Grunge

Desert Clouds – Planexit Review

Desert Clouds – Planexit Review

“When Britain left the European Union, nearly every country in the Union had a populist party or two stand up and shout: “Now it’s our turn!” Variations on the name Brexit were the hippest hashtags for a fortnight, including Nexit for the Netherlands, the unwieldy Italexit for Italy, and the strangely upbeat Fixit for Finland. With a wry smile and knowing wink, London-based quartet Desert Clouds decided to base these political kerfuffles in a more cosmic scenario. What kind of union is the titular planet exiting though? And who would be the equivalent of Boris Johnson in this allegory?” Space erase.

Kyning – Ān [Things You Might Have Missed 2021]

Kyning – Ān [Things You Might Have Missed 2021]

“Vocals are almost always a focal point in modern music of any type. Pop music is practically exclusively about vocalists, hip-hop is defined solely by its vocal style, and so on. Metal vocals oftentimes attempt to buck the trends, whether they’re unintelligible, buried beneath the music, or simply a mediocre afterthought. The latter option is more common in stoner metal, and that is where our path leads today.” Wabbit season.

Franklin Zoo – The Dandelion Child Review

Franklin Zoo – The Dandelion Child Review

“I know we’ve been harping about shitty band names a lot this year, but come on. Franklin Zoo? Why? Is your music about 6-year-olds getting their first biology lesson because two bonobos decided to get exhibitionistic? Do you have a tearful ballad saluting Harambe? Apparently not, since The Dandelion Child addresses the philosophic studies of Soren Kierkegaard.” Animal farming.

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.

Nicarus – Coal People Coal Puppets Review

Nicarus – Coal People Coal Puppets Review

“Well, well, well. Looks like I found myself a unicorn. No, not the band picture, I’m speaking metaphorically. You see, whereas there are plenty of one-man bands, there are not a great deal of one-woman bands. On top of that, Tali Green, the mind behind Nicarus, hails from Israel; hardly a hotbed for metal. So it goes without saying that the underdog factor for Coal People Coal Puppets is sky high. If this were a Hollywood movie, she’d be de facto winner of 2021 already. But is this the real life, or is it a fantasy?” Coal for all.

Gargoyl – Gargoyl Review

Gargoyl – Gargoyl Review

“Ever since the early seeds of the Gargoyl project came to public light, I have been anticipating a debut album. Lo and behold, the band, featuring Revocation‘s Dave Davidson (guitars) and Luke Roberts (vocals/guitars) from the underrated Ayahuasca, has arrived with their self-titled LP. Blending dark, brooding, unsettling atmospheres, Gargoyl play off-kilter progressive metal with avant garde tendencies and a strong ’90s grunge vibe, most notably drawing influence from Seattle rock legends Alice in Chains. On paper the combination has a hell of a lot going for it, however, nailing the execution and establishing a strong identity are challenges to overcome.” Super groups, man…

Anewrage – Life-Related Symptoms Review

Anewrage – Life-Related Symptoms Review

“Hey, you! Yeah, that’s right, I know you and your ilk, only scurrying out of your hatch for a new record if the music is heavier than a dying panda reading Sartre and the album is only available in limited release as sheet music stapled to the bathroom door in an abandoned hospital. Well, you better slink back to your cobweb-ridden hovel as Life-Related Symptoms by Anewrage is none of those things.” Time to appreciate the gentler things in life.