I just had lunch at a campus bar. A pair of dude-bros who had just gotten out of an exam sat down next to me. One of them bought the other a beer and then proceeded to ask for advice about women. The beer recipient was adamant: You have to treat girls like shit, bro. He recounted getting a girl to go out with him through repeated unsolicited ass-grabs.
My faith in humanity dashed, I headed for the library in the perfect headspace to hear some new music.
Bob Mould – Patch The Sky
One doesn’t want to piss all over one of the original plaidsters when one is a plaidster one’s self. That being said, the real talk here is that if you’re going to listen to the new Bob Mould, don’t watch the video – Bob Mould tries to act and it is incredibly distracting. He just looks like an angry confused old guy that’s mad that they pre-empted the hockey game for news about a disaster. Not a good look. The song itself is fairly weak guitar-rock-ish singer-songwriter stuff that I’ve already forgotten about. But I haven’t forgotten that I think that I heard autotune in there and – for Bob Mould – that is also a really bad look. Yikes.
White Denim – Stiff
“Indie”-focused take on 70s corporate bee-bop-a-doo-ba rock n roll. These guitar riffs sounded tired whenLynyrd Skynyrd did it. The guy wearing the white denim sleeveless shirt in the video really upsets me. This song winds up almost sounding like Shitty Footloose and I absolutely can’t stand it. This is terrible. Modern music is irredeemable in its referentiality to the vapid tendencies of the past. All is lost.
Kendrick Lamar – Untitled Unmastered
On countless occasions, I’ve mentioned that I’m not qualified to make informed criticisms about hip hop. That said, Lamar’s album To Pimp A Butterfly caused me to say, at a recent buddy buddy goodtimes poker game, “What is this? This is actually really interesting music.” Even just that statement makes me seem prejudiced in terms of hip hop, when really I’m just largely uninformed. So hey, let’s try to get informed. I selected the first track that came up on YouTube when searching for the record. This is interesting, fiery stuff. It’s got a great feeling of momentum and velocity, and the musical accompaniment is just the right amount of danceable and jerkily unpredictable. This is something to look into! I know, I know, hype and whatnot. But this isn’t boring garbage.
2 Chainz – ColleGrove
Take everything I said in the last paragraph and make it the opposite. This isn’t for me. Lil Wayne is still alive?
Margo Price – Midwest Farmer’s Daughter
It always strikes me a kind of ridiculous that the music that gets labeled “alternative country” always winds up sounding more authentically like country music than what currently passes for mainstream country music. This is pretty cheesy and cheeky, but it feels real and dorky in the ways that classic country music always does. And maybe it always should feel a little bit cheesy and dorky. These are good ol’ white folks we’re talking about. I don’t love this track – it seems a little tired and I’m not convinced that Margo Price has the pipes to sell it. She’s fine, but not stellar. But I would listen to this over whoever’s in the buzz bin at CMT currently.
Plague Vendor – Bloodsweat
This sort of primordial punk stomping scratches an itch, I’m not going to lie. I grow suspicious about some of the more obvious affectations, through. The vocal tics are conspicuous and calculated. There’s a satisfying darkness to this track that has me interested to hear more, but given the simplicity of the delivery, I’m not convinced that hearing the record will lead me to liking this band. Truth be told, I’m listening to my third Plague Vendor track and I remain equally unconvinced. It’s elemental stuff and there’s a power in that, but I might need to see this band live actually determine whether or not I like them. And hahaha that isn’t going to happen.
Anthony Hamilton – What I’m Feelin’
What I’m feelin’ is that this is throwing back so hard, it’s going to need physiotherapy cope with the muscle strain.
Eric Bachmann – Eric Bachmann
I can’t decide if this is clever or smug. Probably neither. Probably just boring. The last song was a throwback, but this is shamelessly referential.
The Thermals – We Disappear
This is reasonably fun. No-frills indie-rock that is actually rock music. Not like “indie rock” that is actually The National or something. (The National is adult contemporary alternative easy listening, fyi)
Asking Alexandria – The Black
I can’t imagine finding a worse mashup of music. This will be the last thing I write about, because it’s really something special. It’s like someone decided to take some of the easier-to-play Lamb Of God riffs, mix it up with Imagine Dragons, travel back in time 10 years to when emo-core was at its peak for some angst-peration and then chop the whole thing up in a 12-year old’s “be Skrillex” app. This is thoroughly embarrassing for all involved, and probably the least metal thing I’ve seen in my entire life.