Uncommon music criticized by the common man. (Or, exercises in futility masquerading as critical thought.)

Friday, June 17, 2005

Listen up, hipsterati. You've been put on notice.

Actually, I agree with this sentiment, snarky thought it may be. In the rush to emulate the British music press, too many critics choose hyperbolic proclamations rather than actual criticism in order to sell the merits of a band. Why evaluate the place of an artist within the great musical continuum (or even their own body of work) when you can just shill with the fervor of a three-handed onanist?

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Another one that flew by my radar: Orthrelm's OV. I'm going to go out on a limb, and I don't think it's much of a stretch, and guess that this disc will be awesome. For those unfamiliar with the dynamic duo, Orthrelm play instrumental (guitar and drums) music that seems to occupy some region in the Venn diagram of music between improv and heavy metal, even though their music is actually 100% composed. Truly scorching musicianship that seems to defy human ability. Or, to put it simply, these guys fuckin' shred, man.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Just wanted to say a brief word about a few recent acquisitions:

Pitbull M.I.A.M.I.: This is a nice album. Not surprisingly, the Lil Jon produced tracks are the better ones. I need to listen to it a bit more, to be fair, but that's my assessment so far. What gets lost in Lil Jon's "colorful" personality (thanks in large part to the whole Chappelle's Show bit) is that the man can produce a certified club banger.

Meshuggah Catch ThirtyThree
Strapping Young Lad Alien

I just picked those two up tonight and have only listened to each once, so obviously this is just a first impression: both albums are great. At the moment, I like the SYL album more, simply because it feels more immediate. I will say, I was expecting it to be a lot more brutal and relentless, but Devin Townsend and company have given the music some breathing room, particularly with the near shoegazer-y "Two Weeks", which makes the pummeling sections even more bruising. Plus, Gene Hoglan is a god behind the drums. He's called "The Atomic Clock" inside the CD booklet and boy is that the truth. Even the last track, "Info Dump", which is 11 minutes of mostly noise and static-y feedback, is oddly compelling, though not anything I'd put on repeat.

The Meshuggah disc is also good, but different to my ears. This is because I have only recently become a fan and have gone from the harder edged Chaosphere to this disc. From what I've read, this direction has been in the making over the last few releases. Once again, I hear traces of Helmet in this album, but in a less obvious way. As a matter of fact, there seems to be a lot more going on here than on the other disc. The music feels more nuanced and the bass sounds more prominent, giving the albums more texture and heft.

Passed over tonight: the new NIN disc and the collection of Isis Oceanic remixes. Next time, probably.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Here is a much more coherent and knowledgeable review of the Brotzmann Chicago Tentet performing live in Philadelphia the night after I saw them here in D.C. I'm not sure if I would be as effusive if I had the writing skill to match (though, I think Parker's prose is a little overboard at times; still I respect the enthusiasm). I can't believe I forgot to mention the slide saxophone that Gustafsson played. That was pretty wild.