Saturday, July 31, 2021

Enochian Crescent - Telocvovim (1997)

10/10 Finnish weirdo black metal. A truly unorthodox sound that reminds me at times of death, gothic doom, and progressive metal, but never really ventures too far from completely kickass black metal. They also have real chops, which is not necessarily expected for a black metal band. Maybe it's the big, beefy production bringing out a death metal element that I'm not even sure would register if the album had a raw-er sound. Speaking of which, you know that gimmick where a track starts off sounding like a super-shitty recording, then all of a sudden, the real production kicks in and you have to lunge for the volume knob? This album kicks off with an amazing take on that.

Track listing:
1. Kun Ihmisliha Itki
2. Closed Gates of Tomorrow (The Cold Harvest)
3. Crescentian
4. Under Autumn Trees
5. Amma I Piad Sa Madriax
6. A Wolf Among Sheep
7. A Dream of Basaltic Submarine Towers of Titanic Proportions and Nightmare Angles
8. Afar (The Age of Rust)
9. When Tears Run Dry
10. Bonedancer
11. Black Flame of Satan Burning

Also listen to:

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Polmo Polpo - Like Hearts Swelling (2003)

Glorious sounds merging Gas-like ambient and woozy, abstract post-rock from Ontarian artist Sandro Perri. Layered towers of drone, guitar, strings, loops, and more build and recede, anchored by muffled pulses and angelic slide guitar. I found Polmo Polpo through the laid-back, zen-like indie/folk rock that Perri puts out under his given name, and that's definitely worth checking out, too.

Track listing:
1. Romeo Heart
2. Requiem for a Fox
3. Farewell
4. Sky Histoire
5. Like Hearts Swelling

If you like this, check out:

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Freedom Call - Stairway to Fairyland (1999)

Triumphant German power metal. Not a hint of thrash, doom, or nihilism to be found -- just hyper-speed chugging verses, cinematic keyboards, huge choruses, heavy breakdowns, and guitar pyrotechnics, all in service of what the band dubbed "happy metal."

Track listing:
1. Over the Rainbow
2. Tears Falling
3. Fairyland
4. Shine On
5. We Are One
6. Hymn to the Brave
7. Tears of Taragon
8. Graceland
9. Holy Knight
10. Another Day

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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Barış Manço - Sözüm Meclisten Dışarı (1981)

Turkish progressive folk rock with coke-y, synth-y production. Honestly, this album's too stylistically diverse for one of my signature one-sentence write-ups, but I am a lazy writer and I refuse to budge.

Track listing:
1. Alla Beni Pulla Beni
2. Arkadaşım Eşşek
3. Sözüm Meclisten Dışarı
4. Şehrazat
5. Gülpembe
6. Adem Oğlu Kızgın Fırın Havva Kızı Mercimek
7. Ali Yazar Veli Bozar
8. 2025 (Üçüncü Ve Son Yolculuk)
9. Dönence

More Turkish delights:

Monday, July 26, 2021

Jack Frost - Jack Frost (1991)

Steve Kilbey - The Slow Crack (1987)
Steve Kilbey - Unearthed (1987)
The Church - Priest=Aura (1992)
Steve Kilbey & Russell P. Kilbey - Gilt Trip (1997)
The Church - Hologram of Baal (1998)
The Church - Untitled #23 (2009)

First of two albums from this fruitful collaboration between Steve Kilbey (The Church) and Grant McLennan (The Go-Betweens, who I still haven't really given a good listen). Jangly guitars, drum machines, gauzy synths, and heavy-lidded vocals. Way better than an obscure side project of this nature has any business being.

Track listing:
1. Every Hour God Sends
2. Birdowner (As Seen on T.V.)
3. Civil War Lament
4. Geneva 4 a.m.
5. Trapeze Boy
6. Providence
7. Thought That I Was Over You
8. Theshold
9. Number Eleven
10. Didn't Know Where I Was
11. Even as We Speak
12. Ramble
13. Everything Takes Forever

Also listen to:

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Hakuja - Legacy (2007)

Phenomenal Japanese black metal. Icy, off-kilter riffs, engaging bass-lines (that are actually audible!), thoughtfully programmed drum machines, tortured vocals, and tasteful keyboard layering set this record well apart from the pack.

Track listing:
1. Dropped on Inferna
2. Amakakeru
3. Baal
4. Black Desire
5. Kanata
6. Dew of Blood
7. Rasen

Friday, July 23, 2021

Framtid - Under the Ashes (2002)

Red-lining Japanese d-beat. Total fuck. Probably the band that I tried to ape most when I was briefly in a generic d-beat band.

Track listing:
1. Intro
2. The Total Arse
3. Over Population
4. Scapes of Tragedy
5. Tomorrow
6. Consuming Shit and Mind Pollution
7. Centuries of War
8. Death Protest
9. Curse
10. No Installation
11. Life's Hard
12. We Must Impart
13. Bomb Blast

More like this:

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Steve Grossman - Terra Firma (1977)

Jerry Goodman & Jan Hammer - Like Children (1974)
Jan Hammer - The First Seven Days (1975)

Sweaty, hard-driving fusion led by saxophonist Steve Grossman. Everyone’s firing on all cylinders, particularly the great Don Alias, whose percussion gives every song a major ass lift.

Track listing:
1. Katonah
2. In It
3. 37 Willoughby Place
4. Enya
5. Inmate Man
6. Relentless Lady
7. This Way Out

Also listen to:

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Hamza El Din - Eclipse (1978)

Utterly mesmerizing sounds from this Egyptian-Nubian musician. Nothing but his voice, oud, and tar. Partially due to his association with Mickey Hart (who produced this and his previous record, the equally great Escalay: The Water Wheel), and partially because he's supremely talented, El Din achieved as great a level of success in the US as one could possibly expect from an Egyptian-Nubian artist with seemingly little-to-no interest in catering to Western tastes. Eternally grateful to him for his music, and to the random yuppie-hippy who years ago sold his entire CD collection at my old work, inadvertently exposing me to this gem.

Track listing:
1. Helalisa (Nubian Song)
2. The Visitors
3. Ollin Azageed
4. Your Love Is Ever Young
5. Mwashah

You might also want to hear:

Monday, July 19, 2021

Dover Trench - Exhibition of Speed (1991)

Killer US thrash metal. Runs the gamut from ambitious, tech-y epics to crossover mosh-bait.

Track listing:
1. Acid Test
2. Trench Death Gestapo
3. Most Holy
4. Married Murderer
5. Punishment (A.S.D.)
6. Forcing House
7. Face Plate Removal
8. Bonecreature
9. America First
10. Friction Burns
11. Lurch
12. The Immortal Few

Also listen to:

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Chicken Bowels - Chicken Bowels (1987)

Japanese puuuuuuunk. 6 songs and 11 minutes of full-tilt, spazzed-out hardcore, plus a yolked chicken.

Track listing:
1. Keep Our Fire Burning!
2. You Live in Dream
3. Real Beauty
4. No Control
5. Lie and Truth
6. Fuckin' Crime


Friday, July 16, 2021

The Three O'Clock - Sixteen Tambourines (1983)

An early gem from the Paisley Underground, i.e. an L.A. band making 60s psych pop by way of 80s pop rock. Apparently some people get annoyed by vocalist Michael Quercio's high-pitched, reedy voice, but I love it; he pretty much just sounds like Susanna Hoffs.

Track listing:
1. Jet Fighter
2. Stupid Einstein
3. And So We Run
4. Fall to the Ground
5. A Day in Erotica
6. Tomorrow
7. In My Own Time
8. On My Own
9. When Lightning Starts
10. Seeing Is Believing

If you like this, try:

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Blood Storm - Pestilence from the Dragonstar (1999)

US black/thrash excellence. Front-to-back annihilation. Why this band doesn't get more love is absolutely beyond me.

Track listing:
1. Wrath and Vengeance
2. Death Thunder
3. The Chaos Magician
4. The Angel Web
5. Sirius Rebellion
6. Successor to the Plague Gods
7. Oruthaaht Xun Xihron (The Intellect Devourer)
8. Nibiru Assassins
9. Invader of Darkness

Keep this pit going:

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Udumbal - Sarcis (1998)

Belarusian experimental raw black metal/ritual dark ambient. The first song starts abruptly with a lo-fi flurry of drum machine blastbeats, tremolo-picked bass, and throaty rasps before dissolving into a chasm of minimal synth, then it's back to the blasting, a bit more synth drone, and it's over. It's a strange, disorienting introduction that sets the stage perfectly for the otherworldly sounds that follow.

Track listing:
1. Pathan
2. Anadinidhana
3. Rudra
4. Apakar
5. Chatal Hujuk
6. Abhitapa
7. Sarcis Lokagarbhagrham
8. Nirdeva

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Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Marc Almond - Violent Silence (1986)

Murderous vocal ballads from the great Marc Almond (Soft Cell). A dark, gothic sonic palette of piano, horror synths, and synthetic orchestral sounds, with Almond's voice echoing front and center. If your only exposure to Almond has been via Soft Cell, you're in for a shock.

Track listing:
1. Blood Tide
2. Healthy as Hate
3. Things You Loved Me For
4. Body Unknown

If you like this, listen to:

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Struggling Harsh Immortals - (2015)

Anthemic, thrash-y Japanese hardcore colored by programmed drums and serrated industrial noise. The brainchild of Katsunori Nishida, who's been in a bunch of notable Japanese punk/hardcore bands. I'm too lazy to do another "new records that I've been listening to" post, but if I did, the new S.H.I. record would definitely be on it.

Track listing:
1. Theme
2. Green Horse
3. Rejection
4. Empty Inside
5. Lucifer Rising
6. Suicide Solution
7. New World Order
8. Enter the Hell
9. Suicide Solution (Dub Version)

Also listen to:

Friday, July 9, 2021

Wally Badarou - Back to Scales To-Night (1980)


Debut solo record from synth/keyboard session man Wally Badarou; I'm not even going to try to start naming all the great artists he's played with. Laid-back, synth-fueled, reggae-tinged lite funk/pop-rock/R&B that's positively perfect for summer nights. Yes, his second album, Echoes, is his masterpiece, but DO NOT sleep on this record.

Track listing:
1. Back to Scales Tonight
2. Sing Me Your Song
3. One Day, Won't Give It Away
4. Dream on the Sand
5. London Town (Instrumental)
6. He Was a Rasta in London Town
7. She Turns Me On
8. Lady Finger Blue (Instrumental)
9. Preachin'

If you like this, listen to:

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Uncurbed - Peacelovepunklife... Andotherstories (1998)

Classic, fist-pumping Swedish d-beat/hardcore. As you can tell from the album cover and song titles, the band's presentation and vibe is very 'punks-is-hippies'; however, the delivery is a whole different story -- it's beefy, ripping, and tight. "A Taste of Tomorrow" and "Forget the Future - Live in the Past" were among the first mp3s I ever downloaded, in 1998, off of some random, extremely primitive punk website. So you can thank Uncurbed and whoever uploaded those files for kicking off my obsession with downloading every piece of music ever recorded.

Track listing:
1. Tomorrow Rebels
2. System Stinx
3. Welfare or Hellfare?
4. Anarchy and Peace (Brothers and Sisters)
5. If I Need I Make!!
6. A Taste of Tomorrow
7. Passed Away
8. Breakout
9. Realize
10. Living in a Squat (So What!!?)
11. Forget the Future - Live in the Past
12. Never Change
13. Celebration to the Losers
14. Liberation Hippies
15. Government Education
16. Party Punx

More like this:

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Leda - Welcome to Joyland (1978)


A really great one-off synthpop project helmed by the great Peter Baumann, under the alias Hacoon Mail. Disaffected, ethereal vocals (courtesy of an uncredited, anonymous female vocalist) drifting over energetic, minimal, precise synth arrangements. Kinda Baumann's Ann Steel Album.

Track listing:
1. Welcome to Joyland
2. Endless Race
3. White Cloud
4. Movin' On
5. City of Light
6. Space Ride
7. Caroussel
8. Future
9. Stardust

Also listen to:

Friday, July 2, 2021

Pierre Bachelet - Pierre Bachelet (1975)

Excellent debut (not counting soundtracks) solo record from Pierre Bachelet. Cinematic, exploratory, romantic, and very horny art rock/chanson -- as you might expect from a prolific composer of scores for French soft porn films.

Track listing:
1. L'Atlantique (Toi, moi et la musique)
2. À longeur de temps
3. Ils y croient tous
4. Avec Satan
5. Hello Darling
6. La connierie
7. L'amour démoniaque
8. V'la le printemps
9. Seulement voilà
10. Petite soeur

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Thursday, July 1, 2021

Anonymous - Inside the Shadow (1977)

West Coast-style 70s rock from Indianapolis. Lovely male-and-female vocal harmonies and acoustic-driven arrangements that undoubtedly harken to the sound of classic Fleetwood Mac, making for a bright, breezy record with shadows in every corner. They truly just don't make 'em like this anymore.

Track listing:
1. Who's Been Foolin'?
2. J. Rider
3. Up to You
4. Shadow Lay
5. Pick Up and Run
6. We Got More
7. Sweet Lilac
8. Baby Come Rising

If you like this, you should listen to: