yellow eyes - rare field ceiling

Yellow Eyes: Rare Field Ceiling (2019)

I listened to a lot of albums this weekend, mostly classic rock (Grateful Dead’s Live Dead) and modern rock trying to sound classic (Admiral Sir Cloudsley Shovell’s Very Uncertain Times) but it was the cold and somewhat impenetrable Yellow Eyes that got me to stop and think “I should write about this.”  Because Rare Field Ceiling, like all of the band’s other records, has the peculiar trick of frustrating me even as it draws in me into its maelstrom. Continue reading “Yellow Eyes: Rare Field Ceiling (2019)”

New Year, Lists, What’s Ahead: A Miscellany

Been a while since I’ve taken to this site.  In addition to life getting in the way, I grew somewhat disillusioned with the cadence of everything in alphabetical order.  Trying to fit in all the things I wanted to listen to but also making time to repeated listens of every Ben Folds release in sequence got tiring (sorry, Ben).  So I took a step back, focused on the things I wanted to listen to, and just basically enjoyed music. Continue reading “New Year, Lists, What’s Ahead: A Miscellany”

ben folds - way to normal

Ben Folds: Way to Normal (2008)

I wish this was a case of “second verse, same as the first” but the sad reality is I think there was a moment in time where the music of Ben Folds really impacted me, and that time is past.  The music I experienced at the time still holds up and connects me to those moments in time, but Way to Normal feels like it trades too much on the nostalgia of past albums, and beyond a few key moments doesn’t hook with either its music or its lyrics. Continue reading “Ben Folds: Way to Normal (2008)”

ben folds - rocking the suburbs

Ben Folds: Rockin’ the Suburbs (2001)

There’s no way for me to be impartial when it comes to Ben Folds, and specifically his first solo album Rockin’ the Suburbs.  Sorry if that makes me bourgeois or vanilla or uncool.  Ben Folds Five was a huge deal for me finding a way through a lot of feelings of depression and anxiety during my 20s, and the way the songs on this album mirrored so many moments of my inner life was scary.  It’s a huge musical touchpoint for my life, one I can’t listen to without getting emotional. Continue reading “Ben Folds: Rockin’ the Suburbs (2001)”

baptists - bloodmines

Baptists: Bloodmines (2014)

How many seconds into Bloodmines, the second full-length from British Columbia hardcore outfit Baptists did you become aware this was recorded and produced by Kurt Ballou?  It’s unmistakable, and that’s a huge plus if you’re a massive fan of the man’s work as a producer.  If you’re not, I don’t know if anything is going to change your mind here, because this sounds like like any number of hardcore bands recorded under the Godcity banner.  Make of that what you will. Continue reading “Baptists: Bloodmines (2014)”

belus - apophenia

Belus: Apophenia (2017)

The first thing I noticed about Belus was the drumming.  Listen to how the drums practically skip over the melodic black metal riffing on “Chasm,” the opening track of the band’s debut album Apophenia.  It’s a marvel of work, on par with the first time I heard someone like Brann Dailor explode on Remission or even (gulp) Lars play on And Justice for All.  It immediately serves to move Belus apart from what the glut of other melodic black metal bands are doing, and makes Belus one of the best modern US black metal releases in some time.  Continue reading “Belus: Apophenia (2017)”

behold the arctopus - nano nucleonic cyborg summoning

Behold…The Arctopus: Nano-Nucleonic Cyborg Summoning (2006)

Behold Behold…The Arctopus!  See their shimmering and gnarly cacophony of sound as they summon forth nano-nucleonic cyborgs on their EP/later expanded to full release with live cuts Nano-Nucleonic Cyborg Summoning.  If that sounds like a mouthful, well it perfectly encapsulates the music, a frenetic prog/noise/thrash-jazz hybrid instrumental execution courtesy of Colin Marston and Mike Lerner.  Continue reading “Behold…The Arctopus: Nano-Nucleonic Cyborg Summoning (2006)”