In a conversation with a friend this weekend we agreed that “amazing” and “wonderful” and other superlatives need to dropped from our vocabularies. Even “great” is just too overused; if everything is a high, how do you mark the middles? Does it simply serve to make the good incomprehensible and everything else from ok on down drift into hateful? Is that why everything must either “rule” or “suck” these days?
It’s kinda fucking with our ability to talk about cultural objects, be they cupcakes or codpieces.
Then this shit comes along and, well, it’s great. It’s great as in I’ve been listening to it nonstop since I got the album from Profound Lore this weekend; I picked it up based solely on the strength of “The Inheritance”
There’s only a few small moments which run against the otherwise smooth sixty minutes of No Help for the Mighty One – a few growls and barks on “Beneath the Crown” mar Subrosa‘s 70s permastoned gloss. This short run into more stereotypical trappings is brief and not particularly debilitating. And though at first listen the a capella sea shanty “House Carpenter” is kind of confusing, that feeling passes. Melancholic stoner doom pop held together with extremely strong vocal harmonies should be confident enough to give the geetars a rest for a minute.
Subrosa has produced an exciting album that showcases the best that cultural hybridity offers us; post-rock builds and low end grind, offset by strong songwriting, memorable melodies and an overwhelming sadness. Sounds terrible on paper, but paper ain’t sound.
Though I often throw stones at their staff’s lack of research into the particular esoterica I’m familiar with, this piece on the resurgence of cassettes is exceptionally well done. I grew up listening to cassettes, so the whole thing is mostly baffling, but the economics of it make a bit of sense. There’s also the unique exclusivity of using a dead medium, without the bratty edge of the folk who put out stuff on 8-track.*
As mentioned in this post, my efforts to find out more about a band called Leech** will apparently involves a cassette label.
Neat-ish, but problematic. I have no way to play the things.
I haven’t used a cassette deck in about fifteen years, and there’s plenty of good reasons why. The sound quality kinda sucks it and the hissing is irritating. They break. They’re linear to a fault.
The single greatest thing about my first cd player (which I got by trading Garage Days Re-revisited to a friend’s older brother) was the ability to listen to the same song over and over again. I could not have been more blown of mind than had you showed me an iPhone.
* (They’re dicks.)
** A glib description would be Godspeed You Black Metal Emperor, but a more evocative (and accurate) take is Slint sent forward in time to live in a cabin and write overly long jams that just happen to be stunning.
Music For Infants: My preliminary field notes indicate that babies, by and large, don’t give a shit about music. However, there are two exceptions in Vashti Bunyan and David Tibet, particularly Sleep Has His House. Weirds me the hell out, it does. Not because Sleep is a bad album, or because it is rightfully considered one of Current 93‘s finest works and this indicates supernatural prescience, but because it’s about a dead father, sung by his living son.
But it soothes the savage beast, and so I worry not.
This past year was one of preparation and rediscovery. Health and Death and yet another triumphant Boredoms experience. Throbbing Gristle, set in motion during my own infancy, played “Discipline” in an old Masonic Temple and drew a circle around what I imagined my youth to be. Will Oldham demonstrated extreme American exceptionalism while millions inexplicably mourned a dead pedophile; Antony showed an overwhelming capacity for international superstardom, hemmed in only by being a beautiful woman who doesn’t look like one. Continue reading →
I don’t belive I listened to this album that year; I was neck deep in NYC’s tiny IDM scene and related hijinks, like watching people I care about slowly go insane. I do know I had heard Dilate by the time On The Eclipse came out, but like most of their work nothing has really stuck as truly and as well as Dilate. Continue reading →
If their debut album was a small boat floating down a creek on a humid summer night, and their second album was a slightly corny campfire sing-along, then Love is Simple is Akron Family running a riverboat that only allows you to gamble on frog races.
Now, does that make any damn sense? No, it does not. But it’s true.
“Ed is a Portal” – ok? There are something like seven musical styles in this song, and over those six minutes you get drum machines and synths, the campground vocal harmonies they love so much, twangy geetars, and some other stuff too. I mean, it basically comes down to this – do you like good things? Yes?