voivod angel rat full

Voivod: Angel Rat (1991)

Day 14 of the #mayvinylchallenge asks for the album you’ve wither waited the longest to receive, or the longest to be released. I’ve got two albums that I ordered back in November that were supposed to be released and six months later I’m still waiting (though one is due to get here next week). And the longest I’ve waited for something that was already shipped I wrote about last year. So how about an album that took 31 years to get a North American release? I may have already featured it a few weeks ago during my Record Store Day excursion, but it’s always a good time to talk about Voivod, and their beguiling release Angel Rat.

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sunn - life metal

SUNN O))): Life Metal (2019)

Day 10 of the #mayvinylchallenge asks for an album that was a “grower” – something that you didn’t initially respond to but learned to love over time. Rather than a record, I wanted to take a few hundred words to talk about the band I couldn’t wrap my head around for the longest time until circumstance and providence met to change the wiring in my brain. The album was Life Metal, and the band was SUNN O))), sonic explorers of the bowel-earth frequencies. Together with its sister album Pyroclasts, I found a music that could cancel the anxiety and chaos churning in my head.

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dirt redux

Various Artists: Dirt Redux (2020)

Day 8 of the #mayvinylchallenge asks for a concept or cover album. I thought about a concept album, butane remembered the excellent series of Redux compilations put out by Magnetic Eye Records. Featuring interpretations of fantastic album by a killer stable of heavy artists, there are some fantastic cover songs to heard as the series features covers of Hendrix, Sabbath, and most recently AC/DC to name a few. Dirt (Redux) covers the classic second album from Alice in Chains, and it manages the subtle feat of taking such a singular album and carrying its spirit without being overly mimicking.

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ozzy - diary of a madman

Ozzy Osbourne: Diary of a Madman (1981)

It’s Dealer’s Choice for Day 15 of the #mayvinylchallenge, so I clicked “Random” on my Discogs collection and lo and behold: the second solo album from Ozzy Osbourne. It’s easy to understand how Diary of a Madman gets lost in the shuffle of early Ozzy when just a few months earlier Blizzard of Ozz hit us with massive classics like “Crazy Train,” “I Don’t Know,” “Goodbye to Romance” and the stellar “Suicide Solution.” What I find fascinating about Dairy though is how in a few short months to tone already began to change: the songs are darker, heavier, and less commerce minded. Overall it makes for a sinister and great listen.

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howling giant - the space between worlds

Howling Giant: The Space Between Worlds (2019)

Rock is dead. There, I said it. Of course there are plenty of caveats, but the days where rock ruled the radio and modern pop world are gone. So when Day 14 of the #mayvinylchallenge asks to highlight a hidden gem or a band you can’t believe is not huge, well…I can believe it. But that won’t stop me from talking about the stoner rock goodness Howling Giant have been bringing to the table for a while now, and how their first full length The Space Between Worlds shows a band primed for whenever the tables may turn on what is deemed “popular” in music…

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couch slut - take a chance on rock and roll

Couch Slut: Take a Chance on Rock and Roll (2020)

There are a lot of fantastic independent labels I could have spoken about for Day 13 of the #mayvinylchallenge, and if you take anything away from this entry, it’s that you should support the labels that bring you the music you love. So shower some love on Castle Face, Drag City, Touch and Go, Dischord, RidingEasy…in the meantime I went with a small indie label I’ve been subscribing to for three years: Gilead Media. I’ve reviewed a number of their releases over the years for Nine Circles, and today it’s time for a quick word or two on Take a Chance on Rock and Roll, the stellar 2020 release from Couch Slut.

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