New Tunes Tuesday: October 4th, 2016

October is here! A time of spooks and spirits! Ghouls and ghosts! And the most frightening thing of all… the mediocrity of modern popular music!

Bon Iver – 22, a million
This is like trying to take a nap on an uncomfortable couch. I’ll never get what people see in this guy. Be cool if there was a song here to write about, though. Then I could probably REALLY say something mean. But no, there’s no song here.

 

Drive-By Truckers – American Band
Good on these folks for being in a country-rock band and having the guts to sing about today’s troubling racial politics. The song’s a little pat and straightforward but that’s perhaps a reasonable trade-off for how many “all lives matter” people this pisses off. I hope that the guys from Disturbed hear this and it makes them choke on the champagne they’re swilling, purchased on proceeds from pilfering songs from Simon & Garfunkel. Disturbed sucks. This Drive-By Truckers song is okay.

Pixies – Head Carrier
Yep, this is certainly the Pixies. This is perfectly fine, but sounds kind of like what The Pixies would sound like covering The Pixies. Does that make sense? It all sounds kind of contained and calculated in a way that the best Pixies work never did. Getting old will do that, though. There’s a part of me that is really happy that they’re still working on new music, although I’m not terribly interested in the results that I’ve heard. Maybe they had been gone long enough that I was totally at peace living in a world with no new Pixies albums in it.

Regina Spektor – Remember Us To Life
This hovers delicately over the line between interesting and irritating before ultimately crashing over into the later side. I hadn’t heard a Regina Spektor song in probably ten years and I’m gratified that it doesn’t appear that I’ve missed anything. I’m blown away that this was selected as a single. Yuck.

Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition
This seems like a joke. This seems like some comedian’s unbelievably abrasive impersonation of the world’s worst rapper. I’m probably just proving – once again – that I don’t know anything about hip hop, but this is absolutely terrible to me.

Yellowcard – Yellowcard
Yellowcard is breaking up. Who is Yellowcard, you ask? That’s a great question! Sounds like an emo-rock band to me! Presumably these guys just woke up one day and say “Holy fucking shit, I’m 40 years old and I’m in an emo-rock band!” Oh well! Enjoy your post-Yellowcard careers, emo kids! Perhaps you will find just as much meaning in selling mobile plans to people.

This song is bad.

Banks – The Alter
This is reasonably well-produced and forward-thinking pop music, performed by a woman who sounds as though she has stuffed wads of wet paper towel into her cheeks. It is fine.

Opeth – Sorceress
This song totally rules for about 30 seconds and then starts sucking pretty badly. These guys are like the Dream Theatre of bad Swedish metal. The first time someone told me about them, like 15 years ago, I thought that the guy was saying “Opus” and just had a speech impediment. It turns out he just had an impediment to being able to tell when music is good or terrible.

They really missed the boat by not calling this album “Sorcereth”, though.

Alcest – Kodama
Weird French Shoe-gaze Tool. I actually don’t mind this.

Sully Erna – Hometown Life
The lead singer from Godsmack just put out a solo record that is kind of dark country pop? HAHAHA. Wow. The hardest dudes from the late-90s & early-2000s are quickly learning that there’s no money in that for them anymore. From the aforementioned case of the guys from Disturbed deciding that they need bigger swimming pools, so why not cover “The Sound Of Silence”, to the guy from Staind tackling straight-up country, these guys are all grasping at straws. Lucky for them, their fan base is aging as well and are probably just as confused about it.

Wow, this is bad, though. This has been a rough week. Music is over, guys.

 

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