loud songs for when you’re alone, or not [single reviews]
My Epic – “White Noises”: The lead single from Violence is a heavy hitter. It doesn’t have the immediate, chills inducing poignance of many My Epic tracks, but you don’t always need that. Too much of it, and it would probably undermine the intended effect of a record titled Violence. With Norma Jean’s Cory Brendan handling guest vocals, we get a thoughtful punch out of the gate that isn’t really something meant for moshing but communicates angst felt in spiritual (and physical) journeys. I almost typed “literal” in place of “physical” in that last sentence, but arguably one’s spiritual journey is the most important and real one of all.
Martyrdod – “Cashless Society”: In an effort to expand my musical palette I’m listening to this crust-metal track from the Swedish group Martyrdod. As you might expect the vibe of the song is apocalyptic. The introduction isn’t terribly out of the ordinary for a lot of heavy music in the stoner realm, but I could see this being a crowd favorite. At times the vocalist sounds like he’s ranting at the listener rather than just growl-screaming. But… those riffs though. You can’t not love those. The production on the instrumentation is very clean, and the vocals are layered and almost overproduced, but it sounds intentional. It’s like listening to someone turn the volume up high on a sound system too small to handle that amplitude.
Irata – “Tower”: I remember when I heard Torche for the first time. I was pondering leaving my house where I rented to see a show down the street that night—and I watched the music video for “Kicking.” “Tower” doesn’t sound as upbeat, but it certainly would appeal to that fanbase. Like “Kicking,” “Tower” feels too short yet deceptively long. They pack a lot into a short period of time, yet seem to meander along without a ton of urgency. The song is sure of itself but not in a hurry. I’d like to see this used to set the pacing of an MMA fight (I attended one for the first time a couple of weeks ago). Stream it here.
Russian Baths – “Parasite”: I didn’t know it was possible to mix noise rock and dream pop, but here we are. The band might disagree, but that’s what I hear. Like Irata above they pack a bunch into a short song: call and answer male and female vocals, light strumming (the dream pop influence), and even an effect happens that sounds like that instrument you often hear in horror movies. It’s interesting hearing a sound that is usually meant to sound creepy come across in a more apathetic context.
Desiring Dead Flesh – “If I Stop”: The trio from Michigan is maturing in sound and composition. They pack a lot into 77 seconds. Be advised that the very lo-fi production isn’t for the faint of heart. I need some lyrics, but for now the jam-packed journey articulated here will do. There’s a difference in production between here and the previous album, That Suuck’d—the tones are a little cleaner, but recorded loud enough to just fade into heavy distortion (forgive my not-a-recording engineer speak).