Quarter 3 was ridiculous. An embarrassment of riches was bestowed upon us, particularly in the shape of hard, rough, dark, filthy, fast, out of control music. This short list is chock full of it. There are many more left off that we could’ve substituted in order to have more variety, but when it comes down to it, these were the sounds of the summer, and this summer rocked hard.
Smote Reverser by Thee Oh Sees
What more can I say about this band who continues to slowly morph into this fluid prog-psych rock n’ roll machine. In my head I see John Dwyer and Ty Segall constantly trying to one up each other and if I’m being honest, if I had to survive on their catalogs alone I could easily do so. Smote Reverser ended up really hitting the spot for me and is something I can enjoy on plush headphones in the gym or getting high and going for a scenic car ride taking in all that mother nature has to offer. – Apache Slomo
Ordinary Corrupt Human Love by Deafheaven
The fourth album from one of the best and most important bands currently doing it surely did not disappoint. They found ways to push the envelope even further with this effort, continuing the separation from their contemporaries and what is expected of a “metal” band. This is a one of a kind album from a one of a kind band and it feels timeless already.
Burnt Sugar by Gouge Away
Coming on like a perfect mix of Jesus Lizard and Fugazi this Florida band knows what they want. On Burnt Sugar they soak up the rays and cook off the fat of the aforementioned bands and cherry pick the parts that get them off. The first time I heard them I said ok, a female fronted Metz, we need this! The rhythm section is fucking air tight and it doesn’t hurt that they tapped the right people to record this one. For me, Gouge Away have just creeped into a list of female fronted bands that take absolutely no prisoners such as White Lung, Screaming Females and the Coathangers! – Apache Slomo
Dance on the Blacktop by Nothing
Nothing has a sound that they have been honing in on with every album they release, and with Dance on the Blacktop, it feels like they are getting very close to perfecting it. Shiny guitars slowly swirling and building a wall of sound out of the darkness with lyrics about dying, and about living, and about being on the edge of both make this an interesting listen over and over again.
Joy as an Act of Resistance. by IDLES
It is a great pleasure to introduce you to IDLES as they are indeed the future of post punk. A modern day amalgam of the best the genre has to offer. When they first popped on the scene reading through their list of influences was quite inspiring as it was a lot of state of the art hip-hop, jazz and speed metal. Usually when I see things that I say ok this band is going to fuck with the formula and on Joy as an Act of Resistance they go straight for the jugular. Basically a post punk Faith No More if you will, I can’t wait to see what they do next! – Apache Slomo
We Already Lost The World by Birds In Row
Sometimes it’s truly great to be able to shout along to the music and feel like you’re losing control of yourself for a moment. There are a wide variety of hooks tucked away in this album that pop up without warning, keeping you guessing throughout its entirety.
The Modern Art of Setting Ablaze by Mantar
Mantar put the women and children to bed and go looking for dinner. When the lights go out the Modern Art of Setting Ablaze lights the way with a heavy dynamic that is way to expressive for the band consisting of two members. They blend crust, doom, speed and death metal in a tight explosive package that pummels those in it’s wake. Another great album for the gym, by the time Dynasty of Nails hits you will feel no pain. For fans of High On Fire, Cobalt or the Doomriders! – Apache Slomo
Rhea Sylvia by Thou
This album snarls and crawls toward you, leaving claw marks in the floor and complete darkness behind it, and it does so at a slow but steady pace so you can see it coming, but you know there’s nothing you can do about it. This is the third different themed EP released by Thou in as many months this year in the build up to their new full length album Magus, and of all they’ve done this summer, to me this feels like the most meticulous and diabolical.
Let God Sort Em Out by No Problem
Deranged Records have been killing the game this year! They know punk thrives in the shadows and fucked up clubs and No Problem’s Let God Sort ‘Em Out is no different. This has by far been my favorite punk album of the year but when you flank it with the new Tarantula and Spiritual Cramp ep’s also out on Deranged it makes the future look even brighter or bleaker depending on how you look at it. Standouts No Justice No Peace and Eyes of a Killer zip by in a flash but leave a heavy imprint like only good punk rock can do! – Apache Slomo
And Nothing Hurt by Spiritualized
I don’t know how else to describe this album other than “pretty” and “beautiful”. It’s such a calming, entrancing, and tender piece of music that induces many deep breaths and sighs throughout. The nod to the classic Vonnegut line “Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt” only ratchets up my appreciation for this work of art. If this is Jason Pierce’s swan song, it’s the perfect goodbye.