Weekly Capsule Reviews: 22/01/2017

forever

This week: Code Orange, SOHN, Sepultura

Older releases: Parquet Courts, Lisa Hannigan


Code Orange: Forever [Roadrunner, 13/01/2017]

A venture to Roadrunner from Deathwish could’ve curtailed their “metallic hardcore”, but didn’t. You can hear rumblings of an influence in the more “orthodox” tracks like “Bleeding in the Blur”‘s “clean vocals” and “Ugly”‘s catchy, fast-paced chorus. The female injection of Reba Meyers’ voice is a lovely ingredient adding a “softer” tone that matches the more melodious tracks. I was nicely intrigued for the half-hour plus. (8/10)


SOHN: Rennen [4AD, 13/01/2017]

The strong, independent woman stuff isn’t new to popular music, even from the gob of a man. But the only reason she’s that way is because of the liquor. I found his voice interesting enough to carry it and fortunately his multi-instrumentation and computerisations were kept to a gimmicky minimum even with the loop in “Falling”. His semi-falsettos are a nice little treat as boring as they are. Track one to ten is enjoyable enough to get you through the entire album with little-to-no qualms, except for its dull subject matter. I see a lot of this multi-instrumentation, new-age R&B stuff cropping up now. I think the authentics do it better. If this guy doesn’t veer from his play-it-safe construction I can’t see him going much further. (7/10)


Sepultura: Machine Messiah [Nuclear Blast, 13/01/2017]

Thrashy enough and groovy enough, obviously, what did you expect? There were scratchings of classic Spanish guitar in there, acoustic or otherwise. “Phantom Self” is very much groove-based with Latino and an Arabian-ish string arrangement. “Iceberg Dances” was a nice instrumental with a ’60s- and ’70s-like organ adding a more traditional rock base to their already established sound. The diehards like it and will be able to give you the “subtle intricacies” of their sound. I can’t and won’t. (6/10)


Older releases

Parquet Courts: Human Performance [Rough Trade, 08/04/2016]

Austin Brown, Andrew Savage, Max Savage, and Sean Yeaton are garage punks letting loose their woes of inner-city turmoil. “One Man No City” is probably a nihilistic view of urban isolation, “Steady on My Mind” is The Velvet Underground as a more slow-vibe Loaded or a more contemplative White Light/White Heat, and “Two Dead Cops” is about violence in the policing system—nice to hear this perspective from a non-black source. Their obvious, Velvet Underground anti-beauty is a refreshing listen in this current climate. They’re as musical as they want to sound and it’s just pure streamlined deadpan in its nature. I’m gagging for some sort of punk noise, sound, or—dare I say—politics these days. If you’re of the garage/punk mould and you have a thing for the likes of Lou Reed, these are your boys. (8/10)


Lisa Hannigan: At Swim [Hoop/PIAS, 19/08/2016]

At Swim deals with the theme of the struggles of love through a sea and watery metaphor—drowning, a tough nautical voyage, and all that. And this is accompanied by her beautiful, quivering, melismatic tone. Check out “Snow”, the most fetching track on the record. The usual “indie” tag is bestowed upon her. An acoustic guitar and voice count as indie these days. A little bereft of imagination from the industry as usual but a nice, clean listen nonetheless. (7/10)


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