Listening Diary 27
Music for rainy days & the latest in Weird Metal
Good morning! I hope you had a pleasant weekend. Here are ten tunes that I recently enjoyed listening to. The first five, one a day for the working week, are free for all to hear and consider. The next five however are exclusively for my paying subscribers. For the full suite of tunes and other fun bonuses, subscribe now at $5 a month!
“Stand Against The World” by Colony Drop (Brace for Impact, 2023)
Full disclosure, Colony Drop’s singer is my friend and podcast co-host Joseph Schafer. I even had Joseph on my podcast to talk about Colony Drop’s debut album. Since I’m in no position to make legitimate critical assessments of his performance, I’ll just say his performance cracks me up. Luckily since the rest of the band are strangers I have free reign to say that they whip ass. Crossover thrash powered by d-beat drumming with lyrics in the Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure vernacular. Colony Drop fuse the physicality of hardcore culture with the dorky grandstanding of classic heavy metal, a pretty specific sweet spot that’s been missing from a lot of the metal I’ve checked out recently.
“Ode to the Pit” by Move (Black Radical Love, 2023)
Most of MOVE’s material lives up to the radical lefty politics that their name would imply, but this track is just about the simple pleasures of being a menace in a mosh pit. It can be hard to explain to people outside of the hardcore scene why anyone would want to go to a show just to act super pissed off, or why you’d want to be around people willing to swing their fists near your face for fun. I’ll be honest, the older I get the more I dread a serious pit breaking out at a show. But once the night’s over, it’s undeniable that a good pit made the show better. I don’t doubt that “Ode to the Pit” offers that kind of mosher’s high in spades.
“one more” by Vines (Birthday Party, 2023)
For the last two months it has rained every weekend here in New York City. With the grimmest days of the year already fast approaching, I haven’t been too appreciative of this string gloomy weather. The silver lining is that music like Vines’s sounds great these days. Vines, a.k.a composer and singer Cassie Wieland is also a friend of the program, and came on my podcast to talk about the Birthday Party EP. This track is my favorite of the bunch, reminds me of listening to post-rock while doing homework on dreary weekend days in high school.
“Freaky Eyes” by Oneohtrix Point Never (Garden of Delete, 2015)
Research for DU#35. I had to make sure that Garden of Delete still slapped. It does. This track is a great example of Lopatin combining his two creative methods into a single cohesive piece. Lopatin starts at the synthesizer, spinning a melodic tapestry that would have sufficed for an entire track on his early releases, before abruptly cutting to an extended sample. For all his talk of sculpting his tracks, Lopatin is at his best when he works more like a film maker, using his “cuts” to tell a narrative. When I was talking to Frank “Friend of Music” Meadows about R Plus Seven I went on a long ramble about how I was trying to approach listening to Oneohtrix before he mercifully cut me off to say “it’s classical music”. That made me think about the old Barenboam video I shared at the end of DU#4. I believe the same close attention applies here.
“Neon Leviathan” by Horrendous (Ontological Mysterium, 2023)
I can’t quite explain why, but I’ve always rooted for Horrendous. Something about their approach to death metal, their points of reference and their style of play, makes me think that they care about the right stuff. They aren’t in conversation with any of the recurrent trends in the genre, but they aren’t pointedly not in conversation with the rest of the scene either. What strikes me about this track is how clearly the band is working with even older metal mode. The opening sounds like Motorhead as played by squid aliens. Despite their self-evident skills, Horrendous always sound like musicians, not machines. Just excellent phrasing and timing all around.
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