Music for 6/2/21!!! Soul Glo, Vaudou Game, Lil Baby/Lil Dirk

@@@ Soul Glo: Songs to Yeet at the Sun (Secret Voice, 2020) I have a regular reader with a screen name of Mr. Whirly and he sent me a note asking what I thought of this punk EP. What I originally concluded was a messy hardcore shitshow indeed has a lot of threads to it — a little Rage Against the Machine, a little Bad Brains, and some mathier bands I can’t pull of my hard drive at this point. Maybe a schmear of Fugazi, but the special gold star goes to the singer who is absolutely losing his nut. He sounds both sped up, pissed off, having a good time, and generally taking a well deserved shit on society. I don’t know what ethnicity the singer is, but he does have a HR thing going on where he gets worked up but maintains a tight rhythmic flow on the same time. The third tune flips it to a hip hop and ambient flow alternately where somebody is going rando spoken word and then into a drum machine with some trash ass 808 beats. The Bad Brains aspirations come to a head on the fourth tune Mathed Up, where the rhythm is tight as shit while the sound is just spillin’ up all over the place. I’ve always been a sucker for some hardcore shit that is tightly rhythmic and exploding. If you’re a young person, check this out, if you’re a crusty old fuck check it out too!

@@@ VAUDOU GAME: Bella (Hot Casa, 2021) One of my favorite African bands appeared on the WRIR weekly playlist email but a different single showed up on GooglePimpTube and the Apple Music. The first track (clipped below) is some breezy and funky Afro-disco complete with cowbell. Regular readers know of my undying love of cowbell, there’s no track out there that doesn’t benefit from a generous helping of cowbell. In addition to the cowbell there is a lot of call and response vocals going on, a funky drumkit beat and a spaceship synthesizer. Make sure to check out the B side which is entitled ‘Be My Wife’. Be My Wife sports the same vocal approach but a brisker tempo and a more driving set of components. Big ups for the distorted synth organ sound. This might be an appetizer for an upcoming full length but check out the two previous Vaudou Game for some overpowering African funk.

@@@ Lil Baby & Lil Durk: Voice of the Heroes (UMG, 2021) #1 in the Apple Music hot tracks section. It’s mainstream major label hip hop which requires an epic chorus, in this case something about being the voice of the heroes. I have no clue what that’s about, at first I thought might be related to Memorial Day. The sounds are presented well but the synths are cheesy and combined with the hook in the chorus it’s a bit of a Hollywood trap situation. I checked the lyrics on Genius and it’s a mish mash of pill taking, panty quaking, and fast cars and more pills. I’m definitely not the judgy type and I’m also a low IQ gent but if this tune is trying to say something I don’t understand. If it’s a vibe track I get that but I don’t love that big Hollywood rap star lifestyle vibe, I could give a shit.

Music for 5/24/21!!! Sad Alex, City Girls

@@@ Sad Alex: Until (Red Bull, 2021) This is one of the few tracks from the Red Bull imprint that didn’t sound like all the musicians had been shot in the eyeball with funny enough Red Bull. Female singer, sly post relationship lyrics, medium funky beats and a sparse arrangement. It works all right, I’m not a mainstream kinda fella but a lot of people are. She even went for the dude, what the fuck! I like the chorus except for the insane backing vocal stacking

@@@ City Girls: Twerkulator (UMG, 2021) You can count on the major labels to crank out the stripper pole female hip hop tracks right at the beginning of the summer. Two fleshy lipped black females just airing out the booty, it’s what a good chunk of America works on. Ooh, the first verse was not obscene but they bust out on the second verse with mad pussy references. It’s light, a little disposable but also catchy and horny for that hot vax summer. Could be an entry for the song of the summer.

Music for 5/22/21!!! Fringe Candidate, Ziew

@@@ Fringe Candidate: Fringe Candidate (N/A, 2017) Some midwestern hardcore/hard rock I got to via the home recording magazine Tape Op. A singer that’s pissed but you can hear what he’s on about. They really get closer to the hardcore ethic with the fourth tune, the boy who cried Hitler. Excellent frantic puck action. These guys do a good job of riding the fine line between crusty anti-social aggro and songs and music and being able to hear what’s going on. I really like the tune Attention Merchants and as mentioned earlier the balance here is really good for me. It’s a familiar formula but I’m not bored or disengaged, I want to go burn somebody’s house down.

@@@ Ziew: Stop Being Poor (Showtime, 2021) I think it’s entirely possible for folks on both sides of this ‘debate’ to enjoy and find solace and comfort in this tune. It is ironic and show its face but not enough for the Ted Cruz types out theres to surf right through the joke of it and say it with some mustard on it. Sonically it’s a blend of krautrock and stripper hip hop. I can’t wait for Donald Trump to hold a rally with this blasting in the background.

Music for 4/27/21!!! ENNY, Los Sundowns

@@@ ENNY: Peng Black Girls (FAMM, 2020) Off last week’s Crack Magazine. Today’s post is a draft post from the end of February that I’m using today as I’m busy as fuck and I don’t make loot doing this blog so I gotta get shit done and right this blog. This is UK hip hop with a female MC and female singers. I like the sung parts a whole bunch and the rhymed sections much less so. The beat is very close to something you would hear from a kit drummer and the keyboard vamp is also quite engaging and catchy. I think from the use of the perjorative term bloodclot that this these are some British folks with Caribbean roots. The second half of the tune really heats up and overall the track is just underneath jumping up and down for me.

@@@ The Los Sundowns: Los Angeles (Lechehouse Music, 2020) Off this week’s WRIR playlist email. It’s a world music tinged surf type tune that opens up the record. A bunch of minimalist leaning guitar tracks over straight rock drumming with occasional vocal stabs that punctuate the proceedings with a bit more direct humanity. The guitar playing is only surpassed by the arranging skills here, this is tightly focused and arranged and I give respect to that. The player clicked through to the next track titled ‘Endless Bummer’ which features some pretty stylish interaction between the organ player and the rest of the band. I’m pretty sure a band call Los Sundowns is not designed to make you jump up and down but these guys do a really good job accomplishing what they set out to do. These guys do a really good job of infusing surf with Latin feels.

Music for 4/23/21!!! Moneybagg Yo, H.E.R.

@@@ Moneybagg Yo: A Gangsta’s Pain (Interscope, 2021) The title track is the last track and that usually in my experience it’s not a good reflection of the record so I switched up to track 7 called ‘If Pain was a Person’. Solid trap with a superfat bass pulse but the most notable aspect is the guitar samples which are retro and sound great. Mr. Yo or Mr. Moneybagg is quite skilled on the microphone, I really have to work hard to catch his rhymes as he’s going fast. He paints the emotional state of living in the ‘hood and the values encased in that environment. Lots of street gossip and a guest MC that gives the low down as to how much money Mr. Yo is making in the game. Love the bass and the guitar, appreciate his microphone work and his emphasis on the street pyschology and less on the guns and bitches and whatnot.

@@@ H.E.R.: Come Through (RCA, 2021) Another mainstream track this time a slow booty jam. H.E.R. is working the sultry tip with extra mustard and she’s inviting him to come through tonight, you know swing by and get to know her more intimately. Chris Brown comes as a guest and he’s working not the sultry tip but the emotional guy. The chorus is very good, I dig it. I don’t love the acoustic guitar and the rest of the arrangement is pretty standard though the use of the big bass is very catchy at certain chord change points in the track. There’s enough here I won’t denounce the fingersnaps. There are very few spots in any track where fingersnaps are the right move.

Music for 4/20/21!!! Bruiser Wolf, Chillemi, Charlotte OC

@@@ Bruiser Wolf: Dope Game Stupid (N/A, 2021) Off the Pitchfork via the Twatter! Love the twatter, really do. I can’t find this track on the Apple Music so I’m forced to listen on the GooglePimpTube. Oh Lord the GooglePimpTube! I would put this in the left field hip hop with a strange, noodly guitar at listener destabilizing levels. The rhyming is brisk with lyrics that I’m having trouble grocking. I believe this is a well veiled satire of the dope game with all manner of odd images thrown in — the dope game stupid but the boys still do it. I don’t love the guitar work but I’ve switched over to his new album, noop he’s a guest on this record by JUS so no more info for now. I’d listen to more I like the energy of his rhyming work.

@@@ Chillemi: Evil Eye (Taxi Gauche, 2021) I got to this track via a music publicist email and only a listen will reveal whether the track is better than the pr email. It opens with a lonesome alt country feeling, then come the dual male/female slack singing — essentially it’s an updated Leonard Cohen type track with a fair dollop of twang. I’d like to hear more that distinguishes itself from what’s come before but that’s just me. I guess you could say the country twang centered mostly in the guitars would qualify but regular readers know I’m a bit of a bitch and am often looking for more. This is good for office dwellers, normies.

Music for 4/19/21!!! Dreya Mac, Vocab Slick, Peaches

@@@ Dreya Mac: Time (ColorsxStudios, 2021) British hip hop, you know I love it! Female MC hittin’ the mic with above average energy and some sounds you don’t often hear — the singalong and faintly African/Caribbean flavoring. I like the sounds here, the slightly chopped and off kilter feel, just slightly, and her smooth rhyming and singing over the top. Not jumping up and down but definitely an interesting package.

@@@ Vocab Slick: Atonement (DR, 2021) Off a music PR email. Anchored by a swelly church organ and a mellow trap beat the MC (oh there’s a second one and later more I think) and lyrically it’s the opposite of gangster business. The first MC seemed a bit jumbly on the mic but the microphone flow tightens up over the course of the tune and the sounds are pretty nice. With a title like ‘atonement’ it would stand to reason that this is a Christian hip hop track but that’s not entirely clear. I appreciate its non gangster vibe and the sounds.

@@@ Peaches: Pussy Mask (Third Man, 2021) Out on Jack White’s Third Man, it comes out as a cross between Megan the Stallion with some detuned power chords smashed up on it and poured over as a sauce. Every line starts with pussy — pussy, wear a mask, pussy clean no infection, pussy stand up erection. So it’s a complete celebration of pussy and all aspects of it, Peaches’ pussy is fully human it wears a mask, it has feelings and desires, it’s been personified. The sounds are what I refer to as strip club hip hop — trashy and proud of it. I would like the lyrics more if I liked the beat more. I like the guitar all right but it’s not enough. It goes out with a section repeating listen to Fauci so maybe it’s more about the ‘rona than other aspects of the three dimensional concept known as pussy. NSFW, dummies!

Music for 4/9/21!!! Navy Blue, Orbain Unit, Slow Molasses

@@@ Navy Blue: Durag Anthem (Freedom Sounds, 2021) I got to this via following Pitchfork on the Twatter. Opens up with chill keyboards and soft chattering hihats. It’s a black culture celebration channelled slightly through the metaphor of the durag, durags get mentioned but it’s about more than a piece of headwear. Lyrically I caught impressions of it and I like it but the main point here is the vibe. The vibe is firm and laidback led by the keys and the tone of the MCs. I dig it. The very ending of the song throws a small shift in there and I like that as well.

@@@ Orbain Unit: Xerai (Gnowot, 2021) European electric improv plus other sounds that I got to via the label that put this out. It has a bit of Pharaoh Sanders soprano sax chirping away, but the other component I dig is the multi-part drone using voices, possibly a bowed electric bass, and other bits. I really liked the stack of vocals and how they fit in with the rest of the instruments. The drum sounds is a tasteful big rock sound that gives some firmness to this big wall of sounds. The record consists of four fairly large pieces. There is also some electric guitar and electronics (I think) or that could be processed electric guitar. The droning vocals continue into the second piece and I will be peeping this for a few minutes before tipping out to my next victim. I skipped ahead to the third tune Powerhouse as I thought the second track was a bit slow to get going, standard for a 12+ minute banger. I’m feeling the sounds they have going here and if you’re into ambient improv with whatever they feel like rockin’ check it out.

 

@@@ Slow Down Molasses: Street Haunting (Self-released, 2021) Some ’80s-90s influenced post punk I got to via a music publicist email. Excellent guitar tones and a brisk beat. I feel like I like the singer but he seems to have trouble keeping up with the band. Two blustery guitars and a drummer cranked up on Red Bull or some such stimulant. I’m repeeping this the next day as I had a headache yesterday and that can effect one’s reviewing commentary. I stick by most of what I put in here before. There’s a chance they featured the band in the mix more than the singer and I think that’s the right way to go.

Music for 4/6/21!!! Squirrel Flower, Brixx, Iglooghost

@@@ Squirrel Flower: Hurt a Fly (Polyvinyl, 2021) Oh man I screwed the pooch, I thought this band was called Squirrel Power not Squirrel Flower and I much prefer through no fault of the band the name Squirrel Power. It opens as piano rock with a big beat and a faded female voice. The production is pretty mainstream and it’s reminiscent of late George Harrison stuff but with George Harrison. Obviously no George Harrison. What do I like here? I like the beat, I don’t like the vocal delivery and I think it’s a bit in conflict with the rest of the track. It takes the energy of the track down while other components are quite poppy and upbeat. Meh, more confusion than dislike as I listen.

@@@ Brixx: 2nd Warning (NSM/Brixidust, 2021) Jamaican flavored hip hop out of the UK. She sounds like she picks most British male MCs out of her stool in the morning, she has an ominous and tough flow. Lots of bloodclots floating around. Bloodclot is a Jamaican slur you can look up and it’s not a particularly flattering slur. There’s a gauzy synth slowly oscillating in the background and the star here is the bass synth — melodic and wicked in its rhythm it’s the star of the tune as far as I’m concerned. I wish that trippy synth was turned down or replaced so I could hear more of the bass synth.

@@@ Iglooghost: Big Protector (Gloo, 2021) Updated electronic music with strong classical and New Age feels. The sounds are absolutely pimped, rich and lush and arranged in a beautiful space. Little flourishes of percussion, metallic mostly but also marimba-esque sounding ones to go with the violin which is the lead melodic instrument here. I do appreciate the inclusion of a super fat floor shaking bass and I wish there was more of it. I’m guessing this took the arranger hours to put this together, this is some Mandalorian level of special effects, super manicured and combed for your listening pleasure. It ticks almost all the boxes except for the New Age feels. I’m checking a couple of other tracks to see if there are any that don’t traffic as heavily in New Age feels but thus far no go. Excellent sonic work.

Music for 4/5/21!!! Piers Faccini, Antoine Bradford, Neil Young

@@@ Piers Faccini: All Aboard (Beating Drum, 2021) I got to this world music/guitar hero (Ben Harper!) smashup via a music publicist email. It’s a group empowerment exercise lyrically with guitar, African kora (I think) The artist, Mr. Faccini, is not know to me but on this track he’s flanked by an African string player and Mr. Harper as mentioned. Everybody takes a brief turn on the microphone and the rhythm is provided by a big hand drum with a low tone. It’s a groove track with a positive vibe and I like it all right, not super where I’m at. I like more the slower not guest laden track that comes after this one.

@@@ Antoine Bradford: The Sun (Humble Beast, 2021) I’m on the mailing list of this Christian hip hop/r&b label. This opens as a slow jam but as it’s on a Christian label this is not a booty jam tune. Strummed undistorted electric guitar, falsetto vocals in places. The melody changes in the chorus which is quite beautiful and effective as a chorus hook. A guest female vocalist comes in for more purdy-ness. I dig that any religious connotation is pretty subtle — the hook is ‘there goes the sun, there goes the sun shining again, there goes the sun…’ It’s hard to get your panties in a wad over that sentiment. For a celebration of all the greatness of God, etc it’s pretty good at conveying that.

@@@ Neil Young: Tell Me Why (Reprise, 2021) Music honcho/half time big mouth Bob Lefsetz sent out an email about this reissue of a live show by Neil Young in 1971. I’m no expert on Neil Young’s career but 1971 can’t be far from peak Neil Young in terms of his voice, his popularity and his impact as an artist. This is the first track of this live record and he’s in peak form playing his guitar as well as vocally. Not sure what to say here, peak Neil, young folks who don’t know much about him and what’s good about him should start here and those people who have tons of Neil Young well that’s a different story. I have no clue how many people jump and down over these songs that are great but have been circulated for a long time.