Monthly Archives: October 2017

A Deeper Understanding – The War on Drugs

600x600bb-2
Genre: Rock
Format Reviewed: Spotify 320 kbps
Rating: 9/10
Commentary: This is sort of superfluous. The War on Drugs is just writing the best rock albums right now. There’s really nothing more to say about it than that. This album is, maybe, slightly less awesome than 2014′s Lost in a Dream but still absolutely amazing.
More info: here.
Listen: here.

Stitch of the World – Tift Merritt

Unknown
Genre: Folk/Country
Format Reviewed: Spotify 320 kbps
Rating: 8/10
Commentary: This is a remarkable album by an artist that I was previously unfamiliar with. There are 6 albums in the back catalogue, which I haven’t had time to listen to yet. This album is eclectic, but mostly on the subdued side. The best songs include “Heartache is an Uphill Climb” and “Something Came Over Me,” both of which have a strong channelling-Dolly-Parton vibe, but in a way which feels authentic and appropriate.
More info: here
Listen: here.

Guerra de Poder – Calibre 50

BLSpwi5qRc
Genre: Corridos
Format Reviewed: Spotify 320 kbps
Rating: 6.5/10
Commentary: This is a very strong entry from Calibre 50, who’ve gotten very popular recently and have been experimenting with more pop-friendly material. This album is a return to form, and these are really great corridos all of them, without any distracting antics. Nothing special, just a really solid genre album.
More info: here
Listen: here.

The Last Days of Oakland – Fantastic Negrito

fantastic_negrito_cover_sq-3fb69c52c2c34d0478393a246d5ca365e29a6fd8-s600-c85
Genre: Blues/Rock
Format Reviewed: Spotify 320 kbps
Rating: 5.5/10
Commentary: I really like this album, and I’ve seen the performer live as well, which was a great live show. The album was originally released in 2016, but then it won a Grammy in the blues category and so got re-released with new material in 2017. The songs on the album are funky takes on blues tropes, with strong and moving political lyrics, all basically taking the United States to task for being a dumpster fire. The lead singer has fantastic energy and vocal range. There is so much potential here! However, most of the songs suffer from excessive conversational and musical vamping which is ultimately pretty irritating after a few go-throughs. The weakness of the guitar work also become more obvious with repeated listening. Vulgarities and other sophomorisms in the lyrics are not well-executed and strategically ineffective.
More info: here
Listen: here.

Howling, for the Nightmare Shall Consume – Integrity

howling for the nightmare_integrity
Genre: Metalcore
Format Reviewed: Spotify 320 kbps
Rating: 6/10
Commentary: Metalcore is probably my least favorite metal subgenre. Integrity’s been around since the very beginning (decades now) and never really done much for me. This album, however, is worth listening to. For those who aren’t keen on the genre, the first go-through just feels like the usual unpleasant hard work. But on a second pass, the album starts to grow on you. Other than the lead screamer, the entire band has changed over in the last couple of years, and the quality and diversity of the music is much improved over all prior efforts. My overall rating is still affected by my distaste for the genre, but this is the most listen-able metalcore album I’ve run across in a while.
More info: here
Listen: here.

Irreversible Entanglements – Irreversible Entanglements

a3667562036_10_sq-4c626a43fc89360b710f64e5361bb304921ea920-s700-c85
Genre: Free jazz/slam poetry
Format Reviewed: Spotify 320 kbps
Rating: 9.5/10
Commentary: This is the best album I’ve listened to this year so far, and it tops my “how not to be a fascist” play list. Minimalist, free-form jazz with combined with the defiant poetry of Moor Mother (Camae Ayewa). This is an album that requires undivided attention. Listen to it now
More info: here
Listen: here.

The Underside of Power – Algiers

algiers_underside_albumart350
Genre: Post-Punk
Format Reviewed: Spotify 320 kbps
Rating: 8.5/10
Commentary: This album is angry, indignant and another one to add to the “how not to be a fascist” play list. The music, both in tone and content, is will get you off your ass and out in the streets. As an album, it is a bit disorganized and perhaps just a bit too eclectic, but that too seems to perfectly fit our political mood. This is an album coming at precisely the right time. Play it on repeat. It will keep you sane.
More info: here
Listen: here.