Monday, February 10, 2014

Off-the-Wall Briefs 2013

Comfort Zones Disregarded

I like to edge outside my comfort zone from time to time, and when I do, it's worth talking about.

Chelsea Wolfe: Pain Is Beauty
5 out of 5 stars

How the hell is this so good? I'd never heard of Chelsea Wolfe before she started showing up on a whole lot of metalheads' end-of-year lists, but I am completely sold on Pain Is Beauty. It's a strange amalgamation of goth rock, drone, a tad of Americana, and those haunting vocals. But such descriptions can hardly do it justice. It's more intense and dark than nearly anything else I've heard in the last year.

Death Hawks: Death Hawks
3 out of 5 stars

The dark, cool, trance-inducing psychedelic rock of Death Hawks reminds me a lot of the old German band Message. Their use of saxophone makes the resemblance even stronger. On top of that, I'm picking up on some Doors ("Blind Daughter of Death"), whatever else is inspiring Baroness these days, and a little Joplin ("Grim-Eyed Goat"). Perhaps it's not perfectly authentic if meant to be a throwback (some of the synths say "80's movie soundtrack" to me) but it is an interesting change of pace, especially tho those 70's psychedelic/progressive/space rock fans among you. I personally liked the opener and closer, but could take or leave the rest of the record.

Cargo Records

LowCityRain: LowCityRain
4 out of 5 stars

I'm not fully qualified to describe this music. It reminds me a great deal of the late 80's, synthpop incarnation of Killing Joke. It's also got a lot of what I believe to be dreampop, and skirts around the edges of deathrock. The dude from Lantlos is responsible for it, and it's way better than it has any right to be. "Nightshift" is crazy good, but the rest of it is certainly worth hearing if you want a reprieve from the metal.

Prophecy Productions

1 comment:

  1. Just saw Chelsea Wolfe live in San Antonio, her performance was both haunting and beautiful. She did not disappoint!