Sunday, September 30, 2018

Trans Am - Futureworld (1999)

Super-sweet fourth album by Maryland stalwarts Trans Am. While still loosely based in knotty, hard-hitting, synth-y math rock, this time it's shaped by vocals -- all-vocoder, at that -- and has some serious krautrock vibes that at times drive them into a queasy, fully synthesized dream-state. The late 90s were a real golden age for techno-angst/fear of a dystopian future that wasn't too far off from the one that we currently live in, and this record has that shit in spades.

Track listing:
1. 1999
2. Television Eyes
3. Futureworld
4. City in Flames
5. Am Rhein
6. Cocaine Computer
7. Runners Standing
8. Futureworld II
9. Positron
10. Sad and Young

If the air was transparent
I'd float away

You might also like:
Alien Sex Fiend -
"It" The Album (1986)
Fujiya & Miyagi -
Ventriloquizzing (2011)

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Assassin - Interstellar Experience (1988)

German thrash. I guess people think Interstellar Experience sounds rushed -- due to its under half-hour runtime and the (admittedly odd) inclusion of a cover version of surf hit "Pipeline" by The Shantays -- but I think that those people are confused, because what I hear is pure, head-banging, ass-kicking fun, surf cover included. So say what you will, and like what you like, but if you can't get down with "Junk Food", there's not much I can do for you: you're boring and you suck.

Track listing:
1. Abstract War
2. AGD
3. A Message to Survive
4. Pipeline [The Shantays cover]
5. Resolution 588
6. Junk Food
7. Interstellar Experience
8. Baka

Oreo - the chocolate sandwich
Chocomel - number one drink of Holland
Kit Kat - the British waffle-snack
Bazooka - the best chewing gum

You'd also like:
Forbidden -
Forbidden Evil (1988)
Grinder -
Dawn for the Living (1988)

Brulvahnatu - Menstrual Extraction Ceremony (2011)

Fucking phenomenal Canadian black/death/doom. I understand your trepidation: you're looking at that album cover, and wondering what kind of weird, amateurish perversion I'm trying to get you to download. But since I'm lazy and high and I hate music writing, you're just gonna have to trust me on this one. Free/name your price via bandcamp.

Track listing:
1. The Book of Forgotten Places
2. Hunting Season (At an End)
3. Fluids
4. The Gland
5. Menstrual Extraction Ceremony

Sick creature nightmare

You should also listen to:
Rites of Thy Degringolade -
The Caryatid (2000)
Wormlust -
The Wormlust Collective (2012)

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Piano Magic - The Troubled Sleep of Piano Magic (2003)

Inventive, song-driven indie/post-rock. I know nothing about the inter-band dynamics around when this was recorded, but to me it sounds like there were two distinct songwriting voices at work -- one exemplified by the abstract, cryptic "Speed the Road, Rush the Lights", the other by the earnest, relatively plainspoken "Comets" -- whose interplay makes for a beautifully complimentary dynamic.

Track listing:
1. Saint Marie
2. The Unwritten Law
3. Speed the Road, Rush the Lights
4. Help Me Warm This Frozen Heart
5. I Am the Teacher's Son
6. The End of a Dark, Tired Year
7. The Tollbooth Martyrs
8. When I'm Done, This Night Will Fear Me
9. Luxembourg Gardens
10. Comets

You should always tell them you love them
In case you never see them again

If you enjoy this, try:
Greater California -
Somber Wurlitzer (2004)
Orbit Service -
Twilight (2004)

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Rienaus - Aamutähdelle (2014)

Finnish black metal. Blown-out, crushing, Satanic filth.

Track listing:
1. Alkusoitto
2. Uhrilahja
3. Aamutähdelle
4. Edessä Tummien Kasvojen
5. Kunniaa!
6. Käärmeen Myrkky
7. Äärellä Hengen Kirkkauden

Vomit ugly shit

More Finnish misanthropy:
Black Stench -
Black Stench (2009)
Inhumane Deathcult -
On Behalf of Satan (2009)

Reagenz - Reagenz (1994)

Ambient IDM nirvana. Shimmering waves of synths, gentle but deceptively complex rhythms, and bleepy-bloops galore. Would sound right at home nestled between Aphex Twin (in ambient mode) and early Autechre on your "Dropping Acid/Doing Schoolwork" playlist.

Track listing:
1. Ä
2. Ö
3. Ü
4. ß
5. Long Leaves
6. Hollow Mountain
7. DJ Friendly
8. Tz

Anything to feel weightless again

You should also listen to:
Pole -
CD 1 (1998)
Funckarma -
Solid State (2001)

Monday, September 24, 2018

Andrew W.K. - Party Til You Puke (2000)

So the other day Stereogum posted an article about the AWK conspiracy theories that've been hanging around since early in his career, which I'm not even gonna try to summarize here. At first, I was annoyed because a) it's been beat into the ground already and b) Andrew WK makes beautiful, perfect music that doesn't need to get muddied up by rumors based on what, if AWK were to be believed, amounts to a business partnership gone sour. However, the article isn't just a remarkably comprehensive analysis of said controversies, but actually functions as a complete re-evaluation of his work that aligns him with visionaries and reality-benders like Andy Kaufman and David Lynch.

Beyond all of that, though, it was a relief to see that I'm not the only fucking person in the world who noticed how fucking weird and dark a lot of his lyrics are. Take "I Love NYC" off of I Get Wet, for instance: while the meaning of lyrics such as "We are your mother-father/We are your fighter friend/You can't stop what you can't end" is anyone's guess, it is clear that "I Love NYC" is not, in fact, about loving NYC.

"Party 'Til You Puke" is another great example: what exactly do the lyrics "We dent/We dope/We choke/We gun/We kill/We stab/We rob/We steal" have to do with partying, exactly? Ponder this as you listen to the Party Til You Puke EP, which finds a young AWK presenting a raw, blown-out, but more-or-less fully-formed version of his id-driven insanity. It's way meatier than the below track listing might seem to suggest. And please, read the above-linked article, it blew my goddamn mind.

Track listing:
1. Party Til You Puke
2. Party Til You Puke (Remix)
3. Party Til You Puke (Shout Out Mix)
4. Dance Party (Anti Never Ending Music Mix)
5. I Want to Kill (Built It Up Mix)
6. Old Man [Couch cover]

We're not gonna die, and you can never kill us
We're not gonna die, and you can never hurt us

Saturday, September 22, 2018

This Kind of Punishment - A Beard of Bees (1984)

Old-school New Zealand indie rock. To these ears, A Beard of Bees plays kinda like deconstructed, piano-based post-punk, but with a warm, lo-fi sound and, despite an abundance of melancholy, a sense of playfulness. And yes, those songs are supposed to end abruptly like that.

Track listing:
1. Prelude
2. From the Diary of Hermann Doubt
3. The Horrible Tango
4. Trepidation
5. East Meets West
6. Turning to Stone
7. Although They Appear
8. The Sleepwalker
9. An Open Denial

I'm sorry

You'd also enjoy:
Holy Toy -
Panzer and Rabbits (1984)
Telefilme -
Fade In, Fade Out (1995)

Château Flight - Puzzle (2000)

Blissed-out French deep house. Simple but insistent rhythms under a colorful, shimmering haze of synths of every sound, shape, and texture, plus some other stuff that I haven't mentioned because I'm lazy and high and just want to get back to listening.

Track listing:
1. Château Flight Loves You
2. Camping Jazz
3. Instant Replay
4. Frontal Funk
5. Auto-Power
6. Prism
7. Bizarre
8. Rituel
9. Flying Machine
10. Poesie Champetre
11. Heureuse

Speculative dream

You might also enjoy:
Walls -
Walls (2010)
Zombie Zombie -
A Land for Renegades (2008)

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Jeff Cowell - Lucky Strikes and Liquid Gold (1975)

Tear-stained, bourbon-soaked outsider country/folk rock perfection. Recorded in 1975 and left to languish unheard until 2015, when Numero did us all a huge favor by giving it a proper release. Goddamn, what a beautiful fucking record.

Track listing:
1. Jake Lake
2. Momma
3. Go Sweetly
4. And When
5. Lucky Strikes and Liquid Gold
6. We All Know
7. Bring Me Back
8. Can't Make Nothin'
9. Joanne & Jason
10. Not Down This Low

Down in the gutter where I found my true love

Also listen to:
Andy Zwerling -
Spiders in the Night (1971)
Lee Clayton -
Lee Clayton (1973)

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Krohm - Slayer of Lost Martyrs (1997)

Evoken - Embrace the Emptiness (1998)
Tenebrae in Perpetuum / Krohm - Tenebrae in Perpetuum / Krohm (2010)
Ritual Chamber - The Pits of Tentacled Screams (2013)

US lo-fi depressive black metal. Haunting, mysterious, and arguably Krohm's best work to date.

Track listing:
1. Intro / Gone Astray
2. The Cry of the Witch
3. Slayer of Lost Martyrs
4. God of Wisdom and Torture

My hearse

You'd also like:
Striborg -
Trepidation (2005)
Harvest - Forgotten Vampyres
of the Melancholic Night

The Armed - Only Love (2018)

Colorful, dense, ecstatically heavy, spastic-hardcore-based sounds from Detroit. Love the way this album is structured -- more and more melody starts seeping in as it goes on, but without sacrificing an ounce of intensity, then they burn it all down in a glorious, atonal, yet somehow beautiful inferno. But I'm just another voice in a large choir of people around the internet currently singing this record's praises, so let's not waste any more of your time or mine -- if you haven't already, go read what someone else has to say about it. Free/name your price via bandcamp.

Track listing:
1. Witness
2. Role Models
3. Nowhere to Be Found
4. Apperception
5. Parody Warning
6. Fortune's Daughter
7. Luxury Themes
8. Heavily Lined
9. Middle Homes
10. Ultraglass
11. On Jupiter

Sparks fly from their eyes
Birds fly from their mouths

You'd also enjoy:
Gasp - Drome Triler
of Puzzle Zoo People
Wildildlife -
Six (2007)

Mystik - Dunkla Klangor... (Kapitel I) (2016)

Bekëth Nexëhmü - De Dunkla Herrarna (2011)
Summum - Benedictus Qui Venit In Nomine Domine - Redeamus Ad Mort Domine (2014)

More Swedish black metal excellence from Swartadauþuz, a.k.a. The Man with a Thousand Amazing Black Metal Projects. A melodic, mournful, and majestic sound elevated by ethereal synths and inspired, passionate vocals. Beyond any lazy descriptors, the fact that I'm currently contemplating dropping almost 50 bucks on a copy of their new (-ish, it's a re-recording of the first demo, so I think it counts) LP should tell you all you need to know.

Track listing:
1. Forntida Minner (Intro)
2. Till Deras Domarsäten
3. I Åldrars Morgon
4. Från Fjärran Komma
5. Av Blodig Bränning
6. De Forna Förfäder
7. Åt Jättens Ätt
8. Vemodstrånad (Outro)

Portals to wisdom

More like this:
Diabolical Masquerade -
Ravendusk in My Heart (1996)
Belenos -
Kornôg (2016)

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Original Sin - Sin Will Find You Out (1987)

Satanic, femme-powered speed/thrash metal. By the time you read this, I will be on a houseboat on Lake Shasta, getting hammered and hopefully blaring this record or one like it.

Track listing:
1. Conjuration of the Watcher
2. The Curse
3. To the Devil a Daughter
4. A Slice of Finger (Instrumental)
5. Bitches from Hell
6. The Succubus
7. Pandora's Box
8. Thunder War (Instrumental)
9. Enchantress of Death
10. Disease Bombs

A demon seed enters a womb of corruption
Breeding a satanic spell
A sickening concussion, a newborn eruption
A demon, a terror from hell

You'd also like:
Kat -
Metal and Hell (1986)
Exorcist -
Nightmare Theatre (1986)

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Lakutis - 3 Seashells (2014)

Real good NYC rap. To me, the problem with a lot of white rappers isn't a lack of talent, but that they tend to overcompensate -- either by taking on an cartoonish persona that doesn't ring true, or by being overly nerdy/technical. Lakutis, on the other hand, just seems like the truest version of himself possible. And "Too Ill for the Law" is one of my favorite rap tracks ever. Free/name your price via bandcamp.

Track listing:
1. What the Fuck
2. Animal
3. Jesus Piece
4. Too Ill for the Law
5. Mumra
6. Skit 1
7. Chinese Slippers
8. Black Swann (feat. DVS)
9. Skit 2
10. Body Scream
11. Skeleton
12. Dope as Fuck

If they could say what they saw
They'd say, "A wild motherfucker too ill for the law"

Also listen to:
Blue Sky Black Death &
Nacho Picasso - Exalted (2012)
Conway -
G.O.A.T. (2017)

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Medieval Demon - Demonolatria (1995)

Hellenic black metal. Sure, they're a bit sloppy, but that won't stop them from erasing the divisions between our world and the netherworld and summoning terrifying beings of unspeakable evil and sorrow, then having sex with them.

Track listing:
1. Under the Twilight
2. Dark Widow
3. Fields of Tears
4. Queen of Sorrow
5. Spirits of the Dead
6. Doomsday
7. Leudness in the Dark
8. Demonolatria
9. Warrior's Anthem
10. The Rise of the Moon
11. Beyond the Clouds
12. No Flesh Shall Be Sharped
13. Melancholy

God of the dim unknown
Make her suffer on her own

More like this:
Siebenbürgen -
Loreia (1997)
Hirilorn - Legends of Evil
and Eternal Death

Dominic Frontier and His Orchestra - Pagan Festival: An Exotic Love Ritual for Orchestra (1959)

Some good ol' fashioned exotica from Dominic Frontier, who I believe is best known, if at all, for his film scores. Lush, inviting, cinematic, and probably problematic by today's standards. Claims to be an "interpretation of ancient Inca rituals, superstitions, and the romance and mysteries of their colorful civilization," but I'm guessing that it's the end result of about 25 minutes of research.

Track listing:
1. Festival
2. House of Dawn (Paccar-Tampu)
3. Temple of Suicide (Ixtab)
4. Moon Goddess (Ixchel)
5. Time of Sunshine (Yaxkin)
6. Goddess of Love (X-Tabai)
7. House of Pleasure (Tampu-Anca)
8. The Harvest (Zax)
9. Corn Festival (Zabacil Than)
10. God of Seasons (Kuklkan)
11. Jaguar God (Balam)
12. Venus Girl (Ix-Koben)

Whence no traveler returns

Martin Denny -
Forbidden Island (1958)
The David Whitaker Orchestra -
Music to Spy By (1966)

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Crass - Christ the Album (1982)

Arguably the greatest peace-punk record ever made. The proper album is a total game-changer, and finds Crass dialing in their already established sound, then firing it off into the great unknown. Chaotic, static-y sheets of guitar stabilized by a tight, muscular rhythm section, masses of news-sourced dialogue clips, and a sneering, pissed-off cockney poking holes in everything he sees -- politicians, the family unit, television, gender roles, other punks, Christians, skinheads, warmongers, meat eaters and more all find themselves in the crosshairs. The second disc is a collage of raw live stuff, interviews, spoken word, 'behind-the-scenes' recordings, and the like.

I seem to have been on a bit of a nostalgia trip of late (see also: this, this, this, this, and this) and I'm just gonna go with it. Sure, maybe this stuff is not all that obscure, but enough people read this blog that, statistically speaking, I'm practically guaranteed that at least like a hundred of you have never heard this.

Track listing:
   Christ the Album
1. Have a Nice Day
2. Mother Love
3. Nineteen Eighty Bore
4. I Know There Is Love
5. Beg Your Bardon
6. Birth Control 'n' Rock 'n' Roll
7. Reality Whitewash
8. It's the Greatest Working Class Rip-Off
9. Deadhead
10. You Can Be Who?
11. Buy Now Pay as You Go
12. Rival Tribal Revel Rebel, Pt. 2
13. Bumhooler
14. Sentiment (White Feathers)
15. Major General Despair
   Well-Forked - But Not Dead
1. Banned from the Roxy
2. The Sound of One Hand Clapping
3. Punk Is Dead
4. Nagasaki Nightmare
5. Darling
6. Bata Motel Blues
7. Berkertrex Bribe
8. Fold It in Half
9. Big Hands
10. Bumhooler
11. Big A Little A
12. First Woman
13. Arlington 73
14. Bomb Plus Bomb Tape
15. Contaminational Power
16. I Ain't Thick
17. G's Song
18. Securicor
19. I Can't Stand It
20. Shaved Women
21. A Part of Life
22. Do They Owe Us a Living
23. So What
24. Salt 'n' Pepper

Patriots' progress is a backstep
A cruel noose around a young neck
They teach our children in the classroom
To respect a madman on a rostrum
To praise the the dirty works of battle
Bring out the ribbon, balloon and rattle
To dig their own graves in the cold earth
So sad and pointless now to give birth

You should also listen to:
Chaos U.K. -
Chaos U.K. (1983)
Omega Tribe -
No Love Lost (1983)