BitterJalapenoJr
Jalapeno
Contributor

Reviews 30
Soundoffs 2
Album Ratings 1339
Objectivity 70%

Last Active 01-06-23 10:12 pm
Joined 07-09-21

Review Comments 1,023

 Lists
01.22.24 Chilli Man's 90s Travels 12.31.23 A mildly spicy 2023
10.18.23 Hidden/Forgotten Gems vol. 1: Alternati 08.21.23 Jalapeno's 5 Purge
02.27.23 Autechre: Expanded Challenge02.02.23 IDM/Electronic discovery
12.16.22 Jalapeno's 2022 Picks11.18.22 Jalapeno's 101 discography challenge

Chilli Man's 90s Travels

I always think the 90s is my favourite decade of music. To ascertain how accurate this is and also for general exploration, I have challenged myself to listen to 100 classic 90s albums. Disgracefully, I have never heard three quarters of these acclaimed albums. The albums I know will be checked and reappraised. The list was compiled using the top ten albums in the RYM charts for each year of the 90s and if any artist cropped up more than once (a fucking lot did), the highest rated of their albums was selected and the others replaced by going further down the charts of the same specific year of each rejected release. One album a day 'til the start of May....
1Cocteau Twins
Heaven or Las Vegas


22nd January 2024

Heard before challenge? NO

I went into this not expecting to be overly enamoured due to my lacklustre reactions to other dream pop classics and upon an initial background listen, I thought I’d assumed correctly. A more focused listen brought realisation that this was not going to be the same as what I had experienced before. The washout soundscape I was familiar with was there but with massive chunks of gothy post punk still clinging on for dear life, refusing to leave the 80s behind, providing me with much needed insight into a genre I had long shown ignorance. A third (headphone) listen proved to be extremely immersive, allowing me to fully appreciate its captivating melodies and the hypnotic, empowering and SOARING vocals of Elizabeth Fraser. There are some hugely anthemic tracks here which I was not expecting.

Rating: 3.8 (huge potential to rise with further listens)
2Depeche Mode
Violator


23rd January 2024

Heard before challenge? NO

Some might say my electronic journey is being done in reverse, initially getting into IDM then working through techno and now here I am with an electronic classic most might recommend as a starting point. It offers a more simplistic approach to what I’ve recently become accustomed to but this wasn’t an issue after a couple of goes. By the third listen, I was happy to blend into the the dark, gloomy and vaguely sinister atmosphere with the drab and resigned sounding vocals mirroring my acceptance of employment’s daily grind. I was happy to have Depeche Mode with me on yesterday’s grind.

Rating: 3.5 (potential to rise but I will have to be in the mood)
3Megadeth
Rust in Peace


24th January 2024

Heard before challenge? YES
Original rating: 4

Thrash metal is something I have always struggled with despite a massive surge in appreciation for it’s more extreme, deathly cousin in the past five years or so. In my humble and probably unpopular opinion, most of the classic albums I know from the “big four” have aged terribly with Rust in Peace being something of an exception due its tight-knit qualities. However, the razor sharp riffs, spiralling solos and clearer production in comparison to their peers cannot save a drop in score of 0.5. Sorry Dave.

Reappraised rating: 3.5
4Judas Priest
Painkiller


25th January 2024

Heard before challenge? YES
Original rating: 4.5

In contrast to the above, a lot of traditional metal bands have aged more gracefully than their thrash counterparts and Painkiller is an example of British heavy metal very close to its best. For a stylistically traditional heavy metal album, Painkiller boasts an unprecedented level of heaviness, relentlessly battering you with beefy guitar riffs and double-kick drumming. Halford gives the vocal performance of a lifetime with his theatrical shrieks and rasps reaching new levels of aggression. Although kicking off with what is arguably one of the best metal introduction tracks of all time, the whole album is an absolute fucking headbanger from start to finish. If you like classic heavy metal with an extra shot of power, look no further.

Reappraised rating: 4.5
5Fugazi
Repeater


26th January 2024

Heard before challenge? YES
Rating before challenge: 4.3

I properly indulged in Fugazi’s discography for the first time only in the past six months or so and as such, their music is not only very fresh in my mind but also continuing to get better with each and every listen. Despite me finding it near impossible to pick a favourite album, Repeater has definitely had the most plays out of the six, possibly due to the undeniable influence it has had on much of the skate punk and pop punk I played constantly in my teens. Boasting a rebellious attitude, stellar musicianship, intelligent songwriting and a truly DIY aesthetic, it really is a punk album with everything and more.

Reappraised rating: 4.5
6Slayer
Seasons in the Abyss


27th January 2024

Heard before challenge: NO

As touched on in the paragraph at number 3, I am not a thrash lover but even then, I have a particularly hard time with Slayer. While I did find moments to enjoy on “Reign In Blood”, “Seasons in the Abyss” appears to be structured around four guitar riffs and unrelenting rhythms which only let up to hit you with the same breakdown, again and again. In an effort to provide some highlights, the same guitar solo is repeated in every track, again and again. The only thing more unrelentingly repetitive than the guitars and drums is the vocals. Araya bores me to tears as he barks out the same line again and again…and again.

Rating: 2
7Entombed
Left Hand Path


28th January 2024

Heard before challenge: NO

Prior to this, I was only familiar with some of Entomed’s mid-career “death ‘n’ roll” material in the form of “Morning Star” so it was interesting to delve into their unadulterated death metal foundations. It was also interesting to learn that “Left Hand Path” was the birth of the buzzsaw guitar tone that would soon become a defining component of the Swedish death metal scene and would go on to be copied globally. The band has used tempo to its advantage with the incorporation of mid-paced sections effectively breaking up the frenetic blast beats to limit listeners succumbing to fatigue. Like any death metal album should, it sounds murky, grotesque and filthy as fuck but it also sounds intelligent, technical and massively influential. I personally tend to find the more dissonant death metal that would appear towards the turn of the Millenium more appealing.

Rating: 3.5
8Sonic Youth
Goo


29th January 2024

Heard before challenge: YES
Rating before challenge: 3.5

Sonic Youth’s major label debut is characterised by a reduction in the experimental elements of no-wave and the incorporation of more conventional song structures but it can’t be denied that “Goo” is still a grimy and hugely noisy affair. Sonic Youth present a powerhouse of loud, grizzly and obnoxious rock music that turned out to be, along with its predecessor, massively important in shaping the alternative rock boom that would dominate the decade immediately following its release. I love that it’s full of screeching, wailing feedback, ear-piercing riffs and sinister bass grooves. I also love the combination of vocal styles on offer. I do not love “My Friend Goo”.

Reappraised rating: 3.9
9Public Enemy
Fear of a Black Planet


30th January 2024
Heard before challenge? NO
10Artillery
By Inheritance


31st of January 2024

Heard before challenge: NO

Mixed bag of technically proficient yet boring elements. I like the middle-eastern, “Powerslave” influenced quality of the riffs and the technical proficiency shown in the guitar playing as a whole but aside from that, nothing is really sticking. The theatrical vocals are quite irritating and would be better suited to material like NWOBHM, power metal or even classic rock. The drummer does some interesting fills and rhythms occasionally but for the most part the performance is lacklustre. That said, I can’t say it’s a bad release.

Rating: 2.5
11My Bloody Valentine
Loveless


1st February 2024

Heard before challenge: NO

I actually have heard this at least once before but wasn’t anywhere near familiar enough with it to have rated it fairly. Despite being underwhelmed previously, some extra attention has allowed this album to sink its claws in deeply. I love how it seamlessly blends rich, noise-fuelled soundscapes with poppy hooks, making the most simplistic of melodies addictive. I love the healthy dose of psychedelia running through its veins and how it obviously had a massive influence on Ride’s “Going Blank Again”. I love how it makes me feel soothed, blissed-out and like nothing could possibly go wrong for forty-eight minutes of the day. I’ve gone from indifferent to smitten very rapidly.

Rating: 4
12Slint
Spiderland


2nd of February 2024

Heard before challenge: YES
Rating before challenge: 4

In 1991, Slint was looking at the future genre of post-rock through a heavily tinted post-hardcore lens. I always enjoyed this the more abrasive elements of Spiderland but over the years, I’ve come to appreciate how the softer sections enhance the heavier parts purely by their presence. I love the dissonant guitar playing, the somewhat awkward rhythms and how the vocals range from manic screaming to creepy, barely audible whispers that can tickle the spine. The end product exists as something greater than the sum of its parts and although 33 years old, it’s still one of the most ominous sounding albums ever recorded.

Reappraised rating: 4.3
13Talk Talk
Laughing Stock


3rd of February 2024

Heard before challenge: NO

The flipside of the post-rock’s birth is one I’m far less familiar with. Laughing Stock manages to straddle the boundaries of many different atmospheres and emotions at once meaning it’s likely appropriate listening for a range of environments and mindsets. I enjoy the juxtaposition of desolate strings and pensive vocals with sumptuous double bass, muted brass and free flowing Jazz-inspired drumming. Although for the most part a relaxed affair, the brief pockets of noise are what stick in my mind the most. There is far too much to unpack here to summarise in one paragraph after listening for one day.

Rating: 3.7
14Dismember
Like an Ever Flowing Stream


4th of February 2024

Heard before challenge: NO

Brutal tremolo buzzsaws a la “Left Hand Path” make up the sonic base but they sound richer and warmer due to a powerful and organic production job. Despite the riffs sounding heavier, the band have taken the approach of nuancing them with frequent melodic leads and a varied selection of tempos and rhythms from the drummer who ensures you will not succumb to fatigue from an endless onslaught of blast beats. I really enjoy the aggressive barking of the vocalist which at times lean more to hardcore punk/sludge metal than the death growl and I think the album is all the better for it. It’s weirdly accessible for death metal.

Rating: 3.7
15Sonny Sharrock
Ask the Ages


5th of February 2024

Heard before challenge: NO

Before hearing this, the limited exposure I had to jazz comprised a couple of famous, highly acclaimed albums and memories of playing trombone in my school “jazz band” twenty years ago. I’ll need to indulge in some more as I really got a kick out of this after my annoyance over its lack of availability on Spotify subsided. I love the freedom every musician has to fire on all cylinders and take centre stage whenever they feel like it. Squealing saxophones, warm guitars, breakneck snares and hi-hats and ultra sexy double bass all contribute evenly to what turned out to be a wildly enjoyable 45 minutes, treading into jagged, chaotic terrain with equal time spent in sipping-a-silky-smooth-cappuccino-in-the-bookshop territory.

Rating: 4
16Sepultura
Arise


6th of February 2024

Heard before challenge: NO

I much prefer this over Slayer’s “Seasons in the Abyss”. It feels more focussed and possesses a lot more variety. I like that it’s heavy to the point of bordering death metal. I also like how the inclusion of slower, groove-oriented sections assist with the pacing of the record. Other highlights the progressive elements contained within songs such as “Desperate Cry” and “Altered State” which really help in maintaining interest throughout the listen and make it much more than just a thrash album. I could definitely like it even more with additional plays.

Rating: 3.5
17Autopsy
Mental Funeral


7th of February 2024

Heard before challenge: NO

Autopsy comes with the eighth metal album out of seventeen so far on this challenge but I didn’t need to worry about fatigue due to Mental Funeral boasting its fair share of doom metal influences which really pay dividends. The frequent blues-based, doomy riffs have an evil, sludgy quality and would not sound out of place next to the material on Eyehategod’s earlier releases. These slow riffs work effectively against the chaotic, classic death metal sections and the eerie leads that pop up now and again, bringing a sinister quality like something from a horror film. An interesting release which was far more varied than I was expecting.

Rating: 3.8
18Suffocation
Effigy of the Forgotten


8th of February 2024

Heard before challenge: NO

I’ve read much about Suffocation on my death metal journey in recent years so was expecting great things. I can only imagine how unfathomably heavy this must have sounded at the time of its release and can totally see why it’s lauded as one of the genre’s most influential pieces. I love how brutal the riffs are and how technically impressive the musicianship is. I fucking hate that the vocals are so guttural that sound like they were recorded in a pigsty – a huge stumbling block that prevents me from really warming to the album. I’m sure I would love it if the vocals had more aggression and less choked pig-squealing.

Rating: 3.2
19Atheist
Unquestionable Presence


9th of February 2024

Heard before challenge: NO

Now we are fucking talking man. Maybe I don’t know genres too well but to me, this sounds more like interesting, jazz-inspired prog-heavy thrash metal than death metal from the early 90s but fuck it, whatever it is, it’s fucking brilliant. Tons of incredible guitar work and crazy technical drumming with aggression and melody combined in perfect harmony. The bass on this thing is fucking insane. it jumps about like an acrobat ensuring there never a dull moment. My only complaint with Unquestionable Presence is that it’s over too soon.

Rating: 4.3
20Carcass
Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious


10th February 2024

Heard before challenge? NO
21Aphex Twin
Selected Ambient Works 85-92


11th of February 2024

Heard before challenge: YES
Original Rating: 4

Soothing, cleansing and detoxing are the three words I associate with Aphex Twin’s massively influential debut full-length. Best enjoyed as a musical accompaniment to mundane tasks such as working, driving or housework, its distinctly thin and wispy style of ambient techno will wash over you, sounding calm and collected yet simultaneously free as a bird. As I delve more into the electronic arts, its obvious how many artists have been inspired by this and I have found more to love in the discographies or those who have used this as a benchmark as well as the material that would follow from Aphex Twin himself.

Reappraised rating: 4
22Sade
Love Deluxe


12th of February 2024

Heard before challenge: NO

Seductive, come-to-bed basslines, classy piano, sultry saxophones and soft, soulful vocals all combine to create a listening experience that would be perfect for a romantic dinner at home with your partner followed by a steamy dessert. Maybe I’ll play it on Valentine’s night while cooking steaks and chance my luck. Knowing my partner, I’d have more luck with Dookie. There are elements I enjoy here but its just not my poison.

Rating: 3.0
23Rage Against the Machine
Rage Against the Machine


13th of February 2024

Heard before challenge: NO

I always rather disliked the bit hitting singles of Rage Against the Machine, hence I never felt any desire to check out any albums in detail. I genuinely have no idea why this album is praised so much as nearly everything about it screams utter mediocrity. Tom’ Morello’s riffs saunter around the blues scale in the most uninspired fashion imaginable but I admit his solos are impressive. Zack de la Rocha’s vocal delivery is also ridiculously repetitive and all the “ughh!!!” bollocks is annoying as fuck.

Rating: 2.5
24Alice in Chains
Dirt


14th February 2024

Heard before challenge? YES
Original rating: 3
25Tom Waits
Bone Machine
26Darkthrone
A Blaze in the Northern Sky
27R.E.M.
Automatic for the People
28The Pharcyde
Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde
29Faith No More
Angel Dust
30Soda Stereo
Dynamo
31Wu-Tang Clan
Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)
32Slowdive
Souvlaki
33Nirvana
In Utero
34The Smashing Pumpkins
Siamese Dream
35Red House Painters
Red House Painters
36Demilich
Nespithe
37De La Soul
Buhloone Mindstate
38Snoop Dogg
Doggystyle
39Morbid Angel
Covenant
40diSEMBOWELMENT
Transcendence into the Peripheral
41Nas
Illmatic
42Portishead
Dummy
43Nine Inch Nails
The Downward Spiral
44Jeff Buckley
Grace
45The Notorious B.I.G.
Ready to Die
46Pavement
Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
47Weezer
Weezer
48Kyuss
Welcome to Sky Valley
49Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds
Let Love In
50Organized Konfusion
Stress: The Extinction Agenda
51Death
Symbolic
52GZA
Liquid Swords
53Mobb Deep
The Infamous
54Three 6 Mafia
Mystic Stylez
55Raekwon
Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...
56Dissection
Storm of the Light's Bane
57Pulp
Different Class
58Big L
Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous
59Ulver
Bergtatt - Et eeventyr i 5 capitler
60PJ Harvey
To Bring You My Love
61Fishmans
Long Season
62DJ Shadow
Endtroducing.....
63Swans
Soundtracks for the Blind
64Belle and Sebastian
If You're Feeling Sinister
65Cryptopsy
None So Vile
66Burzum
Filosofem
67Tool
Ænima
68Unwound
Repetition
69Neurosis
Through Silver in Blood
70Jay-Z
Reasonable Doubt
71Radiohead
OK Computer
72Bjork
Homogenic
73Godspeed You! Black Emperor
F♯ A♯ ∞
74Elliott Smith
Either/Or
75Modest Mouse
The Lonesome Crowded West
76Built to Spill
Perfect from Now On
77Stereolab
Dots and Loops
78Janet Jackson
The Velvet Rope
79Ween
The Mollusk
80Racionais MC's
Sobrevivendo no Inferno
81Neutral Milk Hotel
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
82OutKast
Aquemini
83Massive Attack
Mezzanine
84Boards of Canada
Music Has the Right to Children
85Duster
Stratosphere
86Lauryn Hill
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
87Gorguts
Obscura
88Gang Starr
Moment of Truth
89Susumu Hirasawa
Kyuusai no Gihou
90Steve Reich
Music for 18 Musicians
91Sigur Ros
Agætis byrjun
92Mos Def
Black on Both Sides
93Fiona Apple
When the Pawn...
94Gustavo Cerati
Bocanada
95The Roots
Things Fall Apart
96Opeth
Still Life
97The Dismemberment Plan
Emergency & I
98Boredoms
Vision Creation Newsun
99The Flaming Lips
The Soft Bulletin
100Mr. Bungle
California
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