Bosnian Rainbows Ė Bosnian Rainbows
Bosnian Rainbows is the latest project from Omar RodrŪguez-Lůpez, known for his work in At The Drive-In and The Mars Volta. Bosnian Rainbows are an indie rock band that features a lot of experimentation and electronics. The band features Omar on guitar, Teri Gender Bender on vocals, Deantoni Parks on drums/keyboards, and Nicci Kasper on synthesizers and keyboards. Thatís right: the drummer plays drums and keyboards simultaneously and thereís no bass player. But I didnít know that they didnít have a bassist Ďtil I saw them live. Their bass synth sound is really convincing. The record features a wide array of songs, each having really unique intricacies. Thereís all sort of sound manipulation, from sporadic uses of guitar layered in effects, odd keyboard sounds that resemble static being used as a melody, and vocal sampling, the album presents a lot of cool ideas. But donít think itís all experimental music piece, all of these songs are rock songs that features verse/chorus structures. There are upbeat songs like Torn Maps and Always On The Run, slower pieces like Eli and Turtleneck. Most of the songs have elements of it all, but are usually mid-paced rock songs. Overall, this record has a lot of interesting sounds to offer and features some of the most interesting musicianship Iíve heard in a long time. With the exception of Teri, each musician is doing at least two things at once, and it sounds just as cohesive live as it does on record. If youíre still butthurt that Omar broke up The Mars Volta and want everything else he does to sound like Volta, this may not be for you, but if youíre interested in hearing some of the most interesting rock music that come out this year, check this out.
Castevet Ė Obsian
One of the more interesting black metal releases of the year, Castevetís Obsian adds progressive and avant-garde elements to atmospheric black metal. The trio consists of Ian Jacyszyn on drums, Andrew Hock on guitars and blackened vocals, and Nicholas McMaster, also in Krallice, on bass and death growls. Although the record is only a short 35 minutes, it packs in a lot of different soundscapes and atmospheres. The album is primarily really dreamy and desolate, focusing and building on atmospheres with dense guitar chords and odd time signatures. Another thing I love about this record is the amazing bass performance by McMaster. He uses the instruments in many different ways, from using it as a melody instrument, building dissonant atmospheres with it, and overall just writing some really original and unique sounding bass lines throughout the entirety of the record. With odd song structures, desolate atmospheres, and awesome instrumentation, Obsian proves to be one of the most interesting atmospheric black metal releases to come out this year.
Fathomed By Beggars And Victims
Chance The Rapper Ė Acid Rap
Every now and again, a record comes out and shows you a complete fresh take on a genre that youíd never expect to hear. As I am new to hip-hop, this may happen to me more often than others, but this mixtape presented a lot of idea that I havenít heard before that really resonated with me. Chance The Rapper is a 20-year-old rapper out of Chicago and Acid Rap is his second mixtape. Acid Rap features some of the best production Iíve heard in a while. Chance selected great beats that completely matched what he was going for on every song. The album features a lot of soul, RnB and jazz type beats, along with some more unconventional beats for some tunes, like the atmospheric stuff on Paranoia or the pseudo-trap beat on Smoke Again. Chance himself is a fantastic rapper and signer, showcasing really witty lyricism and fantastic delivery on every song, with a really unique voice. His sense for hooks and his ability to make everything extremely catchy is uncanny. Itís almost impossible to listen to Acid Rap and not have at least one song stuck in your head for hours. Another thing I love about this record is how positive and uplifting this record is. While there some tracks that are about typical young rapper stuff; Smoke Again and NaNa; plenty of other tracks are really introspective and a few tracks are about love and other feel good topics, but it isnít cheesy. Chance comes off really sincere on tracks like Cocoa Butter Kisses, Everybodyís Somebody, Lost and Acid Rain. With a mixtape thatís highly infectious and fits every feel good mood, Chance The Rapper put out my favorite hip-hop release of the year.
Cocoa Butter Kisses
Dead In The Dirt Ė The Blind Hole
This is probably one of the most ridiculous albums Iíve heard in a while. In a completely good way, mind you. Dead In The Dirt are a powerviolence band from Atlanta, Georgia, and their music is some of the noisiest, chaotic, and bi-polar out there right now. Some things you should know about this band and the record before I go in to more details are: theyíre only a three piece, and the album features 22 songs in 24 minutes. From that you know youíre in for a ride. As you can guess, many of the songs here are short blasts of hate-filled rage and itís absolutely heavy and unrelenting. The band uses a mix of death growls and hardcore screaming and both sound great. And the tones are absolutely righteous. The band combines sound from grindcore, hardcore, and sludge metal, and they switch from on style to the other at a moments notice, see Swelling. Thereís also a profuse use of feedback. In fact, the track Strength Through Restraint is practically all feedback and itís absolutely manic. Between having your face pummeled buy non-stop carnage, you get some oddball tracks like Caged, that features what sounds like a church bell and uses delay to itís advantage to resemble what it might feel like to be in solitary confinement. The short tracks are sweet and to the point brutality, and the ďlongerĒ tracks (2-3 minutes) are actually well structured songs that combine sludge and hardcore beautifully. The album closer, Halo Crown, sounds like somebody getting sucked into a black hole, ending with feedback, trudging drums and the vocalists screaming until it all turns into noise. The Blind Hole is an impressive record that fits in just about every flavor of ďangryĒ you can imagine. Listen to this and start punching holes in your wall.
It's only 24 minutes long, just listen to the whole record