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Wait A Minute! This Isn't Metal! - May 2024


Written by: RaduP, musclassia, F3ynman
Published: June 16, 2024
 


Wait A Minute! This Isn't Metal! - May 2024
Metal Storm's outlet for nonmetal album reviews



The place where we'll talk about music without growls or blast beats
unless they still have those but still aren't metal


We here at Metal Storm pride ourselves on our thousands of metal reviews and interviews and article; metal is our collective soul and passion, which is why we bother with this junk. That being said, we'd be lying if we stuck to our trve-kvlt guns and claimed that metal is the only thing we ever listen to. Whether we want to admit it or not, we do check out some other stuff from time to time; some of us are more poptimistic than others, but there's a whole world out there aside from Satan-worshiping black metal and dragon-slaying power metal. We do already feature some nonmetal artists on our website and have a few reviews to back them up, but we prefer to limit that aspect of the site to those artists who have been a strong influence on the metal scene or who are in some way connected to it. This article series is the place for those artists who don't matter to metal in the slightest but still warrant some conversation - after all, good music, is good music, and we all know metal isn't the only thing on this planet for any of us.

Down below, you might find some obscure Bandcamp bedroom projects or some Billboard-topping superstar; as long as it ain't metal and the album itself isn't a best-of compilation, it fits. Obviously, we're certain that not everything will be for everybody (you guys can be viciously territorial even when metal is the only thing on the menu, and we're all supposed to like the same things), but we do hope you find at least one thing that you can enjoy, instead of just pointing and screaming in horror "Not metal!" as if that would be an insult.

Here are our previous features:

April 2024
March 2024
February 2024

And now to the music...






Grey Giant - Conversus In Lutum
[Desert Rock | Heavy Psych]


I've covered Black Sky Giant here often enough. Now it's time for the Spanish quartet named Grey Giant to make their presence known on Metal Storm. Like Black Sky Giant, Grey Giant play finest psychedelic stoner rock. With a thick, distorted guitar sound and cunningly strum melodies, their soothingly heavy soundwaves travel like a cool breeze across arid landscapes, leaving undulating ripples in the sand.

But Grey Giant don't solely rely on their fuzzy instruments and the listener's imagination to craft a story. That is to say, they have a vocalist, unlike Black Sky Giant, who conveys a diverse range of lyrical tales. Whether it's the sorrowful, contemplative description of being weighed down by rain and mud, or the simple yet addictively raging climax of “I'm A Mosher”, the vocals drone on in accordance with the hypnotic rhythm, as the patient and elegant plucking of the bass guitar massages the ear drums. Conversus In Lutum, which is Latin for “Turned Into Clay”, is an excellent, 34-minute-long display of both calmly pleasant and immensely heavy stoner groove that's arrived right on time to kick off the summer.

Bandcamp

by F3ynman





Haunted Plasma - I
[Krautrock | Synth-Prog]


musclassia's pick


Comprised of members of Oranssi Pazuzu, Grave Pleasures, K-X-P and Aavikko, there’s a safe expectation when approaching the debut of Haunted Plasma that their music will not encourage the use of adjectives such as ‘safe’ or ‘conventional’. However, unlike Oranssi Pazuzu, or Juho Vanhanen’s other projects Atomikylä and Waste Of Space Orchestra, I is not hectic or dizzying in its composition; instead, the trio behind Haunted Plasma draw inspiration from the likes of Massive Attack, techno and krautrock to create captivating synth soundscapes.

The album’s description by the label mentions that these synths work ‘in symbiosis with the super violence of kosmische black metal’; I’m not sure what the person who wrote that was listening to, as nothing here could realistically be compared to black metal, and even metal as a whole genre has negligible influence on I, in the form of occasional guitar distortion beneath the synths. Still, the record does bear similarities to the work of Ulver, a black metal band that moved into electronica; the hypnotic synths and rich baritone vocals on opening track “Reverse Engineer” could have slotted in fairly naturally on an album like The Assassination Of Julius Caesar. Different flavours are encountered following this, such as the Western twang and rampant rhythm heard on “Machines Like Us”, or the robotic vocals and trippy percussion of “Spectral Embrace”. Vanhanen’s projects generally don’t miss, and Haunted Plasma is another triumph.

Apple Music | Spotify

by musclassia





Shellac - To All Trains
[Noise Rock | Post-Hardcore]


It's always weird reviewing music made by someone that's recently passed away, and there's really no way that I can't account for Steve Albini's passing while writing this small write-up. To All Trains isn't really the kind of album that has finality written all over it, as it doesn't seem anyone had any idea this would be the final Shellac album. It's even weirder that I wasn't aware of this album's then upcoming existence until after Albini's passing, so it never had any other meaning to me yet than "the last album he made before he died". The hole left in the music world by his passing is insurmountable, both as a producer and as a musician, edginess aside, and I'm happy I at least get to write this as a tribute.

Coming ten years after the last Shellac record, To All Trains is quite a short one at a little under 30 minutes of runtime, and those familiar with the band will not find much unexpected here. Due to the circumstances bassist Bob Weston and Todd Trainer might be a bit overlooked, but their performances make this such an engaging listen, from the punchy bass to the unnerving percussion. Steve's lyricism and vocal delivery is about as edgy and unsettling as ever, all over the angular riffing, dissonant melodies, math rock infused rhythms. To All Trains might not do something Shellac haven't done before, but it's as good of a send-off as can be to a legendary act.

Bandcamp | Apple Music | Spotify

by RaduP





Seigmen - Resonans
[Alternative Rock]


“Ask yourself the question: How many bands have maintained the same lineup throughout a career spanning over three decades?” – so ask Seigmen, who celebrate the 35th anniversary of their formation this year. This achievement is perhaps slightly tempered by the bands multiple hiatuses following the turn of the millennium, as well as the bulk of their recorded activity occurring during the 90s (during which time they won a Spellemannprisen – aka Norwegian Grammy – for their album Metropolis), but after a permanent comeback in 2012, Seigmen have eventually followed up 2015’s Enola with their newest effort, Resonans.

This is my first exposure to Seigmen; they’re referred to in several places as an industrial band, but I suspect that represents a past iteration of their sound, as the style of Resonans feels best described as an alternative rock album with some overlapping appeal to fans of Porcupine Tree or The Pineapple Thief. There’s an emotional richness and subtle complexity to songs such as “Elskhat” and “Eksplodere I Det Stille”, but the more straightforward “Arkadia Ego” and “Berlin” are similarly effective with their catchiness. The most striking song here is 10-minute album climax “Blasfem”, a post-rock slow burn with a lot of depth to its moody, cinematic soundscapes. After 35 years together, Seigmen clearly have not yet threatened to run low on creativity or inspiration, as the variety and calibre of the songwriting on Resonans demonstrates.

Bandcamp | Apple Music | Spotify

by musclassia




Rope Sect - Estrangement
[Gothic Rock | Post-Punk]


Do you like your music dark but melodic? Even when you venture outside of metal? But you'd still prefer it if that band gave nods and winks to metal? Like being signed to a metal label? Rope Sect has you covered. Coming off the release of a couple of EPs starting in 2017 and culminating with the The Great Flood full length back in 2020, and then a couple more EPs to fill the time, Rope Sect always kept a bit of metal in their repertoire, just a dash of it enough to wink and nod to metalheads who'd know that despite Rope Sect were not playing metal per se, they were being sang to.

Estrangement is a bit of a weird one at that, in that the nod and the wink is still there and there are moments, especially on the last track, where the band sounds more metal than not, but for the most part the band sounds even cleaner than before. Which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing, but it makes the very melodic aspect, regardless of how dark the gothic undertones and how deadpan the vocal delivery, render the thing a bit less impactful because of how the nods clearly require something with a bit more punch, while Estrangement sounds too toothless as a result. What it does right is really good, and "Rope Of The Mundane Love" featuring King Dude is a banger, but I'm left kinda frustrated by the whole thing.

Bandcamp | Apple Music | Spotify

by RaduP





Mdou Moctar - Funeral For Justice
[Tishoumaren | Psychedelic Rock]


This isn't the first time we've covered either Mdou Moctar or Tishoumaren in general, as Mdou Moctar are currently the most popular of the scene's exports, so for the initiated I guess you could call it "Saharan rock". Imagine the desert rock that came when stoner rock bands discovered Jimi Hendrix but instead discovered by the peoples of the Saharan desert. Mdou Moctar are relatively new to the scene, at least compared to some of the oldest acts that go all the way back to the 90s, whereas Mdou Moctar's releases start in the 2010s, but that's also the decade in which the scene received a huge boost in international popular culture attention.

Funeral For Justice might not be reinventing the wheel for Mdou Moctar, playing with pretty much the same elements that the previous Afrique victime album did, but it's always surprising hearing hearing the roaring guitar shredding clearly reminiscent of Hendrix that comes in the album's heaviest moments that contrasts with the more galloping bluesy psych jam. The lyrical part, though translations from the Tamasheq dialect of Tuareg are needed, is also expectedly political, dealing with anti-colonialism and Tuareg identity, and there's a renewed sense of urgency both in the lyrics and the music, which makes sense considering what has been happening in Mdou Moctar's homeland.

Bandcamp | Apple Music | Spotify

by RaduP





Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats - Nell Ora Blu
[Psychedelic Rock | Film Soundtrack]


Consider this: You are one of the most celebrated heavy psych rock bands of the 2010s. You have successfully called upon a time in metal's infancy where it simmered in a psychedelia rock soup along the occult, the Manson murders hysteria, the Satanic panic, the stranger danger panic, the anti-war counter-culture. It has been six years since your last album. Do you:
A) stick to the formula and create another psych drenched traditional doom record;
B) create a soundtrack to a fake giallo movie?

Congrats! If you chose B) you are now in Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats' shoes. And it certainly not something I ever expected to happen. Soundtrack album are themselves quite weird to cover, most often because they don't work as well without the thing they are soundtracking. In this case there is no movie. There is the actual movie that has the same poster, there are bits of dialogue (recorded by the likes of Franco Nero), but Nell' ora blu is the entire things and it has to work. For what it is, it feels very authentically 70s-ish in the soundtrack quality and in occasionally reminding everyone that they are indeed a psych rock band in the tracks that are more band centered. Hearing this album on a drive home while trying to stay awake was certainly a hazy experience.

Apple Music | Spotify

by RaduP





Passage - Crystal
[Post-Rock | Neoclassical]


It’s reductive to restrict any genre to just one emotion or vibe, but on balance, if you’re a post-rock band and are making music that could be considered ‘beautiful’ or ‘stirring’, you’re probably along the right track. Quebec’s Passage are succeeding on that front with their neoclassical-influenced cinematic post-rock sound. Opening song “Ancolie (Triste Fleur)” is an excellent demonstration of their style, as an achingly evocative piano/strings introduction gives way to twinkling, lush post-rock instrumentation, before both coalesce to great effect in the closing minutes.

The tracks that follow on Crystal, their fifth album, strike a similarly strong balance between dainty guitar and moving strings, but Passage aren’t bound to daintiness, as occasional bursts of distortion in the likes of the title track demonstrate. They’re also not confined to a purely instrumental approach, as this same song also contains brief yet effective vocal harmonies that further strengthen its compelling middle portion. Subsequent highlights include the short yet incredibly picturesque “Souvenance”, as well as the positively euphoric “La Promesse”, whose soundscapes are fleshed out by grandiose chorals.

Bandcamp | Apple Music | Spotify

by musclassia





Gloios - Natureza Errada
[Post-Rock | Art Rock]


There's something very specific about how post-rock is able to capture emotions. There's the third-wave post-rock with its myriad of tremolo-picked crescendos and cinematic qualities, but what Gloios do here is something more akin to different style, a soundscape slowly built within ambiance, incorporating glitches and samples, with an instrumental palette that, while still mostly built around the guitar, features a lot of influence from various Brazilian folk music styles. It's not to far from Godspeed You! Black Emperor, not only in how patient they are in building their crescendos, but also in how all the elements come together towards creating that emotion.

And there's quite some emotion on Natureza Errada. The Bandcamp descriptions names the album "a delicate memory about my dead people. The whole album is dedicated especially to several people who made me, and who still do, feel alive, both in life and in death." While the previous Gloios album, Lide also experimented with similar glitchy and folky sounds, while also occasionally being heavy enough to pass as post-metal, Natureza Errada feels a lot more cohesive and focused, more adept at sounding somber, ethereal, bittersweet, or melancholic. For a one man band, this is really impressive, and there are very few moments where the lack of a band takes back from the experience.

Bandcamp | Apple Music | Spotify

by RaduP





Sonhos Tomam Conta - Corpos De Água
[Shoegaze | Bossa Nova]


RaduP's pick


Did you know that in Brazil they make shoegaze underwater?

This is indeed one of the weirdest genre combinations I've heard, and it's not like this is my first time encountering Sonhos Tomam Conta's music. This is an act that is also borderline metal, with a lot of the heavier moments having either blackgaze, post-metal, or screamo leanings, though not enough to really seal the deal in adding the project to our database. But the core of it is this shoegaze / post-rock dreamlike music with bits of emo and slowcore, and first encountering the name along the likes of Parannoul and Asian Glow, first in a triple split album between all three, and then with a collaborative album with the latter, did create some of the most exciting shoegaze of the 2020s.

But what Corpos De Água is quite mind boggling. Sonhos Tomam Conta has always had a penchant for emotional music, but now blending that not only with an aquatic ambiance but also with a dose of folky cultural Brazilian heritage, a sort of heavy post-rock and dreamy Kaatayra, but where the folk leanings are even more tangible in that popular music sense, and I think it's enough to have heard "The Girl From Ipanema" one in your life to recognize the similarities. The contrast between the very relaxed and the more dense sections does keep things interesting in the long run, as well as the various guests in the latter part of the album.

Bandcamp | Apple Music | Spotify

by RaduP





CHVE - Kalvarie
[Dark Ambient]


Colin H. Van Eeckhout (who also goes by CHVE) has spent a lot of time making intense, dynamic, atmospheric music as part of Amenra, Kingdom, and more recently Absent In Body. However, 2017 saw CHVE reveal a different side to his artistry, as he released three EPs (10910, Rasa and Harlowe) under his own name. These releases were atmospheric, and at times were emotionally intense, but with a more constrained dynamic range; dark ambient, drone and dark folk are all genre tags applicable to these quiet, contemplative recordings. Seven years later, CHVE has returned to this project with Kalvaire, which comes courtesy of Relapse Records.

Kalvaire is a single-track release, although curiously said single song, the 16-minute “Eternit”, does not share the name of the EP. Like 10910 and Rasa, “Eternit” is highly understated in its quietness; the first few minutes are purely ambient noise, and when drones and percussion are eventually introduced, the soundscape remains sullen and muted. As the song enters its second half, Van Eeckhout introduces soft, haunting vocals and adds melody to the song in the form of hurdy-gurdy. As far as ambient music goes, I’ve been comparatively fond of the output from the CHVE project, and Kalvaire is subtly compelling in its composition, but subtlety is a dominant feature of the release; even while clocking in at merely a quarter-hour, this is a release that you need to dedicate patience and shape a listening experience around in order to properly appreciate.

Bandcamp | Apple Music | Spotify

by musclassia





Kati Rán - Sála
[Neofolk]


According to the promo blurb for Sála, Kati Rán is a genre pioneer of Nordic neofolk; I must confess it’s not a name that I’ve encountered before now, and with her only album prior to this, Lys, releasing in 2015, I’m curious to what extent Rán influenced the popularization of this en vogue sound. The Dutch vocalist/multi-instrumentalist is clearly well-connected, however; contributions from members of Heilung and Faun on Lys have been followed up cameos by musicians including Gaahl, Napalm Death’s Mitch Harris, and pagan folk acts Völuspá and Gealdýr, among many others. There’s plenty of time for all these different musicians to make their mark on Sála, as it is one of two albums featured this month with a 77-minute runtime.

As much as I enjoy the dark Nordic neofolk sound and many of its proponents, 77 minutes is a long time to dedicate to the style. For what it’s worth, Kati Rán makes a very respectable effort at justifying that runtime. Right from the stirring vocal arrangements of the opening title track, there’s a richness and potent emotion coursing through Sála, and lengthy songs like 15-minute “Blodbylgje” and 10-minute “Unnr” are impressively crafted. Rán’s take on neofolk bears obvious similarities to Einar Selvik’s work in Wardruna and Skuggsjá, with evocative use of stringed and wind instruments (as demonstrated on the likes of “Hefring” and “Dufa”, respectively), along with spiritual percussion, but it is the excellence of the vocal arrangements (both Rán’s self-layering and the contributions of the various guests) that contribute the most to Sála’s success, with “Himinglæva” serving as a shining example.

Bandcamp | Apple Music | Spotify

by musclassia





Jessica Pratt - Here In The Pitch
[Singer/Songwriter | Contemporary Folk]


Jessica Pratt is a name I have encountered and covered before, though it is a bit shocking that Quiet Signs, the previous record, came out five years ago. A bit baffling how time goes, but also a bit funny noticing that the gap between Jessica Pratt increases by exactly one year every time (meaning I can bet on the release year of the next album). Speaking of time Quiet Signs is an album that did withstand the test of it so far, at least for me, given that the album's very appropriate title and the quietness herein complete with its slight otherworldly touch does seem a bit of a fey relic as far as folk music goes.

Here In The Pitch is, by contrast, a bit less otherworldly, also something that feels appropriately titled. Sure, it's still very quiet and the entire appeal of that soothing fragility and ethereal touch that's so specific to Jessica Pratt, both in music and vocal tone, is also present on Here In The Pitch. But what makes it more grounded is a feeling that the influences of this record, which previous records have also briefly dabbled in, from 60s psychedelia to bossa nova, feel more thoroughly explored here. It's still a bit criminal that, just like its predecessor, Here In The Pitch is a mere 27 minutes in runtime.

Bandcamp | Apple Music | Spotify

by RaduP





Marjana Semkina - Sirin
[Art Rock | Chamber Pop]


Iamthemorning is one of those bands whose presence in our database is purely due to their crossover appeal to metal fans (particularly prog fans), and Marjana Semkina has stayed true to that with her second solo album, Sirin, even with guest vocal features from Caligula's Horse’s Jim Grey and Antimatter’s Mick Moss. In truth, like her solo debut Sleepwalking, this could easily have been released under the Iamthemorning moniker based on sound, were it not for the absence of Gleb Kolyadin (who thankfully avoided deportation to Russia). That means more darkly atmospheric chamber prog centered around piano (performed by Grigoriy Losenkov), along with a litany of rock and orchestral instruments.

Those various instruments craft rich musical tapestries that Semkina adds rich colour to with her evocative, tender vocals. The acoustic guitar-driven “We Are The Ocean” has a beautiful vibe to it, along with a surprisingly explosive electric guitar solo; songs such as “Lost But At Peace”, “Pygmalion” and “Gone” have a more typically subdued Iamthemorning style, but elements such as the rich strings on “Gone” give these tracks depth and character. The two guest vocalists make positive impacts; Grey’s gentle tone on “Anything But Sleep” nicely intertwines Semkina’s angelic croons, while Moss’s signature deep vibrato is fitting for the moodiness of “Death And The Maiden”. With the wait for a new Iamthemorning album currently at the 5-year mark, Sirin does a great job of scratching that itch.

Bandcamp | Apple Music | Spotify

by musclassia





St. Vincent - All Born Screaming
[Art Rock]


It is a bit surprising that St. Vincent isn't more of a household name outside of the usual music circles. For an artist that has won multiple Grammy awards (which I do consider irrelevant outside of mainstream recognition), I'd still be very surprised if someone that wasn't very into music ever brought her up. Perhaps it's the "art" in the "art rock" making her just a little bit too unconventional for complete mainstream appeal, maybe it's how versatile (as in not streamlined) she's proven to be, meaning that fans of certain songs might not like others. That also means that people who are fans know not to expect the same album twice. For example 2021's Daddy's Home had soul and funk leanings I don't necessarily expect to hear to the same degree again.

All Born Screaming is an album I have a bit of a hard time putting my finger on, though that's usually the mark of St. Vincent albums. Sure, it is an art rock album first and foremost and it has a very unique appeal about it, while also remaining very versatile within its songs, and yet somehow putting that into words has been pretty difficult. Some of the songs have a bit of a cinematic feeling to them, with the opening two tracks being quite slow (maybe a bit too slow) mood setters, "Violent Times" sounding almost like a theme, and the title tracks feeling like a credits roll. But the riffing on some of the songs like "Flea" and "Broken Man" is surprisingly heavy and alt rock-ish.

Bandcamp | Apple Music | Spotify

by RaduP





Kamasi Washington - Fearless Movement
[Jazz Fusion | Spiritual Jazz]


Kamasi Washington has been one of the biggest names in jazz over the past couple of decades. From his session saxophone work to releasing the biggest spiritual jazz epic of the 2010s, the aptly titled The Epic back in 2015, and then following up with the equally colossal Heaven and Earth in 2018. Having two consecutive albums in the 2-3 hours runtime range is enough to send someone into legendary status, end even if Kamasi did also release two more bite-sized releases in the form of the Harmony of Difference and The Choice EPs, Heaven and Earth already had a huge standard to live up to thanks to The Epic, and those expectations might be even larger for Fearless Movement.

On one hand Fearless Movement is a less grandiose record in scale. It's still quite a large album at over 80 minutes, but it's no longer in the colossal scale. It is also less grandiose in sound in the sense that Spiritual Jazz is still the core of the record, but a lot more genre fusions happen that allow it to feel more jovial, whether it's some hip-hop leanings due to the guest rappers (though Andre 3000's feature is not that), a lot more funk and soul (as it even includes a George Clinton feature. It's collaborative nature is less orchestral and more akin to a modern album, and that kind of down-to-earth nature is something that's quite a contrast to the otherworldliness of its two preceding epics, and a nice change of pace to counter trying to make lightning strike again.

Bandcamp | Apple Music | Spotify

by RaduP





BADBADNOTGOOD - Mid Spiral
[Jazz Fusion]


Yes, the album that I'm covering is one that's technically not gonna be out until October of this year, while we're in the May edition. But Mid Spiral is a compilation of three EPs, Mid Spiral: Chaos, Mid Spiral: Order, and Mid Spiral: Growth, that have all been released in May, so none of the material on Mid Spiral has yet to be released. Not sure if there's any reason besides the logistics of getting a physical version out that explains the October date, though even that doesn't explain why the Bandcamp stream doesn't have the digital version already available. Regardless, here we have a BADBADNOTGOOD that's as far from the hip-hop field they originally played with as they've ever been.

And I say that not just because instrumental hip-hop has taken less and less of the space in each album, but also because what it was replaced with has often been soul, which does feel at least partially close due to how much hip-hop samples or features it. But here the jazz fusion, even if I had expected a clear cut stylistic difference between each EP, instead takes a bit more from psych rock and funk, but in a way that feels more mature and laid back than the youthful wildness of the band's early days, so I guess you could almost call this smooth jazz. But's it's good good not bad smooth jazz, with some pretty colorful instrumental palettes and slick grooves.

Bandcamp: 1 2 3 | Apple Music: 1 2 3 | Spotify: 1 2 3 by RaduP





Billie Eilish - Hit Me Hard And Soft
[Alt-Pop]


I know it's a bit on the nose to review the biggest pop albums on a metal website, and it's not the first time I've done so and won't be the last, but it does feel a bit weird giving more exposure to the people who already get more than they could ever need. Partly why even if I did more or less kinda like new albums by Beyonce, Dua Lipa, Taylor Swift, Kali Uchis, or Twenty One Pilots, I didn't necessarily feel the need to spend my time and this article's space on something I didn't feel was really worth it. So if there's one mainstream pop album that I do wanna spotlight, it's this Billie Eilish one.

The Billie/Finneas Eilish partnership did give us some of the quirkiest pop music of the last decade, even if some of it was too "teenage" for its own good, but it was also weird in only the way teenagers can be (see "Bad Guy"). Hit Me Hard And Soft follows more into what Happier Than Ever, being more mature in songwriting, while also being more focused than its predecessor, often being borderline folk-ish in how singer/songwriter-esque it sounds like, but with a more spacey art pop production. On the other side there are songs that are a bit more playful either with some indietronica or pop rock instrumentation, and a lot of points where Billie is being quite an impressive vocalist.

Apple Music | Spotify

by RaduP





Justice - Hyperdrama
[Electro House | Synthwave]


I admit that between the two huge French Electro duos, I've always preferred Daft Punk. Maybe it's because I was introduced to them first, maybe it's the bigger and more consistent catalog, whatever the case Justice always felt a bit like "that other French Electro duo" for me. A lot of it was also the impression that they debuted with their strongest material, 2007's Cross, and then the next two albums didn't really quite capture that same feeling, despite being more eclectic in their old-school-ness and progressive touches, at the expense of the actual EDM sound. Ironically, out of the albums that did seem to recapture some of that feeling was a remix album of one of those albums.

So you can imagine my surprise when this album actually really struck me. Perhaps it's the very strong opener that's making full use of Tame Impala's Kevin Parker, both in voice and in vibe, that really set the stage for me resonating more with this record. And then it's not like Hyperdrama just rides off the high of the opener, it immediately goes into some hard hitting EDM, and over the course of the record sprinkling more synth funk, synthwave, progressive electronica, nu-disco, and a second Kevin Parker feature while they're at it. The album isn't completely consistent, but it's much more consistent than the band ever felt since their debut, and bookended by some of the band's best material, you could call it a return to form.

Bandcamp | Apple Music | Spotify

by RaduP





Globular - Lifts The Curse Of The Grey Goo Assimilators
[Psybient | Psychedelic Dub]


musclassia's pick


Messages From The Resonator, the 2020 collaborative release from Globular and Geoglyph, has arguably been my standout musical discovery during my time contributing to Wait A Minute! That’s Not Metal!. Despite this, I’ve not really delved further into the solo recordings of either project, nor psybient as a genre (aside from Ott). The new release from Globular, Lifts The Curse Of The Grey Goo Assimilators, offers a good opportunity to rectify this, and considering its monumental runtime of 77 minutes, there is a lot to get stuck into here.

I’ve typically seen releases in this style categorized as ‘psybient’, but perhaps ‘psychedelic dub’ is more applicable to this album, as it doesn’t feel entirely accurate to consider this as ambient music; it is heavy on melody, whether courtesy of World music influences (such as the sato and ney – Uzbek instruments respectively similar to lute and flute – on “Dreaming Fragmented Rememories”, or the Latin orchestrations later in the same track), bouncy dub electronics, or various musical tangents. In spite of its length, Lifts The Curse... is enjoyable throughout, whether it’s the infectious bass rhythm and vocal refrains on “Cephalopod Circuitry”, chilled vibe of “An Ode To Iain Frenzy”, or dabblings with drum & bass during “Telionomics Matter”. This is an album perfect to chill and vibe to, or to serve as soothing and entertaining background listening.

Bandcamp | Apple Music | Spotify

by musclassia





Iglooghost - Tidal Memory Exo
[Deconstructed Club | UK Bass]


RaduP's pick


Alright this is the hardest cover art I've seen all year! That's generally the kind of thing where no matter how good the book is, the cover just captures all your attention. In this case, thankfully, the book itself more than deserves its cover. This is a bit of a change of vibe and aesthetic for Iglooghost, whose EDM was already so forward-thinking but had an almost fantastical vibe to it, with all releases from the 2015 Chinese Nü Yr EP to the 2021 Lei Line Eon having a pretty consistent cartoonish and Internet-3D-art-like aesthetic that worked pretty well for creating a sort of Iglooghost. Out of these it was Lei Line Eon that deviated the most, not only because the art was less 3D but also the music seemed to pull back on the zany and push more on more mellow textural exploration.

In that regard Tidal Memory Exo is both a reinvention and a return to a core identity. I already touched on how the cover art shifts the vibe of the album, less fantastical and more earthy, but sound-wise it packs more intensity and versatility with a shitload of manic electronic sounds. Not exactly as zany, and definitely not afraid of going mellower, but Tidal Memory Exo touches on IDM, UK Bass, Deconstructed Club, Electro-Industrial, Ambient Techno, and there's a bigger vocal front that sometimes sounds close to Dance Punk sometimes closer to Experimental Hip-Hop, but it never feels like it loses any momentum or compromises its creativity.

Bandcamp | Apple Music | Spotify

by RaduP





Lip Critic - Hex Dealer
[Synth Punk | Digital Hardcore]


RaduP's pick


You know not all punk needs guitars?

Lip Critic is a pretty recently formed band from New York comprised of two drummers and two... uhh... producers, one of which also does most of the vocals. Needless to say, this is very sonically removed from the punk rock that usually warrants that name, but there's a huge lineage of punk influences in industrial and electronic music, so it's not like Lip Critic came up with the concept themselves, but what they're doing on Hex Dealer might just be the punkiest industrial album you'll hear all year. We can debate whether it's electronic punk or punky electronica all we want. It hits hard.

So to explain Hex Dealer, imagine some very percussive (well, two drummers after all) electronica, mostly of the post-industrial variety, but with a shitload of flourishes taking it closer to electro-industrial, slight injections from some more hardcore EDM genres, a legitimate rave leaning, and all over it you have a very angry and sarcastic man shouting. Yes, I know that kinda sounds like Death Grips in theory (and quite a bit in practice), so it's kinda like that but if MC Ride was replaced by an anarcho-punk vocalist. There's quite a bit of hip-hop influence, beyond the aforementioned, that comes across most strongly in the tracks with guests.

Bandcamp | Apple Music | Spotify

by RaduP




And that was it. You've made it through still alive. Congrats. See ya next month. Here's a Spotify playlist we compiled out of stuff featured here:



This edition is dedicated to Steve Albini.





Comments

Comments: 1   Visited by: 53 users
23.06.2024 - 15:32
Blackcrowe
Great show, not much music of my taste except for Uncle Acid
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Maybe as his eyes are wide.
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