Thermal count is rising in perpetual writhing, the primordial ooze of albums continues, and the sanity they lose choosing their favorites of the year. Awakened in the morning, to more ear-pollution warnings…
Now I can only laugh, as I read our epitaph – we end 2023 with cheer, in the light of our Albums of the Year.
On paper, this makes perfect sense. A collaborative effort between Full of Hell and Nothing stand as two of the most creative outliers in their respective genres, and the mission statement of When No Birds Sing (Closed Casket Activities) is to fuse the juxtaposition of their varied sonic palettes. Brace yourself, as Full of Hell is the overpowering force when the album opens.
Helmet are a legacy band, who at over 30 years into their career– albeit with an early 2000’s hiatus– are still very much thought of as a specific, early mid-nineties era band when alternative rock was king. And for good reason, as they are a band who certainly had a huge influence with early Interscope Records such as Meantime (1992) and Betty (1994), providing a sludgy down-tuned version of the more commercial alternative styles of the time.
The hope for a band to “return to their roots” is a phrase that has been thrown around so much in modern music, it has begun to lose its meaning. As with the roots of a tree, a band’s roots are always there, securing the foundation of their sound, no matter how many different directions it may branch out into.
As confessed in the song ‘Volcano Girls’ the seether is clearly Louise Post. Even after stepping out from behind the name Veruca Salt for Post’s debut solo album Sleepwalker (El Camino Media), the DNA of the band can be heard all over this album. The youthful enthusiasm that drove the nineties band still empowers this album, making it clear that she still has it.
Thirteen years later this band from Texas continues to evolve their sound. Now six albums into their career, they have not lost their taste for weirdness as their singer is quick to declare that it is “time to say goodbye to normal people “.
Founding Screaming Trees bassist Van Conner has died. He was just 55. No cause of death has been revealed. The news of his passing was announced in a Facebook post by Van’s brother, Screaming Trees guitarist Gary Lee Conner. You can see Gary Lee’s post below. Screaming Trees was the second band from the Connor brothers, who started as punks and lovers of Psychedelic Rock in the early 1980s, before co-founding Screaming Trees with singer Mark Lanegan and drummer Mark Pickerel. Lanegan died last February at age 57. The band would later become a breakout band from Seattle, in the “Grunge” explosion, along with Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, Mudhoney, Melvins, and more. Screaming Trees album Sweet Oblivion catapulted the band with three hit singles, including “Nearly Lost You” – which was also on the Singles soundtrack, and led to the band touring the world and performing on Lollapalooza. RIP.
Released some twenty-five years into a career that saw them burst out of the east-coast hardcore scene in the mid nineties, Heavy Pendulum (Relapse Records) is Cave In’s seventh album, and is a landmark release for the band who sadly lost their bass player Caleb Schofield to a car accident in 2018. Schofield also provided many of Cave In’s heavier vocals, and his role in the band is assumed by close friend Nate Newton (Converge, Deathriders), and who also has a mean voice himself.
Bizarrely named Long Island quartet Moon Tooth’s new record Phototroph (Pure Noise Records) is a wonderfully eclectic one that mixes many disparate influences into one cohesive, and thoroughly absorbing, whole. From prog, rock, NWOBHM, and grunge to name but a few, Phototroph is a sprawling, unique and engaging offeringContinue reading →
From the very first second of the new cut from A Deer A Horse, I was instantly transported. I was instantly back in high school riding a skateboard and skipping school to check out records with my bros. The tracks presented here are so reminiscent of the good old days of grunge and punk. The angst-driven lyrics; the minimalistic approach. I really got into the tones of the guitar. They are very cool and melodic which gives them their own awesome presence.