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John Zorn Filmworks IX: Trembling Before G-d
Another good Filmworks entry. This one is quite relaxed, largely slower, with some gorgeous solo piano pieces ("Mahsahav," "Kaporeh"). Zorn mainstay "Idalah-Abal" even shows up in a distinctly more mellow form than, say, it's rendition on In the Mountains of Madness. This disc is clarinet and organ heavy, but effectively atmospheric.
John Zorn Filmworks IV: S/M + More
Respective track styles: Spanish-influenced ambient, straight-up ambient, ambient with noise bursts, solo piano, ambient tribal with voice samples. On the whole, this Filmworks is a combination of sleepy and jarring which calls for such a specific mood that I rarely feel like listening to it, but it has its moments. Tracks three and four are the highlights (and the last one has some great sections).
Jimmy Eat World Chase This Light
Jimmy Eat World's poppiest release post-Bleed American. Glitzy and polished, bordering on synthetic, with some super catchy melodies ("Let It Happen," "Always Be") as well as, unfortunately, some annoying, generic drivel ("Here It Goes"). It's sickly sweet and nowhere near the depth of Clarity or Futures, but pop fans will find some worth here. "Gotta Be Somebody's Blues" is excellent; undoubtedly the most interesting song here.
Diamanda Galas Diamanda Galas
Somewhat akin to a Litanies of Satan pt. 2. Again, there are two tracks, the second of which is an avantgarde a capella extravaganza, and again the vibe is eerie, unsettling, and frightening. However, that's not to say you'd mistake one record for the other: while equally virtuosic, this one is less claustrophobic and (in its second track at least) more mournful. It also addresses different themes: "Panoptikon" is a rumination on isolation, imprisonment, and torture, whereas "Song from the Blood of Those Murdered" is a lamentation for the victims of Greece's junta regime.
The Mars Volta Amputechture
Willfully difficult, and even a little snottily so - like the record is shoving it in your face (watch us lull you into a false sense of security before getting noisy with a guitar solo ["Asilos Magdalena"] or ending the record abruptly ["El Ciervo Vulnerado"]). Still, though, The Mars Volta are talented, and they know it: "Vermicide" is absurdly catchy, "Tetragrammaton" is a sprawling epic, and "Day of the Baphomets" is one of the greatest tracks in their discography. It's a bit too self-involved for its own good (see the lengthy ambient passages), but at least it's ambitious.
That Handsome Devil The Heart Goes to Heaven, The Head Goes to Hell
Some good tunes ("The U & I in Suicide," "Charlie's Inferno," "Bored," "Party's Dead"), but it's a bit uneventful on the whole. It's too mellow for its own good. A City Dressed in Dynamite was more energetic and, consequently, more engaging. The band hasn't lost any of their uniqueness - Godforbid's vocals are still a lot of fun - but they don't sound as lively here as on previous releases.
Thomas Chapin Trio Menagerie Dreams
Don't be dismayed by the avantgarde jazz denotation - aside from a few moments (the first thirty seconds of the opener), this is actually a relatively easy, super fun listen. The performances are astounding, John Zorn appears on two cuts, and there's even a song with vocals ("Put Your Quarter in and Watch the Chicken Dance"). Track three ("Raise Four") is a raucous live recording, while "Poignant Dream" and the title track are tender, slower tunes - all three are must-listens.

shoutbox » all posts 
  • tellah nice land of the unknown dig!
    March 27 06:34 PM
  • johnnydeking29 Heyhey, so sorry to take so long to get this up and along to you! If you're still interested in reviewing, check this out: https://nightmarepuppy.bandcamp.com/album/mirrored-headbutt-romantic-porn
    February 10 01:49 PM
  • johnnydeking29 Ah awesome! Lemme make some final tweaks and I'll send it over ;]
    December 13 01:04 PM
  • johnnydeking29 Hey man, I'm getting a new album out soon and was wondering if you'd be interested in reviewing? The tunes are weird fusions and should be right up your street ;]
    December 10 03:14 PM
  • 50iL Man, your soundoffs are awesome. Really entertaining and well written bite-sized reviews. Love it!
    October 5 12:27 AM

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