American Rock

Kadabra – Ultra Review

Kadabra – Ultra Review

“I used to listen to, and enjoy, heavy psych a lot. I’m beginning to wonder, however, whether the onset of mid-life (not yet a mid-life crisis, please note —emphasis on yet) may have biologically hindered my ability to enjoy the genre. I keep picking it up for review, perhaps in the hope of recapturing some younger version of myself, and steadily continue to dole out 2.0s or 2.5s. And while a low score a day, keeps the Angry Boss Ape away, it’s not very good for the soul, you know? So, I approached Spokane, Washington’s Kabadra more in hope, than expectation, of finding something for me.” Olde world problems.

Gloop – Crayon Sun Review

Gloop – Crayon Sun Review

Gloop is a trio from West Virginia but currently based in Baltimore, having released two full-lengths since 2017. A truly disconcerting brew of noise rock by way of no-wave with a healthy dose of bluesy rock and upbeat punk, Crayon Sun takes Gloop to darker depths with in-your-face dissonance, angular riffs, and a defiant punk attitude. A shapeshifting beast both apathetic, frenetic, and abrasive.” The Glooper.

Yer Metal Is OIde: Alice In Chains – Alice In Chains

Yer Metal Is OIde: Alice In Chains – Alice In Chains

“Seattle rock legends Alice In Chains may not strictly qualify as metal, but they are widely regarded within the metal community, especially compared to the other big name bands of the famed grunge era, which tend to polarize metalheads. Perhaps it’s the blanket of sorrow and darkness enveloping their sound, coupled with the sludge and doom influences, that compliment their hard rock core and melancholic acoustic forays. Although Alice In Chains are still chugging along admirably to the present day, it was the band’s ’90s heyday and era with doomed frontman Layne Staley that remains the classic and defining era of the band.” Alice lives.

Transatlantic – The Absolute Universe

Transatlantic – The Absolute Universe

“Yet, Transatlantic is one of the more pretentious groups I’ve ever heard. When I first realized that the debut record, SMPTe, was the first letter of each member’s surname, I rolled my eyes so hard I fell off a bridge. Even so, this foursome knows how to play, and Portnoy has made himself a diverse drummer that can play many styles. So, when we got Transatlantic‘s The Absolute Universe, I had to partake. I mean, who else would be dumb enough to review a three-disc record?” A universe of material.

En Minor – When the Cold Truth Has Worn Its Miserable Welcome Out Review

En Minor – When the Cold Truth Has Worn Its Miserable Welcome Out Review

“Were I to begin giving the weeks of my life names like some sort of week-naming goon, “When the Cold Truth Has Worn Its Miserable Welcome Out” would be a top-level contender for this past week. As a title, it’s perfect; overly lengthy, blunt, and definitely different. In a slight deviation from the metallic usual, the American group En Minor, headed by one Philip Anselmo (Pantera, Down, Philip H. Anselmo & the Illegals), has let loose their debut album, When the Cold Truth Has Worn Its Miserable Welcome Out, to unsuspecting masses. Given my earlier week-naming sentiments, this probably should be a match made by destiny – but is it?” Cold and miserable.

Seven Planets – Explorer Review

Seven Planets – Explorer Review

“Sometimes, vocals — however good they may be — detract, or at least distract, from really listening to the moods the music is conjuring. This is how I feel about, for example, the instrumental records that accompany releases from The Ocean — while I typically listen to the full version, every now and again I will put on the instrumental version and float away. While West Virginia’s Seven Planets are a very different beast from that Berlin-based collective, their brand of instrumental rock, rooted in blues and groove, also aims to carry you away.” Seven paths to Uranus.

Mondo Generator – Fuck It Review

Mondo Generator – Fuck It Review

“It’s hard to say why I grabbed Mondo Generator’s subtly titled Fuck It from the promo bin but, if you’re putting me on the spot, I think excitement probably got the better of me. Not, I should be clear, excitement because I love Mondo Generator – I do not – but simply the excitement of seeing a band I had actually heard of, which had not already been snapped up by one of the nimbler reviewers. The brainchild of Nick Oliveri – and sometimes also known as Nick Oliveri’s Mondo Generator – of Kyuss, Dwarves and Queens of the Stone Age fame (among others), Mondo Generator has been around for quite a while.” Bad attitude.

Big Scenic Nowhere – Vision Beyond Horizon Review

Big Scenic Nowhere – Vision Beyond Horizon Review

“I don’t think of desert rock as an especially active genre when it comes to innovation. Brant Bjork God knows it can be self referential to a fault, conjuring with each release the same core components of fuzzy, jammy riffs, psychedelic woo woo vibes, earth tones and a gritty dryness worthy of the California landscape that hatched it. The creative peak that launched its best known bands is easily a few decades in the rearview mirror, yet this old conversion van keeps driving the same dusty highways, pot smoke and 70’s rock worship rolling out it’s open windows.” Big empty.

Chelsea Wolfe – Birth of Violence [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Chelsea Wolfe – Birth of Violence [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Chelsea Wolfe‘s respected and increasingly revered status within, and outside, the metal scene has steadily grown in recent years. From humble beginnings of her experimental goth-folk early works, to the enchanting Pain is Beauty, Wolfe really hit her stride on 2015’s eclectic masterwork, Abyss.” Birth is violence.