Hello! Welcome to the first New Music Monday post of 2017! I’m going to do my best to be as fair and patient as possible this year. Honest, guys!
As mentioned a few posts back, I’m going to do a round-up of recent releases every couple of weeks instead of every week. Here’s what’s been going on since January 1st!
Kid Cudi – Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’
I mostly know this guy from his work on a couple of seasons of the Comedy Bang Bang television program. I had no preconceptions or expectations about this, and it’s actually pretty fun. The production work is bouncy and fun, and it’s nice to hear something with energy. He also talks about the music industry being shit and needing an enema, which is music to my weary ears. I’m okay with this “Surfin'” song and am curious about the album. Not a bad start to the year!
The Flaming Lips – Oczy Mlody
I know that bands can develop a sound and claim it as their own, but I immediately started humming that Yoshimi song when this started and I think I like that Yoshimi song more. That being said, there are some really fun blippy arpeggiated synthesizers on this trip and some pretty harmonies. I can’t help but feel that I would be super into this if I were absolutely ripped on weed, which has been my attitude regarding The Flaming Lips for the last 20 years.
Run The Jewels – RTJ3
One thing I’ve learned about my personal feelings about hip hop is this: I don’t necessarily like it when rap gets married to metal, but I definitely prefer rap when it sounds super pissed and punches you repeatedly in the face for three minutes. Run The Jewels have consistently fulfilled this requirement. This shit is so fun and I love it. I don’t really have much else to say about it.
The xx – I See You
I said that I was going to try to be patient and fair and nice this year. So instead of posting a GIF of someone doing a jerk-off motion, I’ll just tell you that I would really like to post a GIF of someone doing a jerk-off motion. This is abysmal.
The Regrettes – Feel Your Feelings Fool!
Although this does the opposite of breaking ground (this shtick has been run into the ground), this beachy retro-punk’n’roll is competent and peppy. The video is an entertaining take on a music video vibe that has been done a million times. It’s comfort food in a lot of ways, I guess. I don’t hate this, but I find it difficult to feel strongly about it in any way. Okay, wait. I just read that these folks are like 16 years old or something. Okay, it’s pretty great for a bunch of teenagers. Probably they’ll make their best music when they reach the bone-crushing, stomach-dropping ennui of their early 20s.
The Infamous Stringdusters – Laws of Gravity
There are two arenas in which I truly appreciate virtuosity – Heavy Metal and Bluegrass. When I get the chance to hear some Bluegrass, I’m often really happy about it, especially if the group has a name like “The Infamous Stringdusters”. Unfortunately, they must be talking about their instruments accumulating dust instead of losing it, because these guys are mostly just singing like a new take on Great Big Sea’s crappy Maritime folk and barely shred at all. What’s the point of Bluegrass if it isn’t just all instrumental shredding, or at least complete moonshine-fueled vocal madness that sounds like some kind of backwoods choral punk rock? Anyway, these people can clearly play and it’s a shame that they think that they’re songwriters and not just weaponized banjo-solo machines.
Sepultura – Machine Messiah
Sepultura deserves a lot of credit for bringing interesting and unexpected dimensions to heavy metal, particularly in their early ’90s run. From the sounds of things, they’re still working in that spirit, and the opening to this track sounds like it’s going to lead to metal that you could samba to. Unfortunately, most of what follows is fairly cookie-cutter modern metal, with the lock-step Messhugah chugging being the cutter and the Coal Chamber-esque vocal approach providing the cookie (monster). There are some moments when the instrumentation really takes off and it sounds kind of silly, but also pretty compelling. I’ll give these guys props for doing something a little different in and around the stuff that all sounds the same, and I suppose that it’s arguable that the bands that they sound like are all bands that they probably were a huge influence on. It must be really hard to be in a metal band in your 40s and 50s. I guess I should take it easy on Metallica too. Man, being nice when reviewing is hard.
APPLE MUSIC “My New Music Mix” – Friday, January 13
I subscribe to Apple Music, because it’s an affordable way to get all of the records that I want to listen to. Yes, I realize that it’s evil and that I’m supporting evil, but you’re probably going to type that comment to me on a MacBook or an iPhone, so go fuck yourself.
Anyway, Apple Music tries to learn what you like and then once a week, they’ll give you a playlist of new music that they think that you’ll be into, based on what you listen to. The results are often pretty wild (and pretty wrong), so I’ve decided to post my list every couple of weeks so that you can take a look at it and judge me. I’ll also let you know if any of this is particularly good or bad, because I will listen to the whole playlist!
One thing you’ll notice right off the bat is that this playlist starts with about 6 or 7 metal songs from bands with names that would evoke snickers from even the most understanding girlfriend. I need to go on record here: I am not a nerd, guys. I’m cool. I swear.
Anyway, Apple Music thinks that I’m going to like all of those metal bands and the joke’s on them – I only liked maybe two of them! The Drip were pretty fun and stupid, and Bölzer sound pretty great. I guess Domkraft have kind of a Black Sabbath/stoner metal thing going on that is alright. The rest? You’re just being silly, Apple Music! “Excretion in a Red Burst” by Goatblood? Silly Apple Music, can’t you tell that this band is a prank that someone is playing on their parents?
There’s a Run The Jewels song on this list, which is great because (as mentioned above) they are super fun.
This song by Siba is the worst thing I’ve heard this week.
This track by Metz is not a track from Canada’s noise-rock heroes. It is bad electro-something.
“Drag” by Slowcoaches is the most fun of anything I’ve heard this week because I’m a sucker for this kind of fuzzy punk junk. Sue me!
There’s some pretty tepid indie rock on here. Is this a reflection of my soul? Is Apple Music trying to tell me something?
At least four or five of these sound like they were recorded by some dopes in a garage in the late 90s. Just how easy is it to get an album on Apple Music. Oh… wait, I just realized that an old album from a band I was in got up onto Apple Music somehow.
It is ridiculously easy to get an album onto Apple Music. You don’t even have to do anything at all!
That’s all that music has to offer this week! Have a good one!