Darklands (1987) by The Jesus and Mary Chain

Categories: 1987 and Music.

The UK has a long, weird tradition of hilariously opinionated and antagonistic rock front men who bash other musicians and other people and then make wussy music; the Reids, Morrissey, the Gallaghers (I’m sure there are many more). That shouldn’t matter, really, but I find it harder to accept pop music (and poppier rock) on its on terms when the people make it are assholes and have massive chips on their shoulders which they want the world to know about. I mean, if you’re going to be a dick in the press, make punk music or metal or something fitting… Read More

Bad (1987) by Michael Jackson

Categories: 1987 and Music.

I grew up with “Fat” and have a hard time separating the real song, the title track of this record, from its parody. But I haven’t listened to “Fat” in so long. Listening to Bad for the first time (and to the remaster, no less), I can’t help but wonder, “does “Fat” sound this terrible too?” Read More

Fabulosos Calavera (1997) by Los Fabulosos Cadillacs

Categories: 1997 and Music.

In 1997, I fell in love with Grosse Pointe Blank, the only romantic comedy that was violent enough for my 15 year old soul to feel okay about liking. I liked it so much I went out and bought the soundtrack. (Well, the first soundtrack as there’s a Volume 2 I never purchased.) It was the one of the few contemporary albums I owned at the time (everything else was Beatles). On that CD was a song called “Matador” by this band. Read More

The Fat of the Land (1997) by Prodigy

Categories: 1997 and Music.

Like everyone on the planet I have heard the three singles more times than I can count. The only reason those tracks don’t sound so dated is because I’ve heard them so much; they were so much a part of my late ’90s high school life even though I didn’t even understand what electronic music was. Read More

Your Arsenal (1992) by Morrissey

Categories: 1992 and Music.

I hate Morrissey, both personally, as I find him an objectionable human being and cannot understand why anyone would find him charming, and musically, as I find The Smiths really underwhelming and Morrissey’s solo music (that I’ve heard) to be hilariously middlebrow for someone so full of attitude. Morrissey talks a lot about a certain type of music and then makes music very different from that. He basically doesn’t walk his own talk. And his music is boring. Read More

Danzig III: How the Gods Kill (1992)

Categories: 1992.

I have never heard Danzig before and, to the best of my knowledge, never heard Glenn Danzig before (except maybe on some Misfits song, but I think the only version of the band I’ve heard is one without him in it). And there’s something I am having a hard time shaking, which will likely infuriate Danzig fans – does Danzig ever sound like Ian Astbury. Read More

Scum (1987) by Napalm Death*

Categories: 1987 and Music.

Full disclosure: my favourite Grindcore band is Anal Cunt, because they are a joke. Grindcore has always struck me as a joke, or at least something easily turned into a joke, because of the brevity of the songs and the over-the-top nature of the music. But there are and have been tons of grindcore bands and lots of people like it. And I believe that there are no bad genres. So, there must be something to grindcore. Read More

Screaming for Vengeance (1982) by Judas Priest

Categories: 1982 and Music.

Every time I listen to Priest I get a different feeling than I do with their NWOBHM contemporaries (I am not saying Priest is NWOBHM), and that is that they are a little more concerned with selling records. Maybe that’s because Priest were always interested in doing that (I have never heard any of their early albums) but Priest always strikes me as more accessible than Maiden or some of the other bands of this era. There’s just something about them. Read More

Imperial Bedroom (1982) by Elvis Costello and the Attractions

Categories: 1982 and Music.

Though I haven’t heard the couple previous albums to this one, this still feels like a pretty big stylistic left turn for Costello. The production and arrangements are both noticeably different from the first Attractions record (or his first few solo albums). It’s a brave move (if it is indeed a move) as he could easily have just put out a new set of songs without deliberate messing with his style. Read More

Saint Dominic’s Preview (1972) by Van Morrison

Categories: 1972 and Music.

When Morrison is on he is like few other performers and songwriters – he creates this seemingly effortless blend of so many things that we never would have expected would go together and he makes it all sound organic, as if his genre-blending was the most normal (and obvious) thing in the world. Read More

All Directions (1972) by The Temptations

Categories: 1972 and Music.

I don’t know what to do with vocal groups. Most of my music-listening life I have been more impressed with the ability to play an instrument well than sing well. So when I listen to a record where the vocalists are all credited but the players aren’t really, I already get muddled, regardless of the music I’m listening to. I just don’t understand the obsession with vocals above all other things. Read More