New Music – Marked For Death

a1889908052_10Marked For Death is the intense triumph of a record that has the feel of a thousand pounds through each track. Emma Ruth Rundle is the singer/songwriter for not just her two solo works, but also for the bands Red Sparowes, Nocturnes, and Marriages. Rundle combines ambient, indie, and near concerto music all wrapped into one intense package.

Marked For Death begins with the self-titled track “Marked For Death.” The immensely slow build up between the soft-spoken vocals from Rundle and the guitar work create this wonderful balance until the percussion and the rest of the instrumentation comes crashing in with a wall of sound. It is a drastic and constant change between the tracks instrumentalists and Rundle working off of each other to create a tranquil environment to then pounding and much louder use of space. Emma Ruth Rundle is obviously going to be the centerfold of the tracks presented on Marked For Death, but that is not to say that the instrumentation is lacking behind her. They work in tandem, and while Rundle is the center of the attention, the instrumentation is still able to back her up in such a way that they can complement each other.

Rundle then proceeds with the following track, “Protection.” The percussion leads the track into the almost drained sounding guitar that plays behind Rundle’s downright gorgeous voice. With a vocal performance that reminds the listener of something like Björk, Rundle is able to produce some meaningful lines about being “I am worthless in your arms, but you offer this protection no one else has given me.” The end of the track then falls into this large noise-fest with the guitars blaring, the drums pounding, and Rundle taking a back seat to let the instruments destroy the rest of the track.

0007995911_10“Medusa” then follows and this is one of the more up-beat tracks on Marked For Death. The way Rundle presents her vocals and continues to shine through even as the strings and percussion behind her continue to make make for great background noise. Emma Ruth Rundle then uses reverberation on her voice to give the effect of background vocals being used. The reverb is slight, but just enough to give Rundle’s vocal performance enough layering and depth to the rest of the track. The final minute of the track is a primarily instrumental jam-session that uses what sounds like synth leads to give some more ambiance to the backing of the instrumentation before finally succumbing to silence.

Following is the track “Hand Of God,” which focuses with a slow electric guitar build up that almost lingers on the verge of blowing out the rest of the track with its powerful bass chords. Rundle then jumps in and the entire track is much slower than the other previous tracks on Marked For Death. In a way this track segues into a more bravado style with the instruments and Rundle’s voice going for a more-straight forward approach.

Marked For Death sounds similar to if The Smiths tried their hand at Drone Music. The very ambience heavy album from Emma Ruth Rundle is outstanding, featuring some depth and real fleshed-out ideas on each and every track. They transition near perfectly and it feels as though the album was recorded all in one single session rather than individual recordings.

Tracks like “Heaven” and “So, Come” are an example of this transition or segue in which the album moves without taking more than a few seconds to break. Rundle’s vocal performance stays about the same through-out Marked For Death and her voice is truly the star of this album. The instrumentals backing her are still great, but the resonating factor is most definitely Rundle’s vocal performance.

The next track, “Furious Angel” immediately begins with Rundle and the guitar setting the tone for the rest of the song. “Furious Angel” and Marked For Death as a whole feels rather daunting and somber. There are uplifting points in the record, but for most of the time spent on it, there is primarily a focus on these slow, and near sludge sounding tracks. They move gracefully but at the same time they are much more sedated.

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The final track, “Real Big Sky” features a what sounds like a dirty, broken, mistuned guitar starting off the action of the track. Rundle brings her beautiful voice into the frame and there is this contrast in the track. It feels like Rundle and the instrumentation are always battling each other, Rundle brings some incredible vocal performances that were downright beautiful, while the instruments are grungier and filthy sounding. This constant comparison and duality is the strongest point on Marked For Death, and it allows for one of the most powerful combinations in music.

Classic Day – When The Kite String Pops

acid_bath_-_when_the_kite_string_popsWhen The Kite String Pops is the debut release from Louisianan sludge/doom metal band Acid Bath. The band sounds like a gasoline soaked pit of rage as the instruments are destructive and the vocals from Dax Riggs brings so much energy into each track. Together, Acid Bath creates an inferno of a record, and it could not sound any better.

The opening track “The Blue” focuses on these constant tempo changes that only add to the reoccurring thrash style that Acid Bath does so well. They consistently change from both faster and slower break-down tempos where the sludge style shines, or rather breaks through. The noisy style which follows When The Kite String Pops only adds to the intense level of raw emotion in each track. It is almost as if you could feel each track and like similar thrash and hardcore releases before it, When The Kite String Pops encourages motion.

The following track “Tranquilized” is another blitz of aggression. The percussion from Jimmy Kyle builds the song up with hard-hitting bass and snare blasts to the guitars from Mike Sanchez and Sammy “Pierre” Duet flying all over the fret-board with this extreme electric style. Then when Dax Riggs finally erupts into a screaming match with himself, the band eventually slows down into one of its many masterful breakdowns where bass guitarist Audie Pitre can shine through. The distinct bass groove that leads the song into its second wind of a breakdown was outstanding, it really added some deeper depth to the tracks background layering.

The next track elegantly named “Cheap Vodka” focuses more on a thrash or punk style of music. The way the drums hammer out quick cymbal jabs and the rest of the band follows the guitar’s frantic style begs for Riggs to deliver another stellar vocal performance. The ending of the track is rather abrupt and this is the shortest song on all of When The Kite String Pops. Shorter, but still just as abrasive as the tracks that follow. “Finger Paintings of the Insane” goes hand in hand with the other destructive tracks Acid Bath had done before. However, “Finger Paintings of the Insane” has this duality within the track as the breakdown has vocals that sound more like a chorus and actually more graceful, but this is short-lived as Dax Riggs vocals nearly over power the background vocals. The double bass delivered from Jimmy Kyle perfectly matches the whole theme of destruction and beauty however as the chorus powers through.

Acid Bath is well known for their morose lyrics; the very ill-tempered Riggs gives lyrics throughout When The Kite String Pops, describing “Burning bodies keeps us warm,” “Cut out my eyes so I can’t see,” and “Close my eyes and dream of death.” While all the lyrics are depressed and show the more irritable style of Diggs writing, these lyrics fit the music entirely too well. There would be no possible way to have lyrics that involved cheerier subjects and fit it over music like this, or vice-versa. The band compliments the lyrics and the lyrics compliment the band.

bath.jpgThe following track “Jezebel” is a love-letter to what sounds like a napalm infused mosh-pit. The sheer power displayed by Acid Bath is not only intriguing, but the use of background vocals or screams from both Sammy “Pierre” Duet and Audie Pitre bring out even more emotion in the track. The lyrics “This is how it feels to die” ring through the song and the entirety of When The Kite String Pops feels as though it revolves around the subject of Death. This again is perfectly backed by the instrumentation, and it allows for raw authenticity of the band’s inner-emotion to shine through.

“Scream of the Butterfly” follows and this was one of the mellower tracks throughout When The Kite String Pops. It uses acoustic guitar and focuses more on a slower tempo that really makes the heavier tracks explode in comparison. This track still feels very sludgy and focuses on the topic of misery and pain, just in a whole different way. “Scream of the Butterfly” then slowly builds up into a more fleshed out track that focuses more the guitars and percussion aspects, allowing Riggs to take a backseat with some of the calmer vocals.

The action is then back into frame with the track “Dr. Seuss is Dead” which while the track is not initially quick to start, it still has the overlaying theme of death metal and sludge music. The constant wails from the background vocals and what sounds like the thousand-pound drum kit is outstanding. The guitar continues to destroy the fret-board before finally launching into a rushed sounding sprint of a track. This was one of the more interesting transitions on When The Kite String Pops as the song begins as a heavier doom style before launching into a thrash style, only to fall back into the pit of the slowed style.

Following is the track “Dope Fiend,” which is another aggressive track that feels like an assault through music. The track has a slow build up that is great, following the constant style of slowing-down, only to speed back up into a full dash. Acid Bath is a band that does this style so well, and When The Kite String Pops only benefits from this constant switch up. It not only keeps the songs feeling fresh, but it allows the tracks to breath, letting each breakdown feel more impactful than the last.

“Toubabo Koomi” trails and this is a total punk song with a thrash influence. The entire track is a charged up scream fest from Riggs, a pounding from the percussion with Kyle, and the stringed instrumentalists Duet, Pitre, and Sanchez all fly through the track. Acid Bath is truly a rare-breed that can do thrash, doom, hardcore, and punk music all wrapped into one package and make each track feel so original. When The Kite String Pops is truly something that even today is still second to none. The finale of “Toubabo Koomi” which translates to “The Land of The White Cannibals” slowly fades into this very slow, but powerful last hurrah from Acid Bath before launching into “God Machine.”

3e08f3d65d844dfaa76047c0cba47dfc“God Machine” features vocals that discusses the minds of the population. This could be in most-likely relation to the 1968 novel of the same name, “The God Machine” where a device is used to try and capture the minds of the public in a total dominant society. The lyrics go in correlation to the rest of When The Kite String Pops as Riggs practically screams his soul out of his body as the percussion from Jimmy Kyle rattles the rest of the band. The double bass work from Kyle is something of pure animalistic rage, and honestly the entire track just screams a power violence style. “God Machine” is an incredibly angry ride through one of Acid Bath’s more impactful tracks, it resonates even after continuing onto the next track, “The Mortician’s Flame.”

The bass guitar opens this track and lets in the flood of sound from the rest of the band. As the screeches from Dax Riggs begin to speed things up, the entirety of Acid Bath begins to destroy their instruments in a total thrill of a track. The guitar and bass are the centerfold of “The Morticians Flame,” they allow the rest of the band to take a backseat and for one grim moment, the bass line erupts in a slick groove breakdown. The percussion then gets its own breakdown which was surprising to see as most of the percussion takes a back seat to both the vocals and stringed instruments. This track lets the amps resonate before jumping head first into “What Color is Death?”

This track is a riot from the first chords even being played. Hearing the extreme level of emotion that goes into each track is such a breath of fresh air as it only continues to improve with each listen. Hearing the ripping riffs and shredding guitar solos that overpower the rest of the track to only finally let Riggs and the band scream their throat out yet again. When The Kite String Pops can be summed up into a simple phrase, “Get in and Get Loud.” The entire album is a full frontal, abrasive, assault on the ears. From the pounding drums, to the flaming guitars, to the aggressive vocals, this is one hardcore masterpiece from track to track.

The action finally dies down with “The Bones of Baby Dolls” which features a bigger focus on the acoustic style of guitar and stings. This isn’t to say that the song is without intensity, as the atmosphere still feels so heavy behind the instrumentals. Even the reverberation behind Riggs voice adds another layer of depth into the track, almost feeling heavier than when he sings or screams. This track, just like “Scream of The Butterfly” focuses more on slowing down the near rapid fire tempo, letting the album breathe before launching into the last track of When The Kite String Pops.

19_photo“Cassie Eats Cockroaches” not only features a lovely name, but it also features one of the grimiest and downright disgusting sounding instrumentals. The stringed instruments sound muddy, but powerful. Riggs speaks of “Fucking Open Wounds” which is downright shocking. This again is only fitting as the way the music is being played, there is no possible way that the lyrics could be said over any other style of music. There is also a sample of “Blue Velvet,” the 1986 movie with the classic line “Don’t you fucking look at me.” Acid Bath seems to be the anti-social hardcore group. They are disgusting, grim, aggressive, and lovable from start to finish.

 

Personal Post – II

So…. This is going to be yet another run-down of whats happening as it has been about a month since I wrote the first personal post. Well starting off we now have hit

  • 53 Posts
  • 332 Visitors including countries from Italy, Portugal, Ukraine, Netherlands, and several others that I hold near and dear to my heart
  • Hit a top view count this October with 106 total views for one single day, and for total views since I started MattsMusicMine are now over 1,100

Surprisingly enough I have had some new subscribers and I would like to once again thank the people that support and follow my site, it means the world to me and while it is the corniest thing I could possibly say, it is the absolute truth. Thank you to everyone, even the people that hate on me as it only motivates me to continue to do what I have an absolute passion for.

AN UPDATE ON SHIRTS/CARDS/STICKERS/MERCH

I have now received my t-shirts and they can be purchased from me in person or through an email contact. I am working on getting the store set up so people can receive stickers and business cards at their pleasure, or grab a t-shirt if you really love me. Thanks to the people who bought them so far, it is very kind of you and don’t feel bad if I don’t have your size, I will order more in the future. As of now all I have is L and XL which most people could fit into.

Anyway, thanks again fools for supporting me and checking out my trash. A college essay about Acid Bath (One of my personal favorite records) is going up tonight. Bonus points if you know anything I am talking about in my article.

Thanks, and I love you

Matthew Ryan Miramontes “Bic Boy”cropped-tyler-the-creator-facebook-photo-1920x765-1455791799.jpg

Misc. Day – HOOD APPARITION

a1191881690_10MISTA THUG ISOLATION, the massive 20-track mixtape from Virginian Rapper Lil Ugly Mane struck fear into listeners’ hearts, and power into pimps’ hands. The way Lil Ugly Mane combined noise, hip-hop, jazz, and some slick rhymes over some of the most engaging and progressive beats to date is something of purely black magic.

Lil Ugly Mane starts MISTA THUG ISOLATION off with a purely atmospheric/noise track that uses these loud buzzes, static crackles, and what sound like spaceships to set the tone for the rest of the journey on MISTA THUG ISOLATION. The “journey” will be a long, slightly confusing, but ultimately impressive display on both the lyrical and musical fronts. Not only can Lil Ugly mane destroy the production aspect and proves this on his 20 other rap projects, and one single noise/ ”black metal” project simply called “SLEEP UNTIL IT HURTS YOU.” While Lil Ugly Mane A.K.A. Shawn Kemp is primarily a well-rounded musician, Mista Thug Isolation relies on primarily shock value rhymes and a grimmer style of beats.

The kick-off track on MISTA THUG ISOLATION, “SERIOUS SHIT” combines the flowing motion of The Don Randell Ian Carr Quintet samples, and the eloquence of Three 6 Mafia. The combination sounds strange, but these strange sample mixes and blends are what gives Mista Thug Isolation so much strength. Ugly Mane delivers some interesting contradictory lines throughout the track, but most famous his opening bar, “I’mma slit my wrists no tourniquet, I’m Murderous.” Then proceeds to go on a lyrical spree about how “My crib got more burners than furnishing, got a lot of haters not concerned with it. The Earth revolve around making money, Copernicus.” Within one single bar, Ugly Mane is able to put forward some quick rhyme schemes and overall some intelligent quotable lines.

bd01fe7032274ec8b0de88f6a2ea1a32MISTA THUG ISOLATION continues on to “MANIAC DRUG DEALER III” which is one of the tracks that features this impressive beat change up that destroys the previous mood set by “SERIOUS SHIT.” This track has this paranoid feel with the constant sirens blaring and Ugly Mane describing “I don’t ride with no suckers, I don’t ride with no buster.” This lyric can go into relation with Ugly Mane’s other track “POLO RIGHT (SUICIDE ALPS FOREVER RE-EDIT)” off his tape Three Sided Tape: Volume One, where Ugly explains “Ain’t no snitch in my squad, Ain’t no bitch in my blood.”

Lil Ugly Mane then continues with the track “RADIATION (LUNG POLLUTION)” which features Supa Sortahuman and yet another beat transition when Ugly’s verse comes into the picture. The polar opposites of the verses where Supa Sortahuman explains his own personal support of “Kicking it with Mary Jane,” to where Lil Ugly Mane talks more into how no one is “Smoking, Drinking, Fucking, or Nothing on his (Ugly Mane’s) level.” Ugly Mane then ends the verse with a quirky bar about how potent his “Shit” really is.

“SLICK RICK” then follows and this track is more of a callback to the classic track from Slick Rick simply entitled “Treat Her Like A Prostitute.” The way Ugly Mane further expresses how he lives by this and how his moral is “Never fall in love because a bitch is a bitch.” Lil Ugly Mane follows the saga of MISTA THUG ISOLATION with the instant classic “WISHMASTER.”

This is easily one of the hardest hitting tracks on all fronts. From the crushing instrumental of orchestral strings that blast, to the vocal sample from the song “Don’t You Wish You Could Be There?” by Crackin’. The vocal continues to ask “Don’t you wish you could be me?” as Ugly delivers one of his best verses on MISTA THUG ISOLATION. The entire track features lines where Ugly Mane delivers some dominant, quotable lines about “Catching me on the news, being interviewed, wearing your jewels,” and “I keep it so filthy that the mic septic.”

The following track is an instrumental piece titled “ALONE AND SUFFERING (INTERLUDE).” The track features one of the more graceful sections of MISTA THUG ISOLATION where the piano, percussion, and the vocalization all come together in harmony to create a more peaceful atmosphere. The beat drop in this track where the piano slowly fades into the foreground and then jumps right into the rest of the instrumental was outstanding. “ALONE AND SUFFERING (INTERLUDE)” adds more of a push to the heavier tracks on MISTA THUG ISOLATION, giving them more impact.

liluglymaneLil Ugly Mane then goes back into his peculiar rap style with another instant classic, “BITCH I’M LUGUBRIOUS.” This track has one of the best choruses in a rap song, and the entire track is so quotable that I would have to say that it is the best track on MISTA THUG ISOLATION. “Bitch I’m morose and lugubrious, I’mma let the Uzi spit, turn his face into gooey shit,” continues to echo through the track and Ugly yet again shows his lyrical strength. Bars like “You actin’ like I’m new to this, I been sick since the uterus,” and “Grabbing the Ruger and cocking it back, psycho mentality, kill ‘n attack, sippin’ on Alize, counting the stacks, half of my salary, nothing but crack.” Ugly Mane speeds his rhyming tempo and flow up through this section of the track, making his words feel like they are being fired through a machine. Ugly Mane then shows no signs of slowing down with the following track being “CUP FULLA BEETLEJUICE”

“CUP FULLA BEETLEJUICE” has this ghostly sounding vocalization that continues through-out the track that screams behind the beat. It adds an entirely new level of depth to the track and brings the focus more on Ugly’s verse. The chorus is the real shine of the track where Ugly proclaims “It’s hard to worry about these suckers when you stacking up this dough.”

The next track opens with the sounds of an air horn and a classic 80’s style beat. “BREEZEM OUT” relies on this air horn throughout the track as a way to add emphasis to Ugly’s punchlines. Lil Ugly Mane explains throughout this track that “Haters always gonna be up in your face, but that’s a part of the chase.” This track feels as though it is a shout out to all the people who called Lil Ugly Mane’s music a gimmicky mess. While most of his tracks are straight hip-hop and he is immensely talented, it is all a façade and just simply done for the fun of rhyming. There are several tracks where Lil Ugly Mane explains how rhyming was just a means of passing the time and he never expected MISTA THUG ISOLATION to become as big as it did.

One of the following tracks “MONA LISA OVERDRIVE” is what Ugly Mane calls a song for “The Ladies.” This track is however all about taking the ladies to a “Far away land I (Ugly Mane) calls the erogenous zone.” The track is a love song in the most gangster way possible, Ugly Mane then gets “Back to his business” with the following track “TWISTIN” with a feature from Denzel Curry.

“TWISTIN” is another track that just feels like an instant classic from the first time it is heard. The way Ugly Mane lets Denzel Curry start the track off with a slick verse repping RVIDXR KLVN (Raider Clan) and how he is the best thing coming straight out of Carol City, Florida. Lil Ugly Mane then overshadows Curry by explaining his up-rising in the rap-world to one of Ugly’s best closing lines throughout his career where he explains “We keep it more than underground, we in a dungeon.”

MISTA THUG ISOLATION then finally comes to “NO SLACK IN MY MACK” which is yet another song displaying Ugly’s strength and audacity in lyricism. He keeps it grimy, explaining that he is “Steady keep the product moving like a conveyer belt,” and “Got guns, bread, because their ain’t no slack in my Mack.” This track has seen several transformations where it was originally much different sounding than what was displayed on MISTA THUG ISOLATION. The original version is a much darker sounding creep of a track that is honestly outstanding, but did not fit the theme of MISTA THUG ISOLATION as much as the current version.

“LEAN GOT ME FUCKED UP” is one of the next tracks that features a hard-hitting 808 bass line, a great synth lead that sounds like a horror movie’s dream, and Ugly’s best verse on MISTA THUG ISOLATION. The entire verse is just outstanding and is a perfect recommendation to anyone who has never listened to Ugly Mane’s music previously. The way Ugly explains “I’mma project ghost, I’mma hood apparition,” to the “Explaining what murder mean.” Lil Ugly Mane delivers his hardest hitting set of bars on the entirety of MISTA THUG ISOLATION.

402190_455400711171381_1221637440_n.jpgFinally, MISTA THUG ISOLATION comes to the finale of a track, “THROW DEM GUNZ.” This is an all-star of a song that features Ugly’s favorite instrumental he has ever produced to date, another outstanding verse, and the perfect send-off into the bonus/secret tracks. Ugly Mane is describing his hustle of selling to get by in life, and how that has changed the lives around him. He explains how he is “Standing in the rain feeling bad about the mommas losing jobs over the rocks that I (Ugly Mane) be passing out, but that’s the way it be on the block.” This is the first breakthrough of sympathetic emotion showed from Ugly Mane in all of MISTA THUG ISOLATION, showing that even the coldest of Killers still have a heart.

The bonus tracks, “LAST BREATH (OUTRODUCTION),” “BONUS: BITCH I’M LUGUBRIOUS (COLD SHOULDER EDIT),” AND “BONUS: SEND EM 2 THA ESSESNCE,” are nothing outrageously exciting, excluding “SEND EM 2 THA ESSENCE.” This was a track where Ugly Mane gives another full verse and fully explains his reasoning for not wanting to rhyme for money, fame, or the spotlight. Ugly describes “Oh you out for notoriety? You rappers so precious, send they ass a message when I send em to the essence.” This just further captures what Ugly Mane is all about, bringing dope music to the hopeless, and looking fly doing it.

New Music – Pittsburgh’s Main Course

a3383544467_16Naked Lunch EP is the newest release from Pittsburgh lo-fi looper and hip-hop artist, Mt. Marcy. Marcy cleverly combines all the essential items of lo-fi hip-hop into one 15-minute package that while keeping a short run-time, is still able to bring some chill instrumentals into the equation.

Naked Lunch EP has no lyrics being rapped/sung over any of the beats, this means that Mt. Marcy would have to bring the production factor into an all-time high to keep the listener interested. The beats on this project keep a steady, relaxed flow that occasionally travels into the waters of blending different samples of vocals or spoken word to add background layering.

The first tracks on the tape “Greem [intro],” “Dilla_Redux,” and “We Are Simply Sums” all center around the classic style of hip-hop with very key-centric sounding tracks that use the percussion more as a track progressing tool than its own entity. The percussion takes a backseat on most of this mix, allowing the foreground to be run by the keys and the various sounds and samples.

The track, “We Are Simply Sums” has this interesting use of the “Uhh” grunt made famous by Rick Ross. This little vocal cue adds another layering to the track even if it feels so simple. The instrumental that carries the track is an uplifting sequence of piano keys being played in what sounds almost like a free-form style. These keys overpower the rest of the track and steal the limelight away from the rest of the instruments which, was not necessarily a downfall.

The keyed instruments; piano, synthesizer, and organ completely make each track feel unique. In the song “Blush,” the soft chords being played over what sounds like water droplets makes for an overall smoother approach. The following track “Last Night I Cried In The Shower” could have been possibly foreshadowed by “Blush,” but it does not feel this way as both tracks have much different emotions to them. “Last Night I Cried In The Shower” feels more disjointed, allowing many different instruments to come together and create this loose styled beat. The vocalization has this woman repeating a phrase that seems to be overshadowed by the instrumental, but this is one of the few cases of vocalization in all of Naked Lunch EP.

Mt. Marcy’s Naked Lunch EP sounds similar to other lo-fi hip-hop releases, but what sets it apart from the rest is the more minimal style of approach to each song. The tracks feel very simple, but then when a song like “Figs” comes into frame and the use of warping records and loops begin, it is not difficult to see how much time and effort was put into Naked Lunch EP. “Figs” was actually one of the better produced tracks that I had heard coming from any lo-fi artist. It was not only intriguing to hear the constant warping, but also as the instrumental feels complex, it is not overly so.

“Honey [interlude]” and “Eden” follow and both of these tracks feel similar in the way the instruments were used. While the pacing is entirely different from one another, both the use of the organ on “Eden” and the piano on “Honey [interlude]” stay in the center of attention. The rest of the track relies on the keys movements to better provide the background instrumentation. This was the reoccurring theme throughout Naked Lunch EP. The keyed instruments rule the center stage on the tracks, allowing almost every song to follow behind the key’s command.

The track “Tangier//Interzone” follows what sounds like this dreamscape style of an instrumental with a delayed guitar strumming out background noise behind this boom-bap style of percussion beat. This was a totally different approach to any track on Naked Lunch EP and it stands out among the crowd because of this. The track is able to capitalize on the use of the percussion while the stringed instruments take a backseat.

The last three tracks “Noora Pt.2,” “Whispuuur,” and “Noora Pt.1” all focus back on the keyed instruments and the track “Noora Pt.2” while short, sounds more like a Samiyam beat. Samiyam also keeps his head in the general area of lo-fi hip-hop and both Samiyam and Mt. Marcy share an interest in creating these outstanding short-styled tracks that leave you begging for more.
“Whispuuur” is one of, if not the strongest track on the entire EP. It uses this hi-hat opening and closing, then changes in and out of tempos as well. The track starts slower, then speeds up, then finally slows back down to let the beat breathe before coming to the final track.

“Noora Pt.1” is the grand finale of Naked Lunch EP and it feels as though it is a slow, somber walk through the late nights of a city setting. The piano bounces up and down the keys rather slowly, and the percussion is nothing more than just a simple click beat that only adds to the atmosphere of the track. Finally, just as soon as it began, “Noora Pt.1” ends with the click of what sounds like a tape recorder, only leaving the remaining silence to fill the void.

Classic Day -Edible Rappers

mmfood-4fe9a15a52659.jpgMM…FOOD is just one, of what seems like hundreds of different releases from London born, Brooklyn rapper MF DOOM. MF DOOM has a unique style that is immensely different from any other artists, combining both musical talent and engaging story-telling techniques; DOOM is able to shake microphones and crowds alike.

MM…FOOD begins with “Beef Rap,” which features an introduction to MF DOOM’s unique style, both lyrically and musically. DOOM uses different skits in his tracks to illustrate a relatable story that samples old movies, songs, and most notably comic book television shows. The way DOOM seamlessly blends these skits and samples into his tracks and verses makes for one of the most interesting and involving ways to listen to music to date. “Beef Rap” after the skit finishes, launches into a near-cinematic level of instrumental. The percussion, the random sound effects, and the utterly rambunctious use of horns that reigns through the track makes for one of the most memorable beats from DOOM.

DOOM is also lyrically on a different level, light years ahead of most of the rappers around him. His flow, bars, and style is one of a kind, making is music feel as more than just music. DOOM makes every single release feel like watching Saturday morning cartoons where everything is done with bravado and the Villain always wins.

Following “Beef Rap” is the track “Hoe Cakes.” This track again features an overall interesting level of production and this can be said for all the songs on MM…FOOD. The boom-bap beat that is presented is almost reminiscing of the Golden-Era sound of Hip-Hop. The piano chords almost reinforce this idea, and the constant drum rolls while busy, never overpower the rest of the beat or MF DOOM himself. Each track has DOOM at the forefront and while he avoids the limelight in certain tracks, the beats still stand on their own almost like another performer to DOOM. The track then comes to a close following with a skit that focuses on DOOM’s return to New York, and how he plans to take over the rest of the world through threats and terrorism.

The skits tie the entire projects from MF DOOM together and create an additional layer of experimentation to different songs, allowing DOOM to tell a story through not just his lyrics. Tracks like “Potholderz” and the world-famous “One Beer” which features a Madlib beat, focuses more on the traditional style of hip-hop with lyrics and beats. “Potholderz” features Count Bass D who starts and finishes the track, starting this back and forth exchange between both Bass D and DOOM. The instrumental behind the lyricists focuses more on what sounds like strings and another boom-bap style beat that flows right into the following track.

“One Beer” is the iconic track with the background beat from Madlib that lets DOOM have complete control and free-range over the track. The beat is a loose but outstanding drum roll and a jump into a more funk style interlude. The entire track also features this chorus that could have made the entire beat survive by itself, but DOOM destroys this track and then instantly launches into back to back skits that again describe his decision to take over the world, gaining power from the different countries one by one.

mfdoomFollowing is the track “Deep Fried Frenz” which relates to DOOM’s struggle with real life problems. DOOM can not only switch up his style from a cartoon style of rap to the then serious style where DOOM follows more personal issues. “Deep Fried Frenz” has great lines from DOOM where he reads the definition of friends from the dictionary, and describes “Never let(ting) your so called mans know your plans.” DOOM also describes his relationship with women in his life, describing the “friends with benefits” and the “no-rings” style of girls that DOOM knows all too well. The track then segues into a fascinating skit that describes “DOOM’s disfigured face” and the reason DOOM wears the mask.

The four following instrumental tracks “Poo-Putt Platter,” “Filet-O-Rapper,” “Gumbo” and “Fig Leaf Bi-Carbonate” feature an intriguing use of different skits that describe soul-food, loosing limbs to “flying monkey men,” and edible wrappers that is parallel to DOOM’s comment on the edible and easy to kill rappers in the music industry. DOOM uses four different beats in such a short time that it is almost difficult to realize that one track had ended and another begun. The way the seamless style continues through MM…FOOD keeps the story of DOOM at a steady pace and never seems to take a break from the rhymes or adventures of The Metal Faced Villain.

“Kon Karne” follows and this has more of a classy style of instrumental with a great piano riff that battles this lazer-like synthesizers and follows DOOM breaking down some more lyrical bars that again focus on the other “musicians” in the rap genre, “Clack Clack pardon me whack rap Kon Karne.” He then dedicates “this mix” to his late brother, DJ Subroc the “Hip-Hop Hendrix,” and as the beat then fades, one of the best tracks on MM…FOOD comes into frame.

“Guinnesses” features not a single word from our Masked Villain, but instead lets Angelika take control of this track, leaving the production aspect to DOOM. This was an interesting way to go about the track as the verses here from Angelika and the hook from 4ize are perfect. The way that Angelika describes past relationships and the way 4ize is able to combine both the use of physical and mental ailments to create a story, “War wound, purple heart, love veteran, Morphine, Pain Killers, Drugs and Medicine.” The track then fades into the last of the closing songs.

“Kon Queso” then follows and it features this 70’s style synth lead, piano eighth notes, and this rumbling bass line that echoes through the entire track. The entire track feels like stepping back in time or onto the set of “The Warriors” movie from 1979. Following is “Rap Snitch Knishes” which features Mr. Fantastik who follows this back and forth conversation between DOOM and Fantastik himself. The chemistry the two share, and the delivery from both on their verses really put this exciting emotion into the track. The chorus, “Rap Snitches telling all they business, sit in the court and be their own star witness” then flows into DOOM’s verse which focuses on everything from The Middle East to Tears for Fears. DOOM keeps his verse short, but straight to the point and creates one of the best instrumentals in the process. It uses guitar wails and some interesting tom hits mixed in with a near disco clap beat on percussion.

A maniacal laugh then flows into the next track, “Vomitspit,” which focuses on how people beg DOOM for verse of what he calls simply, Vomit Spit. There are some great lines about how “The mask is like Jason, they told the place to not let the basket type case in. He could be some of wacko, waiting for a chance to heat the pipes like a crack ho.” DOOM then moves onto the finale of MM…FOOD.

a0957794992_10“Cookies” has this creeping beat that uses what sounds like a detective movie style bass line. The track features DOOM rattling off verses about “splitting your wishbone” for the females and “Wheat thins, Saltines, and Triscuits.” The track then explodes from a quick drum roll and fill to then going right back into DOOM’s verse. He ends the track by launching into a final skit that describes DOOM downfall and ultimate defeat. Unfortunately, in this case the villain does not always win, but there is always hope in the future for our favorite Metal Faced Super-Villain.

Misc. Day – Eyes & Nines

Eyes&NinesFINALBlackTrash Talk’s Eyes and Nines is an explosive tour through the fiery depths of hell. The journey is a blasting roller-coaster that slows down to catch its breath only for a moment, before return back into the frenzied mosh-pits that Trash Talk has been made popular for.

Eyes and Nines begins with “Vultures,” a track that features a gentle drum build up, then bursts into an all out war between the instruments. The guitars battle against the drums and Lee Spielman’s voice is always one of the pivotal pieces to the puzzle, completing and drawing each track together. The way that Garrett Stevenson rips the guitar to shreds, the way Spencer Pollard annihilates the bass and backs up Spielman on vocals, and how Sam Bosson smashes on the drums makes for a killer combination.

The entirety of Eyes and Nines’ tracks are primarily under 2-3 minutes with the exception of “Hash Wednesday,” but they all prove their point and leave their mark on the listener. The pounding waves that come from Trash Talk’s great use of emotion to convey and display their music in such a way that makes you want to move. It encourages jumping off of things around the room, it encourages anarchy, and best of all, it encourages just how downright entertaining music can be.

tharsh-talk-band-2014The tracks like “Flesh & Blood” and “Explode” are ultimately fuel to the fire that is Eyes and Nines. Trash Talk uses a slick guitar breakdown in “Flesh & Blood” to give the rest of the band a second to compile themselves before launching into one of the heavier second halves of the track. “Flesh & Blood” then perfectly jumps head first into “Explode” which begins with these blasting beats on the drums from Bosson, Spielman and Pollard yelling everything they have, and Stevenson again bringing furious riffs and grooves. “Explode” also features a breakdown, but it is short-lived and eventually launches right back into the action. The track finally comes to a close with the band exclaiming, “No one can save you now.”

This perfectly Segues into the next track, “Hash Wednesday” which is the longest and slowest track on Eyes & Nines. The track opens with what sounds like a preacher declaring that, “A person with no values, and no faith in god, and a nation with no values other than their own values are rubbish,” which then leads into this sludge-fest of an instrumental that echoes throughout the entirety of the track. The way that Trash Talk uses this anti-preacher opening relates back to the track “Explode” and its final lines.

Eyes and Nines constantly deals with the topic of mankind and its downfalls. The following track “Envy” describes “These ain’t your father’s battles this is more, Holy wars on foreign shores blitzkrieg cliques on world tours.” Trash Talk’s unique sound combines rage, pain, and aggression all into one package, the same could be said for the topics they discuss in their tracks. Topics like war, an unreachable goal of peace, and complete destruction of mankind always reign through in their message, which only adds to each release.

The tracks that follow, “I Do,” “Trudge,” and “On A Fix” are the fastest tracks on the entire album. As soon as these tracks begin blaring and destroying the surroundings, they end in a blaze of glory. “I Do” is a 39-second masterpiece that obliterates the ears, the track then transitions without skipping a beat into “Trudge.” “Trudge” continues to follow the destructive nature that Trash Talk does so well, but then falls into this pit of a breakdown that really is not much of a breakdown at all. Trash Talk actually seems to pick up intensity through this slow down, and it makes the entire track come together into one giant bomb that destroys everything around it.

8“On A Fix” is a chaotic frenzy of smashing percussion, howling vocals and guitars that blaze through the fret board. The track then again, perfectly transitions into the final song, “Eyes & Nines.” This was the climatic end to one of the loudest albums known to man. The bass line that opens the track, to the then deafening drums and vocals from both Spielman and Pollard backing each other up. The entire track just feels like a powerhouse from Trash Talk and it is the perfect send off into the immensely bright future for hardcore music, but the bleak future for mankind.

New Music – Misery in Space

a2530397806_10Clipping., the inconceivable spoken-word, minimalist electronic, but still innovative group from Los Angeles tries their hand at an album full of concepts of the unknown, dystopia, and the “Afrofuturism.”

Splendor and Misery is an interesting breed of an album, the minimalist approach to the instrumentation allows for the vocalization from Daveed Diggs to shine through and become the monumental point of Clipping.’s music.  The concept of Splendor and Misery follows “the sole survivor of a slave uprising on an interstellar cargo ship, and the onboard computer that falls in love with him. Thinking he is alone and lost in space, the character discovers music in the ship’s shuddering hull and chirping instrument panels” (Taken from Clipping.’s BandCamp page).

The concept leads the background instrumentation into strange bouncing percussion and the use of different beeping and blips which makes the entire album feel like an outer space journey. The first tracks “Long Way Away (Intro),” and “The Breach” follows this use of a near church-like chorus that discusses “follow(ing) the stars when the sun goes to bed, till everything I’ve ever known is long dead.” The lyrics constantly reflect this Slave uprising story and each track flows so well, that it honestly feels like listening to one long audiobook that varies on speed and atmospheric sounds used.

“The Breach” is a full speed blast of lyrics from Diggs to the point where it is outstanding the way he keeps the pace and is near impossible to understand exactly what he says even through multiple listens. The following track “All Black” is the first attempt at what sounds more like a Clipping. track. It is still following the use of spoken word, but the layering that follows Diggs’ voice still keeps the track feeling intense and claustrophobic.

The entirety of Splendor and Misery follows this very restless and overall claustrophobic style. Each track feels so tight, but also feels like a journey through the vast darkness that is space. It is an album of constant switching emotion from the split-personality of “Wake Up” to the use of more chorus sounding tones on “Long Way Away.”

Clipping. did a great job of using constant radio static, alarms, pounding metallic percussion, and the use of space to create this near-cinematic level story that relies on the use of atmosphere to illustrate this gigantic, hulking machine floating through outer space.

clipping-2016-promo-04-suzypoling-1780x1500-300
The track “Air ‘Em Out” is the first track that actually feels like a complete track with multiple verses, a chorus, and varying levels of instrumentation. Diggs still controls the entire track and the music just feels like it is there to give his lyrics more impact, Splendor and Misery could have been released without any instrumentation and it still would have been able to survive on just vocalization alone.

The following track “Break The Glass” goes back into the use of atmospheric sounds and drowning noises to create the beat. There is this constant use of steam, machine creaks, and what sounds like drums made out of steel beams to illustrate a fully working beast of iron and different metals.

Following is “Story 5” which again switches to the use of choruses to give more insight into perhaps what were songs being sung by the slaves before the uprising. These tracks mix up the action from the intense metallic assaults of the ship, to the then authentic and honestly beautiful voices from multiple singers. They work together to complement each other and the following track “Baby Don’t Sleep” goes right back into the synthetic sounds of a large ship with Diggs rattling off some quick verses.

The final track of Splendor and Misery is the cheeriest track on the entire album and while I personally like the track, I feel like the instrumentation is of a different style than the rest of the album. “A Better Place” as the track’s title suggest follows this use of what sounds like an organ that plays over a rapidly tapping boom-bap beat with a nice little bass drum roll fill in-between the tracks chorus and verses. The track then fades into the loud radio static heard so many times before, then straight into nothing, just silence.

0017_clippingThe constant style change keeps Splendor and Misery interesting enough to work not as a musical album, but more as a complex art project of spoken word and atmospheric sounds. It feels like listening to an audio book rather than a record, but is still able to tell a complex story that is still interesting to hear over and over again.

Classic Day – Soaked in Bleach

6cb91d2c3e554b028133947dfae73b43.pngBleach, the reason for the grunge music scene becoming a national phenomenon and the reason Nirvana would soon be launched into superstardom. Bleach was an album that combined animalistic aggression and an intriguing use of creativity to spawn one of the best punk rock records of not just its time, but in history.

The humble beginning of the track “Blew,” that a simple, but memorable bass line to lead the rest of Nirvana into the upward spiral that would be Bleach. “Blew” has metallic guitars that blast over the rest of the instruments, pounding drums, and vocals that lay down a ballistic attack over the listener’s ears. Rather than focusing on a more melodic style of music, Nirvana worked hand in hand with a careless attitude, but a serious outlook on making outstanding music.

The whole of Bleach follows a very strict pattern of mostly dark and sludgy sounding songs that destroyed speakers, shook up crowds, and gave people a reason to love punk again. “Floyd The Barber” follows and this again is an auditory assault. The near tribal drums from Chad Channing, the schizophrenic lyrics of Kurt Cobain, and the flowing bass from Krist Novoselic creates such a contrast between the next following song, “About A Girl.”

zedzi“About A Girl” keeps the pace of a Nirvana track, but instead decides to use more uplifting chords, less impactful drums, and ultimately a more lighthearted approach than the other tracks on Bleach. Surprisingly, “About A Girl” is still one of the more instrumentally jamming songs, and Kurt’s lyrics, “I can’t see you every night for free,” rephrase throughout the track, using harmonies from Novoselic and eventually fade into the more classic grunge sound Nirvana was known for.

“Wont you believe it, it’s just my luck” is nearly the only lyrics shouted from Cobain on the track “School,” but they coincide so well with the frantic guitar work. “School” is a track that emotionally feels so entertaining and this is primarily do to the way that Channing moves up and down the toms, using different fills and cymbals to battle the frantic guitar work.

The raw emotion that Nirvana portrays in each and every track on Bleach was so reinvigorating even now, 27 years later. I feel that as time progresses, Nirvana’s sound stays eternal and will never go out of style. At the time of Nirvana’s releases, they were looked at for the way they blazed trails, cared even less about public opinion, and generally wanted to just “stir shit.” Now nearly three decades after their first release, Nirvana is still looked at for their raw instinct that guided so many different musicians to find music as therapy and an expressive device.

Bleach continues with “Love Buzz” and “Paper Cuts.” Both tracks are different in style, but follow the same general principle. The thing that stands out on both tracks is Cobain’s voice and the strain in “Paper Cuts.” Kurt Cobain puts so much emotion into the lyrics of the two tracks, but the screeching on “Paper Cuts” is still just so memorable and when mixed with the instrumentation, it is a perfect combination.

4180569662_548d9f3f6e_zThe following track “Negative Creep” is easily the strongest and most abrasive of all the tracks on Bleach. The way the drums pound out sixteenth notes on the bass drum, the way Novoselic destroys the bass, and the way that Cobain just abuses the microphone. The shouting, the forceful guitar, and the whole attitude of the song just paints such a vivid image of true “Animal Rage.”

Bleach then follows with “Scoff,” an easy-going classic punk song that has a substantial breakdown that flip-flops between a detached amount of instrumentation and some head-banging bridges between the chorus and meat of the track.

“Swap Meet” then follows and this is again one of the heavier tracks on Bleach. The entirety of Bleach really takes no breaks from the destructive nature of grunge music. “About A Girl” is the only track that simply follows a totally different format than all of the other tracks. The way that “Swap Meet” follows this sporadic and always changing guitar riffs and solos, makes requests for some powerful background instrumentation from Channing and Novoselic which they fully deliver.

The following, “Mr. Moustache” is where Novoselic shines through and makes this track all about the bass line. The entire track revolves around the bass line and Cobain’s vocal performance. “Mr. Moustache” is a hundred-mile per hour drive into an ending that feels like hitting a brick wall. The entire band slows down into what feels like a near crawl, from the speedy and recklessness of the track’s opening, to the very bitter end, “Mr. Moustache” is one of the more musically challenging pieces on Bleach.

As Bleach slowly, or actually speedily comes to a close, the final tracks start to focus more and more on the bass and its importance to each track. “Sifting” has another stellar bass line that conspires with the guitar and becomes this flesh-out powerhouse of a track. The drums, bass, and guitar are the stars of most of Bleach, and while Cobain’s lyrics are interesting, Cobain ultimately decided he was not really interested on lyrics with Bleach. In an interview with SPIN Magazine, Cobain described his emotions toward the lyric’s of Bleach as, “(I) didn’t give a flying fuck what the lyrics were about,” claiming that around 80% were made up the night before recording. The music came first with Bleach, and it is clear in Nirvana’s later releases that Cobain would start to take writing lyrics with a more serious tone and approach.

The last two tracks “Big Cheese” and “Downer” are of a quicker pace, following the theme of getting in and destroying the stage before anyone could understand what just happened. “Downer” opens with one of the faster styles to the point where it feels almost sloppy, this feels like a call to the punk rocks songs and Bleach seems to tightrope between hard rock and punk music through the entirety of its length.

kurt-cobain-of-nirvana-001Bleach created an outbreak of a new genre, a genre called grunge that echoed into society for the rest of punk rock and hard rock’s days. Not Only was Nirvana successful in releasing a substantial debut record, but successful in starting a wave of new generations breaking down the musical walls.

Misc. Day – Finding Your Wings

cherry_bomb_tyler_the_creatorTyler, the Creator is the bombastic, energetic, and overall mastermind behind three critically acclaimed studio albums. Tyler’s first release being a mixtape under the name Bastard, which would eventually launch Tyler and his group, OF, into superstardom. What seemed like kids getting together to make music, eventually turned into one of the greatest moments of hip-hop history. Watching the evolution of Tyler, the Creator change not just mentally, but also musically was an adventure that I was more than happy to be a part of.

As Tyler’s mind grew more mature, he began reaching more and more into unknown territory with music. Tyler began rapping about what nearly every teenager thought of, he then progressed into what is now a stream of consciousness. Cherry Bomb is a look into the once provocative mind of Tyler, the Creator, but also a look forward into the future.

Cherry Bomb opens with “DeathCamp,” an extremely abrasive and in your face track that throws the rule book out of the window and just lets Tyler do what Tyler does best. Tyler was always a visionary through his music, allowing other opinions to become invalid, chaos to be made, and for Tyler to have total control over his creations. Cherry Bomb is Tyler, the Creator in his purest form, he puts every card on the table, holds nothing back, and releases his most progressive work to date.

The following tracks “Buffalo” and “Pilot” focus more on the current status of Tyler and what has happened in the years prior to his fame. The way Tyler describes “I’m in first class but I feel like coach” on “Pilot” was an interesting hook and the whole song has this catchy drum beat that echoes through the whole track until finally coming to an almost spoken-word section at the songs closing.

The next track “Run” is mixed in so quickly that it was actually hard to understand that it became a different track. Tyler, the Creator has always been an engaging and involved storyteller, Cherry Bomb is no different. Every track is mixed in so well and there really is no separation or down-time between tracks. There is a constant radio interference that reminds the listener of Golf Radio which is a fictional station that has giveaways to drive-ins, and even sneak peeks of upcoming movie clips.

Tyler, the Creator completely changed up his sound with Cherry Bomb, this is much more frantic than any of his past releases, but I would say that Wolf is the closest in actual sound, chords, and feel to Cherry Bomb. Wolf used horns, eccentric drums, and overall a jazzier approach, Cherry Bomb follows the jazzier style, but instead changes constantly between jazz and destructive hip-hop.

Tracks like “2Seater” and “Cherry Bomb” are perfect examples of this jazz-punk fusion. On “2Seater,” the track is a smoother transition between vocals from Tyler and singing from Syd from The Internet. The two musicians create this interesting blend of genres as Tyler is usually not elegant through his vocals, and Syd is just the opposite. Together they constantly complement each other, but also create a duality.

On the track “Cherry Bomb,” Tyler instead ditches the soft and gentle approach to the songs progression. Instead, Tyler brings a literal assault of bass and snare drum beats, aggressive synth static leads, and vocals that are near screams. Cherry Bomb can feel bi-polar at moments, as the way the mood swings from hostile to friendly, but that is the greatest thing about Cherry Bomb. It feels so natural and unforced.

screen-shot-2015-04-09-at-11-32-22Other tracks like “The Dark Stains of Darkeese Latifah Part 6-12 (Remix)” has again an intriguing beat and an intense feature from Schoolboy Q. The two tag-team this screeching track that constantly changes key, has this rising arpeggiator click, and one of the loudest mixes of a song to date. The track then transitions into totally different beat and style of verse from Tyler. The entire track just feels like being thrown into a mosh pit, it’s deafening, roaring, and ultimately an interesting way to transition into one of the slower songs on Cherry Bomb.

“Fucking YOUNG/Perfect” is another two-part track. The first half is a gentle singing track delivered by Tyler about a lover that is obviously too young. A classic love story that has a twist from the truly poetic mastermind. The second half is where the song really picks up and becomes outstanding, Kali Uchis delivers the best feature on the entire album. She perfectly closes the song, speaking from the position of the woman that Tyler is attracted to, being able to deliver some soft vocalization that is backed by a downright beautiful score of instruments.

The track “Smuckers” which follows has a great delivery from Tyler, Lil Wayne, and Yeezus himself. The beat has this nearly symphonic transition that features background chorus vocals and a 1970’s sounding ensemble of strings, horns, and percussion.

tumblr_nmrdn7da501rmvd7io1_400Finally, the last three tracks “Keep Da O’s,” “Okaga, CA,” and “Yellow” couldn’t have been more different than each other. “Keep Da O’s is a song that produces some of Tyler’s most out of place vocals to date, focusing more on money, chains, and stunting. While “Okaga, CA” and “Yellow (which was an exclusive physical track)” follows the lovelier side of Tyler. Bringing about a hopeful look into the future of Tyler, the Creator.

The whole experience of Cherry Bomb is one I seriously recommend and if you are new to Tyler, the Creator, this is the album to start with. It is Tyler in his purest, artist from. The way Tyler lets his ideas convey and speak for themselves, the musical progression, and very way Cherry Bomb is presented makes for Tyler’s most impressive piece yet.

New Music – Choking on Your Spit

a4124207003_10Get Gone is the soulful debut from Louisiana’s own, Seratones. The group is adapt at “rocking your socks off, bringing the house down, and blowing your mind.” Together Seratones have this great amount of Southern Charm that protrudes and shines through their music.

Get Gone kicks off with “Choking on Your Spit,” a breakneck dash with explosive percussion and blazing guitar grooves. Seratones’ lead vocalist AJ Haynes, has this powerful voice that booms and nearly takes over the entire track. Conner Davis on guitar, Adam Davis on bass, and Jesse Gabriel on the drums, create this immense amount of chemistry that sounds something like The Black Keys, Alabama Shakes, and even Creedence Clearwater Revival in one package.

“Headtrip” then follows and the percussion is outstanding in this track. The way Gabriel moves fills up and down the toms, and the way he also alternates from the march like style in the track’s opening, to the volatile, literal head rush of runs from every single drum. The other third of Seratones moves along in a march style, almost letting the drums light the way for the rest of the band.

The following track, “Tide,” slows down the action and allows the listener to take a step back and experience the blissful voice of Haynes. The track then eventually builds up into this use of background vocals from the rest of Seratones that nearly sounds like a church choir. “Tide” is a beautiful track that provides some calmer breakdowns, but still has this edge that sets it apart from other tracks. I kept coming back to this track over and over again just to hear the different layers and all the diverse sounds that Seratones used at their disposal.

“Chandelier” and “Sun” speed the action back up using some excellent complimentary sounds that draw out each instrument into its own entity. Every piece of instrumentation on Get Gone leads in some way, whether the percussion leads the guitars or vice-versa. Every single track has such a great amount of layers that overall create such an extraordinary sound that while feels inspired by others, follows no one else.

The self-titled track, “Get Gone” feels like a trudge through the summer heat. It has almost this western twang to it, but it actually works. “Get Gone” is another track that forces Seratones to switch up their style, always changing and evolving to every track. To say that any song feels similar, would be a disservice to Seratones. The band not only breaks barriers through genre, but breaks barriers of sound as well.

Then Get Gone comes to the track “Kingdom Come” which is again, another sprint of a track. This was easily my favorite song off of Get Gone, everything about “Kingdom Come” feels so incredibly drawn out. Haynes voice, Gabriel’s flashy cymbal work, the way Davis uses different pedals to add weight onto his guitar, and the way Davis hurries the song along with a slick bass groove just creates this masterpiece of a track.

seratones-pooneh-ghana-general-4-high-resSeratonesGet Gone has a hit-track at every turn. The way Haynes carries the vocals, both Davis’s carried the rhythm section, and Gabriel’s work on the percussion makes quick work of what sounds like a timeless album. Get Gone not only rocks your socks off, but it restores “your faith in the power of Rock & Roll.”

New Music – Big Dreams & Bent Schemes

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-6-19-07-pmBig Dreams & Bent Schemes is the breakout EP from Couvo, this up and coming artist try’s his hand with a 9-track cruise of an album that is both moving and energetic.

The opening track, “Saturday Night” fires off with some blaring guitar and a radio style voice that fazes in-between a clear and static style. The vocal change was interesting, bringing a new level of depth to something that other artists would simply overlook. The backing instrumentation becomes cheery, but slowly fades into an interlude that slows the album down.

“Dreamed Out” sounds more symphonic in the way it uses different horns and hordes of people to create this great amount of claustrophobia. Following is the track “Sunday Morning,” which has this simple boom bap drum beat that eventually bursts into a chorus of hi-hat rattles and guitar off-beats eventually fade in. The chorus adds a slight comparison from what sounds like acoustic percussion, to the now modern style of electronic pop.

Big Dreams & Bent Schemes then moves forward into “Wasting Time” which is an overly delighful style track with an organ giving a background groove and the guitar strumming along. Lyrics like “I don’t really know about tomorrow” gives off this easy and care-free feeling, and “Wasting Time” is a well produced track, but just seems to be leaning a little too close to the radio friendly style for me. The singing and the way the instruments are used sounds closer to a song that would be played on college radio or at a festival in the park.

Couvo goes for a more acoustic approach with “When I Grow Up Again.” This track was the most original sounding, not adapting a radio style, or an overly-cheery style. The bass work is also filling and adds some serious depth, then as the rest of the instruments begin to kick in, the track feels outstanding. If Couvo had this same level of depth and feel to each track, I would have no problem recommending this to everyone.

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-6-20-34-pmCouvo then changes up the style of the album completely, “All I Need” adopts an almost R&B style. It follows soft-spoken vocals and an even softer guitar that almost silently lets off a few strums and solos throughout the track. Following is “Where Are We Going” which again uses some more acoustic guitars that create a nice, slick, groove. I personally thought this was one of the stronger tracks on the album.

Couvo’s Big Dreams & Bent Schemes is quite the dynamic project. At certain points it is a new age rock album that has this blast of guitar, drums, and shouting vocals with immense levels of power. Then at other points it becomes this slowed down, almost electronic style that uses different levels of instruments and plug-ins. Big Dreams & Bent Schemes is ultimately a story that has been heard before, but Couvo twists it to become his own and hopefully has more in the future.

Classic Day – Con Artists

41QE08D8ZWL.jpgCrappin’ You Negative is the third studio album by the indie-rock sensation, Grifters. The lo-fi, Memphis, Tennessee band with an everlasting and inspiring sound that helped make waves in the music community, even if the waves were more underground.

Grifters is a four-piece that works together to make records that do not take themselves so seriously; Crappin’ You Negative is one of those albums that has comedic track titles, but actually have a solid foundation. The opening track simply titled, “Rats” has these effortless sounding guitar strums that echo through the song. The buzzing bass hums behind the overall intriguing use of reverberation on the vocals. The track is mixed in part with a rising movement that increases the song into more of a dash. The instruments feel sloppy, but not in an inadequate way, it feels like a more relaxed approach rather than the latter.

Grifters do an incredible job of having Crappin’ You Negative feel like it is being played in front of you on a stage rather than through speakers. Grifters bring so much energy to each track and together they work to make the tracks themselves feel like they are being played lived. Tracks like “Skin Man Palace,” “Holmes,” and even “Bronze” which has a total 90’s garage band sound, are still authentic and let the listener tap into the quicker side of Grifters.

Crappin’ You Negative has a considerable amount of variety to the tracks. Certain tracks speed up the action and make a quick stage-dive or two, but Grifters can also do a great job slowing down and making more of a sluggish movement instead.

With tracks like “Dead Already,” “Felt Tipped Over,” “Junkie Blood,” and even “Piddlebeach” that has this ominous use of a didgeridoo, are all absorbing. The way these tracks will suck you in and make you actually feel the music, engrossing you in its subject matter and half-heartedly making you want to buy a didgeridoo. It was interesting to see a band that can use so many of the same elements, but make them all sound unique through each track. Rather than creating the same song 14-different times, they simply make 14 songs, 14 different ways.

92130463198795204Following Grifters always adapting sound, the track “Here Comes Larry” has an eerie and continuously echoing acoustic guitar that is backed up by what sounds like faint radio static behind it. The track then fades into finale, “Cinnamon.” An explosive last track that fills the room with slick guitar work, rapid percussion, and some softer-spoken lyrics that almost seem to contradict the rest of the track. “Cinnamon” then ends with the band fading out into a crowd setting, the bass drums rattles and then finally, comes to silence.

 

Misc. Day – Turned Tombstones

i_dont_like_shit_i_dont_go_outside_an_album_by_earl_sweatshirtI Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside is a new and different type of Earl Sweatshirt. Sweatshirt through his career transformed from just a child to a man in a matter of only five years. Gone are the immature lyrics and beats, they are instead ditched for grittier and grimier sounding tones that are more like a serious side of Earl. Listening to I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside is like listening to a horror music soundtrack that relies on rough sounding bass and the use of near-symphonic piano chords to create a sense of how somber life is for Sweatshirt.

Given as this is Earl Sweatshirt’s second studio album, expectations are high for the still young rapper. I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside is a record of vivid dreams that creates a picture of what growing up, progressing through life, dealing with depression, and deaths of friends and family are. This is a journey through the inner channels of Sweatshirt’s mind, even including personal accounts of stealing and hitting “licks” to survive.

Through one song titled “Grown ups,” Earl has a great line about “Asking god for favors, guess he isn’t home…” which is Earl’s way of saying he never found comfort in religion. He would pray to God but never find answers, which then resulted in having to hit the streets to make another tomorrow. Having nothing given to him was the way Earl has always lived and the way he always will live.

On the first track “Huey,” subjects such as drug use, money, death and being unable to focus on real problems are all prevalent. Earl describes his life today almost like “Burgundy” on Doris, speaking on the terms of his grandmother and the fact that Earl hasn’t had an unchallenging life. Earl has always been on a struggle to not only surviving in Los Angeles but also dealing with his “friends” that say they will be there but never are. I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside is a stepping-stone to see what Earl has in store for the audience as we go deeper into his psyche.

grief1A single was released for the album called “Grief” which shows imagery of rats, snakes, and a dark world which is what Earl primarily sees in the world. Sweatshirt does not keep many close friends as he describes in another line, “Can’t trust these hoes, Can’t even trust my friends.”

I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside is a true masterpiece coming from the mastermind behind this interestingly produced record. Sweatshirt not only sets the bar, he raises it high and hits chins while on it.

New Music – A Love Divine

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Mac Miller’s The Divine Feminine is a cinematic love voyage through the deepest parts of Miller’s psyche. Rather than talking about the dark depression like in his previous work, Mac Miller is alive and well; proving that he is not only able to adapt to daily life, but musically as well.

The Divine Feminine opens with “Congratulations,” a track with a similar piano solo to the one in Pixar’s “Up.” Miller spreads his arms and lets this track melt over the listener, this is a song that sounds straight out of the movies. Rather than opening with a banger, Miller decides to take an entirely different approach to this song, and this album.

The Divine Feminine is a rare breed of an album, Miller balances between a record that could be shown to your mother, a record that could be played in night clubs, and even played to flow some excitement into a room. It is strange in concept, Mac Miller making an album all about love and every song becoming something that Miller has never done before; but it just works incredibly well.

Miller has changed his style up so much and has adopted so many different genres in his music that it is near impossible to keep track of his accomplishments. From the tracks like “Dang!” and “God is Fair, Sexy, Nasty” where Miller is able to tightrope between a jazz hit and these subtle two-step tracks. The Divine Feminine has such a reinvigorating use of chord progression and horns that for a moment, this does not even sound like an album from Hip-Hop aficionado, Mac Miller.

Following “Dang!” is the track “Stay” which has these downright incredible horns that blast and protrude throughout the song. Then as the beat slowly fades in and the percussion lays down some 808’s and some innovative hi-hat beats, the track feels complete. Miller does magnificent job of layering each track and making them feel so fleshed-out and massive.macmiller

Miller also continues to sing more on this project than in the past. On GO:OD AM Miller did sing on certain songs, but The Divine Feminine features singing performances on nearly every song. Miller has shown improvement with his voice since GO:OD AM and thankfully the beats behind Miller are interesting enough to move the songs forward as well.

The Divine Feminine was overall an interesting expedition through Mac Miller’s approach to an album full of love songs. Surprisingly, the album came out better than I had originally expected and it might take a few listens, but The Divine Feminine could be one of Miller’s best projects. If nothing else, The Divine Feminine is definitely the most transformative album coming from Miller in a long time.

Classic Day – New York Platinum

NasIllmatic.jpgNas, the ever-prolific, verbal “Assassin” drags the listener in to the gritty New York Streets and shows them the ropes of what an average day would be like in the concrete jungle. The disgusting people, the seedy underbelly of a world of crime, but also the beauty in New York, a journey through a double life, and doing what needs to be done for survival. In the end, Nas is an educator, rather than just another New York rapper.

Illmatic, not only one of the most outstanding hip-hop records ever, but also a statement on life in New York. The constant struggle to overthrow the next person in power to come out on top. Nas has no problem opening up on his personal story, and from the very beginning of “N.Y. State of Mind,” it is clear what his intentions are.

“N.Y. State of Mind,” has this New York at nighttime feel, the back-alleys with manholes spewing steam, the busy streets, and the classy style of the people. Nas opens up about where his roots are, “Straight out the fucking dungeons of rap, where fake niggas don’t make it back.” Nas is not afraid to put his personal story out there to share exactly what goes down in The City That Never Sleeps. Rather than speaking of how wonderful life is there, he explains the struggle for food, power, and survival.

Nas then follows up with “Life’s a Bitch” which has this smooth, boom-clap beat. It feels like a callback to the jazzier sides of hip-hop, and throughout Illmatic, these callbacks to a different time period. The smooth beats, the constant theme of survival, and growing up on the city streets. The hook, while laid over this uplifting beat is quite depressing, “Life’s a bitch and then you die, that’s why we get high cause you never know where you’re gonna go.”

Illmatic then comes to “The World Is Yours,” which is hands down one6902284383_2bc80c495e of the greatest hip-hop songs ever made. The beat, the lyrics, everything about this track is just so musically sound and it gives Illmatic a switch up in style. The lyrics are still about how untamed Nas’ life was, but it at least has a more uplifting mood and looks to the future with bright eyes.

Following is the track “Halftime,” which goes back to the boom-bap style that was made popular by the East Coast rap clique. Nas was the king of East Coast rap and anytime that someone mentions New York or the East Coast, they will be talking about Nas. “Halftime” has these intriguing horn pops that go in synchronization with the hook and it truly makes the track come alive.

All over Illmatic there is an enormous amount of Jazz horns being played over the beats and it gives the feeling of something like a street performer playing in the wee hours of the night. The horns compliment each beat so well, making every track feel similar in style, but entirely different in tone. Each track feels so layered and it was nearly impossible not to fall in love with each one. It was no question seeing why Illmatic is still talked about today as one of the greatest records of all time.

Nas then continues on with the theme of the older days with “Memory Lane (Sittin’ in Da Park.” The beat rather than having horns that flare up, has a great use of vocal samples and record scratching to fill the empty space. Nas strikes again with another great verse and throughout the whole of Illmatic, there is not one single verse that feels lacking or not fleshed out. Nas did an incredible job with each track, making his story relatable and understandable by all. Nas takes the listener to New York, shows him the situations, and the finally proves why Nas was and still is The King of New York.

Personal Post – I

So this is going to be a recap of some numbers, some thank you’s, and some future stuff. Lets start with the boring things first…

Since I started this website, I have had exactly as of right now

  • 768 Total Views
  • 201 Visitors from all different formats
  • Hit an all-time view count of 41 on September 9th
  • And finally had viewers from not just the U.S., but also China, the U.K., Russia, and Australia

 

So since the numbers are out of the way… I want to say thank you. For every single person that has and will ever read my opinion on music. I put my soul into this site, and I couldn’t be happier seeing people coming back every week and reading. This will grow, I promise… I have not missed a single day yet, and I will do everything I can to keep that going. I have a  ton of things going on in my life, Senior Year is no joke… But seriously, stick with me and I promise you that I will not fail you. I will write on this site until I can no longer hear music, or type on a keyboard. I want to start in Pittsburgh, but see MattsMusicMine.com grow around the U.S., then finally the world. I am going to hold this shit down and make my dream come true. Just stick with me, and enjoy what is coming.

Speaking of the future… I have had business cards made and are available for anyone to get. If you would like one or ten, just e-mail me or hit me up in real life if you know me. There are also going to be T-Shirts made very shortly so again if you want one, just let me know and I will gladly send them out. Nothing too extravagant, just a little something for the people who support me. I am still taking suggestions for any music, do not be shy. I will listen to anything and try to share my opinion. It is still crazy to see how everyday this little castle of mine continues to grow. No one starts at the top, but I intend to see it within my lifetime. I treat MattsMusicMine.com like a job or a future career. One day I hope I can live off this site, but until then I want everyone to know that I appreciate every single follower, every single view, and every single person that even acknowledges me in this vast world. Thanks again, and welcome to The Mine.

Matthew Ryan Miramontes

 

 

Misc. Day – Back to The Shadows

amy_winehouse_-_back_to_black_albumAmy Winehouse, the immensely talented singer with a dark past that was able to refine soul music and bring it to a mainstream audience. The use of her blissful voice, tainted storytelling, and ultimately a story of despair, produced one of the greatest soul records of all time.

Back to Black is the tale of Amy Winehouse’s unfortunate downfall and run-ins with depression, alcoholism, and an endless string of pain. While Back to Black has a primarily cheery sound, the end product when mixed with Winehouse’s ability to illustrate the short-comings within herself becomes a picture of light forming into the shadow. The “black” creeps in as the light fades out, the whole album is constantly met with this undying theme of duality within itself.

Back to Black begins with Winehouse’s hit song, “Rehab” which not only was one of the biggest songs off of the album, but the perfect example of how Winehouse struggled with her addiction and those around her wanted to help her with her habit. Back to Black as the title suggests is a constant downward motion. The perpetual spiral Winehouse describes through her music, leading up to her death in 2011 leaves a bitter taste in the listener’s mouth. Back to Black is such a masterpiece musically, but it has this great amount of baggage and dread attached to the tracks and what Winehouse speaks of.

amy1000The following track “You Know I’m No Good” has this great jazz style bass line and the drums behind both Winehouse and the gradual horn flare creates this relaxed feel. The musicians that Winehouse worked with on Back to Black did a perfect job of backing her vocals and to have them both stand out without overpowering each other could not have been done any better. Winehouse sings a great chorus “I cheated myself like I knew I would” and again, it gives off an uneasy feeling to the listener.

“Me & Mr. Jones” follows and this is the perfect example of what sounds like soulful, gospel music. The organ, the lively background vocals, and even the way Winehouse uses her booming voice to assert herself in the track was outstanding.

Then the song “Just Friends” has this interesting dreamy guitar beginning that slowly rises up into the use of off-beats on the percussion. Winehouse again does an outstanding vocal performance and that is one of the staples of Back to Black. With any other singer, this record would just simply not work. Winehouse does an incredible job with each delivery and she can make even the most hurtful lyrics sound like silk.

Finally, the track “Back to Black” comes into frame and it is easily one of the best tracks Winehouse has ever performed in her career. Everything about this song was executed so well, and the strings ensemble used these great chords that stick out so well and could make a substantial song by itself.

There is also the track “Wake Up Alone” which has this 1950’s teenage dance sense to it. The guitar moves freely through the fret-board making the whole track feel like as if it is moving in slow motion. Winehouse speaks again about “The dark covers me and I cannot run now.”
Amy Winehouse was a truly talented musician and Back to Black is her swan song of an album that touches into the depths of her struggleamy-winehouse-4 with depression, addiction, and ultimately death. Winehouse was able to create on of the most soulful albums of a generation, and will live on through her tracks that continue to rattle the Earth even to this day.

New Music – Eternal $uicide

screen-shot-2016-09-16-at-1-42-38-am$uicideboy$, the now fairly known punk/clout/trill-rap group that swept the underground rap scene by storm, finally releases their highly anticipated debut album, Eternal Grey. This was supposed to be the best of the best from $uicideboy$, the real crème de la crème. Unfortunately, Eternal Grey is interesting at a first glance, but then slowly fades into what feels like a writer’s block nightmare.

Eternal Grey has some interesting and intuitive instrumentation, the beats that back the tracks are actually varied and switch up in style even within the songs themselves. What was lacking, was the actual verses. $uicideboy$ has always been on the verge of “edgy” and “trying too hard,” with Eternal Grey, they start to teeter more towards the “too hard” part of the spectrum.

The first track that comes to mind is “I Want to Believe,” this track starts out promising with a strong introduction from $crimm, or who is now better known as Yung $carecrow. Then it goes into this outrageously aggressive screaming match that destroys the track. Usually this would be something I could get behind as it is an in your face kind of attitude, however on “I Want to Believe” it just feels so out of place and unwelcome.

There were some great things on Eternal Grey, but they were mostly the production side of things. The beats on “BREAKDALAW2K16,” “Elysian Fields,” and the wolf howl sample used on “Eclipse” were all great uses of what $uicideboy$ had at their disposal.  Unfortunately, the production just was not enough to save Eternal Grey from becoming monotonous after only a few listens.

From the track “Ultimate Suicide” that was leaked, it was easy to become immensely excited to hear some new music from the “Underground Kings.” Instead I found it to be better to go back to their older tapes that had more fleshed out ideas. Eternal Grey has so many shifts and jumps in songs, which sometimes works out for the album but in this case it crushed the album down even farther than it already was.

Eternal Grey was a project that had more than enough hype and potential to be $uicideboy$ best release to date. Sadly, the debut album is more of a less interesting sounding montage of all their songs from previous releases.

Eternal Grey was an experimental mess of misery, rather than moving forward, I feel like Eternal Grey is just standing still. It was not entirely a flop. The production continues to become better and better and while I downright hated certain songs, there were still some moments that made me feel like I was discovering $uicideboy$ all over again.

 

Classic Day – Banned Brains

bad_brains_debutBad Brains, the album that is better known to the public as “Banned in D.C.” will be the album that sparks a punk revolution. Bad Brains was a legendary group that seamlessly blended both raw aggression and slowed reggae to spread peace, love, and empowerment through music.

Bad Brains opens to the clash of drumsticks deciding the tempo to what would become one of the catchiest songs on Bad Brains line-up. “Sailing On” would become a staple in music history, the vocal performance from front-man H.R., the bands quick fingers on both the guitar and bass from Dr. Know and Darryl Jenifer, and the iconic drums being played by non other than H.R.’s little brother Earl Hudson, creates a frenzy and flurry of emotion that pours in within the track’s first four seconds.

The band had an established following in their hometown of D.C. for not only being Rastafarians that played punk music, but for their off the charts level of energy they brought to shows. Stage diving, wild dancing, and mosh pits were all synonymous with Bad Brains, and D.C. would soon have nothing to do with that.

The Track “Banned In D.C.” would touch upon their short-lived banned in the clubs and lyrics like “Banned in D.C. with a thousand more places to go.

Gonna swim across the Atlantic, cause that’s the only place I can go,” show their disapproval with the ban. It was not entirely surprising to see Bad Brains banned, but it was surprising to see how wildly successful the band was despite the ban. The group would move to do tours all over the United States, Europe, and pretty much any place that wanted to see Bad Brains destroy a venue.

Wild, belligerent, but still at a 5be695ccc9a745ef87b7eb1df2d718b0moments notice, able to calm down and go into a slow melodic groove of jazz, complimented with reggae. The group was able to understand how important the merging of multiple genres was in music, and were able to blend them perfectly.

Bad Brains will go from tracks like “The Regulator,” “Attitude,” Supertouch/Shiftit,” “Big Take Over,” and even “Right Brigade,” to the tender and tranquil tracks like “Leaving Babylon,” or “Jah Calling” where they could be played in a late night jazz club. Bad Brains has these breaks in the action, but they are done so well for the album has this great motion and flow that keeps the breaks feel so significant to the the record.

Not only is Bad Brains a punk hybrid, with reggae influences. They are actually social commentators that give the voiceless a voice in all the confusion that is daily life. Punk bad-brains-1979music was freedom and was a liberating way to express oneself in the 1970’s, just as it is today. Bad Brains shows how the punk mentality is not just for a single group of people, it can work for everyone and music can connect one branch of people to another.

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