It’s been a pretty good month for music here at IPTOS Towers, lots of stuff to cause me trouble come end of year list time! Here are a bunch of tunes whose associated albums are well worth a visit (aside from the first one as it’s not out yet so I can’t comment!) and I’m going to start with what might turn out to be my favourite track of the year!
Up to now I’d always pretty much ignored Maynard James Keenan’s Puscifer side project. Although he has one of my favourite singing voices and fronts one of my all time favourite bands, I’d always been put off as they seemed rather puerile, I mean calling your first album “V For Vagina” and doing a comedy song called “Cuntry Boner” was never going to fool people into thinking it was a high brow project! But when I saw a link to their new single “Man Overboard” I clicked on it thinking I might as well give them a chance.
Ten minutes later I found myself clicking “play” again for the third straight time! I don’t think I’ve done that with a song since I was a teenager! Also, seeing as it looks like we won’t see any new Tool material for a while yet, if the upcoming album “Conditions of my Parole” is anything like this single, this will act as a rather awesome stop-gap.
Bringing the tempo right down, the next album has been garnering a lot of praise in the press but on first listen I wasn’t that impressed, but on repeated listens this has really grown on me, a lot. That album is “Burst Apart” by The Antlers;
Bringing the tempo down about as far as it will go now with the rather grandly titled A Winged Victory For The Sullen. Consisting of Stars of the Lid’s Adam Wiltzie and Californian pianist Dustin O’Halloran, they produce an album of glacial, slow moving beauty.
A Winged Victory For The Sullen – Steep Hills of Vicodin Tears
Okay, let’s bring that tempo and volume right back up with the new album from Belfast’s LaFaro. Their second album, “Easy Meat” is an album of pummelling, gritty post-hardcore rock that will appeal to anyone who’s ever enjoyed Reuben, The Jesus Lizard, Therapy? or Motorhead. This is possibly the most visceral, energetic and downright fun album I’ve heard this year!
LaFaro – Sucking Diesel
While we’re in guitar/rock territory it seems a good point to mention the stellar, awe inspiring, jaw dropping, fourth, and if the band are to believed, final album from those nature loving black metallers Wolves in the Throne Room, the album “Celestial Lineage” has been lifting me up and throwing me down, hard for the past week since I got hold of it. This album deserves a proper review so keep your eyes out on these here pages in the next couple of weeks.
Wolves In The Throne Room – Astral Blood
From black metal to electro pop in one easy step – Cold Cave’s album “Cherish The Light Years”. After seeing this in The Quietus’ list of best albums of the year so far I checked it out on Spotify. It reminds me of bands such as The Feint or The Bravery mixed with Patrick Wolf! It’s unlikely to feature that highly in the end of year list but it’s a pretty pleasant listen.
While we’re in electronic territory I will mention Ladytron’s new album “Gravity The Seducer”, so far I have only given this one listen and as such probably shouldn’t really be here but there are a couple of tracks that really stand out on first listen and I feel it might be worth persevering.
Finally I want to mention two albums that I bought on a complete whim last weekend during my monthly emusic spending. The first is “Hearts” by Sweden’s I Break Horses. A nice selection of dreamy shoegazey tunes in a similar vein to Asobi Seksu or Blonde Redhead.
Ah, the beauty of cheap download credits! Unless I had read rave reviews and got personal recommendations from trusted sources I would not usually buy an album without hearing a note of their music and after the success of the previous whim purchase above I was nervous that this one would be a stinker, you can’t get lucky twice in a row can you? Well it turns out you can! Widowspeak produce a sound that has similarities to Mazzy Star or Cat Power with her breathy folky vocals but then on the flipside it also strays into shoegaze territory. Again, I’m only one listen in but her voice makes me want to return!
This track is not on the album but I thought I’d include it as it’s a nice cover version that her voice really works with.
I was going to mention Mastodon’s new album The Hunter but although on first listen it has really pricked up my ears (and I mean really!) I am going to wait until my physical copy arrives and give it a proper listen and review it so watch this space!