Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Summary Judgments, Volume 6

My Ears Need Something Else

You may have noticed ratings creep on this site: Fewer 3's and 3.5's, more 4's and up. That's because I don't like to take the time on anything less, or anything that may be good but doesn't interest me. Here are a few of those. As always, the line under the title indicates how far I got into the album before turning it off.

DevilDriver: Winter Kills (2013)
4 out of 11 songs

I have a special relationship with the music of Dez Fafara. He is the artist I grew up with in a very real sense. I loved Coal Chamber as a teen, and DevilDriver became awesome and heavy at just the right time for me. The problem is, I'm still growing and evolving. DevilDriver ain't. "Winter Kills" is a slightly melancholic "Hold Back the Day" rewrite. There's nothing wrong with it, but I'm past that.

Tyranny Is Tyranny: Tyranny Is Tyranny (2013)
listened to the whole thing

Tyranny Is Tyranny identifies as post-noise rock. I really have no idea what that means, but I hear some kind of punk rock with sludge ("Down the K-Hole") and ambient pieces. I'm kind of getting a "Godflesh minus the industrial" sense from some of this, but to be perfectly frank (and out myself) I've never really liked Godflesh all that much.

Deadlock: The Arsonist (2013)
6 out of 10 songs

Deadlock play some highly commercial metal with male/female vocals and djent-sounding guitars, but not the weird rhythms or techy-ness typical of djent. The male vocals are harsh and the female vocals are the soulless type you can hear from any number of metal bands who want you to say, "Look, we've got a chick in the band!" It's not terrible, honestly, but just a little too slick and polished for my taste.

Lantern: Rock 'N' Roll Rorschach (2013)
4 out of 8 songs

I'm afraid I just don't get this. It's some kind of upbeat, bouncy, jazzy rock. Not ska, but maybe a distant relative. I’m going to call it "not for me."

Nihilosaur: Death Is the Border That Evil Cannot Cross (2013)
listened to the whole thing twice

Well, the music of Nihilosaur makes about as much sense to me as their name (nothing lizard?). It's progressive, I suppose, but progressing toward what end? The sample about mid-life crises is a bit out of left-field too. I'm not prepared to say this has no merit, but after two passes I wasn't able to find it.


  1. Thanks for writing a few words about our record even though you didn't like it much (though I notice you did listen to the whole thing). Post-noiserock is just meant to mean after noiserock with more expansive arrangements and palettes of sound. The way post-metal or post-rock indicate adding other elements to those genres. Our roots are in the 90s noiserock of labels like Touch & Go and Amphetamine Reptile. We never thought about Godflesh in our music, but at least a couple of us absolutely adore that band. Interestingly, Justin Broadrick of Godflesh's latest project Jesu is squarely doing some sort of post- something or other (post-shoegaze, post-sludge, who knows?). Music is a hard thing to talk about and describe. Thanks again.

    Tyranny Is Tyranny

    1. Thanks for dropping by. The reason I said I don't know what "post-noise rock" is, well, because (a) I'm still not sure I understand what noise rock is, and (b) "post-" can mean a lot of different things.


    3. Believe me, I've read it. I think I'd need to hear a lot more of it to really understand. But also, given that atonality is everywhere in extreme music these days, it's much harder for me to appreciate what distinguishes noise rock. It was perhaps too successful at influencing other things to retain its individual identity. Maybe?

  2. Devildriver are a band that I've never quite understood. I used to have a friend who was obsessed with them, and largely because of her I've listened all the way through a couple of their albums on multiple occasions, and I've even seen them live 3 times. After all that, I still don't get it. I mean, they aren't bad per se, there just doesn't seem to be anything special or particularly interesting about them to my mind.

    1. I don't think there is anything special or particularly interesting about them, but the same goes for Lamb of God. They both inhabit a space that puts them at the brink between the mainstream and the extreme. I think a lot of people stop by at DevilDriver's house on their way to becoming extreme metal fans, but if you're already an extreme metal fan before you get into them, you're probably never going to.