Memory​/​Monument & blissful ugly by Mormon Toasterhead

Clarice Listpector once wrote: “Things were somehow so good that they were in danger of becoming very bad because what is fully mature is very close to rotting” 

That’s basically where I’m at with all of this.

2015: I was 23. I was writing music reviews without a care in the world. I had opinions and I was happy to share. I lived in Chicago. Things were great. The traffic was flowing in.

2017: I am 25. I am miserable. Literally no opinions. Literally bad taste. No traffic. No review. Things are bad. I live in stupid Hollywood. How did this happen?

I am rotting from the inside out like dumb fruit. I play video games and cry some days. Other days I punch palm  trees until my knuckles bleed.

In my time of desperation, I return to you, dear readers, and you, dumb musicians. I return to my most recent memory of The Happy. Forgive me.

Hey Ben. Ben Klawans. Yeah, you.

You thought you got away with it didn’t you?

Thought you could gaaaame the system.

You went over 2 years without being noticed.

I bet at first you lost sleep over the guilt. I bet at first you were lookin over your shoulder every day. But by now, you’re probably sleepin just fine, huh? You probably think you’re home clear.

Fuckin wrong, bozo. I found you out:ben.PNG

This is some shit, B.

I have over 700 albums to review. seh-ven-hun-dred-al-bums-beeeeen.

And you thought you could sneak in two? People have been waiting YEARS for me to review their work and you want me to review two albums? Fuck outa here with that yahoo email address man.

Are your albums both beautiful and haunting reminders of what  it means to grow up and be nostalgic for what no longer can be? Maybe. But 2 rights do not correct a wrong, Ben.

“2+5=i” is a bad lyric. Please review and amend.

Sorry. I mean, I think I’m being a little unfair. Does your music remind of my own aging body and it’s inability to escape the entropy of the universe? Sure. Am I forced to find meaning in the mundane day-to-day and live every day as if there are none left because of your music? I mean, sure, I guess. So like, I guess what I mean to say is that I’m not mad. I’m just disappointed. Really fucking disappointed.

“Life is weird, but so is death”. Word, Ben. Word.

 

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Can of Worms by A Mammoth Task

Clarice Lispector once wrote: “The world’s continual breathing is what we hear and call silence.”

Can of Worms by A Mammoth Task fucks this up by making a lot of noise.

This stupid album from 2015 is full of tracks that go “wank-a-tank-tankity-tank” and “wham-bam-a-lam-tam” but all of this is less profound than the deafening silence that mere existence stands to offers.

For every album, a good reviewer ought to imagine himself trapped in a small white room for all eternity. He should then ask, “would I prefer this eternal prison to be silent, or would I prefer to listen to Can of Worms by A Mammoth Task on repeat for my infinite sentence?” The answer to this question is the answer to the review.

SIDE-NOTE this album largely utilizes only the WESTERN 12-TONE SCALE and is therefore RATHER BORING BY MOST OBJECTIVE STANDARDS. Lol wake the fuck up guys it’s 2017.

hello it me i’m bac.

The Sacrifice (Blog Curse Broken) featuring Atlas and the Astronaut

Here’s the thing. I wanted to write so many album reviews over the last 6 months. I really did! I received hundreds of emails from talented, interesting musicians. I wanted to give you feedback! I wanted to support you.

But this blog was cursed.

I don’t know how it happened—maybe I gave a bad review to a witch, maybe Pitchfork employed a witch to eliminate me as their main competitor. Both seem equally likely. At any rate, the curse did that thing where every time I intended to write a blog, I would have to pee and then forget about the blog. You know that thing that curses do?

But today is HALLOWEEN which means I can BREAK THIS CURSE. But as you probably know, breaking curses requires blood to be spilled.

So here’s what has to happen, one album to be reviewed must be sacrificed. That means that the album in question will become the ONE ALBUM that will NEVER BE REVIEWED on this blog NO MATTER WHAT.

To be clear, I will listen to this album in full, I will take notes on this album, and I will form an opinion on this album. But I will not publish a review, and I will not share any opinions or feedback with the submitting band. It’s the only way to break the curse.

By random selection, the album in question is:

Hot Garbage, Hot Trash by Atlas and The Astronaut.

Consider this album officially sacrificed. Pay your respects, and look forward to new reviews.

People Named Michael pt. 2

By: Derek Spencer

Michael Holloway

I recognize that you asked for a review nearly one year ago upon release of your band’s ep Pine EP. Understandably, press on your album would have been much appreciated last year! Hopefully we can get you that press bump you deserve though, eh?

The band is Hodari, everyone. While the band has 5 members, it looks like our friend Michael (or “Mike” as he goes by in the scene) is the guitar player! As such, I think it’s only appropriate that we talk exclusively about the guitars on this 3-song collection.

Let’s start with tone. You’re rocking this throwback post-hardcore sound—scooped out distortion, doubled tracks, slight feedback, chunky leads, and abrasively clean chordal interludes. This is a tone I can get behind, but it can be limiting. Mike, I’m sure Hodari isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel on Pine, but let’s try to be a little forward thinking, eh? Why would I listen to your 2007 guitar tone when I could just listen to some good old 2007 bands? How are you translating this sound for today’s audience? How do you expect people to hear your ideas when they can’t get past your form? These are the critical questions you need to be asking yourself when pouring over your pedalboard.

Just for fun, I’m going to take an oddly specific guess at your guitar rig: Ibanez RGA—>PedalTrain mini pedal board with the following chain: TC Tuner, Boss Distortion, Big Muff fuzz, MXR Dynamic Compression—->Orange Crush 2×12 Guitar combo. If I got *any* of these right, please let me know. I’m worried I might be overestimating your budget.

Anyways, let’s move on to your parts. Good job writing them! There are a lot of octave leads… maybe you could try mixing it up a bit? I’m pictures bossa nova-esque clean, chromatic, staccato solos—does that resonate with you at all? Well, you didn’t fuck up, that’s for sure! All the guitar parts make me say “This sounds like the guitar part of a post-hardcore song” so nice.

Okay, but the mix is where it turns south man… Let me ask you, Mike: are you a timid guy? Because I’m going to be honest, you’re getting stepped on. You think fans are coming out too see some guy in skinny jeans scream over a 4/4 rock beats? Heeeeell no. You think fans are going to buy your CD or tape or whatever if they can’t hear you wailing away on your octive leads? You gotta crank that Orange combo of yours! Rock music is about guitar. If I don’t hear guitar above EVERYTHING ELSE, well, I’d barely call that music.

If you ask me, your vocalist has an ego problem. Between you and me, screamed vocals are there for texture; they’re supplemental at best. You should be front and center, Mike. I think your vocalist needs to get checked out. And I don’t mean like for his health and I don’t mean like someone needs to look him up and down sexy-like. I mean he needs a psych eval stat because he’s suffering from a case of type II narcissism, my friend.

Nice guitars! Thanks for submitting, Mike!

Maus

Okay, so you aren’t technically a Michael. But your band showed up in my filtered search for Michael’s because you gave an extensive list of influences that included Michael Jackson so you’re gettin’ god damn reviewed. Your band is called Amanda Named Sound and considering your name is neither “Amanda” nor “Sound” but in fact “Maus”, that makes me feel not great right off the bat.

Your first song is called “Droid Dance” or something and shit does it sound nothing like Michael Jackson. I mean other than the fact that there is a vocalist singing in key. And I guess there’s like a synth somewhere deep in the mix that sounds vaguely 80’s.

Let’s take a step back. In the first sentence of your email, you clarify that “in fact I am an actual musician”. Spoken like a true Michael! To this, I say thanks for the heads up! We will take that into consideration!

The last sentence of your email reads “Their masterplan is to engage the world in an audiovisual conversation and take over the galaxy.” (bold theirs, not mine). This is a leap! In fact, I am worried! This isn’t the pseudo-fascist language of neofolk (“facism is bad, but it’s really really interesting”) nor is your band weird enough for this to be a joke in the spirit of Gwar.

Fuck sorry I don’t want to do this. I was going to riff on your email for a bit and then tell you a few nice things about your music cause your music is kinda nice. But I’m tired and doing that will require me to actually read and edit what I’ve written so far and I don’t want to do that and also you aren’t even a Michael so I’m not sure you really deserve a full review so instead I’m just going to copy and past your email here and also a bunch of your social media posts since you linked me to like 7 different social media platform. Sorry.

Hello, this is Maus, producer for Armada Named Sound (in fact I am an actual musician). 

I am sending you our electronic music ep called : ”Starchildren”. We hope that you enjoy this, and please let us know if 

a review is going to be online. This is the press release, including all the info you might need, the streaming link and our official videoclip.

Cheers!!!

ARMADA NAMED SOUND 

proudly presents:

Debut EP “Starchildren”

Online streaming link:  https://soundcloud.com/armadanamedsound/sets/starchildren

released on iTunes:https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/starchildren-ep/id98198683

(official release date 31/3/2015)

TRACKLIST:

  1. Afterdrive
  2. Fixation
  3. Droid Dance
  4. Blindvei

 

Official videoclip for “Fixation”, taken from the “Starchildren” EP: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCDHhhDEtuQ

—————————–

Armada Named Sound is an electronic music band consisting of Maus and Andromeda S.

An organized retrofuture sonic attack, based in London.

Sounds and textures combined to produce songs and tunes varying from electronica and synthpop to trance/techno and trip hop.

With innovation, originality and diversity in mind, the use of synths, beats, loops and human voices brings forth sonic creations and soundscapes

with the sole purpose to intrigue you, make you dance, laugh or cry. Songs produced in several places and moments in the space time continuum.

Their music influences vary from Michael Jackson, Prince, Madonna, Grimes, Gwen Stefani to Bjork, Massive Attack, Portishead, as well as classical and rock

music. All these sounds are filtered through their everyday life experience and interaction with other people, abstract thoughts and ideas, and their inner self.

Their masterplan is to engage the world in an audiovisual conversation and take over the galaxy.

OFFICAL WEBSITE: http://www.armadanamedsound.com

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/armadanamedsound

SOUNDCLOUD: https://soundcloud.com/armadanamedsound

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfFURVALERhmE6i3tKi9UQA

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/armada_baby

VIMEO: https://vimeo.com/armadanamedsound

Armada Named Sound

January 20 ·

New song coming up: “NY”
No relation to concrete jungles where dreams are made of…
wink emoticon

Armada Named Sound with Spiros Maus andAndromeda Sfakianoy.

January 18 ·

Last night’s show on BBC, featuring “White keys and black silk”!
Have a listen here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03fczr7


Armada Named Sound
 with Spiros Maus andAndromeda Sfakianoy.

January 17 ·

“White keys and black silk” on BBC tonight!
Armada baby…
BBC Introducing ‪#‎BBCintroducing

Armada Named Sound

January 15 ·

All things electronic:
www.armadanamedsound.com
Armada Named Sound
 updated their cover photo.

January 4 · 
Armada Named Sound
 with Spiros Maus andAndromeda Sfakianoy at Αστικά Στούντιο Ηχοληψίας – Urban Recording Studios.

December 30, 2015 · Athens, Greece ·

“Crush” live in the studio
‪#‎live ‪#‎studio
shot by Valia Fotiou Photography
edited/manipulated by Maus
Armada Named Sound
 with Spiros Maus andAndromeda Sfakianoy.

December 29, 2015 ·

“Electronica wizards Armada Named Sound come out with their audio guns blazing, on their retrofuture sonic attack, Starchildren.”
http://www.crossradar.com/armada-named-sound-starchildren/
Chris@CrossRadar
https://soundcloud.com/armadanamedsound/sets/starchildren

Armada Named Sound Retweeted

DJ AATISSH~आतिश~آتش ‏@AAtisshDotCom  Jan 18Los Angeles, CA

@armada_baby Nice

Armada Named Sound ‏@armada_baby  Jan 15

Hey guys! Have a nice day .. This is our website Take a look Take a listen http://www.armadanamedsound.com 


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Tina’s Music Promo ‏@tinaharrislove  22 Dec 2015

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A/V Revolution ‏@AVRevolution  22 Dec 2015

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Leanne Oakes ‏@LeanneOakes  22 Dec 2015

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Ivanna terrys ‏@IvannaTerrys  22 Dec 2015

Sponsored: Armada Named Sound – Fixation @armada_baby https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCDHhhDEtuQ … #dem #electronic

 

 

Ocean Floor Funeral by Tacachale Chamber Orchestra

By: Derek Spencer

I opened up a random album submission because I thought it would be funny to listen to a whole album and think all kinds of critical thoughts about it but then instead of writing them down just say something stupid like “hey yo fuck this band” and call it a review. It’s like how people say there is beauty in destruction except what I’m destroying here is the potential for genuine exchange of ideas.

But then I started listening and I’m kinda vibing/digging the album which, unfortunately, I can’t often say with a genuine straight face about a lot of the submissions I get. I’ll have to save my “hey yo fuck this band” post for a different band because I just wanna say Ocean Floor Funeral by Tacachale Chamber Orchestra is pretty dope and you heard it here first even if their band name is kinda dumb.

What do I like about it? I don’t know, fucking everything. Tight ass production, lyrics I can project my own insecurities on, consistent and interesting tonal palettes, evocotive compositional choices. You killin it, Tacachale Chamber Orchestra. Please keep tearing up Gainsville and Bandcamp. I don’t care that you only have 80 facebook followers, you’re a viral sensation in my heart.

My 31 favorite albums of 2015

Presented without comment, my 31 favorite albums of 2015:

To Pimp a Butterfly- Kendrick Lamar
Platforms- Holly Herndon
I Love You Honeybear- Father John Misty
Sauna- Mount Eerie
Viet Cong- Viet Cong
At.Long.Last.A$AP- A$AP Rocky
Sympathy- GABI
Who’s Gonna Get Fucked First?- Father
The Offer- Yowler
Algiers- Algiers
A Shapeless Pool of Lovely Pale Colors Suspended in the Darkness-Shmurphy
Four Ghosts- Witch Bell
Wave[s]- Mick Jenkins
Jenny Death- Death Grips
Summertime ’06- Vince Staples
Big Dark Love- Murder by Death
Released from Love/You Whom I Have Always Hated-Thou/The Body
The Sprinter- Torres
Cosmic Troubles- Faith Healer
The Phosphorescent Blues- Punch Brothers
Fantasy Empire- Lightning Bolt
Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress- Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Surf- Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment
Leg Toucher- Toupee
The Deal- SUMAC
In Colour- Jamie xx
A New Place 2 Die- Archy Marshall
The Great Pretenders- Mini Mansions
Sleepwalker- Long Beard
Honeymoon- Lana del Rey
Dark Energy- Jlin

New reviews coming in the new year,

Derek

Spotify Ongoing Recommendations

If you ever read my scathing, uncharitable reviews of amateur musicians and think “well, if he doesn’t like this, what could he possibly like?”, then you’re in luck.  I maintain a Spotify playlist of all my ongoing recommendations for new music. Feel free to follow or whatever. Also, if you write a review of my recommendation playlist, I will post it on this blog.

God Bless Music,
Derek