Weekly Capsule Reviews: 02/04/2017


This week: Mount Eerie, Power Trip, Spoon, Percolator

Older releases/Classics: The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, Ride (2)

Mount Eerie: A Crow Looked at Me [P.W. Elverum & Sun, Ltd. (self-released), 24/03/2017]

Tough one to take in. Phil Elverum’s wife Geneviève Castrée passing last July had him in hibernation for nearly half a year. He’s stepped forward with this eulogy for his wife and one which can be placed alongside Mark Kozelek’s “I Can’t Live Without My Mother’s Love”—as Sun Kil Moon—and Jeremy Bolm’s Stage Four—leading Touché Amoré—with little qualms. A simple and heartfelt piece that, in mid flow, will make you think of what’s to come—and the baggage associated—with the loss of a loved one. To summarise: “When real death enters the house, all poetry is dumb”. (8/10)

Power Trip: Nightmare Logic [Southern Lord, 24/02/2017]

Thrash metal is back with some sort of a bang. Alongside Vektor’s technicality, we’re seeing thrash metal that’s just as formulaic from the riffs and rhythm standpoint yet attains back-to-basics mercilessness in the storytelling, dismissing Metallica’s half-a-record rejuvenation of last year. I prefer the going-down-with-a-needless-fight of this over James Hetfield’s newfound world view. Why? Not much brainpower to exert on my/your part. Or theirs. (7/10)

Spoon: Hot Thoughts [Matador, 17/03/2017]

The opening quartet of tracks is a steady assurance that Britt Daniel understands love with the strings attached. His experimental side needs work. (7/10)

Percolator: Sestra [Penske, 14/04/2017]

Reminds me of Amber Arcades minus the bite of melodic intricacy. Her arpeggio puts this piece of skeletal pretentiousness to shame. Some tunes decided to show up. If only I could remember which ones they were when I returned. (6/10)

Older releases/Classics

The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy: Hypocrisy Is the Greatest Luxury [Island/PolyGram, 03/03/1992]

Michael Franti’s diction is beautifully enunciated—he finishes each sentence and phrase with more assurance than his political ideologies, because politics isn’t so much evil, it’s just the way it’s carried out. When the words falter (which is rarely, admittedly), the music holds it together with the multiculturalism of Asian-American Rono Tse and his musically-industrial sanguine within Franti’s virtuous leftism (that leftism is difficult to rail against, mind). Doused with anti-homophobia, anti-misogyny, anti-xenophobia, etc. and pro everything you’d expect, it’s refreshing when the words come off more journalistic than righteous: “On January second the Bush administration/Announced a recession had stricken the nation/The highest quarterly earnings in ten years/Were posted by Chevron”. There’s still the activist mentality in Franti’s locker that demolishes the musical prig either associated to others elsewhere or within himself: “The bass, the treble/Don’t make a rebel”. Indeed. (9/10)

Ride: Nowhere (25th Anniversary Edition) [Creation, 15/10/1990]

One of the great openers to an album of the era—or any era—with a naive wall of sound so organic you’d ask yourself are they visionaries. No, is the simple answer. But they can melody when they want. The 25th anniversary edition definitely adds more nuance in terms of their definite songcraft. (8/10)

Ride: Going Blank Again [Creation, 09/03/1992]

A little more melodic less the wailing blasts. More tunes, more acoustic, more songcraft, more synth. Never thought I’d say that last bit. Adds a nice touch, mind. (8/10)


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