August’s 90 Tracks:
* *Complete Recordings* by Black Tambourine
Black Tambourine remind me of a rawer (is that a word?) less polished Lush. A bit more wall-of-fuzzy noise, but the same almost ethereal vocals.
* *Smile* by Boris
Boris rocks. Every album amazes with every listen. Get it all, you won’t regret it.
* *Farm* by Dinosaur Jr.
Dinosaur Jr. continues to amaze – their second album since their reformation is every bit as fresh and vital as *Beyond*, if not quite reaching the admittedly high watermark set by *You’re Living All Over Me*.
* *Palmless Prayer: Mass Murder Refrain* by Mono & World’s End Girlfriend
From what I gather, Mono are widely considered Japan’s representative in the so-called “post-rock” scene. Contemporaries with Explosions in the Sky, This Will Destroy You, Laura, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and others. Let’s get this out of the way – “post-rock” is as patently stupid a label as I’ve ever heard. EitS hate it – they rightfully claim that what they do is make rock, no “post” about it. That said, humans have this need to label things, classify them, and slot them away and if you really had to do such a thing, there’s be less apt ways of doing it than to seat Mono with EitS. World’s End Girlfriend are similar, but far more experimental – more daring arrangements in less comfortable compositions. Their 2005 album *The Lie Lay Land* is a mind-boggling tower of unsettling music with titles like “Phatasmagoria Moth Gate” just destined to set your brain on edge. This collaboration is entirely unlike that. A collection of delicate and beautiful and ultimate devastatingly sad acoustic instrumentals.
* SKOLD vs. KMFDM
KMFDM has spent several albums recycling what they’ve been doing since Tim Skold’s tenure with the band. Given that, I was expecting this album to be yet more of the same, but I was pleasantly surprised. This album shares more with early Front Line Assembly than with recent KMFDM, showing that sometimes you have to mine the past to sound new. I’d say it’s the best thing either Tim Skold or Sasha Konietzko have done since Skold left KMFDM.
* *The Eternal* by Sonic Youth
I realized a couple of months ago that I’m the worst Sonic Youth fan ever, because I hadn’t bought a Sonic Youth album since Dirty. A twitter friend advised me that I’d like this one and he was totally right – this is screaming, kicking, rocker of an album. Definitely a return to the form they’d had in the SST days.
* *Naked Acid* by Valet
Hypnotic and trippy and all over the musical map. An intriguing and recommended listen.
* *Super Ready / Fragmenté* by The Young Gods
More than 25 years since they started, The Young Gods prove that they can still hang with the kids. Though it gets a bit uneven towards the end, it’s their best album since 1995’s *Only Heaven*.