke alarm going off.

We go into a deeper distortion now, coming through in waves.    As we turn into a "Run Lola Run" type of electronic sound, other sounds come through as well.  It's that up and down breathing pattern which also somehow sounds like a frog that gets me.   This all just trails off into this sharp reel unraveling.   That sharp dog whistle type of frequency has returned as well.

The sound chomps like a static Pac Man and then the phone conversation from earlier returns.    We then begin this ringing on the eighth track which makes me think of a cash register for some reason.   Ticking now, it feels like a bomb but also big scissors you use to cut your bushes and such.   You can hear the frequencies changing, but this also reminds me drone somehow still.

A lot of screeching and squealing around now, this is loud and in your face.    Really sharp ringing is going to leave you with the same in your ears if you listen to this one either too loudly or too often.    Slow, distorted skips like footsteps bring this CD to its end, marching in perfect formation.  


Thursday, December 21, 2023

Record Review // Myles Bullen "Mourning Travels" (Fake Four Inc.)


https://fakefour.bandcamp.com/album/mourning-travels


Myles Bullen is truly one of a kind.  When you think back to how music changed with artists like The Beatles and even just in the time of Elvis Presley you have that idea of other sounds being out there but there wasn't as much access to it.   How do you write about someone like Madonna for the first time?   This is how I feel about Myles Bullen.

Throughout these songs there are elements of both hip hop and pop but something else.  You can hear a ukulele and at times it even feels like rock.  But the way it all comes out is maybe close to a modern artist such as Twenty One Pilots but it isn't even exactly like them so there just isn't a clear comparison to be made here.

As much as I enjoy this album lyrically and many of the songs are about mental health, the way the music sounds is just unlike anything I've heard before.   I'd really enjoy a Myles Bullen beat tape or for Myles Bullen to do a cassette release with Hand'Solo where one side is songs with lyrics and the other side is the instrumentals.  

Once you listen to Myles Bullen and understand their sound, you will only ever be able to hear it as Myles Bullen.   Though these songs can be about loss and in that sense sad, I think the overall aspect of this album is that we go through hardships in our lives but we're all going through them.  Sometimes just knowing someone else is out there to relate with what we're going through can be enough and hopefully you can find that in Myles Bullen.  









Record Review // Fred Cracklin "Anxiety Kinship"


https://fredcracklin.bandcamp.com/album/anxiety-kinship


The sound of Fred Cracklin can range from free jazz to metal.  As this album begins, there is a sound of a wild accordion.  This brings us into this "Phantom of the Opera" type of vibe and there is a ringing.   Through wild starts and stops, I'm reminded of artists such as FBTMOF.   Big, heavy, distorted chords just start reigning down.

This is both loud and sharp.  Distorted beeps come through with the guitar.  It's fast paced and destructive.   The sound of chaotic piano keys comes through now.   This overall can feel rather trippy.   By "Toucan" I can hear those free jazz vibes.  It gets heavier on "Boar Drill", which reminds me of Primus.

Somewhere between laughing and modems we continue with starts and stops like metal.  I imagine this album as being a lot like driving a car.   Your car hits this patch of ice and you spin, going around a corner and you somehow you feel like you're about to drive off of a cliff.  Then, out of nowhere, you're just able to grab control.  Tires screeching, your within inches of going off the edge but you somehow manage to save yourself.  











CD Review // Underwear "Blues in a Room: A show for Seven"


https://nickgrunerud.bandcamp.com/album/blues-in-a-room-a-show-for-seven


I love that this show was at Stella Blues and I just wish I was there.  Computer error message type sounds come through with soulful singing.   On the second song, slip synths come out as it is revealed that we need $38/second to survive.   I think that we really, as a country, need to re-evaluate the national minimum wage.  

Acoustics and maybe a flute come out on this CD.  While the songs tell stories, there are also stories being told in between songs.  Stories about 1987 and locking yourself in a closet.   This all concludes with a wonderful song that has really nice keys and a little bit of video game tones.  A live slice of Underwear.   Catch it like lightning in a bottle.








Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Record Review // Jeffrey Alexander + The Heavy Lidders "New Earth Seed" (Arrowhawk Records)


https://jeffreyalexander.bandcamp.com/album/new-earth-seed


Jeffrey Alexander + The Heavy Lidders take us into a place that is both trippy and beautiful.  With distortion and singing, this is a psychedelic ride.   Acoustics come out on the second song and it reminds me of "Alice In Wonderland" for some reason.  Sax tones come through as well, which add a whole new level to this one.

At times this can feel like Flaming Lips and at other times it can feel like Pink Floyd.  What I like about this album is that it feels most like the type of record that someone would have in the 1960's or 1970's and they would have to hide it from their parents.   In that way, I also really do enjoy this because it feels dangerous. 













Record Review // Joseph Allred "What Strange Flowers In The Shade" (Feeding Tube Records)


https://feedingtuberecords.bandcamp.com/album/what-strange-flowers-in-the-shade


Magical string sounds turn into this overall music box sound, like someone is winding it up and watching a ballerina or the such dance around in a circle.  It's not quite a music "box", but something along those lines.   This all drops off into lower but still dreamy strings.   This sound is very beautiful and tranquil.  

There is a very magical, harp type sound on "The Ruins" and then we go into the third song which has more of these organ tones briefly droning in and out.   This also feels like church music if only because I imagine it being played on one of those organs you see at church.   

This takes us into a song which sounds like strings are breaking apart before it just dives into this very ambient and FNL type of sound.  I just imagine driving across America, the countryside passing by out of my window.  It's something that while listening to it, you can just be put into a trance so it's also better for viewing while you're stable versus listening to it while driving and ending up blanking.

The sound continues heavenly now, as we're stroking the harp of the angels.   By the last song, saxophone is coming through with percussion, as you can hear the cymbals crashing.  This whole song has the vibe of some old detective in black and white talking about how in all of the bars in the world why did she have to walk into his.  I can see the smoke and noir already.  









CD Review // German Army "Urheimat" (rotten / trash)


https://rottentrash.bandcamp.com/album/urheimat


This is a mini CD so you need to make sure you have the proper player for this.  Usually, the disc trays in computers have the smaller circle in them as well.  All I know is, if you put this into your car CD player, who knows where it might end up.  

Distorted beats and organ drones begin this one.  It has a nice feeling of being both inside of a dance club or "Resident Evil" while also border-lining a church hymn.   A different type of beat now- more like Law & Order swipes- and this takes us into a darker place, like a sewer but also it just feels like an old SNES game loading screen.

The feeling now becomes more like a cop movie or like we're on a train trying to flee from the police or otherwise law enforcement.   It's that North By Northwest vibe but in a modern way.   There is both an eerie and ambient sense to this now.   Slow starting like an engine now.   Dance beats are coming in and this feels like it's going full "Alias".   

It's quiet and somber with the occasional laser blast going through.  The dance party did not last.   Beeping frequencies coming through now, as if we're receiving a transmission.   Lasers cut through now and this has an air in the background.  It feels like the way a kitchen can sound to percussion only with electronics instead.