Marilyn Manson – The Pale Emperor

Marilyn Manson releases one of his most personal and a intimate records yet with The Pale Emperor.

Panda Bear – Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper

With redundant instrumentals and forgettable vocal melodies, much of the new Panda Bear record is too drab for words.

Sleater-Kinney – No Cities to Love

Sleater-Kinney is back with a new record after ten years of studio album silence.

Viet Cong – Self-Titled

Viet Cong picks up the pieces left in the demise of Women, and pulls together some great–but very similar–material on their self-titled release here.

Death Grips – Fashion Week

Death Grips builds up to the release of it’s supposedly final album with an LP of instrumentals.

Hypercolor – Self-Titled

Hypercolor is a NYC trio making its self-titled debut on “downtown” figurehead John Zorn’s Tzadik imprint later this month. Unsurprisingly, the threesome comprised of guitarist Eyal Maoz, bassist James Ilgenfritz, and drummer Lukas Ligeti (all of whom are accomplished composers and improvisers) delivers the label’s trademark brand of controlled improvisation. However, the band’s deceptively simple setup proves to be another welcome take on Zorn’s “game piece” mentality; the result a work of spastic jazz-rock that courts entropy for the entirety of its playtime. This act is aptly named – Hypercolor will likely be among the most vibrant  blasts of rock music this year.

Look out for this thing, due to drop 15 January via Tzadik.

Brian Chippendale and Greg Saunier – Brian Chippendale and Greg Saunier

Of all the team-ups and collabs in recent memory, this has to be among the most chaotic, noisy and boisterous of them all. Greg Saunier and Brian Chippendale are two drummers behind some of the more experimental punk bands of the late 90′s and early 2000′s, namely Deerhoof and Lightning Bolt. They are regarded as formidable musicians in their own rights, as well as being close friends.

The above album is effectively a half hour of two men playing drums as hard and ferocious as they can, dipping and feeling each other’s style for volume and rhythm dynamics, using each other’s energy to build and drop in crescendo after crescendo of drive, power, and skill. Recommended for anyone into free-improvised percussion music. And if you have time, watch the documentary Checking in at 20, which is paired with the album. It gives some fascinating insight into the two drummers and the project.

- Fin Worrall

 

DOS4GW – Suiside B

DOS4GW is an underground beatmaker that has been consistently blowing my mind since 2007. The dark, fierce, electronic noise that has been emanating from his bedroom for the past few years has grown more varied and more interesting with each project, so naturally this new album, Suiside B, is pretty exciting. Slightly reminiscent of Tobacco and BMSR, the album is as mottled as it is expansive, with overdriven metallic waves broken up by steady beats, drum-and-bass punctuation, and trippy fluorescent crescendos. Check it out above and enjoy!

Suiside B is out now via Smokers Cough.

- Fin Worrall

D’Angelo and The Vanguard – Black Messiah

After 15 years of studio album silence, D’Angelo returns with a fantastic comeback record.

Unsacred – False Light

The Richmond, VA-based trio Unsacred have just released their debut LP on Forcefield Records, and you can stream it in full above.

While the band channel a few different styles of heavy music throughout the album, they don’t really blend them together as much as transition back and forth between them. Although the music is at once identifiable as black metal, moments of crust-punk and hardcore flit in and out of each track. This stylistic variation is mostly achieved via the drumming, often trading astonishingly rapid blast-beats for more mid-tempo punk cadences, with the occasional D-beat gallop thrown in. Staying consistent throughout are the tortured, throat-full-of-nails vocals and the menacing, sepulchral guitar riffs (which sometimes feel straight out of the Watain playbook). The record as a whole can sometimes feel a bit repetitive, but it’s fun to get a Trash Talk vibe one moment, and hear echoes of Dark Funeral the next.

You can purchase the LP from Forcefield Records here.

-Tom Fullmer