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Albums With Fewer Than 15 Ratings V | Users III

Because apparently I didn't learn my lesson last time. Comment below and I'll add it to the list. Only 4 per person. 100 entries total.


Date: December 8, 2021
J-Pop | Released: 2020 | Label: Shibucity inc. | Ratings: 2

Starting this list off with 4 joke recs is a bit unsporting, huh? I think the staff promotion and years of Japanophilia have melted Johnny's brain. Don't you worry, I'll still be reviewing them like I would real recs. But I will harbor resentment towards you for doing this to me. ็™ฝ็พฝ (or Shiraha) is a cutesy J-pop artist that sounds like a lot of other J-pop artists. I'm assuming. You're asking the wrong person. Well, it's heavy on the electropop and way too overproduced to be listenable past a certain point. That said, I hope you all won't think less of me for saying I liked a few songs on this. The actual pop songs are honestly not that bad.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Not really something that deserves to have a ton more ratings. And, just to be clear, Johnny himself doesn't even like this album all that much. If even a freak like him can't appreciate this, I'm not convinced anyone else will.
original and remix


Date: December 9, 2021
Industrial Techno | Released: 2015 | Label: ใƒ†ใƒณใƒ†ใƒณใƒฌใ‚ณใƒผใ‚บ | Ratings: 1

This artist has like 40 EPs, so I hope you understand that I'm not even going to bother with any of that. I did check 3 albums of hers though. ใƒ†ใƒณใƒ†ใƒณใ‚ณ (or Tentenko) is an industrial/techno artist/DJ who, on this release, collaborated with glitch/ambient/whatever musician Sofheso for a remix album. I'm not usually the biggest fan of remix albums and this didn't really change my mind. But at least on this one, you get to hear the original right before the remix. The positives end there. The original material isn't exactly top shelf, so it's not like any kind of remix is going to save it. The whole album ends up being aimless noodling, followed by aimless noodling with glitchy shit added over top.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Not sure what lesson you're trying to teach me by rec'ing this stuff, but it's not working. And on whether this should have more ratings? There's not really anything here that's worth digging for.
3Lil Goldberg and the Star Boyz
White Hendrix Vol. 3: Filth


Date: December 9, 2021
Experimental(?) | Released: 2018 | Label: No Label | Ratings: 8

2005, my ass. This was released in 2018 by some kid on RYM/Sputnik. As evidenced by the amount of 0.5s and 1.0s this has on both sites. Y'wanna know what, though? I actually listened to it. And it's not drastically worse than anything else you've rec'd so far, Johnson. I mean, it's still not good. In fact, it's pretty bad. But this had everything going against it. Shit name, stupid backdating, poorly done genre hopping, and it's 2 hours long. Yet somehow, it's not the worst thing I've ever heard. Will say: thank god this is mostly just beats/instrumentals/beginner acoustic guitar and the kid doesn't try to rap or sing on every track. Jehovah Jireh/Yahweh, my provider.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? I expected an utter trainwreck. I instead got an album of harmless bedroom-recorded nonsense. Best thing I can say about it is that it could've been a lot worse.
4Yukiga Futte Uresii
Chuusuu no Romero


Date: December 10, 2021
Noise | Released: 2021 | Label: OL Oil | Ratings: 4

Yukiga Futte Uresiiใฏใ€้‡‘ๆฒขๅ‡บ่บซใฎ้Ž้…ทใชใƒŽใ‚คใ‚บใ‚ฆใ‚ฃใ‚ถใƒผใƒ‰ใงใ™ใ€‚ ๅฝผใ‚‰ใฏ็งใฎ่€ณใ‚’ๅ‚ทใคใ‘ใ‚‹ใ‚ˆใ†ใช่€ณ้šœใ‚ŠใชใƒŽใ‚คใ‚บใƒŸใƒฅใƒผใ‚ธใƒƒใ‚ฏใ‚’ไฝœใ‚Šใพใ™ใ€‚ ๅฎŸ้š›ใ€้žๅธธใซใใ†ใงใ™๏ผ ็ด ๆ™ดใ‚‰ใ—ใ„ใ‚ธใƒงใƒผใ‚ฏใ€ใ‚ธใƒงใƒ‹ใƒผใ€‚ ็งใŸใกใฏ็š†ใ€ใ‚ใชใŸใ‚’ใจใฆใ‚‚่ช‡ใ‚Šใซๆ€ใฃใฆใ„ใพใ™ใ€‚ ๆฌกๅ›žใฏใ€ใ‚ตใ‚คใƒˆใ‚’ๅˆฉ็”จใ™ใ‚‹ๅ‰ใซใ€็งใŸใกๅ…จๅ“กใซๅฅฝๆ„ใ‚’ๆŒใฃใฆ่‡ชๆ…ฐ่กŒ็‚บใ‚’ใ—ใฆใใ ใ•ใ„ใ€‚

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? ใ„ใ„ใˆใ€ใใ†ใงใฏใ‚ใ‚Šใพใ›ใ‚“ใ€‚ ๆŽจ่–ฆใ—ใฆใใ‚Œใฆใ‚ใ‚ŠใŒใจใ†๏ผ
5LTJ Bukem
Hardcore Vol. 11


Date: December 11, 2021
Jungle | Released: 1993 | Label: Yaman | Ratings: 1

Massive DJ discographies like DJ LTJ Bukem's are really intimidating. A part of me wants to get comfortable and go through his entire library in order. But we've got 95 other albums to evaluate here. So let me pace myself and just stick to Hardcore Vol. 11. This is a DJ mix, which means it's a curated set. A good DJ knows how to pick a good set. And LTJ Bukem is a damn good DJ. I love 90s dance music like this. Might just be other people's stuff sewn together, but the tunes are self-evident and in your face. I won't pretend like I know anything about the genre, but if you told me this was a highly regarded release or something, I wouldn't press you about it. The only slight against this I could think of is that it runs a bit long. Which, yes I know, is by design. It's meant to be played at a dance club and you don't want to stop the party unless you absolutely have to.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Despite my gripe(s), this should be on everyone's checklist. Especially if you dig old school jams. If I ever need a quick fix, I'll be sure to let DJ LTJ Bukem cut to the front of the line.
6DJ Funk
Booty House Anthems


Date: December 12, 2021
Ghetto House | Released: 1999 | Label: Underground Construction | Ratings: 11

I was planning on listening to a few other releases by DJ Funk before going into this one, but this is 30 tracks long and has a lot of their old material on it. No real use in me checking all those EPs if they all show up here. As you probably have guessed from the title ("Booty House Anthems"), this is some down-n'-dirty house music. The whole thing is just a sample-filled shot to the face. But, if I'm being honest, this is really repetitive and a little too goofy for me. For a release (supposedly) full of sexual energy, it's more funny than anything. I'd like to think I can appreciate a good booty jam, and I liked most of this, but a lot of it kind of blends together.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? It's decent enough. But there's a lack of real standout songs. Maybe try it out for yourself.
7Rx Papi and Gud
Foreign Exchange


Date: December 12, 2021
Cloud Rap | Released: 2021 | Label: YEAR0001 | Ratings: 9

I will always applaud anyone making music outside of the major label system. The greatest experimentation happens when artists have the means to create music by themselves, free from outside influence. Very do-it-yourself. But man, I can't bring myself to enjoy SoundCloud rap. I've come to accept that it's just not for me, which is okay. But I gave this collab release as fair a shot as someone set in his ways possibly could. Rx Papi has the same exact flow that all these new rappers have and I just can't stand it. Like clockwork, every line ends with unnecessary emphasis on the last word. When most of the rhymes are just the same word said again. Gud's production is fine, but isn't strong enough to carry the release.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Didn't change my heart, but thanks for trying.
8James Ferraro


Date: December 14, 2021
Sound Collage | Released: 2009 | Label: Muscleworks | Ratings: 7

Listening to James Ferraro's iAsia makes me feel like someone's telling me a story, but littering it with in-jokes and references I couldn't possibly know without any prior knowledge. All I know is that Ferraro is cited as a pivotal artist in vaporwave. Which, after hearing this, makes sense. iAsia creates a pleasant soundscape of ideas and odd sounds that a freak like me can appreciate. Picture flipping through a radio and having the only sound come out while your in-between stations. Very busy, maybe even a little too busy at times. But I'll give Mr. Ferraro credit where credit's due: this was a surprisingly easy listen for an hour long, three-track "hypnagogic" sound collage thing.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Wasn't expecting to like it, but I was pleasantly surprised with iAsia. This guy doesn't seem like one to be tied down to a single genre, so it's hard to say whether I'd recommend the rest of his stuff. But this seems like a safe bet for anyone into that internet new age sound. Shit cover though.
9Up Dharma Down

Demon of the Fall

Date: December 14, 2021
Neo-Soul | Released: 2006 | Label: Terno Recordings | Ratings: 7

I'm not a very mellow guy, so I usually need to be in a particular mood to listen to neo-soul stuff. Luckily, Up Dharma Down bring something else to the table by blending some soft rock, trip hop, and alternative rock. Is it for the better? I'd say so. The lead singer's vocals range from good to kind of standard, and the same goes for the band. The little musical left turns here are really what makes it. Like the random guitar solos. An album without touches like those would've definitely lost my interest. That said, it still kind of feels like they put all their chops into 3 songs and went simpler for the rest. Or maybe I just don't vibe this kind of music. Anything's possible.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? I'm not entirely qualified to say whether this is good Pilipino neo-soul (is anyone?), but I enjoyed it for the most part. A few duds here and there, so it evens out to a mid recommendation.
10Broadway Project

Demon of the Fall

Date: December 16, 2021
Nu Jazz | Released: 2000 | Label: Memphis Industries | Ratings: 4

Apparently Demon has been hitting the Trip Hop bottle hard this year. Alright, I can dig it. And I definitely dig this. Compassion is a hazy, downtempo album with some lush, velvety production. The vinyl crackling and popping definitely adds to the flavor, but I can see it being an annoyance to some. I know I said last entry that I need to be in a mellow mood to enjoy mellow tunes, but this struck a chord with me right away. If you're gonna go mid-tempo, this is how you do it. Layers upon layers of great samplework. The weakest tracks are all bunched up in front, but by the time you get to side B, it's an easy listen.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Definitely recommend checking this out. Feels lame typing it out, but it's a beautiful record. Even the weaker songs are good.

Demon of the Fall

Date: December 18, 2021
Downtempo | Released: 2003 | Label: Lumenessence | Ratings: 6

See, the problem with listening to all of these trip hop/downtempo/nu jazz albums in a row is that it's kind of hard to know if I'm being completely fair when listening to them. Backini's Threads is a completely serviceable sample-fest, working as a worthy showcase of the producer's technical prowess. But as "the Marty McFly of the downtempo beat" (whatever that nonsense's supposed to mean), I guess I expected more. Rob Quickenden is clearly talented and it shows. But aside from the impressive hooks and sample-stitching, I can't really see myself listening to this again like I would other albums like it.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? It's a good album. Kind of drags at the end though. I'd say this one's for the dedicated trip hopper, rather than a curious passerby.
12Acoustic Ladyland
Living With a Tiger

Demon of the Fall

Date: December 19, 2021
Jazz-Rock | Released: 2009 | Label: Strong And Wrong | Ratings: 7

Acoustic Ladyland has been on my check list for a while, so I'm glad this list has finally pushed me to check them out. On paper, they're exactly the kind of bullshit I like: jazzy experimental rock/punk. So don't be too shocked when I tell you that I really liked this. Love the sax, love the drums, guitar is pretty good. I think the guitar is the only thing keeping this away from classic status for me, because everything else is great. And no 2000s hardcore vocals to ruin it either. We are truly blessed. Apparently the consensus is that the last 3 tracks are the best, but I wholly disagree. I think those are the weakest here. The first 2/3s are where it's at for me. But it's still a great album overall.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Living With a Tiger kills. And unlike other bands in this genre, the songs don't drag on forever. Not sure I'd recommend it to everyone though.
13Indigo Jam Unit


Date: December 19, 2021
Jazz | Released: 2008 | Label: Basis | Ratings: 8

Trifolium hitting the ground running with this first rec. I've grown distant from jazz over the last few years, but when you hear good jazz, you stop and listen. I know diddly squat about Indigo Jam Unit, so I'm not gonna assume their prestige or pedigree. What I will say is that I really liked this album. Some genuinely great playing here. They really nail the faster tracks, but the smoother tracks are no slouch. You can tell Pirates is an updated version of jazz being performed, what with how clean it sounds. This is tight, controlled jazz; no-note-out-of-place-type stuff. When done right, it's just what the doctor ordered.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Can't imagine anyone not liking this, even if they're not that into jazz. Just a really solid set.
14Joana Serrat
Hardcore from the Heart


Date: December 21, 2021
Folk Pop | Released: 2021 | Label: Loose | Ratings: 6

Having now listened to Joana Serrat's discography, Hardcore from the Heart continues her trend towards dream pop and away from her folk roots. Now usually, I'd be the first to whinge about an artist changing sounds just to gain popularity with a particular crowd, but I wasn't really all too big of a fan of her early work. So, maybe this sound change was just what the doctor ordered? Not quite. Sorry, but I just couldn't get into this at all. While she clearly wants to steer away from folk pop, Serrat is also afraid to let it go completely. Which leaves the album in this off-putting transitional state, where it's trying to do two different styles at the same time. Slow folk twanging is one thing, but adding hazy pop layers on top of it just makes me sleepy.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? While it's inoffensive and pretty, Hardcore from the Heart lacks flavor. Food analogy.
15Gabriel Rios


Date: December 22, 2021
Neo-Psychedelia | Released: 2021 | Label: Sony | Ratings: 6

Not totally sure what to categorize Flore as. It's a blend of R&B, neo-psych, pop rock, and Latin pop that it surprisingly forward-thinking for something released by a conglomerate label like Sony. One song even has a random Devendra Banhart feature, which was unexpected. I give Mr. Rios props for trying, but I still don't think he pulls it off here. The ideas are there, for sure. It just doesn't come to a head for me, I dunno. Nothing here is outright bad or anything, but nothing in particular stands out as a must-listen. It's a very light and airy record, by design I assume. I just don't think it was done as well as it could have been.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? It's got interesting parts to it, especially for major label stuff. I could see this being someone's AOTY, for sure. Maybe I'm just a bitter snob or something?
16An Pierle and White Velvet
An Pierle and White Velvet


Date: December 22, 2021
Indie Pop | Released: 2006 | Label: PIAS | Ratings: 10

Just reading the reviews for this album on RYM seems to bring up a lot of familiar names. I see Tori Amos, I see Fiona Apple, I see a lot of popular singer/songwriters I have no clue about. This release is a very clear throwback to softer alternative rock of the 90s. Now, I've never been a big fan of that scene. I'll admit to liking a few songs here and there, but I've never been drawn to listen to an entire album of it. Well, that's exactly how I feel about this release. A few good songs, a few middling ones. The slow ballad-type ones are really a snooze. The lead singer's voice is nice enough, I suppose. And the backing band is doing their damnedest to make this viable. Maybe in another life, one where I was a big alternative radio guy, I could find myself enjoying stuff like this. But this version of me is all shrugs.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? I hate to leave you with three wishy-washy, fence-sitting "reviews" in a row, but that's just how it is sometimes. I think this is just a case of mismatched taste more than anything. If it means anything, I really don't despise anything on here. It's actually quite decent overall. It just doesn't light my fire all that much. Fans of female-fronted 90s soft pop rock, look no further than An Pierle and White Velvet.
Mooncat I


Date: December 23, 2021
Ambient-cum-seance-cum-drone-cum-techno dreamhouse | Released: 2015 | Label: No Label | Ratings: 0

Don't really know what you're trying to say by recommending this, Phero. Are you and Johnny in cahoots or something? Whatever, free space. Yeah, this is awful. Aimless noise made out of sheer boredom/fucking around. Gain's so high that it was still too loud at 2% volume. And the cover's a clear rip off of Beat Happening. How embarrassing!

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Honestly, you would've been better off not rec'ing anything at all.
18Yukika 3 sleepyneko ??neko
็„ก้กŒ Yukika


Date: December 23, 2021
Electronic | Released: 2021 | Label: No Label | Ratings: 12

After the last rec, I braced for impact with Yukika 3 sleepyneko ใƒฉใƒ–neko. But honestly, this was just kind of boring. To my ears, this sounds like preset tracks you'd find on a website for free or something. Or as a soundtrack to a really cheap game you found on your phone's app store. Except for the minute of random noise on one of the tracks. Other than that, this just sounds like someone messing around with a music production program. Which it probably is. For all the good things I've said about Bandcamp over the years, this list has certainly provided many reasons why it may have been a mistake. Kidding, Bandcamp and music sharing sites are great. This is just shit.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Not really sure who'd want to listen to this. Maybe if you want to artificially bump up the amount of Japanese music you listen to to seem "worldly"? Maybe if you want to fall asleep to boring electronic music? Those two camps exclusively should check this out. Everyone else, you can find better uses of your time.
19Unholy Vampyric Slaughter Sect
The World Trapped in Vampyric Sway


Date: December 24, 2021
Black Metal | Released: 2020 | Label: Crown & Throne | Ratings: 4

I was wondering when we were gonna see some metal on this list. Unholy Vampyric Slaughter Sect (properly dumb metal name) plays black metal with a light industrial influence. I only listened to two of their releases, but I prefer this one of the two I heard from them. That said, I still can't say I'm a fan. I really didn't like the industrial metal parts of this. I've never been a fan of the genre, so it's to be expected. It just sounds so artificial, I can't explain it. The rest of it is just bog-standard black metal though; didn't really seem like particularly good playing. As least, to my non-metal ears. But if they didn't feel the need to add wacky interludes/crap into every song, I might've rated it a tad higher. As is, it's on the lower end of average.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? This site's well known for its population of weirdo metalheads. This year's pie chart list proved that much. You all seem to like it, so who am I to tell you not to check it? I really don't know what I'm talking about when it comes to stuff like this.
20Samurai Breaks


Date: December 24, 2021
Breaks | Released: 2021 | Label: Hooversound | Ratings: 14

I wanted to get to 20 entries before Christmas came around, cause I can feel the lethargy coming. So, lets blitz through this breaks/jungle/techno/whatever EP, shall we? I'm not an expert on stuff like this, but the majority I've heard, I've liked. It's just what my mind goes to when I think of good dance music. The energy, the sampling, the drum machines. Pretty good overall, but I didn't care for "Jitterbug" or the remix. It got a little annoying after a while, which is par for repetitive dance music like this, but it didn't have the same touches to make it more palatable. That said, the first two tracks are better and definitely bring this up in my eyes.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Well, with my rating, this just hit 15 ratings. The people have spoken! Good EP.
21Gary Burton
A Genuine Tong Funeral


Date: December 27, 2021
Avant-Garde Jazz | Released: 1968 | Label: RCA Victor | Ratings: 7

Vibraphone jazz musician. Okay. You guys really know how to pick the strangest things. I'm not sure I've ever heard anything Gary Burton's played, so this is my formal introduction to his work. This album jumps between sparse, empty space, soft melodies, and experimental jazz blowouts. The vibraphone playing is well done (I'm assuming), but my favorite part of this was the bass and electric guitar. Proper progressive jazz rock stuff. Not the first, but certainly early enough and well done enough to be admired. That said, I didn't really think much of the A side of this record. The B side is a lot stronger, and features some more complexity.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? The entire package is a worthwhile check, but I thought I'd like this one more than I did. Still a solid effort and a good check for any self-professed jazz cats out there.
22Wasted Space


Date: December 28, 2021
Pop Punk | Released: 2021 | Label: No Label | Ratings: 7

Talking about another Sputnik user's music is a dangerous game, you know? What if I don't like it and they resent me forever because of it? Well, I won't have to worry about that with Wasted Space, because I liked this one. As much as I appreciate the raspy, unpolished vocals of their first album, they made my throat secondhand sore. On this short EP, they seem to have retreated back into a more "standard" pop punk/emo vox style, which is totally understandable. I think the actual instrumentation is vastly improved, most likely the result of adding other members to the mix. I really dug the last song ("jeff, yr friend who cares."). The movie quotes are a little silly and potentially dangerous, so download while you still can!

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Like I said, I liked it well enough. Give it a try. Remember us when you get signed to a faceless pop punk label.
Machiavelli and the Four Seasons


Date: December 31, 2021
Alternative Dance | Released: 1995 | Label: Genre B.Goode | Ratings: 8

The main reason I (try to) listen to multiple releases for every artist/band on this list is pretty simple: to have an accurate picture of said artist/band. The satirical nature of TISM's Machiavelli and the Four Seasons would have been completely lost on me if I hadn't tried their first recordings beforehand. Yet, at the same time, having listened to their earlier work may have given me an unfair expectation for this album. I really liked the new wave-y, industrial sound of their first release, but that was all the way back in 1984 or whatever. This was released 10 years later and is clearly aping the sounds of the times (alt dance/electropop). I will say that they inject enough fun into it to make me not utterly hate it. Which is impressive, given the genre. Still, I much prefer their early stuff.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? I didn't really find this all that funny, so I guess it was ultimately a failure.
Kidding, kidding. It's alright, I guess. Probably not one I'd go back to often.
Punk Side Story


Date: January 1, 2022
Punk Rock | Released: 1994 | Label: Genre B.Goode | Ratings: 1

Long before those stupid Punk Goes Pop compilations, bands like Schlong were taking pop songs and showtunes and making them into basic punk tunes. On paper, the concept of taking the soundtrack of West Side Story and making all the songs into punk songs doesn't sound particularly awful. Full disclosure, the last time I actually watched West Side Story was years ago and I only remember a few of the songs from the beginning. The album really is just West Side Story told though punk rock. Same lyrics and everything (I think). Is it ironic? Was it made out of a genuine love of 50s Broadway musicals? Who knows. It's fun and all that, but it just feels kind of pointless.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Unless you're a really big fan of both musicals and punk rock, I can't see this being a draw to you. I liked it though. Decent 90s punk with vocals that'll make you want to tear out your ears.
Plays for Lovers


Date: January 2, 2022
Post-Hardcore | Released: 1985 | Label: Dischord | Ratings: 9

Some Dischord Records hardcore right here. Without even having to deliberately go through their catalog, I'll probably end up going through the entire Dischord discography without trying to. Very heavy funk rock influence, which can be a blessing or a curse for a lot of punk like this. The early-90s "faux-funk" slap bass stink does linger over this, but you can't blame Beefeater for that; purely a hindsight thing. I'd say it's somewhere in the middle of good and bad, but a hair closer to good. There are a couple joke-y throwaways on here and a few weak tracks, but it's decent enough for a play.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Not my favorite early post-hardcore record by a long shot, but it was enjoyable enough. The consensus here on Sputnik and over on RYM are mixed and that's kind of where I'm at with it. But it's got some tunes.
26Beasts of Bourbon
The Axeman's Jazz


Date: January 2, 2022
Blues Rock | Released: 1984 | Label: Big Time | Ratings: 7

Australians do it better. Don't ask me how, but it's true. The Axeman's Jazz perfectly mixes more standard blues rock and punk attitude with that wonderfully simple production I love. This is also a great cowpunk album, if you're into that. I dug everything about this, if you couldn't already tell. Vocalist exudes a sort of classic cool that sounds out of time, yet perfectly fits with the band. The lack of any real 5 star tracks is a point against it, but the songs are truly great. Just an excellent little blues-y punk rock record.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? I love stuff like this, so of course I'd recommend it. But the more grounded me knows this sort of stuff only appeals to a select few. A select few that likes Australian cowpunk/blues records. You know who you are.
27Ruby Haunt


Date: January 6, 2022
Dream Pop | Released: 2020 | Label: No Label | Ratings: 8

I'm a finicky guy when it comes to dream pop. I couldn't tell you why I enjoy some bands in the genre and fall asleep to others. Hell, with some bands, I seemingly fall out of love with their sound between albums. I hate to say it, but Ruby Haunt is one of those bands that just puts me to sleep. Their plodding dream pop/slowcore sound just doesn't do anything for me. Especially on this album, which is their least dream-y release yet, opting for a more folk/acoustic(?) style. I could mistake these guys with a dozen other acts out there right now. But by virtue of being so bland, I can't say I vehemently hate them either. Honestly, they have a few passable songs on this that are pretty alright. But those get lost in the 2.5 muck real quick.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? It's difficult to stand out making music like this, so props to these fellas for garnering an audience. But like I said, there's nothing about them that really drives me to listen to their stuff again.


Date: January 6, 2022
Indie Folk | Released: 2020 | Label: No Label | Ratings: 6

Well, isn't this just the most pleasant little indie album you've never heard? Kind of a throwback to a simpler time in the indie scene. I could definitely see some mid-tier 2010s label putting this out and it getting a 6.8 on a pre-Condรฉ Nast Pitchfork. Very cute, very cute. Not trying to be condescending or anything. This is just a good album and I don't have a lot to say about it. I guess it does fall into the trap of trying to be a little bit of everything: little folk, little rock, little pop. But I say they pull it off alright. Vocals are nice (but are distractingly autotuned at times), the songs are solid, decent production. Yep.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Yep.
29Sam Lee
Old Wow


Date: January 6, 2022
Contemporary Folk | Released: 2020 | Label: Cooking Vinyl | Ratings: 7

Sam Lee's take on English folk is a very lush, string-filled one. I really dug his first two records and their blend of chamber folk and Indian percussion. But this one was a lot more downplayed than I was hoping for. I suppose that's better than him trying to outdo himself every release and layering too much on top of each other, but I kind of miss the over-the-top stuff. I'd definitely say this is Lee's weakest effort thus far (for whatever that's worth, considering I just listened to his stuff today). While the longer tracktimes on his previous releases were supplemented by great instrumentation, this was only harmed by the length. He's still got the voice down pat though, I'll give him that.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? I'd give this a light recommendation for a specific group of folk folks. Anyone else would probably be bored by it.
30Blake Mills
Heigh Ho


Date: January 6, 2022
Singer/Songwriter | Released: 2014 | Label: Verve | Ratings: 4

You know when you see a comment (or in this case, a soundoff) that more or less reflects your thoughts on an album? That just happened to me with this one. Maybe I don't vehemently dislike this as much as Sputnikmusic user linsseason does, but "excellent production doesn't automatically mean good album" is pretty much my thoughts on Blake Mills' Heigh Ho. Though, I wouldn't call it "excellent" production. This is overbearing production on top of what sounds like a Margaritaville hotel lobby guitarist. Apparently he's more behind the scenes, playing/writing/producing/featuring on a lot of pop and indie records. Which, honestly, makes all the sense in the world. This is a pretty early album of his, so he probably comes into his own later, but this album is a slurry of blues-y guitar, amateur vocals, bog lyrics, and country* twang that just put me off in a lizard brain, fight-or-flight kind of way.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Let it never be said that I like all "guitar music" or whatever kids condescendingly call stuff like this. Did not dig this at all. Sorry, man.
Juicy Planet Earth


Date: January 7, 2022
Nu Metal | Released: 1997 | Label: Metal Mind | Ratings: 11

I have yet to re-evaluate nu metal like everyone else has, so apologies in advance for the following blurb.

Well, I will say that this is way more interesting than the more standard nu metal crap. This seems to be more willing to experiment with different styles. Unfortunately for Flapjack, they don't really do any of those styles particularly well. The sillier moments only work if the majority of the album matches. But Juicy Planet Earth, despite their attempts at being interesting, still sounds like alt metal bullshit. These boring, trudging riffs, man. It just makes me wanna cry. The auditory/comedic equivalent of putting on a pair of Groucho glasses and calling it a day. Sad clown.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Again, nu metal seems to be undergoing a re-evaluation, so go nuts. As far as this genre goes, this is as good as it gets. Which is still not very good.
32Pharoah Sanders


Date: January 9, 2022
Spiritual Jazz | Released: 1977 | Label: India Navigation | Ratings: 8

This list has mostly been artists/bands I've never heard before, but that ends with Pharoah Sanders. I've listened to most of his work prior to this album. Why did I stop here? Probably some arbitrary reason I don't remember anymore. Try to act shocked, but I did enjoy this soulful jazz album from 1977. Lovely fusion of sounds, as to be expected. But I still don't like it as much as Sanders' other work. Maybe that's why I stopped at this point? He was pumping these albums out biannually (sometimes even more) and my ratings for them reflect that. Still, this is a great jazz album. But perhaps not the best introduction to the legendary Pharoah Sanders.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Sputnik's the kind of place that will listen to a jazz artist's most popular album and nothing else. I feel like anyone that's wanted to check this probably already has. But if you need it in writing: yes, you should check this.
33John Coltrane and Don Cherry
The Avant-Garde


Date: January 9, 2022
Post-Bop | Released: 1966 | Label: Atlantic | Ratings: 10

Another pair of artists I've listened to before, but I do actually have a reason why I never listened to it. It's a collaboration from 1960. If you're not to careful, these things just fall between the cracks sometimes. It is what it is. Here we have Coltrane and Cherry performing 3 compositions by Ornette Coleman sandwiched between an original by Cherry and one by Thelonious Monk. And yeah, it's pretty good. As you could guess by the title, this is early avant-garde stuff. Nothing that'll scare people away though; it's tame by comparison to later work by everyone involved. If you love sax and horn (and drums, thank you Mr. Blackwell), this is a no-brainer.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Two standouts, two good tracks, one okay one. How many jazz albums follow this exact formula? It's crazy.
34Patrick Shiroishi


Date: January 12, 2022
Avant-Garde Jazz | Released: 2021 | Label: American Dreams | Ratings: 2

I didn't recognize Patrick Shiroishi's name at first, but after digging through his discography a little, I realized I have heard something by him. Him and Tashi Dorji released an album under the name Kogarashi. Shiroishi is a free improvisational saxophonist, but this album sees him taking down a more subdued, classic-type-of-jazz route. The most ardent of jazz haters won't be turned by something like this, but I really dug its simplicity. It's all alto saxophone, all the time, which could easily get boring if not done right. But Shiroishi most definitely does it right, with some beautiful playing and compositions. That trill on "To Kill a Wind-Up Bird" is good, good stuff.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? This already has buzz on RYM, so I'd say it's only a matter of time before it gets above 15 ratings. I don't think it's, as one RYM kid called it, "brilliant and groundbreaking and insane," but it's pretty damn great.
35Scorpion Violente


Date: January 15, 2022
EBM | Released: 2010 | Label: AVANT! | Ratings: 1

Was not expecting to see a synth album on this list, but I welcome it. It's good for variety. Didn't know anything about this group before checking their stuff, but this kind of synth/electronic music isn't always a surefire thing with me. The production here is like a brick wall. It's totally blown out and there's not enough going on to justify it. However, I did find myself enjoying it on a very simplistic level. Like the name of the genre says, this is electronic body music. Not a whole lot to think about. I do like the synth tones they used a lot. I just wish they were in service of a few more actual songs, as opposed to instrumentals. A few pretty good tracks, a few annoying ones; so it all evens out to an okay listen.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? I liked it, but minimal synth isn't exactly a hot topic these days, is it? The fact tectactoe is the only rating here kind of proves that. I liked it well enough, but I would still pick a classic EBM band over these guys, sad to say.
36Nemo (CAN)
In Stereo


Date: January 16, 2022
Alternative Rock | Released: 1999 | Label: Domination Through Amplification | Ratings: 8

Gotta love a one album wonder. I've had a soft spot for this particular brand of spacy alternative rock, but I've never been able to rate it as high as some. I've never found a classic in the pile, as dumb as that sounds. I don't know, something about the 90s sound just turns me off a bit. Nemo are of that same ilk, but I really enjoyed this one. You can tell this was a bunch of younger guys that just started recording one day, scrounged up enough material/money to go record in-studio, then just naturally drifted apart. If I were a more poetic man, I could probably come up with an analogy about space or something, but I'll save that for a real writer. I'll just call this a really great alt rock album and leave it that.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Definitely prefer the hazy shoegaze stuff to the tracks where they pretend to be heavy rockers or whatever, but I liked it as a whole. Just look at the similar bands and you'll know if this is for you.


Date: January 16, 2022
Emo-gaze (god, that's dumb sounding) | Released: 2012 | Label: No Label | Ratings: 6

Swedish band playing a blend of shoegaze and "Midwest emo." Gotta love it. No, really. Never really thought about it before listening to Dating, but what a stellar combination of genres. Love the guitar on this a lot. Vocals feature a lot of wailing, but it's never distracting. Mostly because of how great the playing is and how memorable the hooks are. Mixing, while I personally really dig it, could be a turn off for some. At times, Outminded's kind of messy, shrill, feedback-heavy mix gets in the way of the actual tunes. I think they pulled it off, though.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? 32 minutes of great emo(?) rock. Recommended to Sputnikmusic users. You all would probably really like this.


Date: January 16, 2022
Math Rock | Released: 2013 | Label: Raw Paw | Ratings: 12

Describing themselves as "inspired by nature," Hikes adds a twinge of folk to their math rock. Wasn't entirely sure I'd like that, considering how overly concerned some math rock is with stupid polyrhythm shit, but I found myself getting into this. It helps that this is (comparatively) relaxed compared to other bands in the genre, giving the other influences some space to breathe. Unfortunately, this is a simple case of a band having a unique sound, but not having unique enough songs. Their instrumentation is pretty basic indie/math stuff and I wasn't particularly impressed by the vocals. A lot of math rock falls into this same trap for me, so I guess it could just be a me thing.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Friends is a decent album. And sometimes, that's all you really need. Nothing wrong with that. At the same time, I'd only really recommend this to people already in the know about the genre.
39Good Night and Good Morning
Good Night & Good Morning


Date: January 17, 2022
Slowcore | Released: 2009 | Label: Orchid Collective | Ratings: 13

Sorry about changing the album art and release date, but this was originally released in 2009. Anyway, this is an ambient/sloooooowcore EP that seems to be universally adored, judging by the ratings. And I gotta say, I don't really get it. I mean, it's fine? Sounds like any other slowcore band I've ever heard. And I'm not just saying that to be mean; the Bandcamp description lists a bunch of better known bands that sound like them. Kind of goes in one ear and out the other for me. Honestly don't really have much to say about it.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Hate to say it flat out, but I just don't listen to this kind of stuff. Super pulseless, inoffensive ambient + guitar. Review says it runs the risk of being background music. I'd say it's more than a risk.


Date: January 17, 2022
Progressive Pop | Released: 2019 | Label: No Label | Ratings: 2

Robovine's been on my checklist for ages, so already we're off to a good start. Plus, this kind of neo-psych/progressive pop that brings me to life. Get Dusted! is Robovine's best up to this point. That much is clear. It's a messy, energetic, 60s-pop-influenced nightmare carnival come to life. Coated in effects and odd sounds, it's overwhelming in the best way. I liked the bossa nova/exotica worship of their early stuff well enough, but this is definitely the way to go for them. Love the vocalist a whole lot. Can't tell if he's putting on a voice or not; regardless, it's refreshingly expressive. The lack of any real classic tracks is the only negative I can think of for this (the opener, "Animal World," comes close).

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Could this album be viewed as unbearably annoying? Probably. But boy, do I like it a whole lot.
41Jerry Paper
Fuzzy Logic


Date: January 21, 2022
Hypnagogic Pop | Released: 2013 | Label: Digitalis Ltd. | Ratings: 5

Another artist I've heard before. You're really helping me clean out my backlog here. The only release I've heard of Jerry Paper prior to this was 2016's Toon Time Raw!, which I liked a lot. I love this specific combo of synth and lazy vocals. Just resonates with me, y'know? Sounds stupid, but if I made music still, this would be how I'd want it to sound. Fuzzy Logic is full of solid tunes and layers of effects. Standard "hypnagogic" shit, except Jerry Paper knows how to make a decent hook. A lot of this genre is made up of pleasant-sounding that I wouldn't necessarily want to revisit. Fuzzy Logic (and the rest of his albums, I'd assume) have that sweet-as-honey, bitter-as-licorice weirdo pop sound down pat.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? I don't just wanna praise people for recommending me things that I was already probably gonna check at some point, but I'm glad this dumb list was the thing that finally pushed me to get around to it. Deserves more ratings than it's currently got.
42William Onyeabor
Crashes in Love (Version 2)


Date: January 25, 2022
Afro-Funk | Released: 1979 | Label: Wilfilms | Ratings: 1

Alright, this one's kind of cheating. I've already heard all of these songs before, just the earlier versions of them. See, this is a remake of William Onyeabor's first release, just missing one track and with more synth and drum machine. I really should've checked the tracklist before adding it to the list and if I could do it again, I'd ask Mr. Moriendi to pick something else. BUT, it was my fault (and we're 42 entries in), so screw it. I love the thin production on this a lot, which sounds weird, but it's true. People are so used to 70s funk having this lush, almost overbearing sound. This is clean as all hell. You hear every note, every instrument, every weird quirk Onyeabor puts in there. Love the vocals, too. So, yeah, I liked it, but I already knew that. The real question is: is it better than the original version? Not really, but it's still great.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? I prefer the original, personally. That one's got a laidback feel that matches a lot better with the songs. Except for "Something You'll Never Forget;" I think I might prefer the version on this to the original.
43Shuggie Otis
Freedom Flight


Date: January 28, 2022
Funk | Released: 1971 | Label: Epic | Ratings: 14

Shuggie Otis is a decently famous guitarist/songwriter that got his start at a really young age. Sort of a wunderkind, I guess. I went into his work knowing basically nothing about him, other than the fact that he played on some Epic Records blues/soul albums and Frank Zappa's Hot Rats. I suppose at a time when Hendrix was one of the biggest names alive, every big label wanted their own "guitar god" on the payroll. That, and nepotism. But did Otis deserve the title? I guess? Freedom Flight is a good funk/soul/blues album and his playing is great. Thing is, the album's kind of indistinct. Aside from two standout tracks ("Strawberry Letter 23" and the title track), the album's basically just a showcase for Otis' guitar chops. Which is totally fine; just not something I look for, personally.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Anyone not interested in 60s/70s blues rock probably couldn't care less about this, but I liked it. I gave all of Shuggie Otis' albums up to this point almost the exact same rating, which is funny, but also kind of indicative of my issues with him. Not a lot of variation or straying out of his comfort zone.
44Future Foundation


Date: January 28, 2022
Pop Punk | Released: 2021 | Label: Tower | Ratings: 1

Pop punk and melodic hardcore (metalcore?) come together in unholy union on Future Foundation's Trinity EP. "Easycore," as it's formally called (no it isn't). I thank you for picking an artist/band with only one release, cause I was physically tired after listening to this one. This late-stage pop punk is bad enough on its own, but when complimented by that limp riffing, it's just awful. This is as sterile as any of those 2000s bands Future Foundation are clearly trying to mimic. If that was their goal, then congrats. But it's still shit. Oh, and to top it all off, it ends with a remix.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Listen to this and you tell me there's a god.
45Daybreak (KOR)
New Day


Date: January 29, 2022
K-Pop | Released: 2010 | Label: Happy Robot | Ratings: 1

Well, it finally happened. After years of indifference, someone has finally made me check a K-pop release. At least, I think that's what I'm supposed to call this. Who fuckin' knows? I sure don't. Having zero prior experience with the genre, ๋ฐ์ด๋ธŒ๋ ˆ์ดํฌ (Daybreak) is acting as my first exposure to this brave new world. It's not the worst thing I've ever heard, but the instrumentals sound like something you'd find in a free stock music library. If it weren't for the vocals, this wouldn't be even be worth talking about. Now that I'm looking at the release date, this might be too early to be considered the same thing as what's popular in the west right now. This is clearly still trying to be pop rock/electronic, while the newer K-pop (I assume) is more based on electropop/dance-pop bullshit. Probably for the best I started with this then.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? New Day is totally inoffensive, but that its problem. Pretty forgettable EP.
46Phoenix Bodies
Raise the Bullshit Flag


Date: January 31, 2022
Screamo | Released: 2006 | Label: Holy Roar | Ratings: 10

The problem with screamo bands is that they do so many damn split releases. Like, my lord. Phoenix Bodies have 2 releases solely to their name. The rest are splits. Raise the Bullshit Flag is actually their first release (not including compilations) that's not a split, so the pressure was definitely on to impress. But it's kind of the same thing they've done on those early recordings. Succinct, rowdy [prefix]-core with energy and anger out the ass. There's a marginal improvement from their previous stuff I guess, but there's still an overreliance on hardcore riffing and screaming unintelligibly. Which is what the genre's known for, I know, I know. What can I say, I'm a finicky bastard.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? It's solid, but nothing you haven't heard before. Honestly, I'm more interested in checking out one of the bands they did a split with (Shikari).
Diamond Destroyer of Death


Date: January 31, 2022
Indie Pop | Released: 2021 | Label: No Label | Ratings: 1

Steak had a failsafe built into his 4 recs with this one. I mean, progressive indie pop inspired by Phil Spector (and 60s pop rock in general)? That's a guaranteed payout. Half my ratings are probably that exact thing. Dunno, something about indie artists trying to mimic that larger-than-life production style is touching to me. Diamond Destroyer of Death did have mastering assistance, but the recording was done by Roar (Owen Evans) himself. I liked this one, but I enjoyed Roar's earlier work more. Those had that messy quality I crave, while this almost sounds too professional, too modern. Yeah, I'm impossible, I know. This criticism didn't come completely out of nowhere, though; I felt the same way about his last release, too. Nitpicking aside, this still has great ideas. Roar clearly has a solid grasp on this sound and does it well enough to make this a worthwhile listen.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? One rating for this is a bit silly. Totally deserves a few more, at least.
48Erin Bode
The Little Garden


Date: February 1, 2022
Jazz Pop | Released: 2008 | Label: Native Language | Ratings: 1

Never in a million years would I have thought someone on sputnik actually listened to this sort of Starbucks/Barnes & Noble checkout counter jazz. We might have found bigfoot here, folks. Absolutely wild. Well, I gave this its fair shot. I will say, Erin Bode has a very pleasant voice. But being a jazz vocalist, that's the standard. To stand out from the pack at all, you need great songs, both arrangement-wise and lyrics-wise. Which is why a lot of these vocal jazz artists choose to do well-established standards and covers. But Bode co-writes most of the songs on The Little Garden, and they're just not that interesting. It's perfectly listenable jazz pop you'd hear when going to get an overpriced coffee or a self-help book.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? I'm honestly just shocked anyone here listens to stuff like this. I guess if you really like soft, female-fronted jazz with singer/songwriter elements, then you could do a whole lot worse. But by the same token, I'm sure you could also do a lot better.
49Romeo Void
It's a Condition


Date: February 3, 2022
New Wave | Released: 1981 | Label: 415 / Columbia | Ratings: 4

It took us 49 entries, but we've finally got a new wave rec. Frankly, this sort of brownnosing should constitute a deduction of points. Kidding, but I'm thankful people (so far) have been recommending things that they themselves like, as opposed to rec'ing things I might like. But I would be lying if Romeo Void wasn't total comfort food for me. This is early-80s new wave, so don't expect glitzy synths and smooth pop hooks. No, this is that fractured, deadpan, art-y new wave. I love the vocals, but most of the songs are pretty generic major-label post-punk fluff. As this is their first release, I'm tempted to be a bit forgiving. Plus, there are a few great tunes strewn about. I'd be interested in hearing live versions or a demo of all of these songs though, because the production is also way too clean and some songs are way too meandering.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Who would've expected that the new wave album from 1981 WOULDN'T be my favorite rec here? I'm shocked and appalled at myself. This is still really good though, check it out.
50Pharaoh Overlord


Date: February 4, 2022
Stoner Rock | Released: 2001 | Label: Ektro | Ratings: 8

Ektro is a great label that's put out a ton of great stuff, so I was definitely interested in this release. While I've listened to quite a bit of stoner/psych rock in my day, I don't really go for it anymore. Nowadays, it just sounds slow and repetitive, as opposed to hypnotic. And that's how I feel about Pharaoh Overlord's debut. Anything good I can say about this is ultimately hindered by the track lengths. No song here slips below the 7-minute mark. While that normally wouldn't be a problem for me, Pharaoh Overlord's barebones style does make it hard to get through at certain points. Still, I can appreciate the space-y, krautrock influences here enough to say that it's above average.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? I liked it fine enough, but fair warning: you may have to partake of a specific herb to enjoy this one to it's fullest.
51Satan's Rats
What a Bunch of Rodents


Date: February 5, 2022
Punk Rock | Released: 1996 | Label: Overground | Ratings: 1

Another great label. You really know how to pick 'em, guy. I haven't heard anything by Satan's Rats prior to this, as far as I'm aware. This compilation collects their short discography alongside some unreleased tracks. Satan's Rats were a late-70s punk rock band and were coming up right at punk's commercial height. As such, this is very poppy punk, treading on power pop. Luckily, I liked these tracks a lot. The guitar especially is amazingly good. Properly juvenile, simplistic punk. This band would be reformed as new wave/power pop band the Photos, which makes sense. If this collection of songs is anything to go by, they definitely had the chops for stardom. As for their early work here, I found myself singing along to pretty much every song. Not a bad song here.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Might be poppier than some may appreciate, but this is good fun.
52Affinity (UK)


Date: February 5, 2022
Progressive Rock | Released: 1970 | Label: Vertigo | Ratings: 12

The opening notes of Affinity's one and only album were definitely not what I was expecting. I knew they were a progressive rock band from the United Kingdom and that their lead singer was female, but the combination of heavy brass focus, brash vocals, and hard rock guitars was insanely jarring. Sounded like the theme song to a cheesy 70s tv show or something. I was ready to write the whole thing off, but then the next two tracks were fantastic. Then it ends with 4 decent ones. Honestly, this album is all over the place, quality-wise. My favorite track was the damn Everly Brothers cover, if that says anything. It's just a bizarre mix of genres. Not in the sense that they're doing jazz fusion, but more so the fact that the album's mostly covers. It just doesn't really make for a cohesive listen.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? I mean, why not just listen to the originals of most of these? The prog doesn't really add much to most of them. I do genuinely like that Everly Brothers cover though. Which, case in point, is the least prog song here. Sounds more like an adult contemporary ballad.
Look and Behold


Date: February 8, 2022
Post-Sludge-Metal-Hardcore | Released: 2011 | Label: Pelagic | Ratings: 5

I would be lying if I said I knew what the vocalist was saying half the time on Lo!'s Look and Behold. Not because he's unintelligible, but because he's so quiet in the mix, I can barely hear him over the guitar or drums. Not that hearing the lyrics would help or hurt this one too much in my eyes. Yeah, try to act shocked, I wasn't very impressed with this. There are some good moments on almost every song, but then Lo! have to ruin it by throwing a bunch of boring, midtempo riffing slosh. When they're leaning into the post-hardcore stuff, it's passable. And I really liked the last track.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Puts the "sludge" in sludge metal, unfortunately. And the production is a little confusing to my ears. But it is their first album; maybe they get better over time, I dunno yet. Fans of ๐ˆ๐๐’๐„๐‘๐“ ๐’๐ˆ๐Œ๐ˆ๐‹๐€๐‘ ๐๐€๐๐ƒ ๐‡๐„๐‘๐„ should listen.
54Fitz Gore and The Talismen
Fitz Gore and the Talismen


Date: February 10, 2022
Modal Jazz | Released: 2009 | Label: Plastic Strip / Jazzaggression | Ratings: 1

Man, that cover would be so much better without the fake sticker. Anyway, this is a compilation of Fitz Gore's discography, both with the Talismen and without. Unfortunately, it's only snippets and bits. Would've much preferred an all-encompassing discography set, but beggars can't be choosers. Gore plays a mix of a lot of kinds of jazz on this: modal, spiritual, improvisational, soul. And probably two more arbitrary subgenres I forgot to mention. This was independently released back in the 70s, so it's got that grainy, live sound that I love. Feels like your in the smoky jazz bar a few tables away. Falls into the same jazz album trap, though. The two really awesome tracks are dragged down by some pretty good ones and some decent ones. Goddamn, it's a curse, I tell you.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Very accessible, whilst still being fairly unique. Recommended, for sure.
55Hayden Pedigo
Letting Go


Date: February 12, 2022
American Primitivism | Released: 2021 | Label: Mexican Summer | Ratings: 4

Contemporary folk like this is a dangerous game, so it was comforting to hear Hayden Pedigo do the form justice on everything he's released up to this point. And Letting Go is his best work yet, without a doubt. While it only cracks the 30-minute mark, this album is packed with great instrumental guitarwork. It's mellow in the right way; almost like an album of cute lullabies. It's impressive how much emotion Pedigo squeezes out of just his guitar on this. That said, the backing band, while relegated to the background, add a lot to the feel of the album. I couldn't imagine this without the pedal steel guitar or the bass parts. I could see a layman hearing this and calling something like this "boring," but man, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? This is the modernized version of American Primitivism. Sounds like an oxymoron, but it's the truth. Reminds me of some of the better post-rock and new age I've heard.
56The Fallen Angels
It's a Long Way Down


Date: February 12, 2022
Psychedelic Pop/Rock/Folk | Released: 1968 | Label: Roulette | Ratings: 7

A psych pop album from 1968? What is it, my birthday? This shit is my bedrock, man. Every review I've seen of this is complaining about people calling it a "psychedelic masterpiece" and how it doesn't live up to expectations, yet I haven't seen anyone actually call a masterpiece. Well, all I know is that this is some good stuff. While I do miss the garage rock of their first outing, It's a Long Way Down definitely fills in the gaps with a much more focused album and some folk mixed in. It's nothing you haven't heard before, and you'll no doubt hear pieces of other bands you've heard in their songs. The baroque pop, the music hall kitsch, the blues-y guitar; you'll know it when you hear it. So yeah, they're not total originals. But who cares if the music is as good as it is?

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? This is as good as any supposed "psychedelic masterpiece" I've heard. People cream their pants over worse acts. Only a matter of time before this gets some more ratings, I bet.
57La Maquina de Hacer Pajaros


Date: February 14, 2022
Progressive Rock | Released: 1977 | Label: Microfรณn | Ratings: 7

Wouldn't it be crazy if I was fluent in Spanish this whole time? That'd be insane, right? Well, I'm not, so I'm going purely off the music here. And maybe one of the four billion descriptors used to describe Peliculas on RYM. La Mรกquina de Hacer Pรกjaros wasn't a name I've ever heard before, but they're decently well-received. Went into this with no expectations and I must say, I am thoroughly whelmed. This felt weirdly constrained for a progressive rock album. Almost toes the line between prog and AOR. While I admittedly can't understand the vocalist, the vocals don't really add anything. The moments where the band lets loose are my favorites ("Hipercandombe"), but those are few and far between. All that negative shit aside though, there really isn't anything too bad on this. Just doesn't light my fire, y'know?

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Fans of this particular brand of late-70s prog will find comfort with La Mรกquina de Hacer Pรกjaros. As for myself, I think this might be a bit too far down the prog rock timeline for me to really click with it.
58Dalis Car
The Waking Hour


Date: February 14, 2022
Art Pop | Released: 1984 | Label: Paradox | Ratings: 11

This one's been on my checklist for a long, long time. A collab between two big players: vocalist Peter Murphy of Bauhaus and bassist Mick Karn of Japan. This album's basically just an excuse for both to get weird with it, what with the abstract lyrics, artsy-fartsy compositions, and weird basslines. Unfortunately, this turned out to be one of those albums I appreciate more than I actually enjoy. I'm no stranger to this minimal style, so don't start saying it's going over my head or some dumb shit. Cause I get it. It's just not all that interesting aside from the spectacle of seeing these two guys mess around and collaborate on something. I'm sure this fulfilled a creative urge for the artists involved. But it leaves me, the listener, feeling a little hung out to dry.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Like most "supergroups," I'd say just listen to each artist's respective band. This ain't no Bauhaus, that's for damn sure.
59Jose Afonso
Cantigas do Maio


Date: February 17, 2022
Mรบsica de intervenรงรฃo | Released: 1971 | Label: Orfeu | Ratings: 4

Another checklist item checked off. In the 60s, and especially the 70s, Portugal's political folk scene was big. Not only was it big, it was important. And by that same token, Josรฉ Afonso was/is important. One of the songs on this very album was used as a signal for an actual revolution. Does political music get any more significant than that? All that alone would be good enough for me personally, but Afonso also made a near-perfect progressive folk album to boot. It's a beautifully somber record. Even as someone who doesn't speak the language, the emotion in his vocals breaks through. The guitarwork is immaculate, the arrangement is appropriately bare for the most part. But when they do add some touches (flute, trumpets, etc.), they only add to the mix. Certifiable classic record.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Not like you need me to tell you this, but yes, this should have more ratings. Even if you don't care about its cultural significance, it's a stellar album. Glad this dumb list finally pushed me to check this.
60Banda do Casaco
Dos benefรญcios dum vendido no reino dos bonifรกcios


Date: February 18, 2022
Progressive Folk | Released: 1975 | Label: Philips | Ratings: 3

Zig, did you recommend this to me before? Because I tagged this as a recommendation on RYM and I don't remember who rec'd it initially. As was probably expected, I liked the 70s prog folk album. And water is wet. But honestly, I thought I would like it a whole lot more. Like, I was ready to 5.0 this sucker and phone this blurb in. But now I have to actually talk about my feelings. Feh. All the elements are there, but I think the issue is that the songs aren't the most memorable. It's technically impressive and beautifully done, what with all the instruments at play and the vocals switch-ups. Most of the songs here just don't have a solid hook or a memorable phrase. Yeah, I know it's progressive/avant-folk. I just would've liked the album more with something to grasp onto.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? At the risk of sounding like an asshole, there's a very real possibility that I've listened to too much of this crap and now I can't appreciate a quality album from the genre unless it's perfection front to back. Make no mistake: I still really like it. All of this complaining is just my inner thoughts whilst listening to it. Y'know what, just ignore this blurb entirely. New review below.

Good album.
Por este rio acima


Date: February 20, 2022
Portuguese Folk Music | Released: 1982 | Label: Triรขngul | Ratings: 5

Folk is here to say, folks. I'm sure reading my thoughts on Portuguese folk music 3 times in a row has gotten stale, but the music certainly hasn't. And that's good, because Por este rio acima is a long one. Yep, we've got well over an hour of material on this Fausto record here. For as long as this one is, it's actually got some of Fausto's best songs up to this point in his career. Love the guitar especially (the Braguesa, according to Discogs). Credit where credit's due, but it's still mostly the same folk rock/pop of his previous albums. All of the songs, while good, end up blending together after a certain point. While it has elements of psych/progressive folk in there, I think Fausto would've benefitted from leaning into that more than the more basic contemporary folk sound.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Album is still really good, especially for it's length. The two prior recs are much better, in my opinion, but that might just be me.
62Jorge Peixinho
Elegia a Amรญlcar Cabral


Date: February 20, 2022
Modern Classical | Released: 1978 | Label: Sassetti | Ratings: 2

I'll hope you'll forgive me for not checking any of Jorge Peixinho's other compositions, but I hate adding classical recordings to Sputnik. Yeah, I'm lazy. This version of Elegia a Amรญlcar Cabral features two versions of the same composition, so I've gotten more intimate with it than most other entries on this list. That's right, two listens. Crazy. Sadly, I don't have very much to say about this. It is a droning electronic piece that feels like it's actively giving me tinnitus. I only really like this sort of thing if it's supplemented with another genre I like (folk, rock, pop, etc.). Guess I'm not as cool or avant as you thought I was. I did give it a fair shot though, which is more than 99.9% of people can say.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Sorry, buddy. I'm not worthy.
63Longmont Potion Castle


Date: February 22, 2022
Prank Calls | Released: 1995 | Label: D.U. | Ratings: 2

From modern classical to crank calls. What a diverse group of individuals we have here on Site Copyright 2005-2019 Unfortunately, you made the grave error of recommending a comedy album to an emotionless robot who has no concept of joy or happiness. I've never really liked prank calls and this might be some of the worst I've heard. Dude mumbles and fumbles through every call like an amateur. It's all chopped up to shit in an attempt to highlight the "best" parts of the call, but none of it is funny. Maybe I just have too much empathy or I'm too much of a loser to find it funny. Both/either can be possible. Or maybe the guy just sucks at making crank calls. When the person on the other end deserves to get prodded ("Vitamin Guy"), it's tolerable. Otherwise, it's just random people you don't know anything about getting annoyed or just sounding confused. And when he calls people at their jobs, man. That just makes me kind of sad.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? I've never been more ashamed of my generation than I am now. The whole time, my face looked like this:
64Lloyd Banks
Halloween Havoc 2


Date: February 24, 2022
East Coast Hip Hop | Released: 2015 | Label: No Label | Ratings: 5

Well, here's another goofy continuity error in my grand music listening adventure. Checking Lloyd Banks before any 50 Cent or G-Unit album/mixtape. Yes, really. Does it really matter in the grand scheme of things? No, but it matters to me, goddamn it. I'm not gonna go through all 30 releases by this guy, but I did check out some of his stuff in preparation for Halloween Havoc 2. Right off the bat, I have to say, don't really like Lloyd Banks' voice on this. He sounds dehydrated or something. Or maybe his voice had just aged poorly (he had been doing this for 10 years by this point). But none of that matters. Hip hop lives or dies by the beats, so my rating is gonna be based more on how much I liked the production than his rapping. Banks has an assembly line of producers on Halloween Havoc 2, but man, I didn't really like any of the songs. They're fine tracks, but I couldn't even hum a single one for you. And I just finished listening to it. So yeah, none of the tracks really stand out at all, despite them being produced by like 8 different individuals. But none of it is terrible, either. So it just ends up being this forgettable miasma of repetitive drum machines and bland samples.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Didn't do much for me, but I have no idea what I'm talking about when it comes to stuff like this. I could just be really dumb. It's possible! People seem to like it well enough, so if you are nostalgic for 2000s rappers, go for it.


Date: February 26, 2022
Jazz-Rock | Released: 1972 | Label: MCA | Ratings: 10

I was gonna make a joke about the album cover being an Asia ripoff, but the album artwork was actually done by the same guy that did all those Yes/Asia albums. I thought I was being funny, but it really is just the same guy. Lame. Osibisa is a Ghanaian/British band that, shocker, makes jazz fusion. With a cover like that and the year it was released, was there ever any doubt? I really dug this. I love the West African influences at work. It just adds a liveliness to the album that makes it a joy to listen to. A lot of that is the great percussion and vocals. I didn't expect to, but I ended up liking this one more than their debut. At least as a complete work. It's a bit cheesy at times, what with the horns and the choruses, but I like that kind of cheese sometimes. But even though it does sound like something that would be played on a cruise ship at times (see: the title track), I enjoyed it a lot. I wish they pushed the afro-rock a bit further at times or even added some traditional folk elements, but this is still strong stuff.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? It probably won't be a life-changer for most people, but it's a great 70s fusion record. Great rec.
Sniping Pigz


Date: March 2, 2022
Grindcore | Released: 2000 | Label: Six Weeks | Ratings: 12

It took Plutocracy a while to follow-up their first full-length, so one would hope that their return would bring about some better material. Especially since everything I've heard by them up to this point has been pretty middling. Sniping Pigz does end up being better than their previous work. But only by a hair. Call me uncultured, but I can't tell a lot of grind/powerviolence/whatever bands apart. So I'm struggling to actually find anything to say about this that would differentiate it from other bands in the genre. Well, it's got an almost distracting amount of samples. I think the vocals are better than they were (they really sound like teens on the early stuff). The songs are slightly more interesting? I don't know, man.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? In my opinion, if you want hardcore punk with a focus on deceased law enforcement, you've got better options. Not bad at all, though.
67Chess At Breakfast


Date: March 3, 2022
Alternative Rock | Released: 2019 | Label: No Label | Ratings: 1

On their Bandcamp page, Chess At Breakfast describes themselves as "punk meets prog meets indie meets metal." But really, they sound like an alternative rock band with some light progressive rock influences. I wasn't expecting a lot, but this isn't as unlistenable as I thought it was going to be. There are a few moments where it almost does, but not enough for me to hate it. I like the psychedelic space rock vibes that they emulate here, but that's all that it ends up sounding like: emulation. Because as much as I can appreciate their attempt to blend all these different genres together, they end up sounding like an AI made them from the info of a bunch of other bands. Or, probably more accurately, a producer fitting together puzzle pieces. And yes, everything's in it's right place, music-wise. But Wealthcare says very little about the people that actually made it. For a debut album, that's a bad sign. Guess they agreed, because after putting out one more album, they broke up. Cue the Price is Right losing horn and/or slide whistle.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? It's got good ideas and serviceable production, but never comes together as an album to me. I dunno.
68Daniel Olsen
Sayonara Wild Hearts


Date: March 4, 2022
Electropop | Released: 2019 | Label: No Label | Ratings: 4

I'm not sure what would possess Koris to recommend a soundtrack to a video game I've never played. I have no context for this, you realize? This is basic electropop/synthwave instrumentals, with vocals sometimes done by Swedish pop artist Linnea Olsson (no relation, I assume). I'm sure it works well in the background of a fast-paced video game. But as music on its own, I'm not all that impressed. The stuff without vocals is especially bland. Like, it's all fine background noise, but there are probably 1000s of artists that make shit that sounds exactly like this. I guess I'm just deathly curious why you picked this random video game soundtrack as your rec. I hope you weren't expecting too much out of me now.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? The only other scenario I could see someone listening to this outside of the game it's from is in the car or something. Perfectly fine as the background music it was intended to be, but not something I'd ever choose to listen to.
69Christian Kleine
Electronic Music From The Lost World 1998โ€‹-โ€‹2001


Date: March 8, 2022
IDM | Released: 2018 | Label: A Strangely Isolated Place | Ratings: 1

Sorry this entry is late, but I had some pre-requisite listening to do before I could even think about checking this. You're welcome for adding all of Christian Kleine's albums to the site, by the way. Recorded early on in Kleine's producing career, this archival album/compilation/whatever is a neat little snapshot of that period. I really do wish I could appreciate this in the same way others might, but other than a few outliers, I just never find myself getting attached to electronic stuff like this. The focus is always more on creating an chilled-out atmosphere through hypnotic beats and such. It's just not a style that I think is interesting to listen to for more than a song or two. I can appreciate that style though and I liked this collection well enough, but that's about all I can say regarding it.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? I'll never be an enlightened "intelligent" dance music listener at this rate. I swear to god I listened to all of Kleine's albums and didn't just slap a "3.0 good" on them and call it a day. I very well could've, but I didn't. It just turned out this way. As for this one, it's pleasant enough for a listen and people who aren't close-minded and guitar-centric like me might like it a lot more. Try it out!
70Christopher Chaplin


Date: March 8, 2022
Modern Classical | Released: 2020 | Label: Fabrique | Ratings: 1

The son of Charlie Chaplin is an experimental electronic artist. Did you ever in your short time on this Earth ever even conceive of something like that? Reality is truly stranger than fiction. Well now that I have this knowledge at my disposal, I'm not sure what to do with myself. Guess I'll listen to his 2020 album "M." This is very sparse modern classical stuff accompanying spoken word passages/poetry. Long-form stuff like this can be tedious if done improperly, but this is actually pretty great. The arrangements are compelling without being overly complex. Not exactly something you put on to get the party started, but certainly something I'd listen to if I was winding down at home or working. The guest vocalists(?) are surprisingly good as well. At the very least, I'd say this is Chaplin's best work up to this point.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? How the hell should I know if other people would like this? Do you like poetry being read over electroacoustic nonsense? Then give this a shot. I could very easily see this being a polarizing listen though, so be warned.
71Hiroki Komazawa


Date: March 10, 2022
New Age | Released: 1992 | Label: Puff Up | Ratings: 1

I know I forced someone (the user) to pick 4 recs from his massive, fuck-off list, but I cannot help but feel these last few recs have all had a similar vibe that I don't connect with. Take Hiroki Komazawa's Feliz for example. New age ambient stuff that's reminiscent of the genre's early roots. I can appreciate it. And in this case, I can find myself really enjoying it. Love the synth on this especially. But at the end of the day, this is just so sleepy. I just wanna take a long nap after listening to it. I need hooks and/or noise, damn it! I'm a simple man that cannot fully appreciate this record's quiet beauty.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? I didn't even mention this album's super sad-then-uplifting backstory, did I? Something about alcoholism and vegans, I think? I skimmed it. Anyway, album is fine. Good 90s ambient, for whatever that's worth.
ะ™ัˆะพะฒ ั ะฝะตะฑะพะผ


Date: March 12, 2022
Folk Rock | Released: 2010 | Label: No Label | Ratings: 2

Yeah, all these someone recs sound the same, amiright guys? Anyway, here's a Ukranian folk rock album. I'm calling it folk rock, but ะ™ัˆะพะฒ ั ะฝะตะฑะพะผ incorporates a lot of different ideas into the fold. From dark cabaret, brass band, and Ukrainian folk music to plain old alternative rock and pop rock. Suffice it to say, the album doesn't say in one place for very long and jumps genres on a dime. This is pretty tame, all things considered, but I really enjoyed it. The more basic rock tracks don't do much for me for the most part, but there's a few solid ones. The brass-heavy traditional songs were nice, with their simple waltz-like structure and upbeat tempo. Makes you want to do a jig. This album was made pretty late in this band's career, but it seems like they release one album a decade or something. Shame, but maybe that's how they've stayed consistent.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Not the easiest recommend, but I think it's interesting enough to be worth a listen; even to those who don't know anything about Ukrainian music.
73VVV [Trippin'you]


Date: March 12, 2022
Coldwave | Released: 2021 | Label: Helsinki | Ratings: 1

Did it just get chilly in here? Yep, it's coldwave. Spanish coldwave that modernizes it in a surprisingly effective way. I almost shy away at calling it coldwave, because it's so poppy (futurepop? synthpop?), but those synths don't lie. At the very least, it's got post-punk and electronic music blended together in a similar way. I'm not in love with the dumb effects VVV puts on the vocals sometimes, but the songs are undeniably great club tracks. Lots and lots of layers, but it all feeds into a hectic, bouncy sound without having it sound like every other pop thing that comes out. When the songs break into those classic drum n' bass sections, it just makes me want to dance, I don't know. I could see it being overwhelming to some, but I liked it. I'm just as surprised as you are, trust me.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Put this in the "albums I would've never checked if it weren't for this list, but I'm glad I did" folder. With better vocals, I'd be all about this. But even as it is, it's pretty good dance music.
74Sega Bodega


Date: March 13, 2022
Alternative R&B | Released: 2021 | Label: Nuxxe | Ratings: 2

Listening to Sega Bodega's early work as a producer, I can't help but notice how faceless his more recent work has become. And that comes to a head with Romeo. It seems to happen to a lot of electronic artists, where they start off doing their own thing but ultimately end up making sad, midtempo alternative R&B/"art pop" mush. On past releases, while I was never a massive fan of his work, I could still appreciate the great production. This album may as well be shipped to a prison cafeteria, it's so flavorless. Not a memorable moment on here and nothing that separates this from the deluge of major label electronic shit that gets pumped through the machine and dumped after a few weeks. There are two tolerable tracks, but that's about it. Bleh.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? No wonder internet kids are depressed if this is what they're listening to. I'm feeling depressed after listening to this. And not for the right reasons.
75Miha Kralj


Date: March 15, 2022
Progressive Electronic | Released: 1980 | Label: RTB | Ratings: 1

I am an absolute sucker for old progressive electronic stuff, so you know what end of the scale this is ending up on. Sorry to anyone and everyone that recommended me newer electronic stuff. I will always disappoint you. Andromeda's instrumental synth lines are the king of the cosmos in my eyes, emulating futuristic soundscapes in a way an album from the 70s/very-early-80s could. And the crackling vinyl rip I downloaded totally legally only makes it better. This is just classic stargazing electronic music, with some European flair. I'm sure someone will come up to me on the street one day and tell me that this was somehow a propaganda piece for the Yugoslavian state or something, but I don't think I'd care. This album's just too delightful.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Wonderful progressive electronic with spacey vibes to spare. I don't really expect this to ever get above 15 ratings on sputnik anytime soon (you all are much too cool for this album), but I would love to be proven wrong.


Date: March 15, 2022
Jazz Fusion | Released: 1980 | Label: ะœะตะปะพะดะธั | Ratings: 1

ะ“ัƒะฝะตัˆ (Gunesh) seems like the kind of thing you find at the very back of the "miscellaneous" box while crate-digging. Not as an indicator of its quality, but as an indicator of its obscurity. If it weren't for the internet, this would be stuck in basements and attics in Asia/Europe. But here I am, living in America, listening to some jazzy progressive rock. Love the traditional sounds that are mixed in, but this is still clearly jazz rock first and foremost. The vocals are overwrought and fit perfectly with the band. I'm sure I've said it a lot, but I'd rather they lean into the traditional than try to emulate the popular sound of the time. I get why they did though. Thankfully, they do have noticeable chops and this is excellent stuff nonetheless.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? If you like that trumpet/sax-filled rock sound, I can't imagine you being disappointed with this.
Yenisei Punk


Date: March 19, 2022
Tuvan Throat Singing / Avant-Folk | Released: 1995 | Label: Global Music Centre | Ratings: 3

I think we've officially gone too far. Russian throat singing. Like, isn't "_______ throat singing" a joke that snarky people use to make fun of obscurity-hunting music nerds? I'm not necessarily above being called a "obscurity-hunting music nerd," but this definitely won't win me any cool guy points. To be fair, this isn't solely throat singing. This is more of a messy rock/folk/psychedelic fusion album with throat singing as the vocals. Which is, sadly, exactly the kind of goofy shit that I like. In my defense, the singing does fit this sort of heavy, droning, percussion-heavy music incredibly well. In the same way that those stupid growls complement certain kinds of slow metal. The singing on its own probably wouldn't do very much for me, but something about adding some avant-folk to the mix made it snap into place. So yeah, long story short: I did like the throat singing album.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? It's a little long, but this was a delight. Don't listen to that one soundoff that says this is post-punk though. No idea what that freak is talking about. This is pretty clearly a folk blend, son. Actually, why is "punk" in the album title?


Date: March 19, 2022
Progressive Electronic | Released: 2021 | Label: Tonbad | Ratings: 1

Damn, it feels nice to get a group that's only released a single thing. No expectations for me to check the rest of their stuff. Just one progressive electronic album and we're done. Easy as pie. Or so I thought. Because I don't have any prior knowledge or frame of reference for this, I don't have much to talk about. But I'll try, just for the sake of this dumb list. Mรคssan has two tracks, both greater than 20 minutes. And listening to it for the first time, I can't really say I'd listen to either track again. It's fine electronic/ambient stuff, with the title track being slightly better than the 2nd track. I dug the synth, as was expected. Comparing it to Miha Kralj, which I will recognize is entirely unfair given the age and the fact that Kosmogon play a different kind of electronic, I'd take Kralj every day of the week.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Sorry to end your string of recs on a downer, but just know that I didn't hate this at all. Really, I'm just not impressed by it. Pleasant, but not memorable.


Date: March 19, 2022
Glitch | Released: 2002 | Label: BiP HOp | Ratings: 12

Unless someone who liked glitch wiped their ratings at some point, Twine's 2002 album Recorder has not had a rating thrown its way since 2016. So now my dumb, lukewarm rating will be the most recent one. Fantastic! Yeah, sorry man, but I didn't really enjoy this one. It goes back to what I was saying before; how a lot of these electronic albums don't really click with me because they're going for a mellower, subdued mood. But then you've got random glitch-y stuff happening that doesn't really add much, at least to my pedestrian ears. A few songs on this were okay/decent ("Cign," "Touched"), which helps bump my rating for it, but I can't really give it any more praise than that.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? 2.5/5, needs more techno. But really, this just wasn't my thing. No hard feelings.


Date: March 19, 2022
IDM | Released: 2005 | Label: Unschooled | Ratings: 5

I know I've probably been annoying people by writing off every post-1980 electronic release as "not my thing," but here's a bit of a reprieve from that. I actually liked this one. I can't really explain why, but it just felt like there was more going on with this one. It's still a little too mellow, but there's a lot of interesting stuff. But instead of it being relegated to the background, it's the main focus. The focus is still more on the mood more than the songs, but there's solid stuff here. Enough that I'd probably check some of these songs out again at a later date. At the same time though, none of these are life-changers. At the end of the day, it's just good 2000s IDM/downtempo. And I'm a rocker at heart. Get this electro-tronic music out of my face! Rock n' roll will never die!

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? In all seriousness, this was pretty good. With some stronger songs, even one or two, I would like it a whole lot more.
Beyond Blue


Date: March 22, 2022
Atmospheric Drum and Bass | Released: 2007 | Label: Phuzion | Ratings: 3

I was initially going to just listen to Beyond Blue and nothing else by drum and bass producer Nookie, but I already skipped out on Twine's discography and it felt a bit unfair to Avagantamos to do it again. And in checking Nookie's other work, I'm going to relegate him to being a singles artist. By that, I mean his singles/EPs are pretty good, but I find myself struggling to get through full albums of his stuff. Beyond Blue is the best of his albums by quite a bit, but I don't think I'm going to call it "the most Godly album ever made" in the foreseeable future. Beyond Blue starts out with its strongest tracks, which just happens EP length at about 3 songs. Then, slowly dips down back to "just fine" territory. It's great dance music, when it's not interrupted by interludes (why in god's name would you do this).

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? I'm not the one that's going to tell you the difference between good atmospheric drum and bass and bad atmospheric drum and bass, so maybe make up your own mind. The first few tracks are the only ones I'd go back to, personally.
82Tuning Circuits
30 Minutes Of My Life, A Trip Through The Audio Spectrum


Date: March 22, 2022
EBM | Released: 1990 | Label: Totally Freaked Out Power Electronics | Ratings: 10

Well, I'll give it this: 30 Minutes Of My Life, A Trip Through The Audio Spectrum is definitely a switch-up from Avagantamos' other recs. Very amateurish acid electronics that was recorded live in someone's basement. I didn't even need a biography to tell you that, I just know it's true. It has that going for it, at least. But is the music actually good or is this just noodling? Well, being recorded the way it was, the album is very repetitive. And I wouldn't necessarily say I like it for the songs. Though, I did find the first track to be the standout overall with those thumping drum machine beats. But the rest is only of interest to me because of the minimal production and the novelty of being home recorded. So, it's about halfway between great techno/house and live noodling. Points for having the correct album length in the title, though. Appreciate it.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? It's an interesting album and I look forward to checking the follow-up, but "interesting" does not a classic album make.
83Cloud Rat
Do Not Let Me Off the Cliff


Date: March 24, 2022
Ethereal Wave | Released: 2019 | Label: Artoffact | Ratings: 5

Do Not Let Me Off the Cliff is an interesting choice for a rec. I mean, if I didn't check Cloud Rat's previous work, I would've never known they made grindcore before this EP. On this, they're playing ethereal wave instead of their usual schtick. Good on them for trying to mix things up, but this kind of sucks. This is some outright boring stuff. Sleepy vocals, compared to the lead singer's usual. Which makes sense. You probably wouldn't want screamo vocals over your wispy ambient pop. But at least that would've been something. If you put this in front of me and told me to name the band, I wouldn't be able to guess in a hundred years it's so bland. I'm not even the biggest fan of their grindcore albums, but I'd take those over this in a heartbeat. It's not so bad that it's painful, but it's already left my head and I just listened to it before writing this.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Looking forward to seeing what other genres this band mucks up! Okay, that's a little too harsh. Like I said, I give them credit for branching out. Darkwave just isn't a good fit for them.


Date: March 25, 2022
Blues Rock | Released: 2021 | Label: No Label | Ratings: 1

With an overplayed, frankly outdated genre like blues rock, Lovehoney were destined for failure with someone like me. This is the kind of music that only school kids and grill-loving dads listen to. No in-between. The whole "rock n' roll will never die" faux-angst on this is laughable. It's kind of embarrassing to listen to, honestly. Facebook rock (new term coined). The singer is fine and a few of the guitar licks are cool. But I don't feel a thing from this. It bounced right off me. Every unsigned, independent bluesy hard rock band sounds like this. And when Lovehoney varies it up on the second half with some slow psych rock stuff, it doesn't save the album. Maybe I'm just not retired enough to like this. Check back in 20-30 years.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? A part of me just wanted to forgo a blurb for this rec and just link a picture of the "I just wanna grill" guy. So that should tell you my feelings on this. If you find comfort in listening to mediocre blues rock, this just might be the thing for you.
Misery's A Muse


Date: March 25, 2022
Metalcore | Released: 2021 | Label: Pure Noise | Ratings: 2

Misery's A Muse is a reissue of their much more popular Tap Night EP, with one new song included. You jokester, you. There are 3 versions of this one EP: the original 2019 release, the "Misery's A Muse" rerelease in September 2021, and the "Tap Night (Deluxe)" rerelease in October 2021. So now, I have "Tap Night," "Misery's A Muse," and "Tap Night (Deluxe)" rated. Which sucks, because while the original release is worth rating, as it was the first release, "Misery's A Muse" isn't even the definitive version of the EP. "Tap Night (Deluxe)" has all the songs off "Misery's A Muse," with another song included. So now we have a 4-track, 5-track, and 6-track version of the same release on Sputnik. And I have 3 releases that are basically the same release rated because of this stupid list. Pure Noise? More like Pure Shit!

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? All of this grief for a shitty metalcore band. 4.4/10.
Undercover Scumbag


Date: March 26, 2022
Metalcore | Released: 2018 | Label: Innerstrength | Ratings: 7

More metalcore. Lead singer's growlin'! Band's riffin'! My brain's begging me to listen to anything else! I know people like this shit, but I don't think I ever will. I liked 156/Silence's first album alright, but this blows. You can scream and growl your lyrics all day, the anger just isn't believable. What do these charlatans have to be angry about? It's the same slow, boring riffing breakdowns played ad infinitum that every other metalcore band plays. Good for workout music, maybe.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Wish I was sad/angry/whiny enough to like this. Actually, no I don't.
87Spires That In The Sunset Rise
Spires That In The Sunset Rise


Date: March 28, 2022
Free Folk | Released: 2004 | Label: Graveface | Ratings: 6

I can't help but laugh at this being recommended. Be honest: would you've rec'd this to anyone else other than me? I'm guessing not, right? Spires That In The Sunset Rise is a all-female group that makes off-kilter free improvisational, witch-y folk; complete with siren-like wailing and creepy strings. Basically, it sounds exactly like the cover looks. Very medieval stuff, but closer to the Dark Ages than the Renaissance. I was caught off guard when the first track started, but after that, it hooked me right in. There are hundreds of bands that wish they could set a mood like this. Admittedly, it isn't for everyone. There aren't very many hummable tunes or catchy choruses here for people to latch onto. But the craziness carries it. I could listen to simple guitar plucking and random haunted house noises all day. I kind of wish I started listening to this band in October or something, but March will just have to do.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? I acknowledge that I'm a big loser for preferring this theater kid shit to actual music, but I can't help how I'm built. No idea if this would be a hit with very many people on Sputnik. 5 of the 6 people that already rated it seem to like it well enough, so maybe? If you like freaky folk, there's no way you don't at least find this neat.
88Anne Guthrie
Perhaps a Favorable Organic Moment


Date: March 30, 2022
Field Recordings | Released: 2011 | Label: Copy for Your Records | Ratings: 14

Judging by the high average rating for this, I can only assume one of two things:

1. I listened to the wrong thing
2. You guys really like field recordings

Not that there's anything wrong with that 2nd option! There are certain situations where a recording with live surrounding noise makes it feel more alive, when compared to a (sometimes) sterile studio setting. But just field recordings on their own? I'm not on that level yet, sad to say. There is more to this one than just city sounds, but not enough to hold my attention. A ghostly voice here, a french horn there, and that's about it. Maybe it needed some more noises? Some rain, perhaps? A barely-audible argument in the background?

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Perhaps a Favorable Organic Moment already has greater than 15 ratings as of this writing, so I guess people like it? Didn't really do very much for me, though.
89Akron/Family and The Angels of Light
Akron/Family and The Angels of Light


Date: March 31, 2022
Folk Rock | Released: 2005 | Label: Young God | Ratings: 8

Damn, it's been a while since I've listened to some Akron/Family. They were a fairly big psych freak rock/folk band that has become slightly more obscure with time. Doesn't help that they haven't released anything in a decade. The Angels of Light is that one side band from that one "Swan" guy with Akron/Family as his backing band. Together, they make a pretty good split release. Akron/Family's side balances more traditional indie rock sounds with freak folk. It's actually a lot less folky than I remember them being. It's still pretty great though. Probably need to relisten to their stuff. The Angels of Light's side is generally considered to be weaker than Akron/Family's portion, but I really enjoyed it. It's great goth country rock stuff that lets loose. The vocals are perfection and Akron/Family do a great job.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? This ended up being a great re-introduction to both of these artists for me. Great stuff.
9:40 p.m.


Date: March 31, 2022
Math Rock / Emo | Released: 2003 | Label: Stiff Slack | Ratings: 3

Not every rec needs to reinvent the wheel to get a positive "review" from me. Such is the case for Japanese math rock band Balloons, whose debut album was a fluffy little album that's a ton of fun. Lots of math rock stuff ends up a bit same-y, bogged down by the focus on technical instrumentals, but I thought 9:40 p.m. had enough hooks and upbeat energy to stand out. Not the biggest fan of the vocals sometimes, but it's not a dealbreaker. It is a Japanese band singing in English, so I'm willing to be lenient in that regard. It does sound like someone putting on a stereotypical "2000s emo" voice at times. The playing is your standard indie math fare, but it's well done. I especially loved the guitar sound. There does seem to be a much stronger focus on the more standard indie rock sound than on the math stuff. Maybe that's why I liked this more than other similar bands.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? I'm surprised this album and, by extension, this band doesn't have at least a few more ratings to its name. Definitely check it out if you like this sort of thing.
91Benny Sings


Date: April 6, 2022
Indie Soul | Released: 2011 | Label: Dox | Ratings: 0

The internet has been a breeding ground for wannabe indie R&B/soul artists like Benny Sings. That isn't a real genre (yet), but it's an apt description of Benny's music. Obviously influenced by the more minimalist, low-key disco/soul sound. Minimalist, at least when compared to other kinds of disco. Very mellow, mid-tempo stuff. He did get his start around the time when R&B was still insanely popular on Top 40 radio. I like his production style and I tolerate his voice, but these songs just aren't all that engaging. I said it in another blurb, but I'm just not a mellow fellow. Those songs have to be tighter than a seatbelt for me to give it anything other than a "2.5/5" and a polite nod.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Art has rhythm, but only just enough to get a few toes tapping. I appreciate the mood and the groove it lays down, but I can't live by it. I'm not even making sense anymore, am I? Whatever, listen to it yourself.
92Really Red
Teaching You the Fear


Date: April 6, 2022
Punk Rock | Released: 1981 | Label: C.I.A. | Ratings: 12

Ah, my precious comfort zone. It's good to be back. It is good to be back. Really Red play punk. Really. It's actually a little bit of everything, taking a lot of ques from post-punk and hardcore. In classic punk fashion, these are bitter and sarcastic political tunes self-released on the band's own label. A band riding the line between a more standard poppy 70s punk rock release and the 80s sound. This is exactly my kind of thing. The lyrics might not be the freshest, but they complement the music nicely. The band would burn out only a few years after this album's release; again, as a punk band does. I'm glad they at least had the drive to record (and rerelease) stuff instead of letting it all be lost to time.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? Nearly perfect punk rock. Everything you could ever want from a release like this. If this was condensed a bit to remove even just one weaker cut, then this would be classic worthy.
93Party Day


Date: April 7, 2022
Post-Punk | Released: 1985 | Label: Party Day | Ratings: 3

A wonderful little goth post-punk/jangle pop hybrid that I've been meaning to get around to. It was an entry on "Unknown Post-Punk," the best list series ever, so I think this was as safe a rec as you could possibly get. I'm not complaining, though. There's even a bit of early twee in there, if you listen close enough. I'm not the biggest fan of the vocals, but I can forgive it when the tunes are as good as these. I'd be lying if I said Glasshouse was a standout of 1985 though. This is completely of its time, but in the best ways. Party Day do the sound right.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? This is incredibly accessible 80s post-punk. Highly recommend it, but it might get lost in your shuffle over time.
94Syl Johnson
Is It Because I'm Black


Date: April 8, 2022
Soul | Released: 1970 | Label: TwiNight | Ratings: 5

Man, I really like this albumโ€ฆ but whyโ€™d he have to go and make it all political?

Oh whoops, I already did that bit in a review.

Ahem, the late great Syl Johnson actually passed away just a few months ago, so now's as good a time as any to check his work. Is It Because I'm Black is a step up from his first release in message and vocals. That first album was all about skirt-chasing and other 60s soul pleasantries, while this one is about standing together. The Beatles cover ("Come Together") hammers that in well enough. But while I appreciate the improvements made here, I still don't think Syl Johnson ever reaches the heights I want him to. He comes close (the chorus on "Concrete Reservation"), but the album still feels bogged down by being a soul album in 1970. It's just hard to differentiate yourself from the crowd playing music like this. It's not nearly funky enough or energetic enough for me to groove to. It's smooth as ice though, and that should be enough for most people to at least enjoy it.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? It's probably won't be a revelation to anyone these days, but it's decent enough for a few plays, at the very least. Solid soul/funk is always a treat, but I never find myself seeking it out.
Kicker In Tow


Date: April 8, 2022
Post-Rock | Released: 2002 | Label: Constellation | Ratings: 12

Wow, a Constellation Records release? Was not expecting that. I dunno, I just expect anything released by them to have an internet fanboy army behind it. This band focuses all their efforts on the percussion and strings, producing some repetitive drone, minus the boring shit. Kicker In Tow is completely instrumental, but I didn't miss the vocals at all. It carries itself so well. Like the first track's title implies, this album's kinetic and lively. It might not be as experimental as their debut, but it is clearly the superior album. Some reviews on RYM call it aimless, and I could see that. I just don't really hear it in this case though. Which is rare for me, because I call shit directionless all the time. I guess that means Hangedup must be doing something right on this.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? You know what to expect from Constellation, I assume. But if you don't, this is great drone rock and a great first impression.
JoJo (2018)

Get Low

Date: April 8, 2022
Contemporary R&B | Released: 2018 | Label: No Label | Ratings: 1

So, here's the basic rundown on this album. JoJo recorded some crap albums when she was younger, got fucked over by her record label (natch), and this is a rerecording to circumvent their bullshittery. That's great. Normally, I'd be all for an artist taking back their work. But I don't think I can even pretend to care about this. JoJo sounds like pretty much ever other R&B singer, almost to a distracting degree. She might actually be a bit worse, especially when she tries drawing notes out well past her range. By the halfway point, I mentally checked out and started doing my dishes.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? JoJo? More like NoNo, amiright?
Modal Soul Classics

Get Low

Date: April 8, 2022
Acid Jazz | Released: 2008 | Label: Hydeout | Ratings: 12

So, this is just a Nujabes-curated playlist that got a physical release? Alright. I guess I should be grateful that Nujabes had good taste in music. So, yeah, this is just a bunch of songs that Nujabes likes. It's mostly Japanese artists, but there a smattering of oddballs in there (Scott Walker? what are you doing here?). Not really sure what to say here. I will say, slapping your name on a bunch of other people's songs like it's your own thing is pretty dumb. Just looking at the cover, you would think this was just an outtakes album or an alternate version of Modal Soul. But nope. Reminds me of when magazines used to put out compilations of artists under their name, when they really did jack shit. You can hear where Nujabes was inspired, and I guess that's neat. But, I don't know. Why rec a compilation that he didn't work on is my question.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? If you like Nujabes, you'd like this. Just don't be shocked when you realize he's not actually on the compilation. It's a good playlist, I'll give him that at least.
All Is Gone

Get Low

Date: April 8, 2022
Alternative Metal | Released: 2013 | Label: BMG Chrysalis | Ratings: 4

What's worse than alternative metal? Alternative metal with unnecessary electronic shit stapled on top of it. This garbage is so generic, it may as well have been assembled on a conveyer belt. Picture what this album sounds like in your head and you'd probably be correct. The same midtempo riffs played over and over again with shit vocals and production that makes your head hurt. Forget about Kandia distinguishing themselves from other bands, I can't even tell the songs on this album apart. It all smears the same direction. I finished listening to this 10 minutes ago and All Is Gone is already headed for my computer's recycling bin.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? I hated it. If it makes you feel any better, I've never been a fan of this sort of music (can you tell?), so my opinion is meaningless here. If you're an alt metal lฬถoฬถsฬถeฬถrฬถ listener, than this might doing something for you. Anyone else, stay far away.
A Book About Itself

Get Low

Date: April 8, 2022
Progressive Metal | Released: 2021 | Label: BMG Chrysalis | Ratings: 12

Ah, the penultimate entry. I can feel the shackles loosening already. Since I wrote way too much last entry, I'll make this one quick: this blows, but it wasn't the worst thing I've ever heard. The vocals suck ass, but there is at least something interesting happening in the background with the harmonies. I would never willingly listen to it again, don't get it confused. Everything else is generic internet metal schlock.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? I know, what a big ol' meanie I am, huh? Talking shit about albums someone took the time to recommend me. I should just give every album I don't like a 2.5. That would surely be more entertaining.
100Pauline Anna Strom
Angel Tears in Sunlight


Date: April 8, 2022
New Age | Released: 2021 | Label: Rvng | Ratings: 4

Pauline Anna Strom (aka Trans-Millenia Consort) has a similar story to a lot of obscure artists. They released music decades ago, stopped for some reason or another, had their work re-released, the internet screams that they want more, and suddenly, they're back making music again. Tale as old as the world wide web itself. Pauline Anna Strom's comeback album is reminiscent of the music she made back in the 1980s, with its spacey ambient tones and new age serenity. But for me, the modern world has tainted the purity of simple electronic music. Angel Tears in Sunlight is well made. It's just hard to get excited about "another" electronic album. Literally anyone can do it. And I'm not trying to say that to be condescending or a "bleep-bloops aren't music" prick; it's just true. When Strom acts as if the last 30 years of innovation hasn't happened, the album really is the calming journey it was meant to be.

๐•๐ž๐ซ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ? I'm definitely interested in checking more of Strom's work. Especially everything I skipped under the Trans-Millenia Consort moniker. All 3 new age fans on will be very pleased with this.
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