I’m guessing I picked up Time Without Consequence after seeing the film Away We Go with my wife. Alexi Murdoch embodies that soft folk vibe Nick Drake chased throughout his career and became huge again thanks to that Volkswagen commercial. So sure, Murdoch is part of a larger movement that for better or worse spearheaded a massive amount of wispy bearded men plucking acoustic guitars and getting record deals, but there’s still a few gems to be had from Time Without Consequence that I can turn to without cringing. Continue reading “Alexi Murdoch: Time Without Consequence (2006)”
If there are better songs in the discography of Al Green I’m unaware of them. That’s not because I think The Absolute Best, a 2-disc compilation ranging the entirety of Green’s stay with Willie Mitchell at Hi Records contains all that is the pinnacle of the man’s career. It’s really (and sadly) because it’s the only music I have from Al Green and everything I’ve heard elsewhere can be found on this compilation. Continue reading “Al Green: The Absolute Best (2004)”
I knew the second the chaos of “Black Messiah” burst from my speakers Antichrist wasn’t an album I was going to come back to. This was a clear case of sequencing killing an album for me. Never mind that the 2007 album from Akercocke was (outside of the opening track) for the most part similar to the progressive death metal I loved on Words That Go Unspoken, Deeds That Go Undone. I had just discovered that there are some bands I didn’t need to follow throughout their career.
And that’s totally okay. Continue reading “Akercocke: Antichrist (2007)”
Oh, fancy lads of Akercocke. You do the dress up thing, you sing of Satan and blasphemy, and you play a beguiling progressive death metal that would make many upstarts weep with jealousy. I am not always taken with you, particularly when you go lower than “large pig swallowing another pig” in your vocal range, but damn if the music on Words That Go Unspoken, Deeds That Go Undone isn’t some of the best death metal in the last 15 years. Continue reading “Akercocke: Words That Go Unspoken, Deeds That Go Undone (2005)”
John Haughm may consider this his least favorite Agalloch album, but Ashes Against the Grain is the album where I fell in love with the band. Sonically more expansive, with an icy sheen that removes most of what could be recognized as black metal in favor of something more post/neofolk/progressive…call if whatever you want, but the album drips with a somber beauty that captures the essence of what Agalloch brought to the genre. Continue reading “Agalloch: Ashes Against the Grain (2006)”
Released about six months after Side One, Side Two finds Adrian Belew in a darker, more contemplative mood. Handling all the instruments himself, the album shows just how formidable Belew is on all fronts: as a composer, instrumentalist, and vocalist. Despite the lack of rockin’ hooks found on Side One find myself much more drawn to the compositions on this release. Continue reading “Adrian Belew: Side Two (2005)”
It’s no secret I’m a fan of King Crimson. What probably is a secret, though, is that I prefer the Adrian Belew era of the band in the 80s and mid 90s-2000s to the earlier (admittedly excellent) incarnations in the 60s and 70s. I’ve been partial to the man ever since hearing him sing “City of Tiny Lights” on Frank Zappa’s Sheik Yerbouti and the live document Baby Snakes. The first time I heard King Crimson’s Discipline I was hooked, and later tracks like “Three of A Perfect Pair” solidified my infatuation with the man’s unique melodic phrasing and percussive proclivities. Side One, the first of three (initially) related solo releases from Belew finds those tendencies in great synchronization with his backing band, which in this case happens to be Les Claypool from Primus and Danny Carey from Tool. Continue reading “Adrian Belew: Side One (2005)”