Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Albums Listened To In January (52)

Now that I'm back from my self-imposed exile, I really don't know why I couldn't have at least kept up with the 'Albums Listened To' posts. I'm still getting back into the game, regaining my chops (both for typing so much and my attention span to one project), and struggling to keep it going, but so far so good. I'm going to do my best to keep The Guide updated at least weekly - it's the least I could do for all of your continued support!

The Good
I really enjoyed listening to Ape Machine's two albums; their blend of stoner and funky grooves was entertaining and uplifting, guaranteeing them some future replay time. Brant Bjork's various solo acts ('true' solo, with The Bros, and then The Operators) is always worth the listen, and I finally got around to finishing off his discography.

The Bad
After hearing so much positive mention of Acrimony over the years, I really expected something better then what was offered from their two releases; their second album, Tumuli Shroomaroom, had some positives to it, but overall I was disappointed. Both Birch Hill Dam and Camion have the same faults to their music: they are in the groovy-sludge school of stoner which has the needlessly screamed lyrics. Birch Hill Dam had some more reasonably calm songs in its collection, but Camion was nothing but the full bellows of the singer's lungs. Not to my tastes. Bruner was another band/singer that really wasn't for my musical tastes; apparently it was a demo/uncompleted recordings of some singer from the 70s, Linda Bruner (apparently the lead singer from some group called Piscis), that was just recently released (2010). It's a soulful, single-guitar-and-voice EP, but the recording quality isn't great, and frankly, Bruner's vocals aren't all that skilled; if it had been longer then twenty minutes, I probably wouldn't have listened to it all. Find better folk elsewhere.

The Interesting
Angel of Damnation was decent doom metal, nothing truly special, but then again, very listenable. My main problem with them was their incessant NEED to be seen as a satanic band; every song makes blatant comments and references to God, the Devil, goats, horns, death, etc, without any wavering whatsoever. I can see putting those themes out there, but come on guys, vary it up a little! They did have me chuckling a few times at their lyrics and imagery (The song "I Will Drink From The Chalice of Blood" is all about how the singer wants to be raped by both God and the Devil - one of the better tracks). The other oddity of the month was Crud, besides the 'what?' name, their music is another chin-scratcher. It seems like a mix of dance/electronic/trendy rhythms and styles with stoner rock, with some tilting one way and some the other (hell there is a salsa-esq song, "Fire," that incorporated trumpet). Some of the songs actually work pretty well, and some just seem that the styles are forced together. It reminds me of something to come out of the 90s nu-metal movement; an act trying to separate itself from the failing genre, but still trying to regain some of it's original fans.
  1. The 1-10's - Fighting for a Golden Age
  2. Acrimony - Hymns To The Stone - New
  3. Acrimony - Tumuli Shroomaroom - New
  4. Andrew Jackson Jihad - Knife Man - New
  5. Angel of Damnation - Carnal Philosophy - New
  6. Ape Machine - This House Has Been Condemned - New
  7. Ape Machine - War To Head - New
  8. Argus - Boldly Stride The Doomed
  9. Aver - Aver - New
  10. Behold! The Monolith - Defender, Redeemist - New
  11. Birch Hill Dam - Colossus - New
  12. The Black Keys - El Camino - New
  13. Black Pyramid - Black Pyramid II - New
  14. Blind Guardian - Memories Of A Time To Come (2 Discs) - New
  15. Blister - Ataraxia (EP)
  16. Borracho - Splitting Sky - New
  17. Brant Bjork - Gods & Goddesses
  18. Brant Bjork - Jalamanta
  19. Brant Bjork - Keep Your Cool
  20. Brant Bjork - Local Angel - New
  21. Brant Bjork - Punk Rock Guilt - New
  22. Brant Bjork - Tres Dias
  23. Brant Bjork & The Bros - Saved By Magic - New
  24. Brant Bjork & The Bros - Somera Sol - New
  25. Brant Bjork & The Operators - Brant Bjork & The Operators
  26. Bruner - Songs For A Friend (EP) - New
  27. Camion - A Serenade For Yokels - New
  28. Clutch - Blast Tyrant
  29. Circa Survive - Blue Sky Noise - New
  30. Circa Survive - Juturna - New
  31. Circa Survive - On Letting Go  - New
  32. Colossa - Colossa (EP)
  33. Crippled Black Phoenix - (Mankind) The Crafty Ape (2 Discs) - New
  34. Crud - Crud on Monster Island - New
  35. The Dear Hunter - The Color Spectrum (4 Discs/9 EPs) - New
  36. The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love
  37. Diablo Swing Orchestra - Sing Along Songs For The Damned & Delirious
  38. Dream Theater - Scenes From A Memory
  39. Five Horse Johnson - Double Down
  40. Five Horse Johnson - Fat Black Pussy Cat
  41. Five Horse Johnson - The Last Men on Earth
  42. Five Horse Johnson - The Mystery Spot
  43. Five Horse Johnson - The No. 6 Dance
  44. Kyuss - Welcome To Sky Valley
  45. Kyuss - Wretch
  46. Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More
  47. Sahg - Sahg
  48. Sahg - Sahg II
  49. Sahg - Sahg III
  50. Tyr - The Lay of Thrym
  51. U.S. Christmas - The Valley Path (EP) - New
  52. Zombi - Escape Velocity - New

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