I like to have excuses for being a lazy sod, and the latest one I've been trying on for size is "too cold to type." There is of course no truth to that notion. I'm not even at one of those "internet cafe" places where they use their hipness (look – putamayo collections and organic free-range shade grown coffee beans) to hide the fact they can't make a good cup of joe for $3.75. I'm a homebody, bravely eschewing the world at large for the comfort of my pajamas (that's how I roll, Holmes). So being a bum is the truth. I keep it real, not right.
Part of my lack of activity here is I've been delving into lots of new and interesting things, and I needed to chew on them a bit (alimentary, my dear Watson). So some quick hits, with the promise of some longer bits on the stuff blowing me away later.
Dalek - Abandoned Language. This is hitting the shelves in a few weeks, and was recommended to me as the kind of "forward-looking" hip-hop I would appreciate. This is not true. This is sadly unmemorable, with mediocre rhymes and humdrum beats. I guess big layers of synths (slowly oscillating washes, bad strings, faux horns and other assorted piddly bits) = novel, in that it is uncommon in the audibly barren post-Neptunes/post-"Get Low" world to bury an MC in a wall of production. But this pretty much blows. Had to dig out some New Kingdom to hear "forward-looking" hip-hop; it still sounds alien after ten years. "Terror Mad Visionary" indeed.
MONO - You Are There. I should like this; slow building instrumental rock, reaching towering crescendos of noise, brittle but hard as are all Albini productions. Yet somehow it just doesn't work – it has no grab, no catch, the repetition just repetition, with no glimmer or hint of an interesting evolution. In the end I hear paint-by-numbers post-rock whatever, which is sort of my general problem with the whole style classified as post-rock; where's the rock? Getting loud or atonal does not equate to "rocking". I do like the Jimmy Page-isms that start nearly every song on here, particularly the first section of the 15 minute "Yearning". Strangely, I am absolutely loving the MONO/World's End Girlfriend collaboration, which I'm sure I'll write about at a later date.
Yob - The Illusion Of Motion. Pick a metal label (stoner/sludge/doom/cheese & onion), and use it to unjustly write these guys off. Heavy-ass riffs, great heaving gobs of bass and thunderous toms, these guys are right up my alley (except for the occasional cookie monster vocal). As I've said before, I'm dipping my toes into metal, and am building my likes and dislikes. I like mudhole stomping tunes, big shitkicker rave-ups and ponderously slow and painful bass-driven drones. Yob tries to have the best of both worlds, alternating song by song from some hellbilly Sabbath blowout to some crazy-ass Tad-on-'ludes Northwestern doom. Sad to hear these guys called it quits, but I'll be getting their back-catalog for sure.
Capricorns - Ruder Forms Survive. More metal, this time from the UK. Not right up my alley, but down a side street I like the looks of. Distinct but full, this mainly instrumental album sounds to me like a sludgier, more interesting Pelican. Less Neurosis, more actually craziness. The tracks are also named for years, and the best title of recent days goes to the epic "1066: Born On The Bayeux".
Noxagt - Iron Point. Is it noise or metal? It's heavy as all get out, with precision drilling for drums, big raging slabs of bass (distorted all to shit with loads of effects), and an equally processed electric viola making all sorts of a ruckus over top, under, around and just plain elsewhere. Instrumental (except for a traditional Norwegian folk song that I think is a band member's grandfather singing; Fiery Furnaces weren't original in that regard either), it is like the noise band Lightning Bolt minus the wanking guitar style. They even do a death metal rave-up, like a glorious mix of Painkiller and Venom. I read that the viola player left and was replaced by a guitarist. I guess I'll have to look elsewhere for my freak-out atonal drone goodness.
Tune in next time, when I promise to not to mention the Police reunion. Consider it the other way of stopping.