Black Duck can best be described as a supergroup featuring as it does key members of the Chicago music scene such as guitarist/bassist Douglas McCombs (Tortoise, Eleventh Dream Day), guitarist Bill MacKay (Broken Things, Sounds of Now), and drummer Charles Rumback (Colorlist, Leaf Bird). I confess to only really being familiar with McCombs due to his involvement in those bands who I’ve listened to for a number of years and hence why my interest was peaked when selecting this album for review purposes.
Helen Money, aka Alison Chesley, is a cellist who has worked with some pretty heavy hitters in the alternative/underground scenes including Jarboe, Bob Mould, Steve Albini, and Neurosis. In addition to these, she has also released music as part of the band Verbow and as a composer for film, theatre, and dance.
When it comes to describing 93696 (Thrill Jockey), the latest album by Liturgy, one could just as well start by describing what this album is not. It is not a record to easily put on in the background and definitely not a go-to if you want to reduce your anxiety. Pretty much the opposite is true. This is a record screaming in your ears for attention, that induces anxiety all along the way.
Big|Brave, along with recent collaborators The Body (on Leaving None But Small Birds), Sunn O))) and Earth, are one of those bands whose music while fundamentally heavy and ‘Metal’ (for all intents and purposes) nonetheless expands far beyond the sometimes self-imposed conservative restrictions of the genre. Being a somewhat inactive member of a Metal group on Facebook, I am all too familiar with the more traditional brand of Metalhead for whom the genre stopped being ‘true’ after Iron Maiden‘s Somewhere In Time or Metallica‘s …And Justice For All. If you are of that ilk therefore, I have a sneaking suspicion that this album possibly won’t be for you.
Judging by the name, Oozing Wound should be a run-of-the-mill Death Metal outfit with all of the daft connotations that come with the genre. Thankfully the band is signed to the excellent Thrill Jockey Records, so safe to say this is not the case. What it does demonstrate, however, is a band not afraid to annoy overly serious music journos like me, and artists are supposed to stick it to the man, who in this case would be me. Ahem.
Following their 2020 Grave of a Dog debut which happened to feature a certain Kristin Hayter (Lingua Ignota), Sightless Pit (duo Lee Buford of The Body and Dylan Walker from Full of Hell) return (sans Hayter) with sophomore release Lockstep Bloodwar (Thrill Jockey).
Does your office or day job have that one annoying guy who wants to talk about heavy music with you because he noticed your Iron Maiden patch on your backpack? You know the guy. He’s the dude who keeps telling you about how he saw Disturbed at Ozzfest 2001 and regales you with tall tales about his exploits in the “mosh pit.” Well, next time he approaches your desk and asks what you’re jamming to do yourself a favor and throw on The Body’s latest collaboration (this time with OAA), Enemy of Love (Thrill Jockey). You’re welcome.Continue reading →
Metal, for all its anti-establishment credentials, can often be quite conservative. Many of the same old tropes have been rolled out again and again for the past four decades or so. Whilst that’s not a major problem for many metal fans, it is arguable that the same recycled ideas just don’t have the same impact that they once did. What once seemed impossibly heavy, deafeningly loud, even shocking or transgressive, can now be played on mainstream radio without anyone raising an eyebrow.
The Body have announced a new album, due out in January of 2021. I’ve Seen All I Need To See will release on January 29th, 2021 via Thrill Jockey, and the group has shared their sick new single, “A Lament”. The album is also live to pre-order now! Typically, their albums feature a bevy of guests, but this album is just the core due on every track. Sure to be one of the most talked-about albums of early next year, jam “A Lament” right now. Continue reading →
Big time artists do big-time things, at big times, to paraphrase my favorite sports analogy. 2018 is shaping up to be a crazier time in the world than ever, full of chaos, and special kind of hubris that fuels the mania. Art is typically a reflection of society, and for me personally, I have been clinging to art in a vain attempt to help save my own life in this tumultuous time. One of those artists giving me life has been underground supergroup SUMAC, with songs as big as the all caps in their name. Turning in yet another massive release with Love In Shadow (Thrill Jockey), the band peels back the curtain on this undercurrent running through all of us and shows us the glorious ugliness many choose not to see.Continue reading →