to eleven

Top Best Albums of 2011 by Jayson

Out of the way. Quick & Dirty. Stuff I reviewed only. I think anyway. Order does not imply ranking. I didn’t want to re-review these here, if I had any additional thoughts, I’ve added them.

Full Lengths:

Batillus – Furnace

I spent the whole time from when the vocals where announced to when I got to listen to it worried that they’d screw it up. They didn’t. Not at all.

Matt Bauer – The Jessamine County Book of the Living

Emotionally devastating to listen to.

Letna – Adria

In this broad genre of ambient music, this was the brightest light in a year of fantastic stuff.

Wugazi – 13 Chambers

Mashups are art, 13 Chambers is proof.

We’ll Go Machete – Strong Drunk Hands

Noise rock is back, people.

naisian – Mammalian

Picking up where Isis left off.

Wolves in the Throne Room – Celestial Lineage

Wolves’ Oceanic.

Harmondale – Spirit of 73

So one lady proves she understands country music with her first release better than any new artist I’ve heard this year.

SP-33 – Escape From Tha Carter

This is music from a real future that exists somewhere.

Mastodon – The Hunter

I was super hard on this, but honestly in the wake of a year of challenging releases, The Hunter is seriously my go to album to unwind with. Girlfriend/In the car metal for life!

Special Dispensation:

Hurray For The Riff Raff

Technically this came out in the USA, where I am in 2010, but we were actually contacted by the UK pr and reviewed the UK release of this album. I loved it, heartbreaking. I am cheating to put it in here, but I can do that.

Graf Orlock – Doombox

Yeah, the 10″ has new material, but it’s most about being a comp.


Soul Khan – Resolution

Soul Khan had an incredibly prolific year in 2011. Of all the stuff he did, Resolution is my favorite. Khan is now one of my top 5 living MCs, real talk. Also as a thing, this has Nine on it. Seriously any day I hear ‘Whutcha Want’ on the radio, I think it’ll be a good day.

Big’n – Spare the Horses

Noise rock is back. Seriously back.

Butterfly Trajectory – EP 2011

So looking forward to what this band does next.

Witch Mountain – South of Salem

I want to listen to this and make out with a girl that has slightly crooked teeth.

So anyway, musical year in review. I kinda came back to metal this year after near total burnout last. There was some good, enjoyable stuff out there and I was glad to listen to it. Noise rock coming back was the big thing. I don’t want to get into the ‘yeah, but has it musically progressed?’ argument. It’s being back is really enough for me. As you can see by the list, though, it didn’t quite dominate my listening. Nothing really did. I view that as a good thing. This is a pretty well rounded list of the kind of music I like to listen to and review. It was also really hard to pick the top out as it was a uniformly good year here. I don’t have any major disappointments either, because there was very little I had serious anticipation for. As I sit here writing this though, I am really at a loss to say anything other than 2011 musically was the year that was.


I fail you all. The top genius bands that I do not get or can not stand. by Jayson
August 30, 2011, 3:47 pm
Filed under: Lists | Tags: , , , , , ,

There are universally loved bands and musicians. Artists that everyone who considers themselves a serious music fan love unconditionally, except me. My range of emotions regarding the following range from apathy to outright hatred. Let’s get in there.

Tom Waits sucks in his lips for 30% of his photos.

Tom Waits – This is one for the crowd of people who are on the spectrum of serious nerds (nerds who are serious) to people who “really understand music.” I am still sort of waiting for Tom Waits to just come out and say he’s fucking with everyone. Not in the way that everyone who loves Tom Waits thinks he is “subverting conventions” or something, but “I am singing in a stupid voice because I thought I would get attention and never stopped because just Hell of people kept calling me a genius and buying my records.” I want Tom Waits to know “I am not mad at you, Tom Waits.” but like… I refuse to take you seriously. I also refuse to take seriously the variety of condescending characters that I run into who turn out to be your strongest advocates. There are some people I really do respect that like Tom Waits and also as Tupac said “I ain’t mad at ‘cha.” but I do not like lounge singers or whatever it is. Tom Waits has caused me a lot of problems in life because I always have to have the “You don’t like Tom Waits?!?!?!?!” conversation and it bums me out.

Because I am a creep.

Radiohead – I kinda liked Radiohead when they were a rock and roll band and played songs like Creep and did big guitar jam outs like on Paranoid Android. I thought that was “the shit” actually. Then something happened to them, like they put out those two albums and every white person who wears black framed glasses is all “Radiohead are geniuses.” This is because Radiohead decided to play very sad, quiet music over the second disk in Aphex Twin’s “Selected Ambient Works Vol. 2.” Despite there being electronic music for a long time before people who had graphic design degrees heard of it, it was super new to that crowd and therefore ‘revolutionary’ and ‘genius.’ Radiohead have continued to remain ahead of the curve by doing slightly unconventional things already done by less successful and well-known bands.

bloo bloo bloo

Nine Inch Nails – I have poopy days sometimes too. And like… girls didn’t like me in high school and I dunno… the girl didn’t like me, things are boring, I was sad. I still have poopy days, but I still do not like Trent Reznor. I understand a lot of people with low self-esteem like this band, and that should make them somewhat more acceptable, but you were always on the hook to wear black lipstick and put fishnets on your arms to close the deal. When I feel poopy and want to listen to music that reflects that, NIN has always made me feel like ‘Oh shut up dude, geez.’ The only reason Trent Reznor existed was because he had to write ‘Hurt’ so Johnny Cash could cover it. Fun fact, a kid I went to high school with is like Trent’s third cousin or something, his parents had enough pull to get Reznor Heating and Air Conditioning to put an industrial size unit in for their house; it was always comfy.

Someone is gonna tell me how there’d be no Ramones without Bob.

Bob Dylan – I am told that Bob Dylan is one of the most widely influential musicians in the world, which is weird, because I can’t detect his influence in anything I listen to all, except for maybe Tom Petty. I guess that is because I am told over and over that Bob Dylan played all kinds of music, he did it all, but I kinda prefer the people who did whatever it was as a dedicated thing. Like let’s just listen to Waylon Jennings and Son House or whatever. Like he didn’t invent folk, country or the blues, nor did he have much influence on punk, metal or hip-hop. Sorry Bob Dylan.

I saw them live once, tickets were $70. Still can’t believe I spent that.

Tool – I am over on the apathetic scale for Tool. They ain’t offend me, I just do not give a shit that they exist. This band is easily in the category of loved by nerds, people who smoke a lot of grass and that most horrible type, the musician who gets really into jazz scales and crap like that and smokes a lot of weed. There is that dude who only listens to like, Tool, Steely Dan, Phish and like funk bands no one has ever heard of; I am friends with one of those guys and he is a good man, but man… That whole scene sucks. People who like Tool do not find it acceptable to just be sort of indifferent to them, because instead of just liking Tool, they love them; unconditionally. Tool made all those crazy videos and those were pretty good, but let’s not go nuts.

Once this post gets out, I will be banned from graphic design.

Wilco – I liked Wilco when they were an alt country band. I pretty much understand their turn to a normal, mid-tempo personality-less rock and roll band. Jeff Tweedy has a drug habit and he thought that would sell records. Records = drug money. I got that. What bums me out though is that for some reason this transition again caused all the graphic designers and other black-framed spectacle wearers to go forth and proclaim their utter genius. I went and saw them with Sonic Youth and they didn’t play any alt-country tracks because their fans are all the people who go ‘I HATE COUNTRY’ because they heard that “Ford Truck tough” song by that fake cowboy dude. I write this surrounded by hell of fake cowboy dude fans and it doesn’t make “Casino Queen” a bad song. Up yours, Wilco.

By the end of the band, they were using 8 cans of Aquanet a day.

The Jesus & Mary Chain – I think these guys are some ok, but I put them on here because I wanted another band on the list. Also, remember when Buddyhead ran their blog (instead of the main site), and all those dudes would post was clips from a million shitty bands that they thought were total genius because they sounded like The Jesus & Mary Chain? Real talk, if you have convinced yourself that Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are a good band, you have played yourself.

– Jayson

Matt’s Top 5 by ymatto
December 24, 2010, 12:27 pm
Filed under: Lists | Tags: , , , , ,

I figure I’m barely half a contributor here, so rather than the traditional top 10, I’m doing a demi.

The Roots – How I Got Over

I believe firmly that The Roots are one of the most talented and consistent musical groups living today.  That said, I have to admit that for me their albums of recent years, while strong, had a certain experimental focus that pushed aside the effortless depth that drew me in originally.  How I Got Over, much like Autechre’s Oversteps this year, seems to take everything they’ve learned in recent years, and pulls it together with more clarity — an album that, if I’m honest, is the first since about “Things Fall Apart” that reaches into my brain and pulls my levers.  Just fully brilliant hip-hop.

Red Sparowes – The Fear is Excruciating, But Therein Lies the Answer

I’ve become a quick fan of the Red Sparowes, and their latest has a narrative maturity and emotional range that sets it apart even from their previous outstanding work.  On the post-rock front, I nearly had to give the year to Souvenir’s Young America on harmonica-based grounds, but in the end the Sparowes was one of a few albums that helped get me through a rough patch this year, so it’s going on the shelf of particular respect.

Super Galactic Expansive – Supersensible Science

I kind of went on about these guys this year, and it’s still an album I come back to over and over.  Momentum and flow, momentum and flow, tight tight electronic sounds, and momentum and flow.  Comparisons can be made, but really it doesn’t sound like anything else; no album got me as excited by its pure freshness this year.

Tipper – Broken Soul Jamboree

I meant to do a proper review for this, but events intervened.  The short version:  Tipper reminds me a bit of Photek from back in the day.  Photek came in at the height of drum’n’bass popularity and dropped a bunch of albums and singles that took this deconstructed, surgically precise approach to the formula.  It had obsessive attention to production quality while still creating atmosphere and raw power (see his Ni Ten Ichi Ryu).  Tipper has been doing very similar things with a range of electronic music, from IDM to breaks to glitch-hop.  His album “Surrounded” was, in turns, cinematic and squelchily electronic — experimental and cohesive — organic and so precise that he offered a DVD-Audio version that was, Dark Side of the Moon-style, mixed into discrete surround sound.  Broken Soul Jamboree picks up where Surrounded left off and truly takes it to eleven.  It’s lush, lush stuff.

Ninjatune XX Box Set

This has to be on my list for delivering the full package — music, art, and information packaged in a way that conveys real appreciation for you the listener.  This was the piece this year that made me feel like a music purchase was an event, not just a CD rip.

Special bonus, one album that was kind of a disappointment this year:  Gorillaz – Plastic Beach

I always like the Gorillaz and I was sure I’d like this.  I bought the special edition deal.  It caused me to discover Little Dragon, which I dig quite a bit.  It has an intro with Snoop Dogg, and Stylo is a properly great song.  But I just do not like this album.  Like, it’s all cool getting Bobby Womack and the National Orchestra for Arabic Music, but 90% of this sounds like the funky eclectic intro and outro tracks to what I hoped this album would be.  I do really like Stylo and Little Dragon though.

– Matt

Top best music of 2010 by Jayson

This year it seems to be decided that the idea of the Top 10 List induces the douche chills. I am cleverly avoiding this by calling my list “Top best music” despite there actually only being about 10 LPs I really liked. That’s what this list is. It’s the stuff I was wowed by, or couldn’t stop listening to, or kept coming back to, or all of that. The rules here are that the list is compiled from stuff I actually own. So if I loved your album in a review, but it was streamed and I didn’t buy it (yet) or you didn’t give it to me, I didn’t count it. That’s just how it is, gotta have some kinda rules. List ain’t in no specific order.

No Age – Everything in Between
I found out about this band because of a graphic design article about their logo. I guess one or both of these dudes went to art school or was in a design program (I only skimmed the article.) I was also told by someone that the kids are really into this. That surprises me because Everything in Between sounds like a great New Wave record and I thought the kids weren’t into that now/again. There is this raw-polished-raw thing going on with the sound that I really like. This is one of those albums where all the songs but maybe one are good, those are special. Also, nice CD packaging. Go design school/programs.

Murder by Death – Good Morning, Magpie
I was gushing about this album when it came out. Now that I’ve lived with it for some months, I will honestly say there are a number of songs on here that are really corny and I don’t like; On the Dark Streets Below and You Don’t Miss Twice (When You’re Shavin’ With a Knife) specifically. That being said, I still stand by calling this the Great American Album though, maybe more so with some things that don’t work. The other songs on here are fantastic. It’s still a major step of artistic progression for the band and the fact that most of it works says a lot about how talented MBD are (very). As Long As There Is Whiskey In the World, Piece by Piece and Foxglove are instant sentimental favorites, and the remainder of the songs are just simply damn good.

wait what – The Notorious XX
Albums like The Notorious XX are the reason we take mash up artists as serious as any other recording artists. This album completely recontexrualizes Biggie. Mixing The Notorious B.I.G. with the XX transforms him from a typical, if talented, rapper bragging about himself and relating pretty typical hood drama to a a tragic figure of almost literary proportion. It’s an amazing thing to listen to because you know Biggie. You know him and wait what manages to completely change the way you hear his words. This is really an album that is far, far greater than the sum of it’s parts. Compelling. In a related note, this caused me to go back the XX album. Mash ups should be fair use, no question.

Eleh – Location Momentum
Eleh make the list for putting out the most extreme album of the year. This is only album here I can’t say ‘Run out and get this!’ about. It would bore nearly everyone. A lot of people would not take it seriously. Still, that’s why it’s here. Location Momentum is my first brush with Eleh’s music, but I can’t think of a single greater example of someone (or someone(s)? Eleh is hell of mysterious) challenging the definition of what music is and creating that music in a space that is almost completely devoid of context or precedence outside Eleh’s previous work. Extreme music doesn’t have to be loud.

Chief – Modern Rituals
Chief make great music. When I first heard Night & Day, I can honestly say I fell in love with the song. Chief are doing really timeless mellow rock.  Chief are a California band. They don’t name drop their state, their music manages to capture an intrinsic Californianess. Regardless of what you think of the state, it’s a good thingl it works. This is one of those things that’s a thing. Listen to them and you’ll know what I mean. What the band is doing doesn’t have anything to do with any current trend or scene I can identify. I really appreciate that. It sounds like great music being made by dudes who love great music and decided to make some.

The Walkmen – Lisbon
When this came out, I was upset because it wasn’t You & Me pt. 2; especially since the advance track could have come off of said previous album. I got over that. I like Hamilton’s voice, always have. I like the way the band sounds, they still sound like that. Warm tones. I like the lyrics. I like every song on this album.

Andrew WK – Close Calls With Brick Walls
I keep listening to this. Over and over.

Soul Khan – Soul Like Khan
Whenever I talk about the old school, I see the words of noted music commentator and all around rad dude Sgt. D righteously dismissing old people. So when I talk about the old school, I have to remind myself that: 1) that ship sailed a long time ago for me. and 2) old school doesn’t mean stylistically out of date, it means an expression of the valued elements of a bygone era. So when I reviewed this album, I talked about Khan’s old school flavor. I stand by that. You could certainly get down Soul Like Khan at the club or the party, in fact, I think you should, but the lyrical prowess of Khan and his crew combined with the beats and arrangements have me saying ‘ooooolllld schoooooool.’ Soul Like Khan takes me back to the era in the mid 90s when I first got into hip-hop. Music like Khan’s is the kind of music that made me love hip-hop.

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – Let It Sway
There was a point compiling this list where I was really trying to find some metal to put on it and was really reluctant to add this album. Being honest with myself, there wasn’t a standout metal album for me at all this year, where I listened to Let It Sway about a hojillion times. This is nerdy indie pop. The singer is doing kind of indie-vocals/falsetto but not quite, maybe. I don’t think there are electric guitars in this, but there is electric piano. I am now left credless, but these are goooooooood songs. This is a genre I own two albums in. This is one. You cannot deny a good pop song, much less a whole album of them. Nor should you.

Souvenir’s Young America – The Name of the Snake
My buddy Alec is able to give you an excellent read on any given artist or album by tell you whether or not is has soul. Post-rock as a genre is one of the most polarizing that I read opinions about. I love it and you all know that. Souvenir’s Young America are a post rock band. They’ve got so much soul. The harmonica, man. If there was ever an instrument with soul that is completely ignored by modern music. I won’t say that SYA is the harmonica playing, because good post rock songs are compositions and the songs on The Name of the Snake are that; the band is kickin’. I will say that the harmonica is what makes this outstanding.

Black Mountain – Wilderness Heart
Black Mountain are three for three now.

Some of the best stuff I heard this year didn’t constitute a whole standard full length release.

Collapse Under the Empire – The Siren’s Sound
This was some great post rock meets electronic action. This band is doing something I like, and doing it super well. This is one that I keep coming back to.

Phone Home – Phone Home
Phone Home make music that sounds really familiar in a good way. I don’t know why that is, because they’re not a derivative band at all, it’s just that they’re making great music with a lot of small nods to other great music. This is a great EP, it could have been album of the year if it was album length.

Regarding the metal.

This was the year that I had a break with the metal. That isn’t entirely true. I am still listening to Dismember and Toxic Holocaust all the time. Almost everything regarded as totally amazing and mind-blowing in the mainstream music press, The Shining, Behemoth and Slough Feg, off to the of the top of my head, I thought was really mediocre. I know my opinion about Behemoth has already resulted in scorn and derision, but hey.

There is what I thought was good in the world of metal, note that none of it was compelling enough to make the top list.

Wolvhammer – Black Marketeers of World War III
I loved this when it came out, but have cooled it on it significantly since. Dude singing sounds hell of like Dwid on Closure. Also sometimes when a band talks shit, it affects my opinion of them. These guys played some show with a some post-rock band and got mad when the people left for their set. One of them said something like ‘fuck you for being pussies’ or words to that effect. I’m sure that was it, I’m sure those people went ‘Oh my, this is just TOO MUCH for me! I have to run away.’ rather than ‘Forget this, let’s go to the bar.’

Thou – Summit
I liked this, but I think I like most of Thou’s other stuff more. Also it’s really easy to get burned out on Thou, since they’ve got a release of some kind dropping every week or two.

Coffinworm – When All Became None
This is that album you get that has a great single and the rest of it is just pretty good. Start Starving For Your Funeral just slays. The rest, is just pretty good.

CELESTE – Morte(s) Nee(s)
I actually love CELESTE’s sound but I made the mistake of reading an interview with them. Someone asked them what they write about and the reply was something to effect of ‘incest, pedophilia, nihilism.’ I know metal is lyrically dark, but their comments really made me think about the banality of evil and like… Ok, real talk. I ain’t like that kind of thing. I like some heavy sounds and whatnot, but I had a really bad reaction to that incorporating: I am not 14 and do not feel the need to shock people with controversial topics. I tend to take horrible things seriously, because they’re horrible. I ain’t doin’ that great myself you know, and need some more positive vibes.

– Jayson

A boring list: My favorite hardcore albums. by Jayson
September 22, 2010, 11:40 am
Filed under: Lists | Tags: , , , , ,

See I thought writing this was a good idea because I don’t like hardcore, like at all. Well nearly not at all. Well I guess it depends on what we’re talking about. See, the older you get the more words cease to mean anything like they used to. Emo? That used to mean like, Fugazi and Jawbreaker. Noise rock? You’re talkin’ about Unsane and the Cows, right? Hardcore? You mean the punk music that was played predominantly from 1980 on that was faster and more aggressive than the previous style of dominant punk? Are we talking NYCHC, tough guys singing about tough guy stuff? Are we talking about Hatebreed? Maybe the late 90s early 2000s stuff like Poison the Well? Neil Perry? Saetia?

That is kinda my point. For the sake of the what have you here, I will define hardcore as the NYCHC tough guy stuff and/or anything Hatebreedy. I like all the old hardcore punk, but when you say hardcore to someone today, no one thinks ‘Oh I too am a Bad Brains fan.’

I have distilled my dislike of hardcore down to the following:

  • I have never actually mistaken myself for tough. Even as a young man.
  • My friends or “crew” at any given point also failed to mistake themselves for tough.
  • I didn’t grow up in NYC or any city, actually.
  • My politics are not easily expressed with gang chants.
  • My poor life choices are more like ‘I went to art school.’ than ‘I went to jail.’

With that in mind here are my fav hardcore albums!

Pro-Pain – Act of God

I am pretty sure no one likes Pro-Pain. I mean they have fans, but I have never read anything substantial about them in magazines or whatever. I think Sgt. D once said they were terrible. I am really fan of like 3-4 Pro-Pain albums they did in the mid to late 90s. Their clever use of horns on their single ‘One Man Army’ won me over. I will admit to a time where, having realized the title of every Pro-Pain song was the chorus and thinking I was too good for that, I sold all my albums. Now they’re out of print and I’ve had a hard time getting them back. I haven’t listened to anything new they’ve done. Having actually lived through the presidency of George W. Bush, I decided I did not need to buy 8 albums telling me how bad it is/was.

American Nightmare – Background Music

My favorite t-shirt for years was an American Nightmare shirt I picked up at a show where they opened for someone I can’t remember now. It had a pile of dead bodies on the back, but you couldn’t tell unless you really looked at it. I wore that shirt a lot until it had to be retired because of pit stains. You ever have that thing where your anti-persperant hardens into this white crust? That’s what happened to that shirt. I have since been searching for a way to fix that or another American Nightmare shirt with zero success. Maybe I should check out that site with all the Most Precious Blood shirts… These guys’ emotional-about-the-girl core really appeals to me.  This album also has a song called God Save the Queen, which is not the actual God Save the Queen and a song cleverly titled Your Arsonist. At least I think that’s clever, like a Morrissey joke, right? Also, did the singer for this band only have one hand? I miss my favorite shirt.

Continue reading

A boring list: Bands I care about, but no one else does. by Jayson
June 15, 2010, 9:40 am
Filed under: Lists | Tags: , , , ,

The Toadies
Huh? You know, if you go look The Toadies up in Wikipedia they’re described as a grunge/post-grunge band, which shows that whoever wrote that never actually listened to them. I always heard the Toadies as always having this sort of crazed, swamp rock thing going on. Like CCR if John Fogerty sounded completely different, was psychotic and the band played a lot faster. Their whole first album was solid hits but all anyone remembers that Possum Kingdom video right? Their second was good too, lots of that screwed up southern religious stuff that only folks from below the Mason-Dixon can write. They broke up after the second album and are back together as a three piece. I didn’t find out about that until way after they toured though.
Why? You know, back in 96 they caught my attention pretty much because they didn’t sound like anything else going at the time, I think that’s why they still sound so good to me today.

Huh? This is another one you know. Going the distance. Maybe even “Never There?” You know Cake, you know them.
Why? The Distance was a really strong single, so I went out and got that and found out Cake were a great band. There is a thing where like… I was a boy and became a man, or something. Like some transition happened at some point where literal angst and complaining in music became a thing for me, a bad thing; and things like Cake covering “Sad Songs & Waltzes” sounded like total genius. That was a big thing for me, their country influences, you could tell these guys were really musically literate. I also think they wrote actually brilliant lyrics. Mr. Mastodon Farm, Satan is my Motor, Alpha Beta Parking Lot, all genius.

Huh? Right, this is not any of those other bands. This is some of the most awesomely brutal sludge doom ever recorded. I seriously can’t remember how I heard of these guys.
Why? Because they’re some of the most awesomely brutal sludge doom ever recorded. If you like anything that could be labeled “down-tempo” you must check this out. Crushing. Burtal. Bleak. Etc. True Doom, 43rd Parallel.

Huh? My favorite band.
Why? They’re geniuses. Seriously. I ordered Mantrapping for Sport and Profit because I liked the cover art. By the time I had finished listening to “Blizzards, Buzzards, Bastards,” I was totally sold. These guys were ahead of their time, I think if that album hit today instead of 8 years ago, It would be huuuuuuuge. Stoner rock is back in. Hell, these guys invented pirate metal way before Alestorm or Swashbuckle. But they didn’t, they put out 5 extremely strong LPs, 4 EPs, a special EP for Euros an a live album. Now they’re on indefinite hiatus, goddammit. NEW HAMPSHIRE’S ALRIGHT IF YOU LIKE FIGHTING!

RZA as Bobby Digital
Huh? Yeah, while ODB, Meth, Red and Ghostface had the “hit” solo albums from the Wu, The RZA put out two albums of original rhymes as Bobby Digital.
Why? Because these are the shit, only like… I am the only person to think so. I have always got the impression that these were kind universally panned and like, maybe The RZA, me and 8 other people are the only ones in North America that have them. These are the shit though, they’re solid. “Mantis” on The RZA as Bobby Digital in Stereo is awesome. RZA keeps going ‘chk-chk-chk’ on all the tracks. That’s the sound that ninja stars make. How can you not love that?

– Jayson

A boring list: Why the hell do I have these albums? by Jayson
May 4, 2010, 1:34 pm
Filed under: Failure, Lists

More things I’d probably be better off without.

What the hell is this?: It is KMFDM’s “big” album.
Why did I buy this?: Two reasons. The first is, that based on the song A Drug Against War, and a handful of Ministry albums, I thought industrial was basically metal with a drum machine. The second is the Brute Propaganda artwork.
How badly does this suck?: Badly. The problem with this album illustrates one of the most disappointing things that can happen. You buy an album for the one song you really like and it is the only song that sounds like that on the whole album. You have Drug, which is basically a thrash song at it’s core; then you have the rest of it, which is like… an earthy techno pop. Seriously, the rest of it is dance music for art students from the 80s.
Why do I still have this?: The cover art. Aidan Hughes 3 color, quasi woodcut style was one of the biggest influences on both my decision to get into commercial art and what I tried to pass off as my “style” for years. It’s arguable that buying this album contributed significantly to ruining my life making me the man I am today. Call it personal historical significance.

Continue reading