New Music Monday – May 2, 2016


Brian Eno – The Ship
Holy shit. I can feel my pupils dilating.
This is weird, weird stuff. I’ll readily admit to being more familiar with Brian Eno as a producer and … as a concept rather than being familiar with his actual work. But all of the tales of weird ambience don’t really prepare a person for being taken on a FOR-REAL SONIC JOURNEY. The closest that this track comes to taking a shape in its 20-minute runtime is through the booming chants that deliver Eno’s lyrical message. What is that message? Probably something about being Brian Eno and maybe some lines about sailing on a ship in a sea of computer blood. Then a german robot lady comes in and tidies your room while telling you how much of a slob you are and the hair on your arms starts spelling out the names of your high school crushes. The song ends and you’re curled up in the fetal position around a rotary telephone that you don’t remember purchasing and you’re covered in sweat that you don’t think is your own. Highly recommended!

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Nonagon Infinity
I was 100% prepared to hate this based on the band name. I know that’s terrible, but I’ve never really claimed to be approaching any of this with an open mind. Except for the times that I’ve claimed exactly that, which were all jokes.
I don’t even know what you’d call this, but it’s kind of fun and ridiculous and fuzzy and stupid. Kind of digging into a vibe of proto-heavy metal (think Golden Earring or Blue Cheer) and crazy 70s prog, throwing in a heavy dash of new-wave weirdness and a healthy dose of noise/art rock… this album is totally daffy. And I think I love it. There’s a pounding glee to the whole thing that charms me. Fuzzed-out bass rules the day. This is great. I’m downloading it.

Rob Zombie – The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser
I really have to give this guy credit for sticking to his guns. He’s spent the last 30 years plumbing the depths of the same subject matter – at least 20 of those without any discernible movement in tone and style. As a nerdy teen, this kind of campy/smutty stomp-able dance metal held some appeal, as did the B-movie aesthetic. When I could still sit through a movie from Troma Studios, White Zombie/Rob Zombie seemed totally reasonable entertainment to me.
I’m a grown-ass man now. I love horror movies, but rarely go in for the B-grade shlock anymore. I love metal, but rarely when it has a four-on-the-floor dance beat underneath. Sorry, Rob. It’s not you, it’s me – I’ve changed. If listening to Rob Zombie do what is definitively his thing is what you crave, this album – with its MadLibs-of-trash album title – will probably do it for you. The (brilliantly titled) lead single “Well, Everybody’s Fuckin’ in a UFO” really just is Primus’ “Winona’s Big Brown Beaver“, so if you love Primus for some reason – check out the video above (VERY NSFW).

The Jayhawks – Paging Mr. Proust
During my period of major infatuation with everything considered “alt-country” (2001-2004?), I had owned and enjoyed records by The Jayhawks. They always seemed like a completely pleasant and easy-listening blast of music from another time. From the sounds of this single, they’ve changed absolutely nothing. This is breezy and melodic. Pleasant and forgettable. I’m not at all interested in tracking down this album, but it’s good to hear that this group has continued on with a sound that they can competently execute. Huh. That’s not exactly glowing praise.

Ah, whatever. The Jayhawks aren’t my kids or something.

The Bo-Keys – Heartaches By The Number
If you’ve ever wanted a whole album of a soul band full of old people covering country and western songs by even older people who are mostly all dead, your day in the sun has arrived! I could imagine a lot of pot-bellies and jowls jigglin’ to this hot piece of wax. Aw. I’m not being fair. These people are clearly talented and these songs are unquestionably classics. There are plenty of reasons to like this! I just can’t find any personally. Except for the name similarity to The Black Keys, which makes The Bo-Keys seem just better by proxy, because I hate The Black Keys and anything that is even a few letters off from that band name must inherently be a little bit better than The Black Keys.

Joy – Ride Along!
Boy. This has been a week for retro hard rock. First those Gizzard Lizard dudes and now this. It’s mining from the same stack of vinyl, but this is a little bit more conventional. Satisfyingly noisy, but a little too reliant on groovy riffin’ to be anything special. If you’ve gotta get your retro rock on, you could do worse than Joy… but they’re not doing anything new with the material, whereas the GizzyLizzies kind of have something inspired going on. You’re probably better off just listening to Steppenwolf or something.

Fallujah – Dreamless
This has been a strange week for music. Fallujah seems to be trying to marry together the extremest of extreme metal with atmospheric pads, melodic and soaring Enya vocals, loads of tech/prog elements and mega-slick production. It doesn’t work for me at all, but they get points for trying to do something interesting. Something about the way that all of the parts intersect, though, seems more embarrassing than intense.

Britta Phillips – Luck or Magic
It’s a little weird that this single is called “Drive” and tackles a sonic palate wouldn’t have felt out of place on the soundtrack to the film of the same name. But, beyond that, this is fairly well-produced and understated synth-pop, occupying a similar sound to the Lana Del Ray tracks that I’m familiar with. The synth sounds are interesting and the vocals are fine. Not bad.

Lera Lynn – Resistor
I was under the impression that Lera Lynn was a roots/americana singer of the Lucinda Williams variety. A quick look confirms that she’s known for that, as she was featured heavily in True Detective Season 2 performing in this style. Who knows. I didn’t watch it. This single from Lynn’s new album, however, seems to be an attempt at a pop crossover. She’s no Taylor Swift, but it’s reasonably well done. Strong vocals and a decent hook. Seems a little disposable, but what isn’t these days?  This whole paragraph has been poorly done, both in critical thinking and in prose. I don’t think I actually have any thoughts on this.

Lonestar – Never Enders
“New Country” is probably the worst music in the world. It’s basically just people who failed at being rockers in the 80s and 90s adopting a drawl and playing the world’s most predictable and soft pop-rock, doing their damnedest to pen lyrics that’ll pull tears and cheers out of white Christians who have absolutely zero interest in ever hearing anything substantially new.

Guess what? Lonestar is terrible and this song sucks.

Pity Sex – White Hot Moon
For some reason I was expecting something else from this band, given their name. Something really snotty and puuuuuuunk rawwwwwwk, maybe. The punk elements are there in the ridiculously chunky fuzzed-out chords, but it’s largely classic-sounding indie pop with softly sung female vocals and harmonies. There’s something distinctly mid-90s lo-fi about the whole affair and I’m interested to hear more. Because I, much like the white Christians that I mentioned in the previous review, am completely uninterested in hearing anything substantially new. I’m going to download this.

There were a number of records released this week that I haven’t covered, but there are only so many opinion I can give before I realize that I don’t actually know anything.


For the week of May 2, 2016 –

Number of albums approved for download onto my phone = 2

Pretty good week!

Author: markmeeks

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