Poltergeists: Week of May 30, 2016

Michael

Melted Cassettes - “Purity & Pain”

Noise is a genre that I am becoming increasingly interested in and very much still discovering. Melted Cassettes is a good example of the kind of noise that I can immediately get behind. “Purity & Pain” is a beautifully chaotic song. Admittedly, if the song was only the first 50 seconds over and over again, I would have a hard time listening to it, but it breaks and doubles over on top of itself in a way that keeps the song moving forward with different drum patterns and increasingly more intense vocal parts. It is not often that bands are able to translate this kind of aggression and energy through the recording process. I can’t even imagine what it will be like to see live.

This track is much different from previous Melted Cassettes material available on the Cryptic Passage Records Bandcamp. I really love it. I hope the next album is more along these lines. The old material is also very good but tends to be more ambient and experimental.

I was able to get an update from the band recently. The album, Omega, that “Purity & Pain” will live on is in the mastering phases of production now and is slated to be released later this year on Cryptic Passage Records on CD and Vinyl.

Clipping. - “Work Work (Feat. Cocc Pistol Cree)”

This week, after returning from an event, Wes brought up Clipping., which I hadn’t heard (despite the fact that they have my favorite remix on the Youth Code A Place To Stand EP). I usually leave the rap for Wes to talk about because he has far more experience in the genre, but I am crazy about this album. “Work Work (feat. Cocc Pistol Cree)” takes a minimal, ant-zen-style noise approach to the music while still throwing out hip-hop-inspired beats and Odd Future-esque vocals. This is what I was hoping for when everyone was talking about Death Grips being experimental and super heavy. The use of obscure-sounding samples is something that Clipping. makes sound natural and tolerable over each track on their debut album CLPPNG. I think that it is great that these kinds of influences are spreading into the more popular genres - I mean, this album came out on Sub Pop Records (home of Sleater-Kinney and Iron & Wine…) and has 7 high-quality, equally experimental music videos.     

Clipping. is a LA-based group whose debut EP came out in June of 2014 on Sub Pop. Their Bandcamp page has a ton of cool stuff and I suggest you go and check that out.

Wes

BADBADNOTGOOD- “Time Moves Slow (Feat. Sam Herring)”

This new Badbadnotgood has me feeling some kinda way. If you’re a long time reader, you know I got love for BBNG, and this track exemplifies some of the big reasons that I love this Canadian quartet.The instrumentation is so minimal; the guitar strums occasionally to the right; it registers subtly and soulfully through its light usage, complemented by a warbling electric piano sitting to the left. Front and center we have the bass guitar bumping along to the excellent drumming. The instrumentation creates a wonderful, defeated sort of happiness, and leaves space for the great vocal delivery from Sam Herring (Future Islands). Herring’s performance comes across as painfully honest, and sitting in the space of the subtle instrumentation, it has an emotional power to it that I miss in much of the music I hear.

BADBADNOTGOOD is a jazz and hip-hop inspired quartet from Toronto, Ontario. Their latest release, IV, comes out July 8, 2016.

Muscle and Marrow - “Light”

Muscle and Marrow recently released their new album, Love, and let me tell you, I had a really difficult time deciding which track I wanted to write about. It’s a beautiful album, and I really recommend you listen to the whole thing.

That said, I did have to pick a track, and after much listening, “Light” took the day for me. The track is as beautiful as it is haunting. Kira Clark’s vocal delivery sits atop a soft drone; slow and heavy drums are complemented by the slow strum of the guitar. Most of the time the guitar is soft, punctuating the beginning of a new line. It disappears into the bridge before a heavy attack; as quickly as it hits it’s gone, again working as punctuation for Clark’s excellent vocals. As the final moments of an excellent album, “Light” really hits with a huge emotional force, leaving a lasting impression. If the rest of the album didn’t make you want to listen again, “Light” will.

Poltergeists - Week of October 20, 2014

Poltergeists is a biweekly feature in which Michael and Wes share tracks that they have had on repeat over the past two weeks.

Michael

Chrysalide - “Keep Calm”

“Keep breathing, you’re strong, I need you beside me.”

The new Chrysalide album Personal Revolution is everything that I knew it would be! It is unique in sound and presentation and maintains a constant message that I wholly support. When we spoke to Chrysalide they said that they were turning this album inwards into their own personal issues and focusing on changing themselves at the roots of the problem - which is the only way to combat something - personal revolution.

“Hold on, Hold on even if your world is fucked up.”

This song is catchy and brilliantly executed, I really love all of the elements that come in and out of the mix. From the spoken vocals, to the robot overdub, everything falls into place just right to create somber chaos.

Chrysalide - “Question Everything”

Another Chrysalide track! I love it so much. This was the first preview track released from the new album and honestly I was kind of worried that it was so different than the last album, but I see now that it fits so well with the sounds used in the rest of the album and that it is a great song to preview because the message is not only meaningful, but an example of what the album will be primarily about.

Wes

Chrysalide - “We Are Not Cursed”

Y’all know I had to talk about the new Chrysalide. It’s no secret that Chrysalide is one of my favorite acts out there, and I’ve said many times that I think Don’t Be Scared, It’s About Life is one of the best albums I’ve ever heard.

I’ve listened to the new album over and over since they sent us a review copy, and for the most part I love it. I chose this particular track to highlight because I think it represents the whole of the album fairly well. Chrysalide is excellent at building danceable tracks that blend in enough interesting sound design to keep them exciting, and this track is no exception. The lyrical content reflects the themes of the album - the need to self reflect, responsibility for the self before demanding change from the outside. These themes threaten to be over trodden, but Chrysalide manages to breathe life into them by keeping the song personal and genuine, rather than as a flag of pretension.

BADBADNOTGOOD  - “Velvet”

Guys, BADBADNOTGOOD is my jam. They released their third album, titled III earlier this year, and I have been bumping it on repeat since I finally picked it up last week. Then, I see that they put out a single, “Velvet” on Soundcloud. And folks, I am a sucker for those snappy, grooved beats and that sharp electric piano. I am a sucker for those whining horns, and that clean bass. I love how the song starts out with kind of a quick groove, a move that sounds like it would work for the opening theme of a family show in the mid 80s. I love how that transitions into a song that wouldn’t be out of place in a dystopian John Carpenter movie in the middle. And I love how it flips the script again, moving into an e-piano solo that, with increasingly frantic drums, just drives the whole thing home. If you haven’t checked out BADBADNOTGOOD yet, take this opportunity.