Japandroids couldn’t rock out more than Celebration, so why try? Within that painted-into-corner view comes the freedom to do whatever they wanted, so they made a fantastic, if slightly over-produced, pop record. Life is also expansive, containing both the band’s longest and shortest songs on an LP to date. Yet it still offers their anthemic nature and sticky melodies. The difference here is the sober analysis in the aftermath Rock’s drunken antics, both musically and lyrically. Both records are fun in their own way: Rock was Friday night with the guys; Life is Sunday on the couch watching football.
Somehow I forgot to add this entry to the series. Oh well.
Anyhow, back in October I wrote about the then-new (and likely final) Dillinger Escape Plan record, Dissociation. It’s fucking fantastic.
The review also has one of my favorite paragraphs I’ve written in a while:
If Dissociation truly is DEP’s final record, they’re at least going out in peak form. Whether this is their best record is a matter of personal taste more than any kind of qualitative argument. This album doesn’t feel so much like the work of a band trying to make a career-high album as much as a band using a great record to remind us why they’ve made so many in the first place. Most bands would love to end on a high note; DEP actually did it.
Extreme music is gonna miss these guys.
It’s fitting RTJ’s website crashed upon RTJ3’s release, considering that’s basically what happened to the country after the election. RTJ2 was the sound of fury incarnate; RTJ3 is the sound of paranoid, what-the-fuck-happens-now chaos. El’s production casts a seasick spectre over the proceedings with an eerie haze coating pulsing, twitching, and seething molotov cocktails whose gravity might pull them apart at any moment. That said, RTJ3 is also further proof El and Mike are the best (and funniest) shit-talkers in the game: “Physical fitness/ Bitch, we run this/ Paraplegics, you don’t run shit”. No record is more essential in 2016.
Wrote about the new Metallica album, Hardwired…To Self-Destruct.
It’s good, not great.
I wrote about English newcomer Cameron AG’s new EP, Homeward Bound.
TL;DR: Good, not great, warm-bath electronic music.
Reviewed the new Beach Slang record for Best Fit.
It’s pretty great, despite the fact that they essentially made the same record as their last one.
Wrote about SUMAC’s second record, What One Becomes.
It’s an interesting, if overly self-indulgent record. Despite having a 17-minute (!) track, it’s worth checking out if you’re into post-metal.
Wrote a review of Left With Pictures’ latest release, Afterlife, for The Line of Best Fit.
It’s a fantastic piece of electronic-based orchestral pop. Check it out, but only after you’ve headed over to Best Fit and read what I had to say about it.
He hired a free-form jazz band. He sings, “Where the fuck did Monday go?”, and sings in the language from “A Clockwork Orange”. He opens the record with a 10-minute mutating pop gem. This is David Bowie making music for himself and all the while giving no fucks. Blackstar may be Bowie’s weirdest album—which is saying something—and it’s easily his best in 35 years. Saying goodbye is certainly a morbid note to leave on, but what a note it is: “I’m not a pop star/ I’m a blackstar”. Indeed your are. Your genius will be missed.