Dorney’s Weekly Album Capsule Reviews | 02 Apr 2017

album reviews

1. Mount Eerie: A Crow Looked at Me [self-released, 24/03/2017]

Tough one to take in. Phil Elverum’s wife Geneviève Castrée passing last July had him in hibernation for nearly half a year. He’s stepped forward with this eulogy for his wife and one which can be placed alongside Mark Kozelek’s “I Can’t Live Without My Mother’s Love”, as Sun Kil Moon, and Jeremy Bolm’s Stage Four, leading Touché Amoré, with little qualms. A simple and heartfelt piece that, in mid flow, will make you think of what will and what’s to come with the loss of a loved one. To summarise: “When real death enters the house, all poetry is dumb”. (8/10)

2. Power Trip: Nightmare Logic [Southern Lord, 24/02/2017]

Thrash metal back with some sort of a bang. Hard to pinpoint what that particular bang is but the fanboy and non-fan alike will bask in it. Whatever it is. With Vektor and Metallica’s slight rejuvenation (for half a record) last year, we’re seeing thrash metal that’s just as formulaic from the riffs and rhythm standpoint but less so in subject matter. I prefer the going-down-with-a-needless-fight of this over James Hetfield’s worldview. (7/10)

3. Spoon: Hot Thoughts [Matador, 17/03/2017]

The opening quartet of tracks is a steady assurance that Britt Daniel understands love with the strings attached. His experimental side needs work. (7/10)

4. Percolator: Sestra [Penske, 14/04/2017]

Reminds me of Amber Arcades minus the bite of melodic intricacy. Her arpeggio puts this piece of skeletal pretentiousness to shame. Some tunes decided to show up. If only I could remember which ones they were when I returned. (6/10)

5. The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy: Hypocrisy Is the Greatest Luxury [Island/PolyGram, 03/03/1992]

Michael Franti’s diction is beautifully enunciated; finishing each sentence and phrase with more assurance than his political ideologies, because politics isn’t evil as much as how it’s carried out. When the words falter (which is rarely, admittedly), the music holds it together with the multiculturalism of Asian-American Rono Tse and his musically-industrial sanguine within Franti’s virtuous leftism (that leftism is difficult to rail against, mind). Doused with anti-homophobia, anti-misogyny, anti-xenophobia, etc. and pro everything you’d expect, it’s refreshing when the words come off more journalistic than righteous: “On January second the Bush administration/Announced a recession had stricken the nation/The highest quarterly earnings in ten years/Were posted by Chevron”. There’s still the activist within Franti’s locker that demolishes that of the musical prig: “The bass, the treble/Don’t make the rebel”. Indeed. (9/10)

6. Ride: Nowhere (25th Anniversary Edition) [Creation, 15/10/1990]

One of the great openers to an album of the era—or any era—with a naive wall of sound so organic you’d ask yourself are they visionaries. No, is the simple answer. But they can melody when they want. The 25th anniversary edition definitely adds more nuance in terms of their definite songcraft. (8/10)

7. Ride: Going Blank Again [Creation, 09/03/1992]

A little more melodic less the wailing blasts. More tunes, more acoustic, more songcraft, more synth. Never thought I’d say that last bit. Adds a nice touch, mind. (8/10)

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