Album Review

Halfway Through 2014: Look At All These Killer Fucking Records I Missed

No need to rehash the stuff I’ve already written about with a mid-year best of list. Once a year is plenty. And sometimes (ok all the time) it’s hard to keep up with all the supremely excellent releases that come out. And sometimes it’s easier to just bang out a bunch of mini(ish) reviews all at once so I don’t feel like I’m trapped under a stack of promos that’s ready to cave in on me. So here’s the awesome shit that came out this year (one was originally released on CD last year but put out on vinyl this year so whatever) that I didn’t have time to get around to. Each and every one of these is fantastic enough to have deserved their own individual review but oh well, so it’s likely more than one of these will end up on my year end Top Drone list. And while some of these records have already gotten more than enough coverage elsewhere, they’re all just too good for me to ignore. But I’m sure you’ll be able to find some stuff in here you haven’t heard yet.

Also, if record on here was self released, chances are it’s available for pay what you can on Bandcamp, so get excited.

The technically unranked list of 20 is below the jump so as not to clog up the front page.

 
 

Read the rest of this entry »

Album Review

Halfway Through 2013: Look At All These Killer Fucking Records I Missed

For a variety of terrible reasons, I have a hard time writing about records that didn’t get submitted to me for review. That means I come across tons of incredible shit that I don’t make time for on AGB. A lot of the records in this mid-year roundup fall into that category. Regardless of how I found out about them, all of these are 100% awesome and I’ve been playing the fuck out of each and every one of them.

Also, I have a totally bullshit & ever-shifting line that I try not to cross when writing about records that wobbles between how popular the album/band/label is and how much I love the record. This list is made up of stuff I probably would’ve reviewed if I had the time, but there’s a lot I’ve been jamming hard that was “too big” in my eyes for AGB, lots of high profile metal like Deafheaven, Altar Of Plagues, Inter Arma, The Body, etc, and then there’s stuff like William Tyler’s super bitchin Impossible Truth, which, if it didn’t come out on Merge, I most likely would’ve written it up, but then there’s some that regardless of how much press they get, I can’t help but praise the shit out of them. So those are my half-assed rules and what went through my head when making this list.

There’s a few records on here that might make it onto my year end drone list, so if you’re the gamblin type, start up a pool with your pals and maybe you can strike it rich.

Since this is a pretty big list (28 and unranked) I’ve put everything after the jump so it doesn’t clog up the front page. Here’s hoping you find some in here that you haven’t heard of yet.
Read the rest of this entry »

Album Review

Giles Corey – Giles Corey (Enemies List, 2011)


Giles CoreyBlackest Bile (Enemies List)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


 
I’m a terrible person. I’ve loved this record from day one (and I mean love) which was almost 2 years ago. I got pumped for the video for “A Sleeping Heart” but never followed up with a full review. Plus, I walk past the site where Giles Corey got crushed on my way to work every day (REPRESENT). Anyway, here’s what I should have written long ago.

Giles Corey is Dan Barrett’s solo project, the dude behind Enemies List and half of the immortal Have A Nice Life, this is his Dust Bowl era spectral folk side where he takes on death, the occult, suicide, depression, and supreme heartache, turning terrible shit into the most powerful & amazing music ever. Depressing as fuck lyrics chanted & crooned & shouted like “I’m going to kill myself,” “I want to feel like I feel when I’m asleep,” and “I open up my heart and let it all in and it kills all my love and hope for everyone,” bleeding through everything, reaching soul wrenching depths, rooted in bittersweetness, even evoking some mid century pop/doo wop sounds, his voice the richest imaginable, so pure & raw, layered a hundred times over surrounding himself in a choir of his own nightmares, armed mostly with just an acoustic guitar and percussion that sounds like an oil drum being pounded in an empty warehouse, kicking the hushed intimacy into enormous bombastic anthems, sometimes bringing in some brass for an extra old timeyness, but always perfect, every fucking song is as good as it could possibly be, Barrett’s song writing is unmatched and inimitable. The original release came in a DVD style case bound by rope to a 150 book filled with a crazy fucking story and lyrics and photos and shit. That’s way sold out but for $5 you can still get the download and it includes digital versions of everything except the rope.

There’s a super weird noise/drone/wtf record he put out “designed to induce possession states” called Deconstructionist, a second full length set for this year (on vinyl!) and, awesome news for you New Englanders, there’s a GC mini-tour coming right up. Three shows, (NY, Boston, & Enemies List HQ), all with Planning For Burial on the lineup, and I’m hosting the Boston show. On Saturday, 2/23 at PA’s Lounge with High Aura’d and Ehnahre helping to usher in the new darkness.

CONTEST: Mamaleek Vinyl Giveaway

image via EL blog

MamaleekWake Up, Jacob

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


 
HOLY SHIT THIS IS MY FIRST EVER GIVEAWAY. Kind psyched about that. Always thought about doing it but never had something good enough to give away. So when I accidentally pre-ordered two copies of Mamaleek’s Kurdaitcha, I figured if I was dumb enough to not notice I paid for two, then I wouldn’t miss the money that much. So I said “Fuck the refund, give it away to your awesome readers.” You benefit from my stupidity.

Here’s what’s at stake: One copy of Mamaleek’s brand new, just released by Enemies List, hot off the vinyl presses Kurdaitcha. It’s got some sweet ass gold foil stamping on the front for their logo, it has a full color insert, and the record itself weighs about 10 pounds. Fucking heavyWEIGHT. There were only 150 of these motherfuckers made. Super deluxe stuff coming from Enemies List. And the music on here is fucking INCREDIBLE. I already reviewed it (as well as Mamaleek’s self titled debut), so if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know this shit is for real. Crazy fucking black metal with worldly twisted sounds running through, made by 2 mysterious San Franciscans. It’s beautiful & destructive and totally fucking awesome.

So, how do you go about winning one of these glorious records? Pretty simple. I’m a fan of the haiku, so I want you to write one about Enemies List. I figured not everyone knows about the amazing Mamaleek yet, so it might be hard to write a Mamaleek haiku. But Enemies List is literally THEE greatest record label right now (well, maybe tied with Important) and everyone should fucking worship them. So write an ode to EL in haiku form and email it to me by next Tuesday, May 10 at 6:00 (EST) at justin [at] antigravitybunny [dot] com with the subject “Mamaleek Contest.” I’ll pick my favorite and share it with you dear readers (and maybe some runners up if they’re good enough).

Think you can handle that? I know, the awesomeness is overwhelming. If you need a tip, chill out, grab a pot of coffee, and let the caffeine write the haiku for you. And if you don’t win, fear not, I’ll still think you’re cool, and there’s still a few Kurdaitcha copies left that you should buy.

Video

Giles Corey – A Sleeping Heart

NEW GILES COREY SONG!! That’s all you need to know. Unless you need to know more, in which case…

Giles Corey is Dan Barrett, proprietor of Enemies List and Have A Nice Life wizard, he brings some olde dusty gloom, and in the case of “A Sleeping Heart,” he does so with a lone guitar and depressive as fuck vocals. The video goes back and forth between a bitchin retro car and Dan spilling his guts in a racquet ball court. It’s directed by Justin Donais, the same dude who made the HANL Live At The Stone DVD. The song comes from his upcoming full length debut, which is obviously one of the releases that you should be be as pumped as possible for this year.
 

Album Review

Mamaleek – Kurdaitcha (Enemies List, 2011)


MamaleekWake Up, Jacob

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


 
I legitimately & understandably freaked out over Mamaleek’s self titled debut CD almost 3 years ago. It was brilliant & twisted black metal. For various reasons, I missed out on the second album, which I forever regret, but I’m not letting that happen for Kurdaitcha, their third slab of bestiality. The best part about this is that the inimitable Enemies List is giving it the ROYAL treatment, with a digital pay-what-you-want version that’s out right now (FUCKING DOWNLOAD IT) and a super deluxe vinyl, super thick, full color art with foil imprint and insert. Only $20, only 150 copies, hurry the fuck up.

Mamaleek is made up of two brothers making a terrible & raucous purge from San Francisco. Their black metal is totally original, unlike any other band out there right now. There’s throngs of weirdo fucked up black metal and Mamaleek might be considered part of that, but they do it without being gimmicky, keeping it 100% pure & accessible. Now I’m going to say, “Black metal with strong Middle Eastern elements and world-music instruments” and you’re going to say “WTF fuck that I don’t want that shit in my black metal” and I say “Trust in me, trust in Enemies List, sit down, take 40 minutes out of your life, and have your mind totally fucking blown by Mamaleek’s soon to be patented brutality.”

Kurdaitcha is fucking INSANE. There is so much going on, so many different styles pumping through it. I get a strong video game vibe from “Wake Up, Jacob,” specifically the Birdo fights in SMB2, with that guitar and its tweaking intensity, timing the jumps just right so you land on that goddamn egg. Then there’s fucking Steve Reich piano as the twinkling foundation while drums stutter and religious figures sing Latin hymns, and that’s interspersed between warped buzzing chords and hidden blown out vocals. There’s mostly drum-less black noise tracks caked with industrial static, shrieking feedback, rusted screams, and silent haunted wind, there’s a mournful ballad with plodding drums & cinematic synths, there’s even a sludge pop piece that sounds like they wanna be best buds with Torche.

However they make it, with whatever the fuck they want to throw in there, it’s blistering, engulfing, monolithic, and fucking kvlt as hell. Mamaleek are making their own black metal, copying no one, shocking anyone who gives them a chance. Kurdaitcha is unreal, exceeding my stupidly high expectations for a new Mamaleek record. It’s a destroyer of things, speakers, headphones, faces, minds, and it’s one of the best black metal records I’ve had the honor of listening to.