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

 

Foo Fighters – Sonic Highways

Foo Fighter’s match this album’s ambitious concept with some generally uninteresting songs.

Wu-Tang Clan – A Better Tomorow

The latest Wu-Tang record defies expectations, featuring even weirder experiments and hooks than the polarizing 8 Diagrams. Still, it should please at least some hardcore fans.

Big Blood – Unlikely Mothers

Psychedelic and prolific folk rock outfit Big Blood have recently released their second album this year, and you can stream it via the widget above. The title of this thing: Unlikely Mothers.

It’s a double album that features a series of long, patient, and droning psych folk dirges that are both eerie and gorgeous. The album’s cover art and concept directly reference the aunt and mother of frontwoman Colleen Kinsella, both of whom were nuns during Vatican II; however, Colleen’s mother left to pursue other things–you know, like being a mother.

While some of the tracks–and this record, generally–feel unnecessarily long-winded, there’s something twisted and alluring about the nine songs here.

Check a review for an older Big Blood album here.

Kemialliset Ystävät – Alas Rattoisaa Virtaa

It is pretty much impossible to classify the music of Finnish collective Kemialliset Ystävät. I might say its style is kind of psychedelic, appears to be predominantly electronic, and has exotic elements, but half the time I can’t even tell what is generating the sounds on latest album Alas Rattoisaa Virtaa: Live instrumentation? Sampling? Synthesizer? Voice? You could say it is a mash-up of world music (particularly from the Far East), krautrock, chiptune, and plunderphonics, but in the end I’m not comfortable isolating any one of those (micro)genres. Ultimately, Alas Rattoisaa Virtaa is sui generis – the style is Kemialliset Ystävät’s alone.

The result is an ironically whimsical experience. Alas would be the perfect soundtrack for a Hayao Miyazaki movie – images of Spirited Away and Porco Rosso filled my head, well before the oinking pig samples that come in at the end of the clap-led centerpiece “Vettä Yarahille.” A few more of my favorite moments are the initially boisterous and later moody “Arkistorotat/Risuilla Täyteyssä Salissa,” the clanking and marching “Naderbux & Sundergrund,” and the ethereal “Hetkinen,” which I swear sounds exactly like part of the Spirited Away soundtrack. I wish I could, as usual, lay down a bunch of interesting genre descriptors to posit an idea of the aesthetic and pique your interest. But I hope my inability to do so for this LP will have the same enticing effect. I’ll try one last film allusion: if there were a Studio Ghibli-produced adaptation of The Wizard of Oz, this would be the score.

- From my joint Ultima II Massage Alas Rattoisaa Virtaa review for The Arts Fuse

Ghostface Killah – 36 Seasons

With 36 Seasons, Ghostface Killah tries to recreate the same narrative-based formula he worked with on his last album, but with only a portion of the appeal.

The Wytches – Annabel Dream Reader

Fusing surf rock, horror punk, and lo-fi garage, the new Wytches album is an electrifying experience.