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05.20.14 Pre-release Date Reviews05.02.14 Ranking Other People's 5s: Oltnabrick
05.01.14 4 Reasons I Like Vinyl04.30.14 Record Collection 4/30/2014
04.16.14 Playoffs Playlist04.15.14 Defying The Sophomore Slump
04.11.14 Beer And Music : The Second Hopping04.09.14 10 Songs You Should Like
03.27.14 29 Albums I've Heard This Year03.26.14 What's Your Metal Band Name?
03.23.14 The Mantle V. Ashes Against The Grain03.22.14 What Makes Leviathan a Classic?
03.19.14 What's In A Name?03.16.14 South By Southwest 2014
03.05.14 Hate List03.05.14 Defensive Driving
03.03.14 The Essential Primus02.28.14 Record Collection 2/28/14
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Favorite Sophomore Albums

pretty self-explanatory.
Fly By Night

This is the album that foreshadowed a career of ever-changing and progressing music. With the addition of Neil Peart, not only could Geddy and Alex get more complex and intricate with their playing, but the band could tackle more thought provoking lyrical topics (even though in their prog hey-day it was still alternate dimensions, sci-fi, fantasy, and talking trees), making for an all around more engaging and emotional experience. Although this album is only the first step of many towards becoming one of the most long-lived and celebrated bands in recent history, it marked the beginning of an era of prog dominance by Rush when the genre seemed to be reaching it's final hour.
2Inter Arma
Sky Burial

I haven't heard all of the band's debut "Sundown", but I know enough to say that it was a much rougher and obviously less experienced group of musicians than were on "Sky Burial". Hearing this album from start to finish is the proverbial "musical journey". From songs like the commanding opener "The Survival Fires", to the contemplative and somber "Love Absolute", every track on this album has something unique and engaging about it. This comes from the band's lack of fear for mingling genres (classic-blackened-post-sludge-doom-rock-metal seems like an accurate descriptor), and knowing when, where, and how long to combine said genres. The riffs are memorable, intimidating, and nearly physically draining. The vocals are raw, emotional, and slathered in reverb when appropriate (and that technique works beautifully). The atmosphere is expertly achieved and leaves a lasting impression, and it's hard to believe that this band has achieved such a feat with only being active for about six years. A truly special album.
Come On Die Young

Criminally underrated because of the brilliance of "Young Team". This album shines in it's use of minimalism. It keeps the listener on the edge of their seat, waiting patiently for the big hit, while they are lulled into a trance with some gorgeous and very emotive and deliberate songwriting. And when the trademarked post-rock "loud" dynamic comes, it comes at the perfect time and doesn't let go of it's hold till the "soft" dynamic sets in again. This album was Mogwai in their prime "soft-loud-soft" songwriting phase (which they pioneered), and this album is just as good as the first (but with a better cover)
Sailing The Seas Of Cheese

Primus is a very unique band. Lead by bass behemoth Les Claypool, they are one of the most instantly recognizable musical voices of our time, love 'em or hate 'em, they're certainly now run of the mill. The first and obvious standout is Claypool's bass playing, on this album he laid down some of Primus' most popular and unique bass-lines, he has full command of the instrument, and pulls melody out of it that few others can. And in Primus' unconventional rhythm section of guitar and drums by Larry LaLonde of Tim Alexander, both players are in the prime of their playing ability and creativity, although it can be very easily overshadowed by Claypool's bass. The guitar is all about creating an atmosphere here, and it's probably the best in that regard of any Primus album, and the solos are as good and just about as add as LaLonde can play them. And Alexander's drums are very tight and very inventive, he plays the double kick better than most so-called metal drummers, and even if it's not as experimental as "Pork Soda"'s percussion, it is truly memorable. This album is just Primus playing at their peak, and being unapologetically themselves, with stellar performances from all concerned.
5 Sigur Ros
Agaetis Byrjun

Atmosphere is the name of the game. Sigur Ros with this album have created a little over an hour of pure contemplation, nostalgia, sadness, uplifting happiness, and beauty. The guitars are well varied here, ranging from wall-of-sound e-bow to sparsely strummed acoustic, spanning the high peaks and low depths of the emotion that can be drawn from a guitar. Melodies stick in your mind, but it seems every song must be played from start to finish in order to receive any benefit, these songs were each expertly crafted to be heard as one cohesive and powerful whole. That is where the strength of this album lies, it's ability to draw in and captivate the listener with it's inviting textures and sounds, and then take them on a journey everywhere they'll let the music take them, and it will take you there.
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