Sunday, October 26, 2014

Night School - Heart Beat (2014)

Genre: Indie Pop, Dream Pop
Country: United States

Night School is another side project from an ex-member of Whirr. I suppose if you really liked Alexandra Morte's vocals (Whirr vocalist for Pipe Dreams) and enjoy some catchy and bubbly songs, then this would appeal to you. It has some shoegaze undertones but don't expect anything beyond the influence because it's a little more than that plus the vocals aren't completely drowned in reverb this time around. Most Whirr-related side projects have been solid so far and this nice little EP hasn't broken that pattern.


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Whirr - Pipe Dreams (Redux) (2014)

Genre: Shoegaze
Country: United States

Nothing too different from this and the original version but I think that the slight differences make a noticeable difference. There's no annoying hissing sound like in the buildup to "Wait" and the in "Reverse". The guitars seems a bit louder which helps bring out the vocals drowned in reverb. The most important difference is definitely the tracklist. Reverie serves as an interlude between "Bogus" and "Wait" which actually sounds better in execution than in theory while "Hide" becomes the closer. There seems to be a better balance between the faster and more energetic songs with the moodier songs on both ends of this album which works in its favour since I though Pipe Dreams was a little bit all over the place. Either way, both versions are solid but I think it's best to go with the redux over the original.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Carved Cross - III (2014)

Genre: Raw Black Metal
Country: Australia

For all "raw black metal" may imply, it is still not an apt descriptor for Carved Cross: "near unlistenable" is far more appropriate. Simply put, many of you won't enjoy this - that's the point. Carved Crosses music is not meant for those tip-toeing around black metal's depths, but those who have already taken the figurative plunge. This may come off pretentious and enormously elitist- I assure you that is not my intent. You see, to appreciate black metal of this caliber requires not only patience, but a desire to explore the truly abrasive. For those who have taken the time to understand, Carved Cross' 2014 release is an excellent example of the genre in its bleakest hour. Most of black metal's traits already make it thoroughly unenjoyable for the majority: Carved Cross takes what would arguably be the most grating of these characteristics (production, repetition, minimalism) and make them the focus of their third demo. Even seasoned raw black metal listeners will have trouble stomaching the "no-fi" aesthetic this release so heavily adheres to. However, as it usually works with raw music, the production inevitably works in its favor, perpetuating the atmosphere to reach euphoric heights. In the opening track "Only Hope Offers Disappointment", as simple guitar progressions coalesce into wintry ambiance, it's hard not to get lost in their swells of melody and dissonance. The two are one here, helping to fully realize the hypnotic standard the group was undoubtedly aiming to achieve. Carved Cross have carved themselves -pun intended - a niche in the underground black metal community, partly thanks their aforementioned penchant for raw production values, but also the use of repetition as a foundation for their sound. "Intertwined Emotions of Joy and Grief" is the greatest offender of that device here, but like Burzum, Darkthrone, or numerous other black metal greats, one of Carved Cross' greatest strengths is their ability to utilize the potential in repetitive structuring. The song is harsh and minimalistic, but memorable as well. Traversing through punk and traditional black metal influences, it's the dichotomy between the simplicity of the former, and the epic nature of the latter, that keeps the track entertaining despite its best efforts not to be. This Australian trio creates black metal at its most inaccessible, and they do it very well. Demo III is easily the group's most refined release to date, yet it sacrifices nothing in the way of quality, or aesthetic. After two years of creating blasphemous racket, Carved Cross have finally begun to gain recognition, not through a softening of their approach, but consistently delivering tortured music without compromise. As internet culture progresses, more and more unwitting metal fans take a path that will eventually plunge them into the darkest music the world has offer; there they will find Carved Cross.

Nocturnal Emissions for the Blackline Elite

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Mr Twin Sister - Mr Twin Sister (2014)

Genre:Dream Pop
Country: United States

I've been on a huge dream pop kick lately, and Long Islander's Mr Twin Sister has really been hitting the spot. Rarely has the genre been portrayed in such a sexy, sultry way; Andrea Estella's alluring, smokey vocals perfectly compliment the music that juxtaposes disco guitars with sleek 80's bass-lines and hints of electronica. The production is amazing, creating a veil of haziness that supplements the instrumentation into creating a trance-inducing atmospheres. This is definitely an album best enjoyed while relaxing, head back and eyes closed.

Unfortunately, I couldn't procure a download link, but this album is too good to go unheard, so here is the Pitchfork(ew) stream: In The House of Yes

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Dropdead - Discography (1994)

Genre: Powerviolence, Hardcore Punk
Country: United States

This album is probably one of the more furious and fast albums I've ever listened to. These guys play some extremely fast hardcore considering how many songs are below the fifty second but it's incredible how satisfying it is regardless. This contains stuff that aren't on their full-length albums (which are also well worth your time) so you get the splits and the EPs which are all essential. Anyone interested in this type of music will end up satisfied with this album.