Flying Lotus – “Masquatch” ft. DOOM

Flying Lotus’ production on his new single “Masquatch” is a seemingly slowed down iteration of his production on his most recent album “You’re Dead!” The stomp, the rattle, and the wonderfully organic feel are all present. My mind wanders to a desert scene with wind sifting through the limbs of a 1,000-year-old dead tree.

At a slower tempo, however, FlyLo’s production loses its frantic mania and instead co-opts a deeply menacing face. The synths that hang over the production and occasional jazz noodling take on their full spiritual effect, now being used only sparsely. As far as DOOM’s performance on the song, it is a little too low in the mix to be heard clearly. Not only is it overshadowed talent-wise by FlyLo, it is sonically overpowered. His delivery’s weird placement in the mix at times enhances the song, however. With his audibility surging and receding in a similar manner to the beat, he magnifies the song’s disorienting qualities. This slower direction is one that I feel that FlyLo should flesh out more in the future, whether in singles or on a full length, and if collaborating with DOOM will lead him to do that then I’m looking forward to more collaborations between them.

- Garrett Cottingham

Guerilla Toss – “367 Equalizer” (Video)

Often, Guerilla Toss is revered as one of the noisier, more comprehensive American punk bands, with screeching vocals and wide instrumentals that makes up for what it lacks in melody with drive, energy and chaos. “367 Equaliser” is the comparatively quite friendly track, released earlier this year, which now features a music video that is as bizarre as the song is groovy (which is a lot). The drumming is relaxed, the bassline is funky, the singing is more controlled than usual, and overall the song seems to have been more thoughtful and direct, which a big change for a band whose bassist usually likes to take his pants off on stage. The video features moving animations which often mesh and weave into the next. The animations themselves are basic and totally abstract, which lends to the independent art idea that I think they set out to achieve. The song and video are a subtly well thought out combination, and is certainly a league above the previous attempt for the track “Drip Decay” in 2013. Perhaps the group are channelling their creativity more towards the art side than the punk in their widening genre spectrum – but either way, the results are interesting.

- Fin Worrall

Marilyn Manson – Third Day Of A Seven Day Binge

Dark and dramatic, the new Marilyn Manson track isn’t bad at all, surprisingly. Considering how much of a let-down his last album was, I–like many–thought Manson’s best moments were well behind him on albums like Antichrist Superstar. However, with this new single of his, there’s a glimmer of hope that he might pull through on his upcoming full-length titled The Pale Emperor.

What makes “Third Day Of A Seven Day Binge” so appealing is its dreary melody and organic rock instrumentation. The guitars sound and feel much more natural and dynamic than they did on much of Manson’s 00s output, and it really enhances his relentlessly depressing moans.

Some of the song’s top comments on YouTube liken the music to that of Bowie and Nick Cave, and I have to wholeheartedly agree. It’s nice to see Manson wearing his influences on his sleeve a bit more at this point in his career. If I recall correctly, Born Villain even had a few post-punk-y moments on it, which I dug a lot.

All I’m saying is we’ve got a pretty good song here, and a reason to have faith in rock’s last major figure of controversy again.

Sun Kil Moon – “The Possum”

Stream: Sun Kil Moon – “The Possum”

After all that War On Drugs business, it’s nice to hear Mark Kozelek taking SKM back into less controversial territory with this new single titled “The Possum.” It’s a nine-minute cut that, like much of the material on Benji, focuses on life’s little learning experiences. This particular one involves an injured possum and a Godflesh concert. Mark tries to match the ferocity and excitement of the situation with straining, impassioned vocals and a steady drum beat from Steve Shelly. However, that’s just the first third of the track.

The song shifts from one mournful guitar passage to another in its final moments. It would seem as if the concert served as a fun distraction from what would otherwise be Mark’s uneventful movie binges. Then his mind drifts back on the possum walking his last walk, and Mark reflecting on youth and old age.

It’s certainly an interesting track, and tackles a lot of familiar themes with an even more ambitious approach to structure.

Dead Neanderthals – Prime

Get ready for the most pummeling 40 minutes of music in 2014.

Prime is the latest release from Holland jazz trio Dead Neanderthals, and the band pulls absolutely no punches on their album posted above, which is just one immense free jazz track. It’s a wild and overwhelming listen, and not for the faint of heart. Enjoy!

Black To Comm – Self-Titled

Black To Comm is the experimental music project of sonic adventurer Marc Richter. Since the mid-00s, Marc’s been dropping loads of albums, splits, and even he even released a Scott Walker-esque video installation soundtrack back in 2012. However, Richter is bringing the project back to its roots on this new self-titled release, venturing through the sounds of ambient music, drone, and tape music as well.

The soundscapes on this album are dense, creative, and difficult to penetrate. Some are more minimal or abrasive than others, but all are simultaneously beautiful and intriguing.

elvis depressedly – “n.m.s.s” (Video)

Elvis Depressedly is a musical trio fronted by moody minstrel Mat Cothran. A few years ago I was praising his melancholy compositions via a different pseudonym: Coma Cinema. The transition from one name to another has been far from night and day. Cothran’s songwriting and recording style has remained roughly the same; however, I’d say this new Elvis Depressedly song is still worthy of your attention.

The distant vocal melody and calming string accompaniment on “n.m.s.s” fit really nicely against the song’s gentle acoustic guitars and ambient synthesizers. The song is emotionally gripping, but sonically relaxing at the same time.

Look for this track and others on the forthcoming Elvis Depressedly album titled New Alhambra. It’ll be dropping via Run For Cover Records in 2015.

[edit: Some of my Twitter followers are telling me that, in fact, Coma Cinema is not dead. I guess Mat brought the project back without me being aware of it. Yay.]

Faith No More – “Motherfucker”

Famed alternative metal band Faith No More has just announced the latest in a string of comeback albums by bands whose artistic relevancy peaked in the 90s. The LP hasn’t been titled yet, and is currently being recorded in the band’s home state of California.

A lot has happened since Faith No More disbanded in the late 90s–frontman Mike Patton has been especially prolific–but the band comes together as if no breakup had happened in the first place on this new track titled “Motherfucker.” This cut reads more like a movie trailer than it does a sweet, concise single, which is absolutely fine. The song features an ominous introduction with some pretty dismal lyrics from Patton, and the instrumentation slowly builds until we reach a loud, boisterous, and anthemic ending in the last quarter.

Not a bad return at all.

Iceage – “Against The Moon” (NSFW Video)

One of Denmark’s greatest noise rock bands goes baroque punk on the track “Against The Moon,” which you can catch on their latest full-length album Plowing Into the Field of Love, which is out now via Matador.

The band saw fit to tag some Martin Masai Andersen & Kim Thue-directed visuals to the track, and they’re an esoteric exploration into sexuality, age, and regret. Or, well, at least that’s how I interpret it anyway.

A Place To Bury Strangers – “Straight”

New York’s A Place To Bury Strangers has announced a new album for 2015, and they just dropped the first single, and it’s titled “Straight.” This is one of the most ferocious noise rock bands on the East Coast, and they live up to that reputation with rumbling distortion, squawking guitar feedback, and a driving bassline.

While the band’s last record seemed a little distant and underwhelming, this new single sound up close and personal, which is just the way I like it.

Look for the new A Place To Bury Strangers album, Transfixation, via Dead Oceans on February 17th.