The trilogy was also noted by critics for its conceptual monochromatic cover art, with 1 being blue, 2 being red, and 3 being yellow.[9]

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Last Active 01-01-70 12:00 am
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09.27.23 SEPTEMBER of J a ρ a n (+++) 09.26.23 SPUT ROYALE: Round 4
09.20.23 SPUT ROYALE: Round 309.14.23 SPUT ROYALE: Round 2 Group B
09.12.23 SPUT ROYALE: Round 2 Group A09.08.23 SPUT ROYALE: Round 1 TIE-BREAK
09.05.23 SPUT ROYALE: Round 1 Group D09.02.23 SPUT ROYALE: Round 1 Group C
08.30.23 SPUT ROYALE: Round 1 Group B08.28.23 SPUT ROYALE: Round 1 Group A
08.08.23 the REAL ba[n]d name list08.01.23 Menposting = BANNED
08.01.23 AUGUST of t e c h n オ (REC me) 07.20.23 musicians SIGN UP for Sputmix 2023
07.13.23 ICONIC closers on FINAL LPs?07.03.23 5s on 5s: PON vs TOSMOKMUZYKI
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MAY of i n c e s ト (neg me)

This month is May and I am getting back on the album-a-day-in-addition-to-whatever-else-I'm-jamming grind. This month is different because I am also grinding AsleepintheBack by which I mean that we fucked and I am now listening to his leftovers okay yikes stay tuned for more plottwists (there's one in the first comment lolpwn ha)
1Frank Turner
Love, Ire & Song

ROUND 1 (1st thru 5th): FOUNDATION

These albums are themed around formative shit and/or calling cards okay let's fucking go.

May 1st
Entry (1) is Frank Turner's Love, Ire & Song, and here is what Asleep had to say for it:

"First, I am going to rec you 2 albums that i have literally not heard in years but which are the pillars on which my sanity / twisted sense of identity (vaguely) rest and which you must therefore consume. The first comes from Frank: pretty sure this was the first album I rated when I joined the site. Foundational guiding touchstone in terms of what I have historically (and still currently ig) look for in lyric-forward folky bollocks - have grown out of it slightly but if any one album explains my general preferences and peculiarities, it is probably this."


I think I might have started this album before without finishing it? The opener was definitely familiar anyway - Frank Turner in general is kinda familiar in a vague, vaguely positive way. Let's see. Two spins down on this and I get the appeal and can v easily imagine having a close lyrical relationship with it at a younger age. Its self-conscious fears and semi-embrace of middle-aged disaffection (all clearly pitched at a younger audience) remind me a fair bit of good ol' WORRY., but - last thing in the world I expected to be writing here - where Rosenstock's anger, exhaustion and (above all) political engagement have palpable grit to them, Turner's voice smacks to me more of a put-upon middle class weariness than anything else (and a little refresher on the background I once knew by heart from the pages of Kerrang does a vast amount to confirm this).

That's not a de facto no-no - tbh, I v much feel that I *should* be this record's target audience, but it keeps putting me off by reaching too concertedly for universal relatability when its footing is squarely lodged in the song and dance of a certain income bracket in a South London pub, or by amplifying faintly entitled issues in a way that offsets the self-awareness Turner works so hard to maintain across the rest of the album. "Jet Lag" and "Substitute" in particular land the wrong side of self-pity for me, the former's lamentation of the strain of a lifestyle many would kill for shoots for far more pathos than I am prepare to shill on it (putting this as the closing statement on a record that contains "Long Live the Queen" is perhaps the only moment I'll chalk up as outright poor taste), while the latter's superimposition of an (outside of its own self-imposed bracket of idealism) exciting love life against a fruitful music career is in decent enough humour not to bomb, but still a little vapid. A good half of the album ("Imperfect Tense", "Better Half", "St. Christophere" esp) lands as a decently spirited performance of content that I can never quite believe demands it. There's also something a little too finely pitched to his good-bad rhymes and the (UGH) frankness of his lyricism, especially given how frequently he foregrounds the songwriting process within these songs - Frank Turner is a decent enough songsmith on his own terms not to have to rep a man-of-the-people plainspeak troubadour act, and this wears rather thin on me as such.

Don't get me wrong though, I didn't put this on as a cynic and a lot of these songs do resonate with me. The way the t/t dips in and out of apathy and ends up as a rallying cry in defiance of, above all, its own jadedness definitely hits close to the bone, as does "Reasons Not to Be an Idiot"'s straightforward do-something-with-your-life - love the bitterness with which this one pops the balloon on imposter syndrome. Both these tracks feel actively scornful in a way that strikes as maybe the most 'honest' (or at least, least affected) thing here - and on the other end of that, "To Take You Home"'s embroidery of a French fling with the thread of a courtly drama is so ridiculous that I can't help but grin. I'm not going to write about "Long Live the Queen" other than it did make me choke up more than once and that I would have thrown it under the fucking bus by now if I felt it was in the least exploitative.

Anyway tl;dr this album sounds like the work of a decent bloke still dwarfed by the world yet more than a little oblivious of how much it has afforded him - this is endearing but of limited appeal now, though God knows this would have been the meaning of life if I'd heard it aged 19.

2Streetlight Manifesto
Somewhere in the Between

May 2nd
Asleep: "The album art was my avatar for almost the entirety of my “career” and the album itself was my fave album ever ever EVER whilst in secondary school and sixth form so ermmm good luck!!!"

I think it was about 2 weeks ago that I jammed whatever the first Streetlight Manifesto album is called, immediately 2.5'd it and decided I never needed to hear a song from this band ever again, so this one is going to be interesting... UPDATE on that, I am glad to have listened to this (twice!) - this band are actually kinda tight and their arrangements are well structured and their horn lines are on point and even though their distorted guitars have aged ~interestingly~ I could absolutely fuck with this as an instrumental record. With just a few changes to the arrangements and structural push/pull it could have been a fine one.


This vocalist is just the worst and I cannot. He kills this and it is almost all about him and I cannot stand to watch him and his tuneless Eric Cartman voice turn these would have been bangers into the Existential Angst Club's version of the Diabolo Fucking Swing Band. Call him a cab. His lyrics (did he write them?) are a chore too - extremely '00s spew-of-hackneyed-passion in a way I am typically glad to forget was ever a thing. Reminds me of Isaac Brock x Dustin Kensrue, both at their tweest ain't-this-profoundest most overbearing worst. And he uses the same phrasing 75% of the time and every single line scans to the effect of




Real shame. Definitely got more out of this than their debut and it coincided nicely with a proper caffeine panic workspew, so let's drop a 3 and call it a day.
3The Tallest Man On Earth
Shallow Grave

May 3rd
Asleep: "Flashing forward to music more representative of my current taste, though even that has fallen apart as a cogent concept lately. Regardless, if gun held to noggin’, this is what I would squeal out as my fave album rn. I am told (by you) that you have a strong dislike for The Wild Hunt, which this should hopefully correct. Otherwise: roast me baby."

Alright, good things first - this opener might be the best song I've ever heard from TTMOE (and that's from all his albums except Fever Dream). Really succinct songwriting, surprisingly tuneful vocal lines from him, solid lyrical gist that teases whimsy but never gets fellational with it. Good start. I dunno if I outright *enjoy* the paint-stripper-in-bucket-of-piss production here, but I vastly appreciate in the context of the more upscale troubadour dressing that made The Wild Hunt so insufferable (and let's just forget about whatever the flying fuck was going on in the engineering department on Dark Bird). This record doesn't sound good, but it does sound right. Good. Banjo also = good on the whole. Some of his fingerpicking patterns are wonderful ear-catching stuff too ("Into the Stream" is gorgeous, if a little repetitious and melodically underdeveloped, and can probably fill his #2 slot after "I Won't Be Found").

Unfortunately the guy still sounds like a dying sheep hollering at row upon row of cunts in beanies registered on multiple allotment waiting lists across whichsoever suburbs in the hope that one of them might someday take him in out of charity if they make it to the top, and lenient though I be, this is a bit of a dealbreaker ("Pistol Dreams", "Honey...", "Bluebirds", "Blizzard", you're in the firing line here). I can't get too mad - this record definitely has a more organic charm than his other stuff and at 30 mins, it hardly overstays its welcome - but yeah, whatever the shape of modern folk to come was supposed to be, this isn't quite it.

4Admiral Angry

May 4th
Asleep: "Seeing as ‘hardcore’ is apparently my highest pie chart segment (am not just a wistful bad boi I promise am also an angry sad boi grr) pls have my current BIG screm golden child. Utterly unique someone pls make more music like this."

Well this was an awaited but nevertheless drastic departure from the 2nd hand sweatercore of the last records lol. This album is relentless beatdown and um y'all knew that. Okay. It has that caustic-nihilist empty-humour tongue-in-cheek that reminds me of Gaza (who rock it) and to a lesser degree Portrayal of Guilt (who are a meme band), but the sound brings to mind a version of Ken MODE that cared purely about the sludge gutter and literally nothing else (I'm not even going to think about applying the word 'songwriting' in a non-parenthetical capacity here) or, like Primitive Man (to whom 75% of everything I'm now about to say also applies). The vocalist comes from a dry-screech school of harshes that I personally do not care for at all outside of higher tempos, but the rest of the Shit Happening is on point and supports the relentless beatdown and now there is nothing left but to talk about the relentless beatdown. Did I enjoy the relentless beatdown? Honestly, not nearly as much as I was hoping. I found this record turgid, felt that most of the tracks slowed the passage of time in a manner I didn't particularly appreciate, and kinda phased out before the halfway mark. As per the vocals, I don't particularly fw the Wall Of Brvtal Sound That Eschews Dynamics Entirely at a pace below, say, Frontierer, and um now we know that.

Honestly, I'm such a thoroughly inopportune mood for this (stress/caffeine/stack of literary crit to cut through ugh) that I'm not nearly as attached to my critiques here as on the first three records, so I'm gonna chalk this up to a case of getting meathead-filtered and plead softness on this - I'd be far more inclined to rec this to someone into sludgy heavyshit than I would 1 or 3 to a singer-songwriter fan or 2 to a techy punk snotthrill boi. But alas

Black Future

May 5th
Asleep: "I assume you’ve not rated In the Aeroplane or For Emma for reasons other than not hearing them, but if you actually haven’t heard them (wut) then listen to one of them instead!!!. Assuming I’m correct, pls succle on the riffy metal ting that most frequently threatens to be 5’d."

Alright, so I've previously avoided this band like the plague, partially because they're trash but mainly because of their 'pillowfight' // 'dog shit' dork-frontman. Never heard a single note from them though, so the slate is technically clean - let's see. Hmm!! This is surprisingly accessible, found myself able to phase in and out of it while working (in a good way) and would defs say I enjoyed it on the whole. The songwriting is just about present, but mainly a license to string together as many riffs as possible together. Here are two backhanded compliments:

- The production is pretty tight for the ol' 21st Century Metal sound - feels clean but not overbearingly polished, *but*
- The riffs themselves are frequently pretty tight, esp in verses. Caught a bit of scale-workshop whatevering on one of the earlier tracks, but definitely no major complaints to be made there on an individual level, *but*

the backhand to both *buts* is that the mix-songwriting-everything is dominated by guitar arrangements so indulgent and protracted that they land nowhere near as Interesting as I feel they're supposed to, and the otherwise-tight prod means that they render the whole thing a little sterile. It does kick where it counts and the vox are an asset to that end, but the runtime does not work in its favour and I found that I the instrumental sections more the less carefully I listened. BUT background music thrash is a real surprise, not what I expected to get out of this month at all. Can't be too harsh. Highlights are probs Asteroid and the 007 shit on the closer.

Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space

ROUND 2 (6th thru 10th): CONVERSATION

What was gleaned from Round 1? How can these things be addressed compounded riposted constructively? Uh!

May 6th
Asleep: "So erm that first 5 didn't go so well … i have taken it personally and you will be hearing from my lawyer; BUT i have learned from your list to me and my list to you that you like the softly noisy things (Shiina and SY) and the long-form psych-ish sad-boi things (Anathema) so, erm, let’s try this! You have their debut 3’d which is making me nervous but i shall stick with my gut, cross my nuts, and hope to live. Stepping away slightly from my bread and butter, but hopefully to your enjoyment."

Well hmm yes, Spiritualized's debut was a total snooze and convinced me to give up on this band entirely - which was a mistake, because this is a self-evidently great and I should have started here instead. This one's dreamy space fuzz ties a lot of things I love together (Stereolab, Mercury Rev, Flaming Lips, a certain amount of gaze, I guess SY too) and it's remarkably well-paced - 70 minute runtime flies right out the window, while I remember being extremely conscious of how ready I was for the debut to end. This is a vibe album and I don't want to pull it apart too much, but hmm maybe there's a little too much affected hippyish psychedelic fuckhaze here? Surprising amount of self-aware lyrical highlights to balance that out though (I Think I'm in Love esp) so we'll allow that. Does Cop Shoot Cop need 15 minutes? It doesn't exactly waste them. Hmmm okay I will stop taking the piss out of this fanbase now (bless u zak)

7Regina Spektor
Soviet Kitsch

May 7th
Asleep: "I am going to drastically oversimplify things for the sake of this rec and equate your enjoyment of Shiina’s work to her being an exceptional cool quirky good vocalist and, in turn, hope that through the power of science you will therefore also like this album despite it aesthetically sharing literally no common ground (they both roll their rrrrrrrs so that’s erm something?). You also have Remember Us To Life not unreasonably rated. This LP contains the lil tiny nugget of a soul that you will have the privilege of spending one whole day with you lucky boy."

lol Shiina Ringo and Regina Spektor are not two songwriters I would ever have put in the same conversation (and nor would I now), but this actually ended up as a similar story to Spiritualized. I respect Remember Us To Life a fair bit, but most of that record does very little for me and I've never really understood with why Regina gets so much love. This is a vast improvement and makes much more sense! It's as concertedly songwriter-y as ever but (moreso than Remember...) always has a huge amount to say for itself, and with guts at that - her sardonic side does wonders: "Ghost of Corporate Future" is disturbingly moving, "Poor Little Rich Boy" is hilarious and hilariously sad, "Your Honor" is a spirited machismo skewering and phwoar boi she owns them all. "Us" was the only song I'd previously heard from this and I think I'd initially written it off as twee whateverness, but it's a perfect midway foil here - this's record's too affable to be Dark, but it's caustic enough to need a pick-up song like that. Great record, far better than I expected, kinda thing that I'm reluctant to binge but can see myself returning to at situational, meaningful moments

8Causa Sui
Summer Sessions Vol. 1

May 8th
Asleep: "I am not sure where I’m getting the strong but probably wrong sense that you will love this but it works well as a contrast to 6 and 7 so am going for it. Kyuss, but happy."

Hmmmm I do dig these zany meandery stoner jams and also go in hoping I'm gonna love em, but the Kyuss/Boris/Earthless -s of the world that I actively tune into never fail to impress a sense of a) peripheral urgency and b) fucking impeccable thicc tones, neither of which I got from this. I drifted quite a lot ngl - defs had a good time over my 2 jams but wouldn't say this made much of an impression either way.

9Drei Affen
Drei Affen

May 9th
Asleep: "In my quest to find an intersection SOMEWHERE between our taste in heavy-loud-screm-grr music, and in a (im hoping at the very least) comical contrast to 8, have Orchid’s secret unreleased Spanish album that I told you to check ages ago you bitch (it’s also only 20 minutes long you’re welcome). IF you would prefer some more potato-y production, switch this out for Unable to Fully Embrace This Happiness - The Morning Sun And The End Of The World (also only 17 mins long hey you might get an actual full album out of the two, whoo!)."

This is v good at what it shoots for and I can easily get why someone would pedestal it. For me, skramz is more about opening the incision than it is twisting the knife and I found the first two trax back-to-back a little overbearing to that end. "Miedo" fucks hard though and is v good at opening up space for itself to fuck incrementally harder upon ever iteration of fuck of which it has many. Yes to that one. Yes also to "Caen los sueños" - erratic bullshit is always an acceptable substitute for protracted structural arcs. These guys clearly have It and I'm gonna leave my rating as tbc for this because I feel I haven't gotten much more than a 3.5 from it so far but also this is clearly better than that so hold my beer.
10Frightened Rabbit
The Midnight Organ Fight

May 10th
Asleep: "You are scottish? You are scottish! Listen to this album."

Sooo I have heard this at least twice before and periodically returned to three of its songs (opener, Poke and Floating in the Firth (RIP)), which I think means I enjoyed it but didn't consider the whole thing enough for further rotation? This holds up a lot better than I expected as a whole; the highs are both there and more plentiful than I remembered: Fast Blood and I Feel Better esp are real early game heaters. This album's frankly huge levels of heart don't always pan out ideally - Old Old Fashioned, Keep Yourself Warm and The Twist are more indie piecemeal and their songwriting is kinda belaboured. I don't think this band is so good at girl songs (Poke doesn't count bc that's a self-conscious sadsong (though Keep Yourself Warm is also a self-conscious sadsong and doesn't hit half as hard)). I remember slightly disliking Head Rolls Off, but that one commands much more gravity than I remember - tbh, I pleasantly surprised by how many of these songs I remember full stop, Scott Hutchison had such a knack for grounded moment of pathos (maybe this should have gone in Frank Turner's place?) - My Backwards Walk is a great one to the end. This is a great album.


May 11th
Asleep: "That’s right baby it’s dungeon synth o’clock oooOHhHhHHhh lord. I was gonna rec you my fave in the genre, Malfet - Snaking Path, but then I remembered this meme and couldn’t resist I am sorry. I also genuinely think you might love the synth-forward mushy squishy messy side to this that most in the genre lack. "

this is a meme um. so.

runescape = yes thank you very much needed that nostalgia kick, think my main got to around lvl 111 before i realised it took to maintain an active interest in the game beyond that an promptly quit

dungeon synth = buy me several drinks first you elven nonce

this whatever the fuck this is album = um i think i see the point, but also i rly don't? these murky reimaginings of classic motifs almost uniformly fail to transcend the source material or its adorable dinosaur context?? there is meant to be atmosphere ig, but all i hear are fairly lazy transpositions of nostalgia bait over maxed-out reverb settings set to a punishingly small room size. is this nerd torture? why they put the dick in the
fuck you etc

but fwiw the first 5ish seconds of this did make my day, and track 8 is v cool and should have been the basis for this whole album

12Eddie Palmieri
Unfinished Masterpiece

May 12th
Asleep: "It was rec’d to me, then I rec’d to Ryus, and now I’m rec-ing to you. The uncut hidden gem from my February Jazz list. It’s salsa, but not as you know it. Apply guacamole and baby powder vigorously."

Hmm I do not have much to say for this. Kinda suffers from how much I generally care about salsa (not much at all ngl) and hasn't quite changed my mind. I had a good time and can appreciate the scope of ideas here - v much an ambitious record but doesn't bite off more than it can chew. Kinkamaché chewed me out though, not huge on that palette ---- and the closer was v good! Would fw a whole album of that for sure. Hmmm.

Niggaz of Destruction

May 13th
Asleep: "I was about to go for something very obvious and absent from your ratings (e.g. Fleetwood Mac - Rumors holy heck) but that seemed boring sooooo have something weird and underground-y. I have absolutely no idea what you’ll think of this lol."

Pahahaha do I like this?
Scratchy fucky prod = big personality
unapologetic aggro suck my dick bullet in ur head shtick = take it or leave it
Yeah I'll take it tbh, was hella nonplussed on first spin, but this is a tight album and a good bit of fun. Weird rec? Cool shit??

14Electric Wizard

May 14th
Asleep: "Given your (apparent) love of all things THICC, this was a surprising omission from your ratings (tho your relationship with m/ appears turbulent, so perhaps makes sense). Also an outlier in my ratings; I don’t usually go //here//, but it’s impeccable and chonky and (now) yours."

Fwiw I've been putting this off for p much ever and do fuck heavily with the title track but


this is enormous and twisted and hateful and sickening and groovy as fuck and tbqh encompasses everything I'd ever want in a metal album

wondered if i'd slap an insta5 for love and optics 2 songs in, but Weird Tales and I, The Witchfinder kinda kill the miasmabuzz for me - not sure either has the same death fuck magic that makes the rest of this so absolutely obscenely good

it is a lot end-to-end, but it's such a LOT moment-to-moment that idk if i care for more than an hour of it

but it is also clearly one of the best heavy records ever made and it's about fucking time

15Carpenter Brut

May 15th
Asleep: "Literally the only vaguely electronic album I fucked with until epiphany circa January 2023 rip."

Hmm been aware of this for ages and never checked it because a) I miraculously avoided having a synthwave phase wholesale (and have no particular regrets there) and b) the 10 or so Perturbator songs I heavily fuck with have been exactly what I need for this brand of 'dark' edgy-thick gamercore for people who wear Amon Amarth shirts and infuse every space they walk into with the smell of Red Bell.

First EP has a shaky start and a load of belaboured songwriting patterns that I do not love. Second one opens with a straight BANGER - Roller Mobster is easily my favourite thing here and I think my other highlights have a lot in common with it - and holds on pretty steady. Last EP has maybe the best song combo in Paradise Warfare thru Turbo Killer but the second last song and first half of the closer were kinda lackluster. Finale is dec though. Has Carpenter Brut changed my mind about synthwave? Not really at all tbh, which is no surprise given that this whole style is built on massively overindulging obvious tropes. There are a few things here holding it back across the board - the prod feels meticulously clean and the tones a little brittle to benefit from that approach. Not a patch on that Perturbator murk sound-wise. I also morally object to half the shit done with lead guitar tones here and that one vocal feature and half the corny motifs. tl;dr this is well-constructed wilfully tasteless shit and *sometimes* it fucks hard enough to own that.

EP 1 3.0
EP 2 prob 3.7
EP 3 3.5

gonna hold off rating any of these for real and download the second EP to see if I warm to this at all. Don't have my PS4 on hand these days, but this sound usually has high replay value so we'll see
None So Vile

May 16th

This round is about hostility it is obnoxious who can bully who into liking what umm

Asleep: "Erm this is a very hostile album, so lets start here! It does the grrs and the arrs very well, very technically, very musically, and it’s heavy as gosh darn balls. The bass guitar is also audible, to cater to your recent sludge kick (you are welcome). Otherwise, erm, i don't think this is your wheelhouse(?) and think it is unlikely to become your wheelhouse(?) but erm it should be. Grr."



I don't know what to make of this

I remember being terrified by it when I first joined Sput and then avoiding it when I realised I didn't care about brvtality in metal. Think I heard Phobophile at one point but it didn't shake me much either way.

It is tight as a ballcage

The vocals are kinda inspired

I can look at it from a distance and say "this is heavy" without feeling much of the visceral connection that I normally expect from heaviness (as per Dopethrone, but even Human and Close To A World Below deliver on that front)

As with a lot of dm, the *viscera* are all over the shop and the performative evil aspect is a huge pile of cringe unless you have the suspension of disbelief for it, which I don't think I quite do

But it is too impressive to eyeroll at and I guess I do still take it seriously

Don't think I'm gonna rate this - I get the craft, do not get the appeal and doubt it will have much future purchase on my being, but am glad to have had a brush with it. Definitely don't hate it, but don't care much for it either.
17The Front Bottoms
The Front Bottoms

May 17th
Asleep: "And now for something completely different! Turning the screws in the with goofiest, most earnestest, most mildly creepy-est of the goofy folky (shitty) albums that i know but still actually like because i am a dork but i suspect you may have some (erm) questions. Go fish."

lol yes that's a good description and those opening lyrics are a *choice* - but also fuck, that opener is heartbreakingly sad. This is a pathetic emo record to the core, and boy does it it know it. These lines and delivery are cringe as all zitty unrequited maladjusted fuck, so cringe that it is in fact cringe to cringe on them. I think this owns its vibe enough to shoot by so-bad-its-good territory and dish out a respectable amount of pathos. I should probably hate it but cannot bring myself to - like, if I imagine heckling AJJ or some similarly awful similar band, I can just hear their dude starting a tirade at me that somehow ends up even more irritating than their actual music. If I think of heckling this guy, I can only imagine him shrugging sadly and going "same". This is still a homogenous and grating and wearying listen but uh, I felt it left something of itself with me and I'll give it points for candour. Rhode Island having the worst chorus of all time and everything everything everything about The Beers knocks a marks off, but Father wins a fair amount of them back eww i am uncomfortable

Hvis Lyset Tar Oss

May 18th
Asleep: "You have some niche Burzum albums rated (poorly lol) but not the big obvious bois. Question mark. Lets do a thing and make you screm."

I've been thinking about doing the rounds on Filosofem for a few months now, so I guess this is penance for not getting there. Well, huh, I'm not screaming but I definitely don't hate this. Vocals are fairly engaging and the gnarliness of the rhythm guitar tone gives it some leeway given how basic the songwriting and melodies are. There's probably an atmosphere if goatfucker forest whimsy is your pot of tea. Closer is an amateurish waste of melodies and ig the precedent for most of his career to come. I fuck with quite a surprising amount of black metal tbh, but usually for high octane camp or video game-appropriate fantasy panoramas, and this ain't really hitting the spot on either count. Acceptable revolutionary bedroom record ig, don't care for it hugely either way.

19Ghost Mice
All We Got Is Each Other

May 18th
Asleep: "The definition of what i think we intended this category/round to be. There is a 25% chance that you immediately 5 this in a fit of tears and sadness. There is also a 75% chance that you hate this and hate me. I am rooting for the former; this is an essential statement on grief and a fitting send off before I pack my bags and head off on holiday to SCOTLAND that’s right jonathan my vacation is in your basement apologies for the short notice pls have my customary liquorice whip prepared in excessive quantities tnx. "

um yes i hate this and it makes me want to die and i feel that's half the point. worst vocals i've heard in my life, and while the thematics and (maybe) artfully (definitely) artless lyrics support this, the songwriting is not convincing me to make concessions there

20Bad Religion
No Control

May 20th
Sloth rec

Please see first comment, but basically REC ME ALBUMS I haven't heard by artists I have something else rated by

I spent half my entire life in the assumption that Bad Religion were a good band I would probably love if I checked them, but um the more I've heard the less sure I am that younger me knew shit about anything at all. This is a solid punk album with decent band performances, decent lyrics, decent songwriting and definitely homogenous pacing. This is fine. It has hooks and they do not stick. This is less fine. I'm not specifically in love with this Classic Straightforward PunkSound and find this album somehow less than the sum of its parts hmm.

21Joni Mitchell

May 21st
Ryus rec

Fuck I don't want to write about this one at all - the sum of its parts is magic, love the bass, love the storytelling, actually found most of Joni's inflections easier to handle than my first time around Blue. As a music-album that supports her songwriting, there's something not quite clicking for me - for all the obvious talent of her accompanists, something about these arrangements feels strangely hollow to me and (excepting the occasional melodic flourish on the bass end) I honestly doubt my overall impression would suffer if the entire album had been acoustic solo pieces. Which is not ideal - definitely not feeling the melodic strength of Blue either, but willing to chalk this up as subtlety and give it time to change my mind (has had the best part of 3 spins so far, but we'll see...)

22The Beach Boys
Smiley Smile

May 22nd
Ars rec

Scatterbrained gratuitously contorted studio bollocks with the occasional irksome/innocuous sunshine hook thrown in for good measure. Would honestly rather listen to Feels or Sung Tongs over this, which is probably the worst reaction possible. Groundbreaking stuff.

23Junko Yagami
Full Moon

May 23rd
GmemberKills rec

Holy hot DAMN the first half of this put a grin on my face - as far as straightforward city pop goes, this is pure comfort eating. Love it. Love the disco, love the cheese, love the wholesomeness. Outside of ig the t/t, second side doesn't exactly drop the ball, but neither does it dish out the same levels of fantastic. Really glad I heard this though, excellent rec.

24Bark Psychosis

May 24th
Icebloom rec

This is HMMM damn well I did not expect immediacy! Only goodness! And it is both unimmediate and mostly good (dunno if y'all know but Bark Psychosis are a fucking great band!) so yes nice, glad I gave it a few spins. These guys' trademark subtle air-through-cloud-of-dust atmosphere is all over it, but the individual highlights ain't quite there (with the major exception of Manman) for me so far, and the tracklist lacks the development and cohesion of Hex (shock horror; it's a comp). This is not a downer - these songs are solid and well worth anyone's time. Only regret I have here is Scum, which just ain't it i am sorry i am sorry - the Bark gang hadn't quite cracked the expanse/ambience/engaging songwriting factor there as they would Pendulum Man and it therefore sucks that that song is 20 minutes long. HUH. Otherwise nice good, am not gonna leave 5ish years before hearing Dustsucker the journey continues

25Xiu Xiu
Knife Play

May 25th
porc rec

what the hell this was far tighter than i expected - something bizarrely coherent about the disorientation and P A I N here that miraculously produced hyperfocused songwriting impetus well beyond most nu-Xiu. i was awed. i experienced emotions at every turn. i never want to hear this again. i can't wait to come back to it.

highlights: Hives Hives, Suha, Homonculus, Over Over
lowlights: Poe Poe and tbh Luber wasn't quite it on first spin but has grown on me

26The Knife
Live at Terminal 5

May 26th

The Knife ! "Shaking the Habitual the live show" or whatever YES okay let's see if this was worth waiting so long for. Hilarious that this 80 minute set featuring songs from other records is shorter than the actual album lol. Unsurprisingly, this was fantastic. I dig the choreo (shoutout to One Hit, which has finally clicked for me courtesy of that groupdance) and I get that the sense in this performance reintroducing a Knife as a collective, blurring the lines between who plays what in a series of song-to-song multiinstrumental switches (which I loved), blurring the lines between who plays music (with vox/instrument) and who participates in it (with moving bodies), who-is-who (distinct choreo per performer vs increasing groupdance, v cemented by the time we get to Full of Fire), whose wavelengths float which way (shoutout to gay Pass This On lol, liked this), and finally what is who is human: we are dancer. Excellent, great lighting great staging

- but !

The live instrumentals are the start (esp that whatever the fuck that was bass instrument on Raging Lung jfc) were so fucking cool that I never quite lost my sense of will-they-bring-that-back-on? The e-soprano sax (or whatever) made for a welcome semi-mainstay and I LOVED each and every moment of group vocals (Pass This On esp - absolutely nailed the second half of that). This unfortunately meant that I wasn't as 100% on board with the overall trajectory as I'd have liked - still v much a fan, but I don't think it quite one-ups the studio experience for me (think it'll sit as an extension rather than a Final Form if that figures).

Final gripes are that Without You My Life Would Be Boring didn't translate quite as well live as the other tracks (that chorus vocal is a rough one to nail ig) and Stay Out Here felt like a setpiece that didn't fully transcend the in-the-room experience - powerful performances for sure, but I ain't getting that sweaty immersion from the comfort of my bed. I am nitpicking because this slapped butts left right and centre and everyone should experience it NO EXCUSES

A Hairshirt of Purpose

May 27th
fogza rec

Hmm I previously associated Pile with succinct rock bile that kicks rocks for miles and scratches every pissy itch you ever realised you needed scratched. This is - not that! This is patient and pensive and often hard to read and often underwhelming but rarely unintriguing - it's spidery and has cold feet and I guess I'm pretty impressed that the Pile I knew made a record like this? What to do with it though? "Slippery" and "Milkshake", to name but two, are very well done, but I'm not sure I'm feeling the long-term appeal, but can see how this would be a grower.

28Yellow Swans
Going Places

May 28th
Kompys rec

Oh yes, absolutely template good stuff. Sound of NOISE is all there, scope and scale of DRONE are all there, but these songs feel a whole lot like songs! Smart, clearly conceived pieces each - love how "Limited Space" and the t/t in particular are shaped and developed, perhaps Opt Out was the only one that outstayed its welcome just a little, but overall this is just a really fucking solid album that I'll probably bump up in future. Baseline 4 for now.

29David Kauffman and Eric Caboor
Songs From Suicide Bridge

May 29th

Asleep: "We started this list with overly emotional folk albums (and one ska thing that I’m going to pretend didn’t happen) that I am irrationally sentimentality irrevocably attached to in unhealthy and embarrassing ways and motherfucker this is how we are ending this list too I am sorry.

Recorded in the 80s, released as a 500 vinyl run, swiftly forgotten about by everyone and then rereleased to some degree of acclaim and “oopsie we fucked up not to recognise this sooner” press releases in 2015ish: this is a ///good/// album. Sandwich’s write-up does this the justice that it needs, so go read that instead of this and then maybe listen to this album also thanks."

THIS IS THE END IT IS ENDING AS IT BEGAN AM I READY have i grown enough to appreciate this well...

This is a rly solid record! Jammed it for the first time in the sun on a terrace with a beer and I think a book (otherwise my laptop and the 3ish blurbs immediately before this one) and it really hit the spot even if the many many tasteful non-strangulating melancholic overtones here probably demanded something a little less Chill Dude. I then got sunburnt bc I am a fucking pasty shrimp, so I jammed it again in the library today and it made me feel some things. Cool.

I don't feel this an album that one immediately gets close to, and if anyone has immediately gotten close to it then I will remove their faces. I've mainly successfully vibed as mood music so far and I have the feeling that's it maybe more subtle and/or profound that I'm currently appreciating - and if not, then it's probably trying to be those things in which case there will be words! But I can't see my opinion not going up here this is good and ghostly

30Adrianne Lenker

May 30th

Asleep: "Subtle spindly free form poems that ought to worm their way through to the heart of even the most hardened of bois. Nothing in songs even comes close to Seiko Oomori in terms of brutal emotive bombast or Shiina Ringo in terms of many other things, but the songcraft and ‘less is more’ approach here (and her voice holy shit) is just top tier and brilliant and lovely and (imo) amounts to an essential tome in the modern folk canon. "

I don't know if the songcraft is 'less is more' at all tbh. This scanned to me as a very it-is-what-it-is album - and what-it-is is wonderfully clearly presented thoughtfulness and candour and spiralling yet oh so fully realised trains of thought that come off as v striking on even a cursive listen yet leave a whole load of depth and figurative goodness to dig into, all with a ton of gorgeous arps, lovely subtle dissonance and quavering confident fragility. This *is* an essential tome in the modern folk canon shit damn! Fuck Big Thief! Said something in this thread for this to the same effect, but I previously thought that Adrianne Lenker was a hit-or-miss but occasionally truly brilliant songwriter, and now I'm starting to think that that band's overbearing Brooklyn wanker-indie schtick just obstructs her vision. These songs certainly never needed to be band songs! Will have to crash test that theory on some of her other solo stuff, but this is a lovely revelation meanwhile.

31Neutral Milk Hotel
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

May 31st

Asleep: "Forget the memes/hype/anti-hype etc etc etc and just listen to this cool lil album already you silly boi. From everything I’ve learned about your taste in this 20ish day social-experiment-turned-mutual-torture-chamber, you s h o u l d very mostly enjoy this, if you can put aside the I suspect likely potential preconceptions you may have when it comes to an album THIS high-profile on the internet music discourse place. It has goofy but endearing elements, elegant straightforward songwriting with a few occasional clever bits, and some fuzz amongst the enigmatic indie folk cheese which are all good things. Hw, this is one of the albums I can no longer view with any objectivity or sensible-ness as I jammed it relentlessly throughout university and at or around most other significant life milestones since, so apologies if my assessment is incorrect and this sounds like ass to your ears. Rec-ing this as a send-off to the list may also solidify my growing (i sense) basic bitch status re 5s but fuck it I hope you enjoy."

babe you maxed out the character limit by yourself there shit damn okay hold my bear it is soft

fuck i had half a blurb done for this and then closed the tab. fuck.

well, to start with, i had never heard a lick of this before. my preconceptions were slightly positive (elephant six is a name i have largely good associations with) but largely negative, courtesy of the hivemind going and probably growing for each of a) this is HIPSTER shit! b) the man CANT SING!! c) the songwriting is BASIC these songs are SIMPLE

i flag that up because i was pleasantly surprised at how all that (apart from obviously a) lol) is total bullshit. not sure how much i love Jeff Magnum's voice over *some* of the noisier moments, but he carries this record just fine. the simplicity of these songs works just fine because the majority have v pronounced centres of energy and/or thoughtfulness to rest on, and there is a somewhat elusive atmosphere of wonder slowly choking on wilted innocence at work here - at points i found myself remembering my first experience with The Glow Pt.2. healthy signs ig. *some* of the hook-oriented songwriting is excellent (Holland, 1945; Ghost), but I think on the whole that this has far more flavour as a cryptic record and the majority of the first half lacks for me a little in that regard - Two-Headed Boy and the t/t tread an uneasy middle ground between folk-antihero anthems and lyrical zingers and I think they find themselves outgunned by all tracks more firmly in either camp. the pensive fare here is fantastic. Oh Comely is one of the most engaging lyrical pieces I've heard in forever and absolutely warrants its length - i felt like the names of songs/albums/bands i've heard but didn't know the origin of were jumping out at me every other line, but gosh what a powerful track. Opener is the other end of the spectrum - right in with the kind of bittersweet gut-punch conor oberst has spent his whole career pining after. good stuff.

is this a classic? I thought the most meaningful thing I'd get from my courtesy listen would be a clear answer to that question, but tbh it's good enough on its own terms and mine that I don't care for that discourse at all at this moment. I've found more to appreciate here with every listen (4 down so far) and while I don't know how much long-term traction it will have for me, this does have something. great stuff. does it feel like a fitting end to this month? well, stylistically, yes fucking duh lol - i can feel why you rec'd this and it definitely feels like a satisfying endgame for ye army of albums with bluntly-strummed acoustics and less-than-melodious-voices overhead. but more importantly, it does not scan as a perfunctory album-swap-experiment and i feel tbh that i've got a lot out of both this and Songs in the past 3 days so so so so Thank You sleepy boi - lots of good things here that i'd never have checked or made a point of returning to otherwise, and i hope we are all the richer for it. now get your fuckin car fixed!


Average for Asleep's recs only (counting 3 different Carpenter Brut ratings, and no Cryptopsy rating)

Mean: 3.404
Median: 3.5
Mode: 3.5
Range: 2.4
Minimum: 2.0
Maximum: 4.4
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