While the Debauchees songs and sound are admirably weird, there's a certain stiffness in their playing that leaves me cold on a few tracks on this full-length debut.
On bad meets Evil, Eminem and Royce Da 5'9" bring the best out in one another and start spitting fire like King Koopa on the last stage of Super Mario Brothers. These guys put their drama and hip hop superstar backgrounds behind them to send out verse after rap battle verse that paint them as two of the most uncaring, reckless, and misogynistic men on the planet. Or rather, Evil.
While the lyrics are vivid and the flows are unstoppable--especially on the posse track that ends this EP--there's nothing all that special or unique about these beats or hooks. The fact of the matter is the production isn't living up to how great of a tag team these two Detroit vets are.
Still, despite what issues this album has, this is a must-listen for both Royce and Em fans. Because they really do push one another to write some great verses on this one. Hopefully, we won't need to wait another decade for these guys to release another set of tracks.
On Blood Ceremony's second album, the Canadian band embraces a traditional style of doom metal; but they still manage to make worlds collide. With guitar riffs coming straight out of the Toni Iommi playbook and flute playing that calls out to Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson, this album is like a rock nerd fantasy collaboration come true! Everything from the musicianship to the recording style on this album is pretty damn solid. I'm not 100% on the vocals, but it's a detail I can overlook when everything else I'm dealing with here is so rich, smoky, and flavorful.
On Fucked Up's new album, the band brings concept to the forefront for a group of songs that tell a dramatic tale of love and loss. It's pretty, well, complicated. As "epic" as this story is, what makes it grandiose also kinda kills it for me, too. These songs make use of punk's trademark aggression and speed, but draws all the intensity out to a point where it no longer feels energetic, thrilling, cathartic, or any of the other things I look to this style of music for.
Which leads me to believe that it's just not for me. Maybe some of the more melodic moments could have gone over better if the vocals displayed as much dynamics, but the recording, instrumentation, and message are all pretty good.
For any punk fan, love it or hate it, it's at least worth a visit.
On the band's sixth album, Black Lips clean up their sound with Mark Ronson at the mixing board. And even though things are coming in cleaner and clearer, the band hasn't lost any of their energy and attitude in the process--which is what makes Black Lips records so great in the first place. While not every one of these sixteen songs is a certified hit, the album goes in a cohesive direction and brings absolutely no filler to the table.
Is this record for you? Find out in this review.
Review: Black Lips- Arabia Mountain
Beirut has a new single out! Those who love hearing the sounds of Eastern European music filtered through an American lens can rejoice! But honestly, Zach Condon's Beirut has put together two pretty solid full-length records, and this single has mouths--or ears, maybe--watering for a third.
"East Harlem" is the first single to drop from this possible forthcoming LP.
Is this track for you? Find out in this review.
Review: Beirut- "East Harlem"
Stream: Beirut- "East Harlem"
Come, my children! Indulge in this glorious thrash metal! Denver, Colorado isn't exactly a mecca of thrash metal, but Havok still manages to string together some of the genre's best characteristics into one 11-track gauntlet. This LP rarely lets up, and dishes out one hard riff after another.
The songs are kind of limited in their mood and delivery--you know, maybe it could have used a longer or slower song to break things up. Still, Havok writes some really strong and intricate songs within the fast-paced and aggressive ideal they've stuck to.
It's definitely one of the more consistent and energetic metal albums I'll be reviewing this year.