[Sticky] Material for Review - June 2021
Have you ever been repeatedly punched in the head? It can cause some serious damage. The latest release from T-TOPS, Staring At A Static Screen, has a very similar effect, but in this case, it’s much less painful, and to be honest, very enjoyable. Lots of different sounds pooled together here, hard rock, thrash mixed with the brashness of noise rock and blended in with a bit of heavy metal and doom, all flying under the banner of a heavy punk rock sound. It comes at you and grabs ahold and does not let up, each song is quick burst of sound and fury and it’s one hell of a ride! Go now and get your ears on this, you won’t regret it!
I was following Expo 70 way back in the day when he was sitting in a dark room and slinging out spacy slow ambient signals into the depths of the cosmos. I sort of lost touch with his releases for a variety of life's reasons but was happy to see this new release, Evolution pop up in my feed. And an evolution it certainly is. This is a full band, doomy, sun bleached intense ride into new plateaus I was not expecting from Justin Wright. Driving drums, spacy horns, some fully formed riffs. Go clean your head out with this.
Dating - I Would Prefer Not To
My friend and I stumbled upon this Swedish band's 2013 album around that time, merely by checking Bandcamp to see whether the band name Dating had been taken yet. We quickly fell head over heels with that one. Now, after 8 years of silence, they've released a new album. Although if the credits are any indication, they seem to have gone from a quartet down to a solo project of Kalle Lennblad. What happened to the other members? It's a mystery! This album is every bit as good as the previous one, in any case. They/he are generally in the shoegaze/emo(ish)/post-rock(ish) spectrum, although it's often hard to pin down which of those they are in any given moment. True to the album name, Kalle seems notably more bummed out than before, which I suppose is fitting given the bummer state of the world at the moment. Dating are/is equally invested in pushing amplifier air at massive levels and exploring tone, texture, and ragged ambience. Beautifully depressive, anthemic stuff, with production that's somehow both cavernous (inward-directed) and expansive (outward-directed). An excellent soundtrack to another pandemic year.
Recommended track: "Skin Wish"
Dr Amy Cutler - Gutter
I'm not a very wordy person. I'm not a writer, and I don't generally write reviews. I'm especially not a fan of the "[X] out of 10", "subjective opinion as objective fact" type of thing.
However, I was asked to write some words about "Gutter", a recent album by Dr Amy Cutler. As a fan of Amy's music, I said yes without thinking.
I wrote a lot of words. I deleted them. I wrote a lot more words. I deleted those, too.
I got frustrated, and the more I tried to come up with something meaningful, something that would do justice to "Gutter", something that would convey how I feel about this music, the more I struggled.
So, I scrapped everything I'd written, and I would just like to say that in my opinion Dr Amy Cutler makes really beautiful music. If you're a fan of field recordings / experimental music, here is one of the best, most fascinating and interesting artists I've found in that arena.
"Gutter", and the follow up album "the ends (also end) of (the) earth and variants" are two of my favourite releases of 2021, but you could pick up any Amy Cutler release and find something very special.