The 10 Best Albums of Quarter 3, 2018.

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.

– MCG

 

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.

– MCG

 

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.

– MCG

 

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.

 – MCG

 

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.

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“A Warm Place” by Nine Inch Nails

For a long time this was my alarm ringtone every morning, but through changing phones and time it got lost.  Some feelings are beyond explanation with words, I think we all know that.  I try my best to though, at least when it comes to music, so that maybe people can understand where I am coming from and perhaps feel it too.  The feelings I have that correlate to certain music are some of the strongest and most intense that I have ever felt.  Something happens with certain albums and songs that takes over me.  I can’t imagine a deeper connection to something than that.  It makes me think that, somehow, the music is inside of me.  Maybe those specific vibrations in that order coincide with the sequencing of my DNA.  Maybe it’s connected to my brain chemistry and thus how I interpret the world.  Maybe my life experiences up until now make certain music resonate deeper than others, and in myself deeper than it does in other people.  I am unable to put my finger on it and I am certain that I never will, I just know what I hear a song like “A Warm Place” by Nine Inch Nails, it evokes such a tender sentiment that a calming breathlessness comes over me.  Nothing else makes me feel more present in the moment as these three minutes.  This is tangible life in an audible form.  Just recently, I switched it back to my alarm ringtone, it feels good to wake up every day in “A Warm Place”.

– MCG.

The 10 Best Albums of Quarter 1, 2018

Quarter one is done!  Here are two handfuls of albums that have our full attention.

Jericho Sirens by Hot Snakes

Like dropping in on a Tsunami, Hot Snakes return like they never left! These guys pummel with such groove it could never be duplicated though many have tried. People always ask me, if you were in a band what would it sound like? It would sound like this shit below, Ride the Snakes! – Apache Slomo

 

 

Drift by The Men

The Men keep churning them out and they’re all slightly different, this one possibly being the biggest departure from the sound that they’re most known for, which is perhaps why I’m so enthralled by it.

 – MCG.

 

All at Once by Screaming Females  

I don’t know about you but just having an absolute fucking shred head dressed in a beautiful little package like Marissa Paternoster helps me sleep at night. I can start this album at any point, Agnes Martin or my favorite Soft Domination and end up in the same place which is in awe of this band.  – Apache Slomo

 

 

Virtue by The Voidz

Read our short review on this gem!

 – MCG.

 

Dave’s Dungeon by Avon 

This one fell in my lap like a gift from above and also because I do my homework. I knew the drum work sounded familiar and when I looked into it wasn’t surprised to hear Alfredo Hernandez ( Kyuss, QOTSA) is providing the sticksmanship. This is the desert boogie by way of London psych rock that I dream of.  – Apache Slomo

 

All This Will Be by Closer

Such an easy listen considering how in your face it is.  Beautiful chaos.

 – MCG.

 

Freedom’s Goblin by Ty Segall

My wife didn’t quite grasp the sheer raw talent of the all mighty Ty until I queued up Alta and You Say All the Nice Things, then she melted understanding that Ty takes the Beatles to a garage punk wonderland. I could spend all day with his catalogue and today I just might cause it makes me feel good and is now on Spotty! – Apache Slomo 

 

Room Inside the World by Ought

I love post-punk and I’m not afraid to obsessively listen to it, talk about it, and write about it.  Ought rides a slinky through the darkness on this one, twisting reality into dreams.

 – MCG.

 

Mindfucker by Monster Magnet

This one is for me, probably not your cup of tea and I’m not sure why! But as a kid who once walked into a Peaches (old record store chain, they were nice) in Fort Lauderdale, I took a chance of Dopes To Infinity and never looked back in anger. An absolute cosmic power house Dave Wyndorf opened my third eye and for that respects get paid and I devour new Magnet! – Apache Slomo

 

 

Basic Behaviour by FRIGS

More darkness, more angst, more brooding aggression; just the way it should be!

 – MCG.

 

The honorablest of mentions:

Cocoa Sugar by Young Fathers, August Greene by August Greene, Stone Woman by Charlotte Day Wilson

 

Material Control by Glassjaw

Glassjaw’s first full length album in 15 years feels different.  It’s the same bludgeoning, relentless, powerful music but it feels more calculated.  More like it has a methodical plan with unknown intentions as opposed to their previous efforts which felt like a speeding train that could go off the rails at any moment.  The hooks and melodies aren’t as apparent, but there is no doubt they exist.  In any event, it’s good.  In fact, it’s fucking good.  Where their contemporaries At The Drive-In failed to captivate with their 2017 comeback which had it’s moments but overall felt hollow, Glassjaw delivered a nonstop stream of twisted consciousness that punches you in the mouth, and after all these years, that familiar pain is very welcomed.

 

 – MCG.

Throwback Thursday: “Machine Gun” by Jimi Hendrix

If I had the impossible task of choosing one song to listen to for the rest of my life, this would be it.  Pure emotion expressed through music in a way that no one else had every done nor will ever do.

 

 – MCG.

Throwback Thursday: “Someday” by The Strokes

I got in a little online debate this week about which band that broke out around the turn of the century would have the best “greatest hits” list at this point.  The article was about Phoenix and how good they are, but I offered up The Strokes as a counterpoint (others were also mentioned, but that’s not the point here).  I think a lot about The Strokes’ debut album Is This It; how it’s perfect in so many ways, how it’s one of the best debut albums ever, how it would easily be one of my choices if I were to be stranded on a deserted island and could only take three albums with me, how it was recorded, etc., so with all that on mind almost constantly, and given the debate I had this week, I chose my favorite Strokes song off of their debut for this edition of throwback Thursday.

“See, alone we stand, together we fall apart,
Yeah, I think I’ll be alright…”

 

– MCG.

Stream Strange Places by METZ

NPR is killing the game today.  How can I listen to all these great albums at once?!  If you weren’t ready to kick enough asses after that Chelsea Wolfe, METZ have you covered.  Speaking of covered, I love the album art for this.

http://www.npr.org/2017/09/14/550444874/first-listen-metz-strange-peace

– MCG.

Throwback Thursday: “Honey Bucket” by Melvins

Time to fight?  Time to kill?  Time to run through a brick wall?  Time to drink acid and spit fire?  Time to smash everything?  Time to annihilate anything in your path?  Time to kick a hole in the fucking universe?  Throw this on…

 – MCG.

Throwback Thursday: “If Only” by Queens of the Stone Age

I’ve been a fan of Queens of the Stone Age since I heard “Spiders & Vinegaroons” on the Kyuss/QOTSA split EP.  They’ve been doing it big, dirty, sexy, grimey, and sleazy in the absolute best ways possible for a long time.

I don’t like the new album, Villians, for a number of reasons, and it seems like overall the reviews are mixed; it’s a love or hate thing with the new one, and I happen to fall into the latter group.  That said, it’s not going to keep me from enjoying their previous six albums to their fullest extent.  They’ve been one of my favorite bands for a really long time and that’s not going to change.

So, with all of that said, here’s one of the first songs Homme recorded after Kyuss broke up.  Throwback to the good ol’ days.

 – MCG.