Hurry "Every Little Thought (Lame-O)"
Who has the best record collection of the BRM/RTP roster? Is it Matt Scottoline from Hurry? Is it his love of Aztec Camera, Nada Surf, and Teenage Fanclub make him the man i most want to go record shopping with? Actually, Every Little Thought (Lame-O Records) really reminds me of the Martin Rushent produced Go Go’s album “Talk Show”, and that is really big compliment (can i say that is my 2nd favorite Go Go’s album?). Really. Check it out. Meanwhile between “Every Little Thing” and “Heatwave” who is writing catchier pop/punk? WHO WHO? Betcha can’t name anyone…. Check out “Waiting For You” and help me get Jane Wiedlan to play second guitar!
Keiji Haino and SUMAC "American Dollar Bill – Keep Facing Sideways, You’re Too Hideous To Face On (Thrill Jockey)"
Preeminent Japanese multi-instrumentals and in your face provocateur Keiji Haino has teamed up with preeminent heavy metal weirdos SUMAC to record a punishing, bonkers bit of what I’m going to refer to as free metal. What is free metal? Well, think free jazz, and add heavy metal. Makes sense, right? So the sound is somewhere between John Zorn’s Naked City and Mike Patton’s more esoteric efforts. American Dollar Bill – Keep Facing Sideways, You’re Too Hideous To Face On (Thrill Jockey) was recorded in a studio in Japan without any preplanning, all the musicians are improving here. Shout out to all of those writers who are paid by the word–IS THAT STILL AT THING?–and check out the epically titled “What have I Done? (I Was Reeling In Something White and I Became Able to do Anything I Made a Hole Imprisoned Time Within it Created Friction Stopped Listening to Warnings Ceased Fixing my Errors Made the Impossible Possible? Turned Sadness Into Joy) Pt. 1.” (That’s right, there is a part two)
The Skull Defekts "The Skull Defeckts (Thrill Jockey)"
The fate of The Skull Defekts was sealed before they ever laid one track down on their latest self-titled LP. Joachim Nordwall had decided before they started working on this album in 2016 that it would be the band’s last. But the fact that they decided to record one more album for old time’s sake proves not only how important the band is to it’s members, but also just how vital the music on the album is. This might be their strongest slice of post-punk, goth-y, bloom-y metal.. whatever you wanna call what they do (think Bauhaus mixed with The Fucking Champs) it’s at it’s peak on this, their swan song. Check out the black mascara sounds of “Clean Mind.”
Various Artists "Hexadic III (Drag City)"
For the third collection of Hexadic music Ben Chasny, aka Six Organs Of Admittance, tried something new–not appearing on the album. Hexadix III (Drag City) is a compilation of various artists dabbling in Ben’s self-created manner of songwriting. He’s devised a system where by you deal yourself cards and let those cards determine the chords played. After 2 albums of that, he’s decided to let his friends in on the deal (pun intended). The big difference here is that when Ben does it, he generally sticks to acoustic guitars, giving the whole thing a strange folk flavor. But the bands on this album (Jenks Miller, Moon Duo, and Meg Baird to name a few) did things their own way. So wether it’s Jenks’ spindly guitars, organs, and echo-ladened vocals on “The Hanging Man”, or Moon Duo’s subsonic pulses and reverb-soaked guitars on “Square Of The Sun” the results are strikingly original, leaving the whole thing a varied yet cohesive affair. Check out the aforementioned “The Hanging Man” by Jenks Miller.