This Feature Friday has Taylor from Black Sleep Of Kali presents his favorite albums of 2010, (some of which also are on my top albums of the year) make sure to pick up their new record at their fabulous merch store HERE
In the age of the interwebs, where one can pretty much download all the music they want for free, it really takes a lot for something to stand out enough to be noticed. I feel like everybody and their fucking mom puts out a top ten list at the end of the year, so instead, I’ve decided to make my list of music that I actually liked so much I plopped down my hard-earned cash for it and purchased it on vinyl. I know as a musician I should be the dude that says, “hey don’t download records”, support the bands blah, blah, blah, but I’m not. If you downloaded our record (Black Sleep of Kali – Our Slow Decay) then radical. If you liked it enough to actually buy a shirt or that outdated piece of media called a Compact Disc, then I salute you for doing what I wouldn’t. You are a better person than I; if I ever meet you in person, let me know that you bought our record and I will buy you a beer, or if you are underage, then I will buy you a Red Bull or Mellow Yellow (do they still make Mellow Yellow?). So without further fanfare, here are the albums I purchased on vinyl this year, with a few thoughts about each. Again, I pretty much had to be really impressed or interested in a band to be bothered to go out and buy the vinyl (or order it online). Just a disclaimer, not all the music on this list was actually put out in 2010, but all the music was released on vinyl in 2010. These are in no particular order.
1. Grinderman - Grinderman 2
What can I say? Nick Cave is a fucking badass. If you don’t know who Nick Cave is, you are pretty much blowing it in life. I know people throw around this term way too much, but I don’t toss it around lightly. Nick Cave is a genius. Everything that he does, from his work with Grinderman, to the Bad Seeds, to his movie scores with Warren Ellis are all fucking awesome. The dude even wrote a screenplay for the movie The Proposition (it’s on Netflix watch instantly, go watch it), and has written several books. He is prolific, and his creativity really is off the charts. While I didn’t think this record was as great as the first Grinderman record (I mean really, who can top No Pussy Blues?), it is still an awesome slab of rock and roll. What other musician do you know who is in their 50′s that rocks as hard as Cave? No one, that’s who. This stripped down, fuzzed out record has amazing lyrics, interesting song structures, plus it is all helmed by Nick Cave who sounds like mad preacher, spitting bile and dread down at you from his rock pulpit on high. Plus, the vinyl is pretty incredible. It came with the LP (180 Gram), the CD, a digital download, a huge lyric booklet complete with illustrations, and a gigantic poster all for $20 – talk about bang for your buck. Check out this awesome video for Heathen Child, and soak in the awesomeness that is Grinderman!
2. Goatsnake – Flower of Disease
I am a sucker for Goatsnake. Detuned, bluesy stoner rock, with epic riffs and a wall of Sunn amps? Yes please. You want to geek out about guitar tone? Well kids, if you didn’t know, Greg Anderson of Sunn 0)) fame played guitar in Goatsnake, and he is the master of tone. If you are looking for screaming\growling\barking vocals and shredtastic, techy riffs, look elsewhere; on Flower of Disease you only get soulfully sung lyrics and slow, plodding, blues-ridden guitar lines. A million bands copied Goatsnake’s style (i admit it influenced me heavily,) so if you want to hear one of the originators of the swampy blues\sludgy\doom style, look no further than Goatsnake. Also, it came out on Southern Lord and they always do a fucking awesome job with their vinyl releases, so it is worth your monies.
3. The Body – All The Waters of The Earth Shall Turn to Blood
This album is weird – but in the greatest way possible. At its core it’s a doom metal record, but it has so much more going on than that. For instance, the first track doesn’t start out like a metal record at all; the first seven minutes of the record feature a ghostly sounding choir using no words, but just a meandering melody. It isn’t until about seven minutes in that some guitar feedback starts in and you finally realize you didn’t accidentally buy a Mormon Tabernacle Choir record. You could actually play this for my mom up until guitars and crazy screeching vocals come crashing in, at which point my mom would be really bummed and she would say something like, ” I don’t understand how you can listen to someone that sounds like he is having an epileptic fit, while screaming into a microphone. But that choir was real nice, play that part again.” Track 2, Empty Hearth, starts out with weird chanting\Tuvin throat singing, followed by programmed drums, with slow, dirge-like guitar chords interspersed between frantic, high-pitched screams; it sounds like it would be a better idea than an actual song, but the execution is spot on, heavy and hypnotic. There are a few more straightforward doom tracks that fans of Eyehategod and Neurosis are sure to love outright, but my favorite tunes are the more experimental type. Also, did I mention this band is a two-piece? They played in Denver this year, and I am sad to say I missed them, because I would love to see how they pulled this record off live. All the Waters of The Earth Turned to Blood really is challenging and different, but the more you listen to it, the more the songs start to unfold and you begin to realize just how much thought and how many textures and ideas are crammed into each piece. This record rules, but isn’t for the faint of heart. Also, the cover is eerie looking and actually evokes a mood and it makes me wish that our cover was nearly as cool. Do you ever see or hear something and think, “Fuck, I wish I thought of that first?” That is exactly how I feel about this whole record.
4. OFF! – The First 4 EPs
Super groups are usually a disappointing. Really, they are. I had high hopes for Shrinebuilder earlier this year, and that didn’t turn out bad, but it also wasn’t nearly as awesome as it should have been in my mind. OFF! is comprised of some serious hard-hitters from punk, hardcore and stoner rock. Keith Morris from Black Flag and Circle Jerks on vocals, Dimitri Coats from Burning Brides on Guitar, Mario Rubalcapa from Hot Snakes\Rocket From The Crypt\Earthless\411 on drums and Steve McDonald from Redd Cross on bass. OFF! fucking rules. Throwback punk\hardcore how it is meant to sound: fast, urgent, raw and pissed off. It is like I am 16 all over again and I love it. 17 songs in just over 17 minutes, and it is from a bunch of middle-aged dudes! The First 4 EPs actually comes out in a boxed set in December, and I told my wife that this is the only thing that she “HAS TO” buy me for X-mas. If I don’t get it, I am going to crank this record on my iPod, and circle pit the X-mas tree to pieces, while slamming a PBR and then I will make her clean it up. Lucky for me, my wife used my Amazon account to pre-order the box set for me and an email receipt was sent to me, so I wont have to mosh the tree out the window. If you are a fan of hardcore\punk or of any of the members bands (well maybe except earthless, because this couldn’t be further from earthless) then I suggest checking OFF! out. They are all old punks, so I bet they don’t even fucking care if you downloaded it for free, so what do you have to lose? Also, they have a song called Fuck People – I love it.
Honorable Mentions\Records I will buy when I am not broke:
Thou – Summit
SLUUUUDDDGGEEEEE! Thou rules and you know it. Summit was one of my favorites this year. Melodic, but super heavy, with a singer that sounds like he swallowed broken glass. Also, how rad is Thou as a band? Giving away all their records for free on their website. So what are you waiting for? Go get it here dummy: http://noladiy.org/thou/
Cough- Ritual Abuse
If Electric Wizard kept putting out records that sound like Dopesmoker, then it would sound like Cough’s epic Ritual Abuse. We played with these dudes last week, and I have to say that if you have any interest in this band at all, you HAVE to see them live. It was soul crushing. Also, they were really nice gents.
Our review of Cough – Ritual Abuse available here
The Black Angels – Phosphene Dream
Psychedelic, reverb-laden rock, with lush vocal arrangements and production. Has a bit of a 60’s throwback vibe, but still avoids being total 60’s worship. This is music that really sets a specific mood, which I think is something really hard to do. I’ve been listening to this a ton lately. It makes me want to get out my reverb pedal that I never use, and write some songs with it. I will own this on vinyl soonish. Someone should buy it for me…hint, hint.
Taylor is in Black Sleep Of Kali, their album Our Slow Decay is available via their bigcartel found Here