2/16/16: Xixa, The Strumbellas, Black Tusk


@@@ Xixa: Shift and Shadow EP (Barbes, 2015).  I saw on the WRIR weekly charts email that this band has a new album out but this one is on the Apple Music.  After a noisy opening it gets into a nice cumbia mid tempo with a baritone male singer and indie vocals in the chorus.  Mash it up.  Very nice old school space organ.  Wow, these guys do a Latin rhythm cover of an old Meat Puppets tune, Plateau for the second tune on the record.  Most excellent and right into my playlists.  I don’t love the lower register singers, I find them a bit low energy but these guys have  a good vibe cooking.

@@@ The Strumbella: Spirits (Glassnote, 2015).  Some light, meaningful coffee shop rock I got to from the front page of Apple Music.  Big sing along chorus, big drum sound and an heir to the throne of cheese once inhabited by Coldplay.  You can check it for yourself, I don’t need to wail on it — if you want the huge hook in the chorus complete with the whoa hos and cliche lyrics, have at it.

@@@ Black Tusk: Pillars of Ash (Relapse, 2016)  Some grinding hard rock/metal off the Apple music A-List metal.  Most notable in this first tune is the post-rock-punk singer who is blasting his lungs out over big drums and a most tasty guitar grind.  A pretty uncommon blend of hardcore punk with guitar boogie.  They sport a dual singer attack and I guess I’m wondering why they’re being called thrash kings on Apple Music — they sound like a pretty hip hardcore punk band to me, but I’m pretty much a waste of space.

YTD recordings listened to: 159
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 86
Not good music: 61

Honorable Mentions: 4
Buys: 3

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Bone Dance, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Debruit, Slidhr, The Whammies, The Chewers, Alexander Hawkins, Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Dawn Richard, Mastery, Leviathan, Xibalba, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Akitsa,  Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Destruction Unit, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Mystic Braves, Matt Walker, Divanhana, Troum

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