May Music Round-up

Brand New | “I Am The Nightmare”

New year, new single. But no album. It is, however, the most infectious melody Jesse’s written since the Your Favorite Weapon days. The circular guitar riff is both catchy and a roundabout way of calling back to their early days. Given the recent t-shirt they put out, it may also be a signal for the beginning of the end. And ending it on this song wouldn’t be the worst way to go out.

Death Grips | Bottomless Pit

You already know if you will love or hate this. Death Grips are, without question, the most original group of the 2010s, so whatever you think of what DG do is irrelevant. Their biggest strength is the sheer self-belief in their unique brand of audio agitation. That said, whether you prefer this over other records, or find it any more or any less disorenting, depends on your personal taste. Their entire aesthetic is some combination of immaculately produced and curated noise terrorism that oscillates between being more “rap” based and more punk based; Pit seems to lean towards the latter. Nothing here is as striking as “Get Got”, but there are some serious earworms to be unearthed in the madness.

PUP | The Dream Is Over

When you’re the vocalist in a punk band and your doctor tells you that you can’t sing, yell, or scream anymore, the only logical reaction is to do all three louder – hence, TDIO. It’s more immediate and more personal than their debut: Instead of speaking to and about the rest of the world, Patrick Stickles yells and screams to and about his own bandmates – and the way he does it, you’d think they came to blows during recording. That kind of bitching would get old quickly if Stickles wasn’t one of the most Twitter-worthy lyricists in music. Gems like “You wanna know if I’m still a prick?/ Well, I am” and “I’ve been blessed with shit luck/ There’s some things that’ll never change” are found throughout the record’s 31 minutes. This is an end-of-your-rope kind of record, and it’s only their second. I can’t wait to see if they kill each while writing the next one.

Radiohead | A Moon Shaped Pool

Thing about Radiohead is, would these songs matter if they were written and recorded by ANY other band? Or, is the impact and weight of them purely because of who it is? Radiohead has managed to transcend being a band that makes great music through the curation of a seemingly unfuckwithable identity. The songs themselves are almost beside the point – which is unfortunate, because there’s some fantastic material here. Yet, “Do I like this record?” or “Is this record any good?” aren’t the questions you should ask yourself. Instead, ask yourself if you even give a shit.

You can also read my Hundred Word Review of the album.

Hundred Word Reviews: Radiohead | A Moon Shaped Pool

radiohead moon shaped pool

Since Thief, Radiohead’s decision-making has dared fans to stop caring about their music: Surprise releases, pay-what-you-want, using 20-year-old songs, pretentiously “mysterious” announcements, etc. They went from band to brand, and in the process made the release of music more important than the music itself. Whether “Burn the Witch” is among the coolest songs they’ve ever written, or “Identikit” forcefully argues the return of guitar in modern music, or that this record has some of the band’s strongest melodies in a long time is all beside the point. The question isn’t about the quality of Pool, but instead whether it matters.