Skeleton Tree (2016) by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Categories: 2016 and Music.

Push the Sky Away felt to me like a radical departure but, if anything, this feels like an even more radical departure from the sound of The Bad Seeds. Though there are a couple of tracks that recall the sound they’ve pursued since the 90s, most of it is unrecognizable as this band. That’s a good thing, I think. And brave for musicians of this age. People all want this record to be about Cave’s son’s death but my understanding is that most of these songs were written well before that. Regardless, this is not Cave’s best set of songs Read More

‘Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress’ (2015) by Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Categories: 2015 and Music.

To my ears, this is a more aggressively difficult record than the last one. It’s less obviously melodic and there is lots of time for noise. And though I welcome the change in some ways, I find it kind of less appealing than the stuff from their prime. But the sound is absolutely massive (as it should be for a larger version of the band) and though the music is less immediate, it’s still compelling. It’s hard for me to fault them for being slightly less accessible given that they don’t do accessible anyway. But still, I’d say this is Read More

‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! (2012) by Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Categories: 2012 and Music.

I love this, and so I have a dilemma. On the one hand, much of this music (all of it?) is not exactly new. I don’t know how much as I’ve only seen them live once and so I can’t say for a fact that everything here is old. Moreover, with the exception of their willingness to play shorter compositions, this isn’t exactly earth-shatteringly different from what they made a decade ago. GY!BE still sounds exactly like GY!BE. On the other hand, the music that is old was not available on CD before. But more importantly, I think the particular Read More