Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Tommy And The Commies - Here Come… (Slovenly, 2018)

Tommy And The Commies
Here Come…

Rating: 7 shiny purple gemstones out of 10

Tommy And The Commies sound pretty much just like the Buzzcocks.  Sometimes a slightly mod Buzzcocks, but still the comparison holds.  And that’s fine, because I love the Buzzcocks, and not enough bands do the catchy, upbeat buzzsaw punk thing for my liking.  This album is eight songs in sixteen minutes – even Robert Pollard is telling them they need to stretch their legs a bit.  But for the sixteen minutes they do give us, the results are terrific – “Devices” and “Permanent Fixture” are stompers, while “Suckin’ In Your 20’s” should be an anthem to anyone in that age group.  Truly the only bad thing I can say here is it’s way too short.  Just like this review!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

A Storm Of Light – Anthroscene (Translation Loss, 2018)

A Storm Of Light
Translation Loss

Rating: 7.5 full-length rulers out of 10

There doesn’t seem to be an adequate genre or simple descriptor for the type of metal A Storm Of Light plays, which is unfortunate because it’s honestly the kind of metal I like the best.  I guess some folks call it “post-metal,” but it doesn’t seem post-anything.  I suppose the thinking is it’s a combination of post-rock and metal, but that still leaves a huge gulf of possibilities, as post-rock is already a label used for a thousand different bands who sound nothing alike (and yes, I’ve used it a ton myself because above all else I’m lazy as shit).  Let’s just put it this way – the music is heavy but not super heavy, and the vocals are melodic and clear – think Baroness / Pallbearer, crossed with maybe a little Tool.  I’ve honestly never cared much for Tool, but they are undoubtedly an important lynchpin in this type of heavy, melodic…well, post-metal, I guess.  I think I’ve now used the word “post” more in this paragraph than any man should who isn’t talking about mail delivery.

All that is to say: “Anthroscene” is really damn good.  If you asked me if I was a metal fan I would unequivocally say yes, but the truth is only a couple of metal records (at most) come out a year that really hold my attention – and this is definitely one of them.  I find I’m kinda picky when it comes to new metal, but when I do find something I like I’m all in.  This is one of those “all in” situations to be sure. 

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Idles - Joy As An Act Of Resistance (Partisan, 2018)

Joy As An Act Of Resistance

Rating: 9.5 Polish butchers out of 10

I’ve been struggling a little bit on what to write about “Joy As An Act Of Resistance,” the sophomore effort from Bristol, England’s Idles.  It’s my favorite release of the entire year, an instantaneous punch in the gut from the very first listen; sometimes you love something so much it can be tough to put your thoughts into a concise couple of paragraphs.  Yeah I’ve said other releases were my favorite of the year (Hot Snakes and Superchunk come to mind), but they’re all running in second place to Idles at this point.  The musical comps for Idles are surprisingly easy – bits of Les Savy Fav, Protomartyr, Fucked Up, and Birthday Party are all easy touchstones here.  What takes this record up a notch is it’s energy and positive earnestness – “fuck the fascists” and “love everybody” are the universal themes, themes that seem especially important these days.  When Joe Talbot growls “this snowflake is an avalanche” in “I’m Scum” it might be a little on the nose, but fuck it, things are real shitty right now and sometimes you just need someone with a megaphone yelling exactly what you want to hear.  The first two lines from the uber-inclusive “Danny Nedelko” tell you everything you need to know about this band’s politics: “My blood brother is an immigrant / A beautiful immigrant.”  This band knows where they stand, and give the rest of us a musical salve, like an imaginary arm around your shoulder letting you know we’re all in this together, this shit situation is gonna get better…now let’s go fuck some shit up.