Music for 12/8/17!!! Common Kings, Algiers, Downtown Boys

@@@ Common Kings: Lost in Paradise (Island Empire, 2017) A blue eyed sounding reggae record I got to via a music publicist email. I hate to do it but I have to issue an annoying singer alert. I don’t enjoy his loverboy flow, but that’s just me, I sport no vajayjay. A couple more tracks but I don’t want to get lost in this. The production is crazy bright, nay, let us say it is absolutely flourescent. This is strictly for frat boys who can’t dance.

@@@ Algiers: The Underside of Power (Matador, 2017) This is one of All Music’s top 70 records of 2017 and it’s an aggro electronic funk record. At least the opener is. The singer is completely losing it over a nice beat. Let’s peep more. I like the singer a whole bunch but he could use some help with the arrangements as a drum machine and a distorted bass/synth ain’t gonna get him over the hump. I like the combination of the sounds, but I wanted more storm and power coming from the music.

@@@ Downtown Boys: Cost of Living (Sub Pop, 2017) Also off the All Music top records of 2017. The first tune is pretty standard old school punk rock. I like the female singer a lot, she’s losing it very stylishly. I wish the band would hit it harder but I’m not in charge of that. Ooh, she’s even more ragged in the second tune, nice work! Myself, I’m more in the mood for some peak Sleater-Kinney estrogen exploding/female fury but that’s a big ask. I would ask the band to help the singer out by losing your shit in the same manner. I remember when I was a darned kid, back in the ’20s, we enjoyed a good losing of the nut, you know Bad Brains and what not. I guess that’s out of style.

YTD recordings listened to: 782
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 421
Not good music: 323

Buys: 9
Honorable Mentions: 7

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, American Lips, Sudan Archives, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Boubacare Traore, Les Filles De Illighadad, Curtis Harding, Les Amazones D’Afrique

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Music for 12/6/17!!! Les Amazones D’Afrique, Powerdance, Cloud Nothings

@@@ Les Amazones D’Afrique: Republique Amazone (Real World, 2017) I heard the single from this record but I never peeped it til now as it’s in the top 50 Guardian records of 2017. This first tune is great with fat bass, trippy vocals and some righteous hand drumming added to the main beats. I like this second tune as it relaxes into a betwixt slow and midtempo groove. I don’t usually like the records with tons of guest vocalists but these are all women and the tracks are tight and unified. I would contrast the funkiness of this record with the African record with the Kronos Quartet strings on it. This is a mash as well, but it’s less uptight and high end with a high funk quotient. This record will end up on my year end list, check it out!

@@@ Powerdance: A Safe and Happy Place (Powerdance, 2017) A white boy disco banger off the Guardian’s top 50 of 2017) It definitely does not have the funk of the Les Amazones record but it’s aimed at the Wonder Bread crowd. Four on the floor, big simple vocals and a propulsive guitar line. It’s a pretty skeletal arrangement and I don’t think the vocalist has the chops to get it airborne. Check for yourself. It pumps harder at the outro but that energy should have been moved forward.

@@@ Cloud Nothings: Life Without Sound (Carpark, 2017) Pop punk off the Guardian list. I usually associate the pop punk with uptempo sing-a-long business but this first tune is not full on and it sports some more reflective chord progressions. I like it. The second tune does bring more tempo and classic pop punk but it’s not mindless without going straight to emo. I’m not a huge pop punk guy but this is a good specimen for the genre. The singer is pretty straightforward — sometimes the singer is so popped out I want to beat ’em with a 2X4 but this guy plays it straight — neight overwrought, nor too ironic, just songs with no bullshit sauce.

YTD recordings listened to: 779
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 419
Not good music: 322

Buys: 9
Honorable Mentions: 7

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, American Lips, Sudan Archives, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Boubacare Traore, Les Filles De Illighadad, Curtis Harding, Les Amazones D’Afrique

Music for 11/29/17!!! Futuro de Hierro, blackbear, Shenandoah Davis, Holy

@@@ Futuro de Herrio: Paso en el Vacio (Majia Rojo, 2017) I was contacted by this small European label about a review of this release. It opens up with an industrial dance groove, some feedback squalls and a gent somewhat losing it on the microphone. I’m feeling these random sheets of aggro guitar/guitar-like squeals. I like this second track called A veces somos uno as the vocals are made more abstract with processing and they are set lower in the mix. I like the sounds on this record, dark and tough, but I didn’t enjoy the vocal work as much. Check it for yourself, especially the second tune.

@@@ blackbear: anxiety (Interscope, 2017) Off the Apple Music hot tracks section this is an electro pop record with tons of hip hop MCs as guest vocalists. The production is meticulous and occasionally creative but otherwise it surely puts caramel on the rotten apple of any sort of real life anxiety. Lots of chopped and synthed vocals. He’s anxious without her love, blah blah blah.

@@@ Shenandoah Davis: The Wings (Plume Records, 2017) An indie recycling of early ’60s dramatic pop. Davis has a thinnish (not Finnish) voice but the string flourishes are the star here. They are reverbed and panned wide for epic effect. There are drums but placed back in the mix so it’s her sweet voice and the strings and maybe some electro garnish tucked back there. Could be an organ, hard to tell, insert joke here. I got to this via a music publicist email.

@@@ Holy: Heard Her (Pnkslm, 2017) A pre-release single I got to via Line of Best Fit’s tracks of the week. It’s a bombastic, Beatles influenced psychedelic Brit rock track. I have no idea if they are Brits or not. Not the tooth grinding psychedelic business — it has plenty of guitar crunch (and some really nice drumming) with spacious organ to balance shit out. I’m not jumping up and down but it’s a quality tune well put together with really good energy.

YTD recordings listened to: 768
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 411
Not good music: 320

Buys: 9
Honorable Mentions: 7

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, American Lips, Sudan Archives, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Boubacare Traore, Les Filles De Illighadad, Curtis Harding

Music for 11/28/17!!! John Maus, Maximum Mad, Proto Idiot

@@@ John Maus: Screen Memories (Ribbon Memories, 2017) To me it is a contradiction but this is upbeat krautrock synth rock. The sounds are kraut-y, a bit industrial with sawtooth synth basses but it’s all served up with a cherry on top. There is a B horror movie lower register singing doing an accent-less Dracula thing.  It’s all right, I never got synth rock myself, have at if you do.

@@@ Maximum Mad – Dear Enemy (Good to Die, 2017) Some good old fashioned ass kicking metal/hardcore splatter for your dissatisfied earholes. This is no epic, classically influenced business, this is set ’em up and grind ’em down with a hardcore singer and drums that are pleasantly perched betwixt metal and punk. They also have a few stray Pearl Jam sorta pubes going tucked under the pillow. I prefer the dirty business to the grunge business but it’s mostly in the guitar riffs and my what a pleasantly farty bass in the third tune Active Aggressive. Peep for yoself.

@@@ Proto Idiot: Leisure Opportunity (Slovenly, 2017) Classic self-effacing old school Brit punk off this week’s CFUV playlist email. Do you remember when people weren’t so far up their own asses? I do! These guys do too. It’s 15 songs in 32 minutes so that’s commando style for sure. Let’s peep a few more nuggets and head out of town. I’m stupid, you’re stupid let’s do it! That sounds about right to me. Big sing a long vocal hooks, the classic simple punk rock playing. Come and get it you mohawk wearing retards.

YTD recordings listened to: 764
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 409
Not good music: 318

Buys: 9
Honorable Mentions: 7

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, American Lips, Sudan Archives, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Boubacare Traore, Les Filles De Illighadad, Curtis Harding

Music for 11/27/17!!! James Arthur, Neck of the Woods, Blank Range

@@@ James Arthur: Naked (Sony Germany, 2017) Having half of you is not enough, he’s standing naked! He’s not really saying why he’s naked — he’s got relationship problems in this electro pop tune. He’s giving all he can for chrissakes! It’s building like a stock market rally though his voice is kinda doughy. I see from his Apple Music discography that he’s a tattooed bitch so that’s the marketing sell. He’s a rough boy going pop loverboy. I can’t really figure out how he’s going to give her everything when he’s standing there naked. Maybe he has the world stuffed up his ass. It’s possible, he’s keestering the world. A lyric video, Christmas is early bitches!

@@@ Neck of the Woods: The Passenger (Self-released, 2017) Some hard rock/heavy music off this week’s CFUV playlist email. Oh my the singer is pissed — his vocal cords turning to fiberglass threads with a rough but not crazy metal band behind him. I feel bad the singer is so out of sorts — it’s the holidays and the stock market is at record highs! I prefer my metal much messier and crushed but check this out for yourself.

@@@ Blank Range: Marooned with the Treasure (Sturdy Girls, 2017) Classic roots rock off this week’s CFUV playlist email. Shades of the Band, Blues Traveller with a twangy singer, a lot of guitars and a little hippie looseness to get you over the hump. You also get some old school organ to go with the duel guitar attack. I’m not particularly in the mood for this but it’s all right.

YTD recordings listened to: 761
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 407
Not good music: 317

Buys: 9
Honorable Mentions: 7

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, American Lips, Sudan Archives, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Boubacare Traore, Les Filles De Illighadad, Curtis Harding

Music for 11/25/17!!! The Light Wires, The Body and Full of Hell

@@@ The Light Wires: The Invisible Hand (Sofaburn, 2017) I dug Jeremy Pinnell’s first solo record so I wanted to listen to the band he had before he went solo. This is a reissue of previously released music. This first tune sports a heavy Replacements vibe (including his voice) which I dig. Big American guitars. The second tune is a couple notches above a ballad still with the big ass guitars. It’s more rocking and less lonesome than his first solo — more classic American rock and I like it. It’s crazy how much he sounds like Paul Westerberg on these tracks. I’m going to swing back on this record but fans of Tom Petty, the Replacements (obviously), and Soul Asylum should check this.

@@@ The Body and Full of Hell: Ascending a Mountain of Heavy Light (Thrill Jockey, 2017) Some death metal/black metal off this week’s CFUV playlist email. I would say this definitely has some art school noise blended into this black metal. It’s full on but with art sauce. I like it. The second tune does the same thing as it presents a little electronic intro before diving deep into the mosh pit. A mosh pit whose overlord is an orc. The guitars are noiser and less slab like than a typical metal record so there are most definitely variations to the formula going on here. I usually don’t like to mix electronic elements with my heavy metal but this works for me. Check for yourselves.

YTD recordings listened to: 758
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 405
Not good music: 315

Buys: 9
Honorable Mentions: 7

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, American Lips, Sudan Archives, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Boubacare Traore, Les Filles De Illighadad, Curtis Harding

Music for 11/23/17!!! Wand, Quicksand, Faith Hill/Tim McGraw

@@@ Wand: Plum (Drag City, 2017) Some indie rock off this week’s CFUV weekly playlist record. Many Thanksgiving references in these reviews both to humor and annoy. After a gastrointestinal feedbacky opening it goes into a piano driven midtempo adult alternative rocker. Let me check the bio, Imma guessing these Wand folks are British. Nope they’re from L.A. but Imma guessing they own mad brit rock records. Let’s peep more. They get the guitars out on this third track Bee Karma, and it’s riffy still with strong Blur/Radiohead vibes. The singer especially, he’s especially fish and chippy. They go full on space rock on the fourth tune Charles De Gaulle. The playing is pretty tight and fresh, the singer is not to my taste but that’s just my personal preference.

@@@ Quicksand: Interiors (Epitaph, 2017) The first record for these gents in 22 years. It’s a piquant blend of riff and noise with touches of hardcore and an emo urgency. The band turns on the contrast between the singer and the churning band underneath. The drums are very high in the mix which is a plus for my ears. I’m really falling down on the Thanksgiving related jokes but I’m sure I can annoy if I try. I have to try harder and then it comes naturally. The production here is very polished but not epic with tasty bass, guitar and drum sounds. These guys are pretty serious about their rock so there’s little to jest about unfortunately. Check it out if you’re up for some heady post-hardcore groomed guitar rock.

@@@ Tim McGraw and Faith Hill: The Rest of our Life (Sony, 2017) Oh my, let’s switch gears to some super earnest new country music. Fuck, this is cheesy, dramatic-ness that must be checked out. The lyrics especially, but the piano is epic and lends a certain pungent odor to the song.. I can’t take much more of this that’s how painful and awesome this is. If you’ve had a massive Thanksgiving you might want to lay off this high calorie sugary treat as it will make your teeth hurt. We’ll be young when we’re old! Fucking awesome. Let’s check another track, I rocked no turkey today. The second tune is a rocker and Imma guessing there’s gonna be a pickup truck or a faded blue jeans reference in the first thirty seconds. I almost made it, he picked her up in a beat up Cutlass in the first line. She let down her blue bandana and let her blond hair down — that’s a clothes reference — I’m almost good here. This third tune, The Bed We Made, could be mad hot due to the title of course. It’s PG rated but it is as I suspected. Their clothes are trailed down the hall to the bedroom and the sheets are tangled and there’s candlewax on the dresser, and probably a ball gag and a gimp suit for late night freakshows. The great thing about new country for me as well as new country folks is how predictable the tunes are. You can see ’em coming from 10 miles away — like an Oklahoma tornado, you dig?

YTD recordings listened to: 756
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 403
Not good music: 315

Buys: 9
Honorable Mentions: 7

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, American Lips, Sudan Archives, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Boubacare Traore, Les Filles De Illighadad, Curtis Harding