former sputnik\'s home post-punk maester

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Last Active 11-15-17 4:26 am
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11.19.17 bunch of stuff to mess you up... or not11.01.17 October 2017 resumé
10.26.17 Uni's on a review roll10.25.17 Rec Roulette Round 11: Unique Review
10.10.17 Rec Roulette Round 10: Mr. Worldwide10.06.17 SAD LOVERS AND GIANTS: Don't you forget
10.04.17 September 2017 resumé10.03.17 SIX FINGER SATELLITE: Don't you forget
10.02.17 Rec Roulette Round 9: The Year at Large10.01.17 THE EX: Don't you forget us #7
09.26.17 Rec Roulette Round 8: The Soul Redeems 09.25.17 SAVAGE REPUBLIC: Don't you forget us #6
09.24.17 Uni's 2017 Tourney09.22.17 FOR AGAINST: Don't you forget us #5
09.21.17 TUXEDOMOON: Don't you forget us #409.20.17 HALF MAN HALF BISCUIT: Don't you forget
09.17.17 Rec Roulette 7: Fuckery after hiatus09.12.17 NEW MODEL ARMY: Don't you forget us #2
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November 2016 resumé

Oh well, so another month has passed. In October I almost completely missed out on new releases, therefore in November I was all in what's new. And as a tradition I'd like to keep, if you indeed read this, write "I like your big hairy cat, mate!" in the comment section, so that I can keep track of how many people are actually here. This is no best-of list, it is just a bunch of records I've heard, that were RELEASED this month. Not the ones I've heard this month, but ones that were RELEASED this month that I've heard. Therefore, as the time goes, I'll be adding more items on the list, since I listen to stuff constantly. By the way, the names occasionally written under the comments are titles of songs that I recommend. If there are none written, it's either because I didn't like enough of them or because I can't point out a highlight. And now a score guide: 10/9 - 5; 8 - 4.5; 7 - 4; 6 - 3.5/3; 5 - 2.5; 4 - 2; 3 - 1.5; 2/1 - 1‎

A traditionalist fuzzy hard-psych endeavour that keeps on pleasing, until it ends, while ultimately providing little-to-nothing new. 6/10
64In Flames

Given the fact that I wasn't a fan of the band to begin with, this doesn't seem as that big of a let dwon to me. A transition from a brutal all-hands-on Metal extravaganza into accessible Pop-Metal in a band like In Flames doesn't seem so problematic to me. It's still quite a generic album, but at the very least it isn't difficult to sit through and some of the songwriting was fairly decent. It went for overwhelming, but not necessarily a quality stable, and what d'you know, it kind of worked. Again, it is an unimaginative and fairly stale album, but at least it's catchy and pleasant in how silly it comes off. 6/10
P.S.: I don't even want to think just how much rage goes through anyone's head, whose favourite albums I rated lower than this.

Drained, The End, Through My Eyes, Battles, Here Until Forever, Underneath My Skin
63White Noise of Anxiety
Awkward Silence

Conmaniac knows his shit when it comes to Emo. And he ain't even that bad a singer...as far as Emo singers' level goes. 6/10

62Cross Vault
Miles to Take

I can't quite put my finger on it, but there is just something about this EP that both grips me and pushes me away. From its enthralling vocals, to its heavy instrumentation, it shows finesse, but also a certain level of sameness. 6/10

A Hand Moving Mountains
Dull & Distant Moon

Raw, agressive and ambitious Hardcore Punk album with vocals that are so so so close to becoming bad that it basically becomes intrigue in in of itself, as to whether or not they eventuall do (spoiler: they don't). 7/10

Residual Glow, Dull and Distant Moon, the end of Nothing Resonates
60Lee Fields and the Expressions
Special Night

A fairly decent Soul with an incredible sense of smoothness and gravitas. 7/10

Special Night, I'm Coming Home, Work To Do, Make the World
Grief and Justice

It could have been good, but the production kills it. Yeah, that's all I have to say. 6/10
Last Day

What am I supposed to feel? It's instrumental ambient music...aight...so? 6/10
57Somewhere South of Here
With Her Came the Birds

The slower and quieter parts can use a little improvement (especially the vocals), but when it hits hard, it hits home, goddammit! Guess who's rewriting his Top EP'S of 2016 list... 8/10

I Wish You Were More Receptive To My Voice, Two Arms, Hypothesis
Empires of Shame

Well, mabe if the production and the vocals got better, I might be more into it, but at this point I really struggle to care. 6/10

Excess, No Place
55Jaws (UK)

It's like listening to "Make typical Indie stuff 101" audiobook. 5/10

Bölzer delivered an album with a magnetic and visceral sound, but I just wish the vocals weren't as lackluster. 6/10
53An Autumn For Crippled Children

AAFCC had a pretty admirable run thus far, delivering a heavy blast of Blackgaze album after album, but as of late, their sound started deteriorating into this underproduced and indistinguishable mess. Though this album is definitely an improvement upon that odd nonsensical two-track EP they dropped last year, it is still pretty much a dud. None of the songs have any interesting or memorable moment in them and the awful production makes it even more unbearable. 5/10

Eternal Youth, Farewell
52Mica Levi and Oliver Coates
Remain Calm

Sometimes eerie, sometimes pretty, but sometimes also boring, unfortunately. 6/10

Standard and brutal Death Metal EP. There's nothing on here we haven't heard, but it still kicks ass. 6/10
A Fistful of Peril

I am genuinely surprised how much I enjoyed this wordy and cheeky short Hip-Hop record. The trio definitely managed to come through with a nice, linear and straight forward album that also serves as a throwback to the good ol' days, ya knowwadimsain? 8/10

Czar Wars, Dust, Revenge on Lizard City, Tarantulas, Sabers, Steranko, All in Together Now
The Xun Protectorate

An interesting blend of Space Rock, Progressive Metal and Technical Death Metal. Now, as such it is certainly intriguing, but I didn't hear any actual punch in it that would make me understand that this is indeed anything beyond just another decent Metal album. It's just a good record and that's all there is. 6/10
48Bad Rabbits
American Nightmare

Bad Rabbits cleverly combine Soul songwriting and vocals with rapidfire and hard hitting Rock instrumentation and they get so enthusiastic about fusing these two worlds together that they eventually come off sounding like an Alt-Metal band...no seriously. 7/10

Stalker, Game of Chess, Save Youself, The Wire, Faceless, Push
47Luke Temple
A Hand Through the Cellar Door

On this album you'll hear the typical one-dimensional acoustic guitar-lead Folk we've all grown to love and hate. Luke's lyrics are certainly interesting and some of the musical ideas (like on the song Maryanne Was Quiet) are indeed intriguing. But all-in-all in is still quite a bore. Simplistic Folk albums always need a lot to be any interesting and this one, unfortunately, doesn't have a lot apart from the lyrics. 5/10

The energetic part of Maryanne Was Quiet
46Protest the Hero
Pacific Myth

On here, Protest The Hero assemble a set of accessible, yet still hard-hitting Prog-Metalcore tracks. My main issue with the bands usual material was always that their over-the-top brand of music tends to overstay its welcome. But now that we've got ourselves a shorter version, it doesn't annoy me that quickly, I suppose. 7/10
45Yussef Kamaal
Black Focus

With their relaxed and sensitive Jazz instrumentation, Yussef Kamaal managed to create quite an experience that unfortunately will make you want to come back to it only if you are already a big Jazz fan. If not, it is still a pleasant album to listen to, but only once. 6/10
44The Griswolds
High Times For Low Lives

What did I write about DNCE? 'Redundant and uninspired'? Copy+paste. 4/10
P.S.: The artwork though, damn good.

Oh so that's who made that awful Sea Cake (or whatever te title was) song? Apparently, because they didn't want to deviate too far from their big hit they decided to make the rest of the album just as redundant and uninspired...I mean, what did I even expect? 4/10
42Stiu Nu Stiu
Fake End

For the majority of the record I found myself enjoying it vividly, but I still have certain issues. For one, the vocals, though certainly pretty and intriguing, still leave a lot to be desired. At times I wanted them to change into some sort of shrieks or yelps (you know, go full Alcest of it). But as for what it is, it is good, great even. The album keeps a certain mysterious and dreamy atmosphere throughout the entirety of the record and the distorted production certainly adds a lot. It is worth your while, go check it out. 7/10

October, Blodmyra, A Cloud of Piss, Memo, Uwaga, Widsith
41KEN mode

I've successfully skipped their previous discography, but the highly positive feedback on their music eventually lured me into listening. And I'm not sure if it was that worthwhile. Surely, their slightly quirky and off-the-kilter musicianship is intriguing and unusual, but I just quickly grew disinterested in it. Maybe it's exactly because of the slightly odd songwriting. 6/10
40Cultes Des Ghoules

Okay, so I definitely see the instrumental and atmospheric mastery on here, but the band just tries to sound dismal so badly that eventually the music deteriorates into something completely rhythmless and undistinguishable. Though still, I admire the atmosphere, they know how to make it sound really ghastly. But it is nothing beyond the usual for me. 6/10
39Up River
If There Is A God That Is Judging Me Constantly

This is some seriously ugly and dirty Hardcore Punk; one-dimensional, but heavy as shit. 6/10
38A Sense of Gravity

Another formless, directionless and overproduced Prog-Djent album with about a dozen different types of vocals, all of which obnoxious. 5/10
37A Tribe Called Quest
We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service

I was already afraid that I will have to compile my list of favourites of the year with only four Hip-Hop album, but there they were, the grandmasters of the genre, A Tribe alled Quest. The music on here seems quite simplistic, but it has a sharpness to it. It is easy-going, but it can get emotional. It doesn't try to bring anything new to the table, but it uses all that was on the table before to a maximum extent. A Tribe Called Quest released an album that fulfills every possible expectations and also serves as a glorious farewell to Phife Dawg. 8/10

We The People, Dis Generation, Kids, Melatonin, Mobius, Conrad Tokyo, The Donald
Darkness Transcend

This album is extremely overwhelming. However, after listening to it, you probably won't feel absolutely anything except the fact that it was indeed overwhelming. 6/10
35Kevin Abstract
American Boyfriend: A Suburban Love Story

I just can't see Kevin's personality at all. His flows is off, his music is boring and the lyrics are not interesting at all. It's just pure boredom. 4/10
34Oni (CAN)

Oni managed to create an album that takes all the clichés and tropes typical for the Prog-Metal and with just a simple addition of Death Metal make something that is actually bearable. 7/10
More Than Ever

Sims' is surely headed towards a bright future, but it seemed to me that his delivery and lyrics are just not that compelling or interesting. He doesn't have any distinctively memorable vocal performance that would make me instantly recognise him. Though I like the echoic direction the production is taking. I think there's a potential there, but not explored to its fullest on here. The beats and songwriting are not that engaging either. All-in-all, this is an album that has a lot of potential, but uses almost none of it, unfortunately. Hopefully, Sims will finally carve out his craft on his further releases, sharpen his delivery and lyrics and bring that genuinely intriguing production to perfection, because as of right now, it's really lackluster. 5/10

Flash Paper, Spinning Away, the music on What They Don't Know
32Emeli Sande
Long Live the Angels

This record's softness and beauty is sure to keep you engaged, whilst Emeli's vocals will keep you wondering how much better could it all be if Emeli actually showed off all the vocal range she has. But that is probably all the issues I have with this. The production is top-notch, the songwriting is gorgeous (I really liked the occasional Gospel influences), the instruments are magnifying and the lyricism are quite admirable too. Overall this record can really only disappoint with the vocals that are weaker than what they could be, and the runtime of the record that isn't always used in the best possible way. Some songs simply don't hold up to the standard of others. 7/10
31The Weeknd

I am still baffled as to what exactly it is in the Weeknd's music that keeps the crowd interested. He is as nasally, anticlimactic and voice-doesn't-match-the-lyrics kind of singles-only performer. For the most part he really is a false alarm. He goes for the catchy and accessible and still fails. This album is extremely tedious and dra to a point when there's not a single song on the whole ENTIRE second half that would be interesting in a slightest way. And for the future, Abel, if you are going to release an album that is over an hour long, it better justify its runtime, this isn't the first time this happened. 5/10

Starboy, False Alarm, Stargirl Interlude, Six Feet Under
30Odd Couple

An intriguing oddball Psychedelic Art-Rock album that has an enjoyable lay-back-and-relax sort of vibe and a lot of genuinely interesting songwriting decisions. Sometimes the songs get slightly drab, but that happens rarely. Mostly the album holds a good standard and is throughout enjoyable, though it is quite hard to point out some if any highlights as the songs just sort of float on in their non-chalant mood and the ones that stick out, do that usually because of a particularily creative instrumental idea that sets the theme of the song (but I managed to point out some highlights). 7/10

Gone Solid, Orbit Traveller, Serve, Am I Evil
Shadow Sleep

I'm not sure whether this is the most pretentious and unintentionally silly Metal album I've heard this year or if it's the most epic one and so beautifully over-the-top, it's actually fun. So far, I tend to believe it's the second one, probably due to the album's overwhelming nature. 7/10
28Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions
Until The Hunter

Moody and quite warm in its sound, but ultimately quite a drag. 6/10
27Arkona (PL)

I mean, sure it's good, but it's nothing particularily outstanding. It's just an album of really well made Black Metal songs...and that's that...7/10
26Martha Wainwright
Goodnight City

Though Wainwright's vocals are quite obnoxious, her heartfelt (though slightly corny) lyrics and soulful Folk song-writing really has a certain charm that will leave you with a certain sense of coziness after the listen. 6/10

Traveller, Look Into My Eyes
25The Men
Devil Music

Oh boy, what the hell? This album is pure mess, I suppose that The Men tried to sound really aggressive and out-there, but the production is a dirtjar, vocals are awful and the instrumentation is not even that distinct. As if they just re-recorded one song a couple of times and just changed the melody each time ever so slightly. It's really a sloppy mess with nothing memorable to it. The Men went from an ever-experimenting band to never-listenable one. Awful record. I feel like I'm listening to the crap I did back in high school (and trust me, it was crap alright). 3/10
24Bruno Mars
24K Magic

Bruno Mars learned a lot from his Uptown Funk experience it seems. 6/10
Being No One, Going Nowhere

A non-chalant and pretty Pop record that doesn't really have anything to offer beyond that. If you are into easy-listening Indie Rock, then give this thing a listen. I found the album to be quite pleasant, but I doubt I'll come back to it. After all, there's about a hundred released every year. 6/10
22Wolf People

Wolf People try their best to provide the listener with relaxing Psych-Rock and for the most part they succeed. However, at times a certain lack of ideas is quite apparent and songs become a bit drab. In spite of that, this record has a lot to admire and is enjoyable to the core, even with its lowpoints. 7/10

Kingfisher (+the Reprises), Thristles, Not Me Sir, Salts Mill
21The Japanese House
Swim Against the Tide

Tender easy-listening...yeah, that's about it. 6/10

I'd like to finally figure out the odd popularity this album has on Sputnikmusic. I get the Folk inspired music and its overdragged runtime, however the production doesn't really give you that much. The instruments sound a little flat and the vocals seem to be recorded in a bucket, because they're so awkwardly pasted in. I don't know, folks, you can love it all you want and I'l totally see why you would, but I didn't have as pleasant time as I wished to have. But I must admit that the Folk-y features on here give an incredibly comforting vibe and throw you into some sort of fantasy world. Who knows, maybe I'll grow to love this. 6/10
19Highly Suspect
The Boy Who Died Wolf

When the first three songs kicked in, I almost thought that this might be a certain 8/10 for me. But life's not fair and instead of a slightly cheesy enjoyable Hard Rock I've got a slightly cheesy obnoxious Hard Rock. 6/10

My Name Is Human, Look Alive Stay Alive, Little One, Chicago, Wolf

Justice return with a redeeming record to show all those overcompressed dense House producers, who's the boss around here. On Woman you'll find tons of groovy basslines, mind-twisting dance-tunes, spastic song-writing and great melodies (and did I mention the grooves?). Woman is not a perfect record though, at times the music is just a little too accessible and simplistic to a point of a slight bore. However, such lowpoints come up rarely at best. 7/10

Safe And Sound, Fire, Chorus, Randy, Heavy Metal, Love S.O.S., Close Call
17Downfall of Gaia

Well, the music is alright, the vocals are acceptable (though quite mediocre for a Metal record) and all-in-all, it is an okay record. But will I be damned if that drum production isn't kicking ass, dammit. 6/10
16Esben and the Witch
Older Terrors

I have nothing much to say. It just seems to me that this album goes nowhere in particular. It is tediously slowly progressing and compositionally uninteresting. I really don't know what to think. 5/10
15Animals As Leaders
The Madness of Many

If it's a Djent you want, then it's a Djent you get. This album features a handful of bizarre instrumental moments that will bend your mind in the ways you wouldn't even expect, as it usually happens in Djent. However, though the band's instrumental virtuosity is admirable, I was mostly left feeling somewhat bewildered and a lot of the times annoyed. The oddity of the whole thing sometimes simply comes off as sloppy and messy, not psychedelically disordered. And the eternal Djentish problem, the production that leaves the music feeling too mechanical and computer-arranged. I guess the very first time I heard it I was somewhat blown away by the weirdness, but that eventually deteriorated and now I'm rather bored of it, honestly. 6/10‎
14Selvans / Downfall Of Nur
Selvans / Downfall of Nur

Quite underproduced and yet still overblown grandiose Black Metal split-EP that intrigues, but leaves a lot to be desired. 6/10
13Totten Korps
Supreme Commanders of Darkness

This is a friggin' brutal album, although really one-dimensional. 6/10
12Deathspell Omega
The Synarchy of Molten Bones

Deathspell Omega are killing it on here, annihilating even. But my problem is the production. Though it is heavy and crushing, it leaves the whole thing feel compressed and chaotic (not in a good way). And in the end, this album turns into that exact thing that the people who don't understand Metal think the Metal is like, just pure noise. 7/10
11Sleigh Bells
Jessica Rabbit

Sleigh Bells win the prize for the "Most disorganised tasteless and forgettably formless crap of the year" award. 3/10
10Jim James
Eternally Even

Jim James pulls off a blissful performance full of passion and moody emotions hanging in the atmosphere. It does get tedious on some tracks that try way too hard to present themselves as fun Pop songs (looking at you True Nature), but all-in-all this album has a sweet and tender spirit that is infectiously calming. 7/10

Hide In Plain Sight, Here In Spirit, We Ain't Getting Younger, In The Moment
9Crippled Black Phoenix

On this album, Crippled Black Phoenix get themselves into a strange creative direction. On one hand they try to look experimental and epic (and to a certain extent thoughtful), but the music simply seems to head nowhere exactly. No particularily memorable moments, no particularily distinguishable sound, and above all there are quite lackluster vocals. 5/10
8Birds Of Tokyo

I like the melodies and the arrangement for the most part, but the album just doesn't have that hit it is so obviously trying to have. It's really bad, when you build your album around crescendos and all of them are extremely underwhelming and boring. 5/10

Dungen indulge in an illuminatingly sounding Psychedelica that makes you embark in the most wonderful trippy musical moments one would expect. It's like trying out different people's homemade weed. The effect is similar, but the experience is different every time. 7/10
6Soft Kill

Man, I haven't heard that much directly derivative Joy Division/New Order worship in a long time. I'm not saying it's bad (though the songs could have been shorter), but just that it is way too obvious, whom this band likes. 6/10

Wake Up, On The Inside, Lost
5Black Willows

And once again, your hopes are crushed by the harsh nature of reality. I had high hopes for Black Willows, their previous record was well recieved (4.1 rating on Sputnik, although only from a couple of people) and the styles they were playing were interesting to me. Shamanistic Stoner-Psych? That shit's gotta be damn good, right? Well, truth be told, it's tedious and exhausting to listen to fourty minutes of this tuned-down-guitars worship. The only shamanistic aspect of the album is its dizzying production. Though admittedly there is are some moments that strike hard and with great fury, but they are so rare that you start to wonder, whether they aren't just accidental, and the hard-hitting moments are always stretched out to such excruciating lengths that they become quite irksome themselves. For the most part, this album doesn't offer much of anything, except for long and boring interludes that lead to generally underwhelming payoffs. 5/10
4Earth Moves
The Truth In Our Bodies

I tend to laugh at the idea that there is a specific branch of Black Metal titled Depressive. As if the genre itself wasn't soulcrushing enough. And the majority of the cases in DBM, the albums tend to suck. But every now and then I come across and album that has all the likeness of the DBM, but none of the pretentiousness. This is truly a beautiful record with heart-twisting melodies and vibe. But this album is not only one of unexpectedly good DBM albums, but also one of those I had no hype for. I've heard it almost accidentally, but I'm grateful that I did. Some might say "But Not Really, it doesn't even have all that much to it to differenciate it from other albums of the genre. The vocals aren't even that spectacular." And you'd be partially right. To me that only adds in emotional component of the album, cause if they were mechanically professional, I doubt it'd strike me with all of its depressive potential. So yes, it is a fantastic album and there's nothing else to add. 8/10
57th & 9th

P.S.: I don't have a car, so when I was going to me mum's, two people on the metro asked me whether I actually, seriously, for real listen to Sting in 2016, and one was surprised that he's still alive.

50000, Petrol Head, If You Can't Love Me
57th & 9th

I had no intention of listening to this, but me mum loves Sting, so I pre-ordered a vinyl (a nice blue one) for her birthday and naturally she had to jam it that night like a dozen times, so I've got my Sting listening done for five years ahead. Sting himself shows much more emotions, both vocally and instrumentally than on him last output (which I happen to have heard the same way I did this one). Lyrically Sting delivers a myriad of great moments as he usually does. However, all that in mind, the album is still lacking any excitement for me. The songs are just way too tedious to listen to, even the ones that are much more lively. I can stll appreciate that the dude is still kickin' it in his 60s, but I feel indifferent towards the album at best. (me mum loved it though...naturally) And why is it advertised as Sting's first Pop-Rock album in years, when the majority of it sounds exactly like the stuff that would pass on a bunch of his previous stuff anyway? 5/10
Hardwired... to Self-Destruct

Admittedly, this is the best Metallica has been in years, which isn't really saying that much. Even I, a person who is normally more lukewarm towards Thrash Metal than towards other Metal subgenres, must admit that Metallica created quite an experience on here. It is a set of songs as standard as you can get. Nothing too adventurous, but nothing too safe either. It is a perfectly okay album in terms of Thrash and that's it (surely nobody expected to hear a second Terminal Redux this year). 6/10
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