Saturday, March 29, 2014

March catch-up

Man, my music habits have been all over the place recently. A lot of great music has come out, and it's been hard for me to keep up with everything else that I've been listening to. So, here's my catch-all post about everything I should have dedicated more time to:

Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - PiƱata

Madlib is more often than not the best producer going right now. In between releases, I'll think "Wow, so-and-so is so good right now. He's the best." and then Madlib puts something out that smacks me back into reality. Madlib is awesome. And he's even better when he's paired up with someone like Gibbs, whose gangsta delivery is a lot of fun on top of these trippy, whimsical beats. This contrast worked well on OJ Simpson, and works to even greater effect here. This is an excellent album to usher in spring.

Thou - Heathen

Raise your hand if you think Thou isn't the greatest name you've ever heard for a Doom Metal band. 
To those raising your hand, how does it feel to be so wrong?
Thou's music is so heavy, it actually sounds like it has mass. It is impressively slow and oppressively heavy, and gives no fucks. This album is nihilistic and dark, just the way Doom Metal should be. And it's a beautiful record too. It's really great, check it out.

Solids - Blame Confusion

Solids brings us one of the best spring-is-here rock albums since Japandroids' Post Nothing. It's noisy, anthemic, and begs to be blasted from a car stereo with the windows down. If you wanna relive those feelings of summer break fast-approaching, pop this one in your tape deck on your way to Taco Bell during your lunch period and be thankful band practice after school was cancelled. Or listen online while in your cubicle at work. Yung4eva.

Perfect Pussy - Say Yes to Love

And the award for worst band name goes to... Perfect Pussy. Just awful. The music's not bad, though. Louder and noisier than anything else I've heard this year, Perfect Pussy scream their way through 8 songs over 22 minutes. It is cacophonous, hectic, and surprisingly melodic. Beneath all the fuzz and static, that is. The band's energy is impressive, and the poor sound quality adds to the whole "punk aesthetic", I guess. Check it out if you've ever punched a wall.

Liars - Mess

This is a very good album. It sounds nothing and everything like a Liars album all at once, which is what we've come to expect from Liars.

I wish I could be more ecstatic about this record, but I've got a problem called "still obsessed with Drum's Not Dead" and I just can't get past it. I am totally in favor of artists who change their sound with every album, so in theory Liars should be one of my favorite bands. But I feel like there was a certain energy to They Were Wrong, So We Drowned and Drum's Not Dead that Liars have been unable to recapture. Which sounds ludicrous, because all four albums released since the two aforementioned albums have exhibited speaker-exploding energy. There's just something missing for me, which is a bummer.

To more specifically address their recent Mess, it falls to the same traps I think Merriweather Post Pavilion did: It immediately "clicks" and sounds like the album you've been waiting for. It fits so perfectly in your brain that you can't imagine a world without it. Until you listen to it enough times (three? four?) to realize the feelings you had are not getting stronger, and perhaps you've been listening to an album no more complex than a Katy Perry record. The pop sheen fades, and you are forced to do what you must do with all pop songs/albums... move on and search for the next immediate high.

Having said all of this, Liars kick a ton of ass and I respect them more than any other band whose new material doesn't do it for me. I highly recommend you check out this album; it's my favorite release of theirs since 2006. And after you've heard Mess, definitely be sure to check out everything else they've ever put out.

Liars remain one of the most interesting bands out there, I'm always excited to hear what's next!