Blog

New This Week: A Place to Bury Strangers, Ex-Cult, Notwist, Father John Misty, and S. Carey

A Place to Bury Strangers -Transfixiation: Transfixiation is not a word. Sorry guys. However, we can safely assume that A Place to Bury Strangers wanted a noun form of the verb transfix (other than transfixion, which is its noun form) – meaning to cause someone to sit or stand without moving because of surprise, shock, interest, etc. according to Merriam-Webster – as the title for their album, proclaiming that this album would be bewitching. A bold claim, but for the most part, A Place to Bury Strangers delivers. Oscillating from energetic, accessible alt rock a la Interpol (maybe) on “Straight” to oppressively heavy, distorted, droning post-punk on “Deeper,” Transfixiation is a visceral journey – and at times a chaotic, cacophonous one. (For example, “Love High” is what I imagine a bad acid trip to sound like. I honestly cannot recommend.) But, even so, there is no denying that all the songs on the album are, in different ways, quite hypnotic: the combination of the droning guitar with the singer’s monotonous, distant delivery is simultaneously ominous and mesmerizing, discomforting yet alluring. Try not to get sucked into this album – I dare you. ASHLEY 

RIYL: My Bloody Valentine, The Jesus and Mary Chain

Recommended Tracks: “Straight,” “I’m So Clean,” “I Will Die” 

Ex-Cult - Cigarette Machine: Southern fried post-punk. Ty Segall saw these guys a while back and loved them. He’s been producing their albums ever since. This EP comes out on John Dwyer’s Castle Face. Despite their SF connections, Ex-Cult is obviously in the southern camp when it comes to the current wave of punk bands. Hailing from Memphis, TN it’s easy to draw ties with Goner Records label mates like Useless Eaters, but the vibes go way beyond Memphis. Many of the punk bands I hear coming out of the south are favoring a dark sort of hardcore post-punk, reminiscent of the early Manchester scene, post-punk pioneers like Magazine and Joy Division. The guitar is guttural and choppy, vocals are strained and hoarse, and the lyrics are decidedly dark (something all the music critics seem to complain about, but who cares, I don’t see you shitting on Ian Curtis for his lyrics). The vibe is definitely post-punk, but with the attitude of early American hardcore, as in I would want to be friends with these guys, but I’d expect them to be cynical assholes. SHILL 

RIYL: Metz, Useless Eaters, early post-punk

Recommended Tracks: “Clinical Study”, “Cigarette Machine”, “Rats in the Gas Tank”

artikel_audio_197_1_gross.jpg

Notwist – The Messier Objects: German experimental/rock band Notwist brings to you a very interesting set of “objects” (all the songs are titled object 1, object 2, and so on).  Each provides a new instrumental soundscape, made of gentle synths, flickering bells, microwave sounds, a little drum roll here and there, and vocal samples that come in hits.  I would imagine someone would enjoy this music very much while either meditating, tripping acid, or walking through a crazy Buddhist garden that’s deconstructing itself in geometric shapes. Or all three.  It’s some serious Alice in the Wonderland shit right here.  There’s a wide variety of experiments that are going on right here.  For example, on “object 12” Notwist uses the sample trippy synth sound but underneath has some interesting jazz sounding drums.  Would recommend for drugs and inner peace. DYLAN   

RIYL: Gaslamp Killer’s Meditation mix (this is awesome too), Aphex Twin?

Recommended Tracks: Object 1, Object 4, Object 6, Object 8, Object 12  

Father John Misty - I Love You, Honeybear: There is no possible way I could give you a complete review of I Love You, Honeybear from the last few days I’ve spent listening to it. It’s crass, rude, often hilarious, brutally honest, mischievously romantic, and unmistakably sweet, all surrounding the unseen aspects of a 21st century courtship. Lyrically, Father John Misty has outdone himself in his cynicism and dark sense of humor. Notable moments include “True Affection,” a synth-charged lament of the difficulties of preserving intimacy through mobile devices, “The Ideal Husband” where Misty sounds more rock n’ roll than ever before, and “Bored In the USA” and “Holy Shit” where he gets downright sociopolitical. I also enjoy “The Night Josh Tillman Came To Our Apartment,” in which his opinion of a certain entitled woman is contentious to say the least. Despite his trademark dickheadedness, however, Misty also demonstrates his sweet side on “I Went To The Store One Day,” a beautiful ballad about settling down and growing old with your lover. Truly, the songs on this album are all good. I could say more, but you’d do better to give I Love You, Honeybear a listen and form your own opinions. I, for one, have found my new favorite album of 2015 thus far. AROG 

RIYL: Fleet Foxes, Sharon Van Etten, old Father John Misty

Recommended Tracks: all of them 

S. Carey - Supermoon: Two weeks ago when I first listened to this album, I put it on my roommate’s amazing speakers at midnight and for the first time in the history of my apartment, all four of us just turned out the lights, turned up the music, put down our phones, and *listened* to an album together. Drawn to S. Carey by a mutual love of the Bon Iver, Bon Iver record, we were all familiar with Sean’s approach to production and his characteristic complex, lush, and romantic sound design through the use of synths, horns, strings, and percussion. Expecting that grandeur, I put on the Supermoon EP and it opened with a bare, sparsely arranged, beautifully recorded rendition of “Fire-Scene” from his previous album, and I was immediately hooked in. It’s an honest, sad, lovely record, and deserves an hour of your time and contemplation. CHRIS

Recommended tracks: Fire-scene (Alt. Version), Supermoon, Bulletproof… I Wish I Was

RIYL: Bon Iver, James Vincent McMorrow, the slower Grizzly Bear tracks