Uneasy Listening: 04/08/11
What gets us through the work week over here in "Revolver-land," as Lars Ulrich calls it? Hard rock and heavy metal, of course. (And occasionally something a little softer. Hey, you got a problem with that?!) So every Friday we're going to be posting some of the albums that our staff has been rocking over the past week. Maybe you'll find something you like—or at least something to bust on us about.
Editor in Chief
"We're working on a 'nu-prog' roundup story for Revolver, and a shitload of the bands covered in that cite Meshuggah as a primary influence. That inspired me to brush off my copy of the Swedish math-metal maniacs' last album, and damn, it still crushes. 'Bleed' and the title track, in particular, are among the heaviest songs they've ever laid down."
"Godflesh are one of my favorite bands, and as loyal fan, I've followed main man Justin Broadrick into the more mellow territory of his current project Jesu. I've liked a lot of the Jesu shit in the past—the Heart Ache and Silver EPs, and the split with Envy come to mind—but this new one is just boring and doesn't really bring anything new to the formula. Focus on a new Godflesh album, J.K., and bring that band to the U.S. already!"
A Pale Horse Named Death, And Hell Will Follow Me
"The way I consume music is I usually latch on to a particular band or album and listen to it pretty much nonstop for a few weeks until it makes me physically nauseous to hear it again. Two weeks and counting on this one."
Primate, Draw Back a Stump
“Brandon shared this with me because he knows I’m a major fan of Kevin Sharp of Brutal Truth fame. At first I wasn’t too impressed with it. The group—which also features Mastodon guitarist Bill Kelliher—plays kind of sloppy first-wave hardcore. But on that same note, the track that’s making me come around to it is their cover of Black Flag’s ‘Drinking and Driving.’”
Jane’s Addiction, Ritual de lo Habitual
“I’ve lately been pretty excited about hearing the forthcoming Jane’s album—mostly because I hope it’s better than their last reunion album, Strays. As such, I recently revisited Ritual, which was one of my favorite records when it came out. No band since—including Jane’s Addiction—has found the sweet spot between hardcore, metal, reggae, hippie jams, and pop heard here. I’m just happy this still holds up, and I’m cautiously optimistic for their new album.”
Merciless, The Awakening
“One of my all-time favorite death-metal albums. This was the first release on deceased Mayhem guitarist Euronymous’ Deathlike Silence label. It kicks off with a song called ‘Pure Hate’ and only gets more pessimistic. It’s too bad more people don’t know it—this record ranks up their with early Morbid Angel and Obituary releases, as far as death metal goes, plus the lyrics sound genuinely threatening.”
Sucking the ‘70s, Parts 1&2
"This is a great stoner-rock compilation that came out a few years back. Easy concept: Take killer '70s songs like 'Working for MCA' and 'Honky Cat' then make it heavy as shit. Sold! Definitely good driving or sitting on your couch music."
Dead Kennedys, Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables
"The DK’s first and arguably their best record. Spy guitars, manic rhythms and Jello’s enraged vocals still sound as fresh today. Why aren’t bands this upset anymore? There’s way more bullshitty political things going on now… Speaking of bands that need to come back and get super angry…"
Rage Against the Machine, The Battle of Los Angeles
"This is their last record of original music and it is much more accessible and crushing than I originally remember it. Nice to dust off some old records and hear some real hidden gems like the songs found here. Maybe in some weird alternate universe Rage and the DKs can play a double bill together…"
The Ruts, The Crack
"I could probably list this one for most weeks out of the year. One of the best punk records ever? Without a doubt."
Wire, Pink Flag
"Saw them live at the Bowery Ballroom on Wednesday night and have been listening to Pink Flag ever since...mainly because I didn't hear any of it on Wednesday."
Queens of the Stone Age, Rated R [Deluxe Edition]
"What more needs to be said about this one than: 'Nicotine, Valium, Vicodin, marijuana, ecstasy, and alcohol'? I'll tell you what: 'C-c-c-c-c-cocaiiiine'"
Smashing Pumpkins, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
"They are the best alternative band to come out of the '90s. Better than Nirvana, better than Pearl Jam. 1979? Yes, please."
The National, High Violet
"I'm a bit late to this album, but better late than never. Stroke my inner hipster."
Mineral, The Power of Failing
"Because my pussy hurts."
Guns N' Roses, Use Your Illusion I
"I was madly in love with Slash as a child..xoxoxo."
Black Dahlia Murder, Miasma
"Love this album!!! I'm shocked that someone who looks like Trevor can sound like this."
Metallica, Garage Inc
"My favorite cover ever is 'Whiskey in the Jar.'"
Bloodlet, The Seraphim Fall
"Been a huge '90s hardcore kick this week! A lot of Deadguy, Kiss it Goodbye, noisy stuff! But Bloodlet were such a different brutal band, techy, evil, intense, and just kind of weird. I loved the previous album, Entheogen, and was initially thrown of by the production of The Seraphim Fall. But it’s a great record, stands up still!"
Tombs, Path of Totality
"New record out this June, angry, noisy blackened metal with some great dark almost gothic parts, but still with a New York hardcore attitude. Best record they have done. On this release, they really come into their own!"
Graveyard, Hisingen Blues
"I'll be honest, I did not think I was going to like this record. I love a lot of the '70s metal/rock throwback stuff like Witchcraft (also from Sweden), Witch, and Blood Ceremony, but just kind of thought the new Graveyard record was going to be 'meh.' But it's great: awesome production, great songs, memorable melodies, and great playing and still heavy."
Deathspell Omega, Paracletus
"I'm not a huge black-metal fan, but these French dudes do it different. It's like if Gojira went black metal."
Alban Berg, Wozzeck
"I saw this atonal Austrian opera at the Met on Wednesday. Unbelievable music. It drips with unsettling atmosphere."
"After Wozzeck, I had this weird urge to listen to Behemoth. Both seem to blend dissonance and sensuality so well."