Sept 29, 2017 Music Releases
"Nomad" By Kublai Khan
Kublai Khan is one of those old-school-style metalcore bands that draw influence from the likes of Earth Crisis and Integrity. The guitars are bludgeoning, the vocals are primal, and raw aggression is the rule. While their sound is a hardcore purist's dream the only difference between band's of this type is how well they perform the style. While these Texans aren't doing anything outside the box they have all the groovy chugging one would need to get a pit moving. It's hardcore through and through and if you aren't looking for an artistic masterpiece Nomad is worth a listen.
"Sorry Is Gone" By Jessica Lea Mayfield
Genre: Indie Rock
The fourth studio album from Jessica Lea Mayfield sees the artist expanding upon the electric sound she introduced on her previous record. The grunge-like guitars have been scaled back a little but there's still some of that style found on the opener "Wish You Could See Me Now" and "Bum Me Out" which sounds like Kurt Cobain guested on it with the prominent chorus-effected guitar. The majority of the album finds a happy balance between her new-found indie rock sound and her folk/country roots. The more mellow atmosphere fits with the lyrical content which draws from her abusive relationship with her now separated husband. Sorry Is Gone sounds more confident than its predecessor where the electric elements on the last album sounded like fun experiments and on this album Mayfield seems to know exactly what she wants to do with them. Like all of her previous work she's shown a skill for accomplishing a lot with simple techniques and song structures. All driven forward by quality songwriting.
"Lanterns" By 36 Crazyfists
Genre: Alternative Metal/Post Hardcore
36 Crazyfists is band that nimbly walks a line between metalcore, post-hardcore, and alt metal. It's a style they've had for a while now and it makes them a little more interesting than most other radio friendly alt metal bands. The material is very anthemic. Each song is primed for live fan singalongs yet the band doesn't forget about keeping the instrumentals interesting. An aspect many of their radio-metal peers forget. The album starts off with two strong tracks in "Death Eater" and "Wars To Walk Away From". Both these tracks lean towards the metalcore side of things and feature fast, aggressive instrumentals with Brock Lindow's impassioned vocal delivery leading the way. "Sleepsick" is a mid-album favorite that draws from the band's nu metal influences with a rumbling groove to anchor the track. And "Where Revenge Ends" is a slower,simpler track featuring mainly acoustic guitars and minimal electric guitar. Lanterns is a solid effort with its balance of aggressive and melodic elements and big vocal hooks. It's a slight cut above the average alt metal record due to the wider variety of influences the band utilizes. Yet it's still very close to the rest of the radio metal crop and the band needs to do more to set themselves apart even further.
"The Desaturating Seven" By Primus
Genre: Progressive Rock/Experimental Rock
The Desaturating Seven marks the first time the classic Primus line up has released an original album since 1995's Tales From The Punchbowl. However this album doesn't sound like a classic Primus record as the work here is rooted more in proggy atmospherics than punk-funk punch. Like many prog albums this record is a concept record based on the children's book "The Rainbow Goblins" and is the second album in a row for Primus that's based off a book or movie. Keeping with the seven theme, The Desaturating Seven is made of seven tracks with only five of those being regular songs. Opening track "The Valley" is a narrative intro for the story which interestingly features Tool's Justin Chancellor providing the voice of the narrator. And closing track "The Ends?" is a spacey instrumental outro that's under two minutes.
As for the meat of the album each song is relatively simple in structure and performance by Primus standards. Les Claypool's bass is still center stage as always but he plays with a lot more restraint than usual. Each track only repeats a handful of musical ideas and can sound pretty middling at times. While tracks like "The Seven", "The Trek", and "The Scheme" have catchy enough parts to them those ideas aren't built on enough to make the songs memorable. "The Dream" will test listener's patience as the song has over five minutes of mostly ambient noise before getting to a more interesting but short lived groove in it's final two minutes. "The Storm" stands as the one true memorable track from the album and sounds more like the Primus of old. It's the most energetic song being the story's climax and features some tightly played song transitions with drummer Tim "Herb" Alexander giving a stand out performance. While The Desaturating Seven is interesting enough in concept it's lacking in execution. And it may do Primus some good to drop the concept album trend for their next release as these past two records have not lived up to the band's prime career material.