Lord Dying Ė Summon The Faithless
Portland sludge metal outfit, Lord Dying, bring some havoc with their Relapse Records debut, Summon The Faithless. The 4 piece borrows heavily from early High On Fire andÖ. Thatís it, really. Lord Dying sounds like early 2000ís High On Fire with modern production. Not to rip on them or anything, because there are some seriously badass tunes on the record. Hence why I even bothered to list them in what I see as some of the better records of the year. The tones are great, the riffs are in-your-face brutal and some of the guitar work is really impressive. If youíre looking for straightforward sludge/stoner metal, these are your guys.
In A Frightful State Of Gnawed Dismemberment
What Is Not... Is
Purson Ė The Circle and the Blue Door
London psychedelic rock group, Purson, put out a hell of a debut record with, The Circle and the Blue Door. Band leader, Rosalie Cunningham, has a knack for crafting together all sorts of cool psychedelic rock tunes and has the voice to go along with it. If youíve seen this bandís name paired with occult rock bands, ignore those who tried to convince you these guys are occult. Pursonís sound focuses more on the circus-y side of the spectrum of psychedelic rock. There are also a lot of nautical sounds too. The circus elements comes in a lot of the interesting melodies in Pursonís music, and there a lot of samples of circus music cut into the music, usually at the end of tracks. The kinds of tracks range from rocking tunes like Well Spoiled Machine and Leaning On A Bear, psyched out jams like The Contract, ballad-like tunes like Sailorís Lifeís Lament and Tragic Catastrophe. The whole record has a retro/nostalgic feel to it thatís just impeccable. If you need more female fronted psychedelic rock, look no further, because this is the best this year has to offer.
Leaning On A Bear
Raw Geronimo Ė Dream Fever
Raw Geronimo are a 6-piece rock Ďní roll outfit from LA. The bandís songwriter, Laena Geronimo, is the daughter of Alan Myers, past Devo drummer. Raw Geronimo combine elements of alt rock, surf rock, pop, soul and tribal drumming to create some really cool tunes, ranging from soulful ballads, dance-punk jams and surfed out rockers. The band is really dynamic with their use of guitars and a bunch of different kinds of percussion that really add to all of their tribal moments. You wouldnít think white folk would make such spiritual sounding tribal jams. Theyíre not unlike what you might hear out of a voodoo gathering in the bayous along the Mississippi River. So with a wide array of sounds to craft some really interesting alt rock tunes, Raw Geronimoís Dream Fever is an interesting listen thatíll have you moving no matter where you are.
Rin Tin Tiger Ė Splinter Remedies
San Francisco alt folk-trio Rin Tin Tiger are a band I discovered my first year at SJSU. Thought theyíre from San Francisco, they frequently play San Jose and they quickly became my favorite group thatís a part of the indie rock scene thatís happening in the south bay. Their style is a unique take on folk-rock, playing a wide array of material from folky love ballads, up-beat dance-along rock songs, summer time tunes and even some heavy folk-rock tunes. And all of the songs have a really strong lyrical center and focus, with topics that vary from past loves, social commentary, and other topics that I havenít spent enough time deciphering to get. The musicianship on the album is great. Guitarist/vocalist/harmonica-shredder Kevin Sullivan gives some of is best, guitar and vocals performances on this record, bassist Sean Sullivan gives shows how diverse a bass player is, from laying down moderate bass tracks on the softer tunes and laying down the stank of tracks like Michelangelo and Precaution. Overall, you get just about everything you might want from folk-rock record and more on Splinter Remedies, from ballad tracks like Haunted Now, upbeat smack downs like Michelangelo, and even a song that shows up djent bands on dissonance with the track Precaution. If you dig alt rock, indie, or folk, give this a whirl.
Stream the full album on their bandcamp