Hundred Word Reviews: Split Cranium | ‘I’m The Devil and I’m OK’

split cranium new albumIn which members of burly acts like Sumac, Old Man Gloom, and Converge come together to make burly hardcore.¬†Imagine if Mammoth Grinder’s music was playful and the arrangements were influenced by mescaline, and you’re close. Elements of surf, d-beat, post-punk, and ambient permeate galloping (and catchy) compositions and make them more fun (and more interesting) than standard death-punk, while Aaron Turner attempts to cut through the din with his belch-bark. It’s a silly album title (with a sillier cover), yes. It’s also a lotta fucking fun.

Album Review: Brian Fallon | ‘Sleepwalkers’

Over at Best Fit, I did a short piece on Brian Fallon’s second solo LP, Sleepwalkers.

If you like Fallon’s classic rock worship, you’ll like pretty much anything he’s ever done, including this new record.

Here, he throws in a few new flavors to his Springsteen-isms. It’s not a great album, but at least give the fun lead single “Forget Me Not” a try. That, or you could just check out his slightly superior first album, Painkillers.

Hundred Word Reviews: Fall Out Boy | ‘M A N I A’

mania fall out boy

The worst kind of pop record: one that spends its entire runtime insisting on its greatness instead of actually proving it. Yeah, FOB can still write a killer hook, but it’s buried under Top 40 production with an everything-and-the-kitchen-sink mentality. (That they included the album’s title and one song title in all caps suggests partial self-awareness.) Sure, guitars make an occasional appearance, but their function is less songwriting tool than reminder of their existence. At one point Stump asks, “Are you smelling that shit?” Great question, but you should be looking in the mirror when you pose it.