Raise (1991) by Swervedriver

Categories: 1991 and Music.

This is a strong shoegaze set with roots a little more on the rock side of things (there’s a CCR riff in the opening track…) than what I’m used to, and I must say that endears this to me more than the more famous shoegaze bands I’ve heard previously. There’s still the sort of laconic thing vocal thing that irks me when I don’t love the music, but enjoying the music more than other shoegaze helps. It’s interesting; they straddle this line between shogegaze and more American alternative that I never really imagined. 7/10 Read More

Pretty on the Inside (1991) by Hole

Categories: 1991 and Music.

This is a noisy, abrasive set of songs which manages to be significantly more noisy than most of the other grunge bands of the era, at least on record.. That feels like even more of an accomplishment given the expectations around a female-fronted band at the time. I can’t say that I love the songs all that much, but I appreciate the seeming unwillingness to compromise (which seems to have been revealed as something very different through interviews). Pretty great stuff. 8/10 Read More

Sexy Pee Story (1993) by Cows

Categories: 1993 and Music.

One of the best album titles ever. I can only imagine my mom’s reaction had I purchased this album when I still lived at home. It would have been pretty great. This is on the nosier side of post hardcore. It’s also on the grungier side. I get a bit of a Flipper vibe from them, actually, if Flipper were more interesting musically and had better production. This is the kind of music which takes a while to get into, but once you get into it, it clicks. I don’t like it as much as some of the other great Read More

3rd From the Sun (1982) by Chrome

Categories: 1982 and Music.

My first exposure to Chrome; I’m surprised how melodic it is, as I was expecting a lot more of the noise side of things (though I guess that’s a different era of the band). There’s a strong krautrock influence filtered through an almost gothic sensibility (others have said “doomy,” which also feels appropriate). A number of the instruments are a little too treated for me, and I think that’s the barrier I find between seeing this as interesting music and classic. If the production had dated better, I might be a little more into it than I am. I don’t Read More

House of GVSB (1996) by Girls Against Boys

Categories: 1996 and Music.

This is the second GVSB record I’ve heard. It strikes me as a little more melodic than their earlier work, though that’s not saying much, given this band. They’ve gone a long way to creating an aesthetic that prides noise and rhythm over melody. They are a weird band – they certainly have carved out their own niche in the post-hardcore landscape that not a lot of other bands (that I know) have occupied. I think that’s partly because this is territory that not everyone is into. Anyway, it’s appealing, like their other music. But it lacks really strong songs Read More

Atomizer (1986) by Big Black

Categories: 1986 and Music.

It may seem like a weird topic to bring up, given what Big Black does and sounds like, but I find their first album to be a little less impressive than Songs About Fucking. It feels, to me, as if there are stronger songs on Songs, even though that’s an odd thing to say about a band whose sole reason for existence is to pummel/offend. I guess I feel like the second album is the more “mature” statement (an odd thing to say, I know). But this is still unrelentingly aggressive and metallic (for the time) and I think we Read More

Blind Idiot God (1987)

Categories: 1987 and Music.

First: one of the best band names ever. This record gets off to a pounding start. Essentially it’s instrumental thrash, so it seems, and you’d have to think that this is an absolutely key step in the development of math rock. I mean, it’s not far from Don Caballero. But there’s more variety than you’d imagine. The tracks in the middle are considerably more traditionally “hard rock” than metal (and there’s that funk metal track thrown in for good measure) and then, out of the blue, comes the dub. What the fuck? Seriously. Certainly one of the most bonkers instrumental Read More

Songs About Fucking (1987) by Big Black

Categories: 1987 and Music.

What probably sounded unbelievably loud (not to mention offensive) has mellowed considerably nearly thirty years later. So much of this record (or the oeuvre, perhaps) has integrated into alternative rock and even some indie rock. Hell, it doesn’t even sound noisy compared to what’s being made these days. But I am not trying to sell this short, not for a moment. This is a loud, angry, deliberately difficult statement. Like someone else on RYM, I am listening to the bastardized digital version, but even that is pretty metallic and unfriendly. (That being said, “noise rock” is considerably more noisy these Read More

Swelll Maps In “Jane from Occupied Europe” (1980 Rough Trade)

Categories: 1980 and Music.

This is the kind of thing that reminds you why “post-punk” was initially such a wonderful thing. Much like psychedelia a decade before – albeit in a totally different way – post-punk meant “no rules”, at least before it became conventionalized. Swell Maps manage to become avant garde by not being anything in the first place. This is a glorious racket full of ideas that sensible people would have thrown away. Ridiculous and lots of fun. 9/10 Read More

Four Guitars Live at Luxx by Lee Ranaldo, Carlos Giffoni, Thurston Moore and Nels Cline (Important 2006)

Categories: 2006 and Music.

Pretty directionless. And there are many times where I can’t really distinguish all four players. This is the kind of thing I would gladly waste 45 minutes on if it was live, but as a home listening experience it just doesn’t work. Still better than top 40 though. 5/10 Read More