Friday, May 22, 2020

NFT's Favorite Songs of 2000 (101-81)

Quarantine ramblings about the year 2000 part 1.

101. The Sky's the Ground, the Bombs Are Plants, and We're the Sun, Love - Storm & Stress


Some 2000 Ian Williams' highlights include appearing in High Fidelity, releasing American Don and almost dying on the way to what would have been Williams' last Don Caballero show. On top of all that, Williams, along with long-time Don Cab bassist Eric Emm, released Under the Thunder and Fluorescent Lights, a highly experimental project influenced by Sturm Und Drang and free jazz. While not the crowd-pleaser that American Don is, Storm & Stress laid the groundwork for what would eventually become the band Battles, including the blueprints of Williams’ innovative guitar tapping skills.

100. Dinosaur Act - Low


Low more like slow amirite? Well, here’s a slowcore song about dinosaurs.

99. Hell Yeah (Stone Cold Steve Austin Theme) - Snoop Dogg, WC


WWF Aggression is a compilation of wrestling theme songs with rap and hip hop artists placed on top of tracks. Think the Judgment Night soundtrack except a lot less hardcore. This list wouldn’t be very 2000 without a Stone Cold Steve Austin reference, so here’s Stone Cold Steve Austin’s glass-shattering theme featuring rap bars by Snoop Dogg & WC. While it's no surprise to see Snoop Dogg pop-up on a wrestler’s theme, the WC feature makes this remix hit a bit harder. It's no Disturbed “Glass Shatters'', but it will still make you want to Stone Cold Stunner your non-social distancing neighbors at their quarantine BBQ.

Bonus ramble: Every time I revisit this album I get excited to see a Gangrel theme remix featuring C-Murder (also of Wolfpac theme fame) only to remember that the Gangrel track is not the much cooler Fangin' and Bangin' version that the Vampire Warrior himself uses on the indies.

98. Shadows - Nasum


Melody and grind combine just as man combines with machine to form Human 2.0. Yeah, something like that. Welcome to 2000.

97. Everything Means Nothing to Me - Elliott Smith


Figure 8 feels like bubblegum pop ready to be loaded into the barrel of a feel-good-metaphorical gun. Pressing play equals a shot straight through your head, ear-to-ear. That being said, underneath the emotionless Beatles-fodder that is Elliott Smith's final album (before his death in 2003) is a serious cry for help.

96. Ruining the Show - Kickback ft. Profecy


Don't let this hardcore punk meets French rap ripper fool you, this is not nu metal, nor is it for the weak.

95. Ms. Jackson - OutKast


You won't find a lot of songs featured on MTV's Total Request Live on this list, but in the abundance of boy band, girl band, soft rock and pop rap that littered the airwaves in 2000 - Ms. Jackson by OutKast still holds up to this day. Hell, even the "I am four eels" memes hold up.

94. Fucking Racist Maggots - A Global Threat


New England punx directing their aggression to what truly matters, saying fuck you to racist maggots. Nuff said.

93. Nailwork - Night in Gales


German death metal meets the new millennium with Night in Gales’ final release on Nuclear Blast. Could this be radio death metal? It sure sounds better than “melodic” death metal. “Nailwork” never gained much traction between the casual radio crowd or “true” metal fans. Regardless, it’s a valuable track to revisit, especially when genre-mashing is far from taboo these days.

92. I Won't Back Down - Johnny Cash


While Johnny Cash's rendition of "I Won't Back Down" from his American Recordings series doesn’t pull on the heart strings quite like "Hurt" two years later, it's transparent that the man in black's popularity and health was on the decline. Due to Cash’s poor health, reworks of hit songs had to suffice to honor his locked-in contract with Rick Rubin. At first, Cash’s Tom Petty cover felt a bit on-the-nose as a symbol for a cowboy refusing to let go of his spurs. However, with both Johnny Cash and Tom Petty gone now, there’s something triumphantly sad about this cover.

91. He’s Simple, He’s Dumb, He’s the Pilot - Grandaddy



Wreaking of David Bowie and Radiohead comparisons, Grandaddy manage to make a 9-minute indie rock opera bearable.

Spoiler alert: this is the closest thing to Radiohead that's on this list. So for any of you R-heads holding out for Yorke and the Idioteque gang you can stop reading now and go listen to Kid A on your own time.

90. Sand (Eric’s Trip) - The Microphones


The Microphones cover of “Sand” by Eric’s Trip in no way evokes the life-altering experience that the Glow Pt. 2 would a year later. “Sand” is merely a little lo-fi song that flows in and out of existence. Still, this little cover-that-could is a nice reminder that the Microphones aren’t all blast beats and foghorns. Not that those things don’t totally rule, of course.

89. Taste - Coaltar of the Deepers



Coaltar of the Deepers also released their own 9-minute epic in 2000. Japanese indie rockers' meditative-form echoes that of the Smiths or the Sundays without incessantly being labeled the Japanese version of either band. Despite the runtime, "Taste" breezes by even with its beautiful 2 minute piano epilogue.

88. Motion Sickness - Bright Eyes


While Bright Eyes has recently returned to relevance for reasons I won’t go into here, Bright Eyes’ Fevers and Mirrors does not warrant a 20-year revisit. Not all Bright Eyes material from 2000 has rotted with age, though. Take for instance “Motion Sickness” from a 7” with “Soon You Will Be Leaving Your Man”. While the latter song feels like the slimy emo prominent on Fevers and Mirrors, “Motion Sickness” is a stripped-back track that manages to not offend the eardrums while still being very Bright Eyes in nature.

87. Prayer - Neurosis


“Prayer” resides at the crossroads between Times of Grace (1999) and A Sun That Never Sets (2001). Figuratively and literally. Starting with an chilling guitar pattern reminiscent of Times of Grace, “Prayer” takes a side-trip to an ice-cold opening monologue before turning into a cavalcade of tribal-drum chaos - the same kind of tribal-drum chaos that is explored further in A Sun That Never Sets.

86. Knife Fight - Society's Finest


In a classic case of don't judge a book by its cover, "Knife Fight" by Society's Finest is neither an indie rock band, as the cover might suggest, nor a youth crew hardcore band, as the band name might suggest. Instead, Society's Finest is a christian metalcore band, which might explain their non-graphic album artwork (not that blood and guts are really needed to inform the listener your band is metalcore). “Knife Fight” is also one of those rare cases where the scream vocals and clean singing actually mix well together. So yeah, don’t judge this song by the cover, by the band name, by the religious undertones, or (most importantly) by the dual vocals.

85. One Summer Last Fall - Jets to Brazil


Four Cornered Night might pale in comparison to Jets to Brazil's 1998 must-listen, Orange Rhyming Dictionary (which is also a name of a song on Four Cornered Night), there's still choice tracks on the album begging to be discovered. Try "One Summer Last Fall" for instance, which includes keyboard and guitar work wittier than the song's title. While I wouldn't immediately recommend this song to anyone looking for something along the lines of Jawbreaker (Blake Schwarzenbach's earlier band), Four Cornered Night still offers something that's not quite college radio rock, not quite power pop and not quite emo.

84. Fluorescent Lights - Carissa's Wierd


In 2000, Ugly But Honest was released featuring music recorded between 1996 and 1999 using whatever resources Carissa's Wierd could get their hands on. It’s ugly but honest. It's also quite beautiful and honest. Using minimal instrumentation and spoken, almost whispered vocals, Carissa’s Wierd fit right in at the the 2000's post rock and indie rock table. CW members would eventually gain mainstream success blending the two styles into the refined sound of Band of Horses. Spiritually however, “Fluorescent Lights” feels more like guitarist/vocalist Mat Brooke’s later project, Grand Archives.

83. Sever - Karate


Oh, the smooth and silky jazz rock that is Karate. Karate goes down like a glass of rich chocolate. Karate was so rich and addictive, in fact, that they've been banished from major streaming sites to keep people from consuming too much and throwing up all over their MacBook Pros. That's one theory, at least.

82. Say it In Slugs - Entombed



After introducing their new self-labeled Death ‘n’ Roll sound in the late 90's, it looked like the Entombed career path would eventually lead to watered-down garage rock. Entombed’s 2000 release Uprising along with the track “Say it In Slugs” proved the world wrong. Rather than going full commercial rock, “Say it In Slugs” brings the heaviness. Entombed go back to their Swedish death metal roots, dig them up and drag the roots through the mud to create a new death-induced sludgefest, throwing away everything that was wrong with their 1998 release, Same Difference. Entombed proved that they were heavy without returning to Wolverine Blues which, at this point, would have felt just as stale. Give it a few years though and their early death metal style would root itself once again in both the metal and hardcore community tenfold.

81. The Platform - Dilated Peoples



Dilated Peoples’ debut mainstream album, The Platform is still a banger amongst the radio rap and hip-hop of the day. While “Work the Angles” (originally released as a single in 1998) is the clear stand-out on the album, the eponymous track is not to be slept on. "The Platform" features infectious turntable scratching familiarly heard on “Work the Angles” and serves as a perfect introduction for the rest of the album. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

NFT's Favorite Songs of 2019!


 RIP 2019.

101. Radiation Facial (feat. Dylan Walker) - PETBRICK (electronic/metal)
100. Caged - Brother (hardcore/power violence)
99. Abyssal Plain - Pelican (post metal)
98. Love Enough - Hairspray Queen (hardcore/noise)
97. VIRGINITY - Liturgy (black metal)
96. Corridors of Cain - Mourned (death metal)
95. Red Dust - Billy Woods, Kenny Segal (rap/hip-hop)
94. Toxic Swell - Vaulted (crossover thrash)
93. Matriphagy - Venom Prison (death metal)
92. Numb Coast - DiCaprio (post punk)
91. Armed With Their Teeth - SeeYouSpaceCowboy (metalcore)
90. Kids - Pup (pop punk)
89. Fantasy - Queensway (metalcore)
88. Roses - Mortality Rate (metallic hardcore)
87. Shoulderblades - Girl Band (noise/art rock)
86. Fruit - The Berries (rock/Americana)
85. Stop/Start - Gait (post punk)
84. Hate Me - Ellie Goulding, Juice WRLD (hip-hop/pop)
83. Living Free - Strange Ranger (indie rock)
82. We Must Bleed - Mammoth Grinder (Germs cover) (death metal)
81. Certain Death - Dead Heat (hardcore/crossover)
80. Cathedral - Hovvdy (indie rock/lo-fi)
79. HIGHEST IN THE ROOM - Travis Scott (trap/hip-hop)
78. Lost Inside the Night - Misery Club (r&b/emo rap)
77. World of You - Method of Doubt (hardcore adjacent)
76. Dead of Night - Orville Peck (davidlynchcore)
75. Big Black Heart - Better Oblivion Community Center (indie rock/pop)
74. Smores - Your Old Droog, Lil Ugly Mane, Wiki (rap/hip-hop)
73. 31 - Soul Glo (hardcore/noise-rap)
72. Ease Me - Oathbreaker (black metal/electronic)
71. Heads Been Ringing - Kal Marks (noise rock)
70. New Skin - Colonial Wounds (hardcore/metal/noise rock)
69. Continuum - Loma Prieta (screamo/post hardcore)
68. Off Script (Remixed by Moor Mother) - The Body (noise rap)
67. Reaper - Rotting Out (hardcore punk)
66. Bruxist Grin - Pile (indie rock)
65. He Dead - clipping. (noise-rap/hip-hop)
64. Fan of You - Nudie Mag (weezercore)
63. Sturdy Dawn - Wreck and Reference (electronic/noise)
62. Mood Ring Baby - Field Medic (indie folk)
61. Part 2 - Wildflower (neilyoungcore)
60. Get Lost - Queen of Jeans (indie rock)
59. Theatre of Work - Bad Breeding (art punk)
58. It Only Gets Worse - Regional Justice Center (hardcore/power violence)
57. Down - Hemlock Ernst, Kenny Segal  (rap/hip-hop)
56. Face the Fire - Boy Harsher (coldwave/electronic)
55. Get My Mind Right - Fiddlehead (post hardcore)
54. My Body in Bloom - Boundaries (metalcore)
53. Pacify My Heart - SASAMI (indie rock/drone)
52. Chaos Never Dies - Seed of Pain (metallic hardcore)
51. Plant Sugar - Turnover (jangle emo)
50. Rank and File - Mini Dresses (indie rock/pop)
49. Green Leaves of Late July - Wolf Whistle (hardcore/noise rock)
48. Defy - Magnitude (sxe hardcore)
47. Don’t - Peaer (twinkly indie rock)
46. Breathless - Brutality Will Prevail (post-metal/hardcore)
45. DEATH SENTENCE - Hate Force (beatdown death metal)
44. Respectdue - R.A.P. Ferreira (rap/hip-hop)
43. RICKY - Denzel Curry (rap/hip-hop)
42. Pound for Pound - Wound Man (power violence)
41. Kennedy - Shin Guard (emo violence)
40. No Word For Wack - Ruby Yacht (art rap/hip-hop)
39. Aspirations - Regional Justice Center (hardcore/power violence)
38. Wax On (feat. Freddie Gibbs) - Injury Reserve (rap/hip-hop)
37. Blue Lies - Year of the Knife (sxe metallic hardcore)
36. Muted Shifting of Space - BIG | BRAVE (post-metal/drone)
35. The Reach - One Step Closer (melodic hardcore)
34. Pink Palm - Elizabeth Colour Wheel (doomgaze)
33. Old Days - Jack M. Senff (acoustic emo)
32. Puppet - Never Ending Game (getinthepithardcore)
31. Nightmare - Buried Dreams (watchyourbackhardcore)
30. Grim (feat. Lil Ugly Mane & Denzel Curry) - Wiki (rap/hip-hop)
29. The Race - Glitterer (synth pop/indie rock)
28. Could Be a Curse - KAINA ft. Sen Morimoto (r&b/soul/pop)
27. Sea of Worry - Have a Nice Life (surfgaze)
26. Tethering - Truth Club (twinkly indie rock)
25. Smile! Aren’t You Happy? - Absence of Mine (grunge/hardcore)
24. Not - Big Thief (indie rock)
23. Seeds - Anxious (post hardcore)
22. What on Earth Can We Do - Abuse of Power (thrashy hardcore)
21. FAITHFUL SERVANT FRIEND OF CHRIST - Lingua Ignota (devotional doom folk)
20. Want it All - Angel Du$t (tompettycore)
19. All Bark, No Bite - Wild Side (hardcore)
18. Boiled Over - Gatecreeper (death metal)
17. Sacrificial Rite - Portrayal of Guilt (screamo/black metal)
16. 18 Wheeler (feat. Pusha T) - Benny the Butcher (rap/hip-hop)
15. Don’t Really Think - Restraining Order (hardcore punk)
14. Burning Hand - Fuming Mouth (death metal/hardcore)
13. Out, Brief Candle - Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean (doom metal)
12. Giannis (feat. Anderson .Paak) - Freddie Gibbs, Madlib (rap/hip-hop)
11. Karma’s Knife - Judiciary (beatdown hardcore)
10. Martyr - Community College (indie rock/lo-fi)
9. Armory of Obsidian Glass - Full of Hell (doom/sludge/death)
8. Vacation - Fury (hardcore adjacent)
7. Ur Real Life - Horse Jumper of Love (indie rock/slowcore)
6. Contact - Wicca Phase Springs Eternal (emotional trap)
5. Penance - Uniform, The Body (industrial/electronic)
4. Madonna Rocket - Show Me The Body (hardcore punk)
3. Siren 042 - Lala Lala, Why? (indie pop)
2. In the Spirit World Now - Ceremony (new wave)
1. All My Happiness is Gone - Purple Mountains (indie rock)

Thursday, January 3, 2019

NFT's Favorite Songs of 2018!


Here's to a swell new year.


100. Junkyard Dog - The Berries
99. Spring - bedbug 
98. Age of the Absurd - Mantar 
97. Cover Girl - Cuckoo
96. Dying For - Dehd 
95. Parody Warning - The Armed 
94. Sutton Who - NEEDS
93. This is America - Childish Gambino 
92. Slow Cooker - Rick Rude 
91. The Kicker - So Stressed 
90. Fake Sweater - Bethlehem Steel
89. I Wanna Be Adored - King Woman (The Stone Roses cover)
88. Sunlight on Your Skin - Lil Peep ft. ILoveMakonnen
87. Float - Bat House 
86. Punk Singer - Lost Boys 
85. Naked - Primitive Man 
84. Beach - Petit Noir ft. Danny Brown, Nukubi Nukubi
83. For the Night - Princess Nokia 
82. Distortion - Mount Eerie 
81. Golden - Lando Chill & The Lasso
80. House Cat - Jerkagram 
79. Night Time - Danny L Harle Remix - Superorganism 
78. Roman Candle - Lace 
77. The Void - Ragana
76. Lashed and Snared - Full of Hell
75. BWAH - Knife Worship
73. Good to Feel - Candy 
72. Nobody - Mitski 
71. Getsu - Offsite ft. Dunzo
70. C.N.T. - The Royal They
69. Earwig - Gazm 
67. Green Goblin - Saphir 
66. Starved Lives - Sectioned
65. Women in Hordes / Still Can’t Kill Us - The HIRS Collective ft. Erica Freas, Romantic States
64. Bloodspire - Outer Heaven
63. Workhorse - Jesus Piece 
62. Doing Fine - Rock Solid
61. Avoidarama - Drug Church
60. Black Rainbow - Hilary Woods 
59. Blue and red horses - Adrianne Lenker
58. Dis s o c i a t i o n - Gouge Away
57. Big Ass Love - Angel Du$t
56. Going to Sleep - Alexander
55. Mr. Nice Guy - Wound Man (bonus: Trench Foot)
53. Hypnic Jerks - The Spirit of the Beehive 
52. Crux - Bosse-de-Nage 
51. Empty Comforts - Uniform, The Body
50. How it Feels - Sen Morimoto
48. Are You in the Mood? - Bay Faction
47. Have You Considered Punk Music? - Self Defense Family
46. Resonance - Line of Sight
45. Flesh Pursuit - Gulch
44. Song For Sasha Banks - The Mountain Goats 
43. Suburban Yellow - Slow Mass
42. Fade to Oblivion - Homewrecker
41. By My Side - Porches
40. Brave - Hovvdy
39. Fading - Gulfer
38. Lust For Torment - Of Feather and Bone 
37. Destroyer - Lala Lala 
36. J’OUVERT - BROCKHAMPTON
35. Angel Corpse - Maniac
34. Chamber of Misery (Pt. 1) - Portrayal of Guilt 
33. Working Class - Vaulted 
32. Paralyzed - Big Bite
31. Does This Sky Mask Make Me Look Fat? - JPEGMAFIA ft. Heno.
30. I Am Healed - Cult Leader (bonus: To: Achlys)
29. The year i became a mutherfuckin’ G - Busdriver ft. Lorde Fredd33
27. Agony - Beach Fossils (Yung Lean cover)
27. Jesse - Frankie Cosmos
26. Loosed - Kal Marks 
25. Always Crush Me - Wreck & Reference (Guided By Voices cover)
24. Microfiche - Open Mike Eagle
23. In Providence - Wicca Phase Hope Springs Eternal
22. Moon - Turnstile
21. For My Crimes - Marissa Nadler 
20. Colossus - IDLES
19. Dissect Me - Harm's Way
18. Satan in the Wait - Daughters
17. ‘98 gewehr - Nostrum Grocers
16. The Best of You - Ovlov
15. Wave - Wei Zhongle
13. Dip - Culture Abuse
12. NBN - Lorde Fredd33 ft. WebsterX
11. My-Dude.Dev - Pink Navel
10. Circle Once - Mothers
9. 15-38 - Birds in Row
7. Imaginary Dog Walker - Big Ups
6. Pristine - Snail Mail
4. Doomtech - Vein
3. Blessed, Alone - The Body
2. Lay Low - Fiddlehead 
1. Remember - Strange Ranger

Sunday, December 30, 2018

NFT's Got You Covered 2018

2018 has been a rollercoaster if rollercoasters had more trials and tribulations than thrills and excitement. I had high hopes of bringing Nostalgia For Tomorrow circa 2010 back to reality, but again the rollercoaster of life had an open seat for me in the front row. Despite all that, I won't apologize. Instead, I'll write about some things that make me happy. So, here is a list of my favorite cover songs from the year 2018. For listening and enjoyment purposes only.


Always Crush Me - Wreck and Reference



Wreck and Reference take Guided By Voices' lo-fi recording and all its roughness, amplify it by 100, and project it into twisted industrial metal. The monotonous guitar strumming is traded in with synths and slacker vocals become panic-induced yelling. "Always Crush Me" is the perfect little cover for a perfect little song in Guided By Voices' giant-ass catalog.


Agony - Beach Fossils


Yung Lean's under the influence love song from last year gets an upbeat treatment thanks to New York rockers, Beach Fossils. "Agony" is an ice cold number about tripping balls that seems indulgent at first, but give it a few listens and you will discover a haunting song that boarders on claustrophobic. With Beach Fossils' addition of light guitar and a steady bass, the walls seem to move even closer in on you. BF's version might be a bit more upbeat than the original, but it's far from the most rock n' roll rendition of a Sadboy-type song; that award goes to a similarly named band, Beach Goons, who covered Spooky Black's "Without U" back in 2015.


I Started a Joke - Marissa Nadler



A number of songs from Marissa Nadler's second cover album could have been posted here. There's one of my favorite Leonard Cohen tracks ("Avalanche"), a heartbreaking Daniel Johnston track ("True Love Will Find You in the End"), and a somber Danzig deep-cut ("Blood and Tears"). I have to give the spotlight to Nadler's rendition of "I Started a Joke" by Bee Gees though, since the original turned 50 years old this year. Plus, it's really good.


Bark at the Moon - Integrity



Integrity haven't slowed down a bit since releasing their barn burner, Howling, For the Nightmare Shall Consume last year. This year, the metal/hardcore crossover vets released a split with American black metal outfit, Krieg, and for Halloween released a cover of an Ozzy Osbourne classic. Despite the essential choice, Integrity's deliver is anything but tongue-in-cheek. Yes, it's still clearly an Ozzy track, but Integrity's signature sound breaths new life into the old beast. Take a listen above and go off the rails of the crazy... err, bark at the moon.


The Book of Love - bedbug



A few years back, a work friend invited me to his wedding and mentioned that the wedding song would be "The Book of Love". He asked me if I had ever heard of the song in hopes that I would guess The Monotones' song by the same name. Instead, I did my best Magnetic Fields impression without drawing too much attention to myself. He was impressed but also a little confused. I never ended up attending the wedding, but I did learn that "The Book of Love" is a very popular wedding song. The twist, of course, is "The Book of Love" by The Magnetic Fields on the album, 69 Love Songs was later covered by the more-known-by-co-workers, Peter Gabriel. Flash forward to this past Halloween, I'm attending one of the 8 Halloween cover shows the Boston-area had to offer, and bedbug was performing as the Scrubs Soundtrack, a medley of songs from the hit show. One of the songs bedbug played happened to be "The Book of Love", which appears in the season 8 finale a la the Peter Gabriel version. I joked about whether bedbug covered The Magnetic Fields version or Peter Gabriel to myself. Flash forward to a few days ago, when a 69 Love Songs tribute album was released by Living Statue Records. There, waiting for me among the 69 songs, was bedbug's "The Book of Love". This recorded version might be missing the Scrubs samples that were weaved into the rest of bedbugs' Halloween set, but it's still really awesome to see my pointless anecdote about "The Book of Love" grow each year.


By My Side - Ben Walsh



Ben Walsh of Tigers Jaw's cover on Don't Stop Now II: A Collection of Covers is a perfect example of a gateway song to the original. Without clicking on Ben's cover, I would have never given much of a thought to the new Porches album. Now "By My Side" is among one of my favorite songs of 2018. As for the compilation itself, if you got the cash I highly recommend grabbing all 33 covers which benefits RAICES (Refugees and Immigrants Center for Education & Legal Services). RAICES seems like a great place to throw your money at; throw your money at anything and everything that is not a giant fear-mongering wall.


Havana - Superorganism


Superorganism's intoxicating rendition of "Havana" feels like it manifested via a long night of partying at a local karaoke bar. Something that could not have been duplicated at the karaoke bar, however, is their candy-coated production that has been ever-so-carefully melted into digital goodness for the ears. There might not be as much going on as there is in every other facet of Superorganism's recordings, performances, and wild Spotify music videos, there's still no mistaking the dedication to their commitment to ultra quirkiness.


I Wanna Be Adored - King Woman



A major appeal to the Stone Roses' hit number, "I Wanna Be Adored" is the misheard chorus which I always sing as "I Wanna Be A Door", while others mishear it as "I Wanna be a Dog" or, similarly, "I Wanna be Your Dog". King Woman's version adds a new layer to the already misunderstood lyrics by draping the song in doom-y drone atmosphere. "I Wanna Be Adored" seems unrecognizable at first, until Kristina Esfandiari AKA Miserable's wispy vocals come in. Eventually the song picks up and echoes the aforementioned line that sounds especially like "I Wanna Be A Door" until coming to an untimely end. It might not go down as smooth as the original, but give it a few listens and let it grow on you like a small rash or black mold.


Infinity Guitars - Sunflower Bean


What better way to celebrate a record label's 10 year anniversary than taking a swing at a song that is surprisingly almost 10 years old. Sunflower Bean manage to shed some of the over-amplified guitar work without losing any of the energy that rarely is heard from Sleigh Bells these days. The result almost sounds like "Pepper" by Butthole Surfers, but maybe that's just me wanting something to sound like "Pepper" by Butthole Surfers. Either way, I highly recommend playing this cover full-blast in a beat-up 90's Volvo just as the original was meant to be played.


Moon River - Frank Ocean


Despite being a day late, Frank Ocean's "Moon River" is this years' Valentine cover song. Channelling his inner Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffanys, Ocean delivers a poignant rendition of a timeless classic only the way he could. "Moon River" is just a reminder how incredible Frank Ocean is even if this wasn't his best take.


People / Halfsleeper - CJ Boyds



CJ Boyds has been traveling all over the country for 10 years playing with all sorts of wonderful talent. Boyds' cover album in honor of 10 years on the road might not be the biggest, but it's definitely the most ambitious cover album on this list. Not only are Boyds' covers carefully picked to reflect the bands and musicians he has shared stages and spaces with, all the covers are by musicians he has played with covering all 50 states plus Washington, DC and an unknown bonus track for US territories. Along with that, Boyds recorded each song in the respected state as to which the song is associated with. Currently, only "People / Halfsleeper" is available for listening, but judging by this drone-y Dilute meets Chelsea Wolfe combo-cover recorded in California, Boyds ode to the US is going to be mighty impressive.


Pontiac 87 - Preoccupations



A few bands seem to loose some steam when they change their name. Preoccupations, formerly Viet Cong, however are keeping the hype train going. This year they released an album called New Material (Which might be there new name next year) and a split with top-tier post-punkers of the '10s, Protomartyr. Preoccupations prove they are here to stay with their spaced-out rendition of "Pontiac 87". The cover might not be the most challenging, especially since both bands are so similar, but maybe not appropriating someone else is a good thing for Preoccupations right now.


Same Drugs - Free Throw



With a band tackling Chance the Rapper's "Same Drugs", one might think that Free Throw are putting a special spin on a hometown favorite. However, Free Throw are not a Chicago emo band. Hell, they're not even an East Coast emo band. Free Throw from Nashville, Tennessee already take on the task of being a long shot, a surprisingly not "southern" emo band. Free Throw aren't defined by where they reside, but rather by how moving their music can be. It's a surprise to most, and a cover of Chance seems like the biggest surprise Free Throw could have come up with, yet here we are. "Same Drugs" comes as a surprise at the end of Missing Pieces, a small compilation of re-imagined songs from their 2017 album, Bear Your Mind.


Playlist w/bonus covers:

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Maniac - War & Insanity

Maniac - War & Insanity (2018)


Maniac instantly takes charge, blasting raw energy at the frontline that is your poor ears. Every track comes in hot and every track ends like a smoking gun. When the smoke settles, War & Insanity leaves you with that pelted with 200 pounds of hardcore shrapnel feeling. It's a feeling that leaves no weight on your chest but, rather, leaves you content.

Maniac understands the war we all fight; the fight with sanity. Listen below and feel a little better:



Similar acts/sounds: Pummel, Antagonize, Magnitude, Restraining Order, Mindforce, hardcore.

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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Buddusky - Some Quills Caught

Buddusky - Some Quills Caught (2018)


Anxiety-riddled ditties about hunting Coyot, 12 point bucks, riding dirt bikes, drinking 'Gansett? That's the messy juxtaposition to be expected from Peru, Maine's Buddusky, guy.

Buddusky's Some Quills Caught brings me back to my time living in Downeast, Maine. Particularly going to school in a town locked in by trees, a small bay, and only one road in or out. No where to run or hide, I took a short story writing class and remember reading a lot of stories about first time hunting trips, working on dad's F150, and learning to drive a tractor at age 10. These stories were sloppy and brief but they were also brutally honest and confessional. One kid got teary-eyed when he had to read to the class that Pa finally accepted him after shooting his first deer. It was no 12 pointer, but it would do.

Growing up in and around the more rural parts of Maine, you hear the hunting stories or the dirt bike stories time after time. Yet, there's something about hearing these stories without the puffed out chests, or the macho prowess. Instead, the stories are told through the truthfulness of a frightened kid again. That's what Some Quills Caught is all about; the feeling of being a kid again, lost in the woods behind your grans' house, being scared to death and begging to go home. We all eventually grow up - but we never forget our childhood fears.



Associated acts/sounds: Mouth Washington, Greasy Grass, Captain Hollow, Fon Fon Ru, Lunch Cult

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Monday, July 16, 2018

Kidnapped - Hungry

Kidnapped - Hungry (2018)


Kidnapped from CT play quick and violent grindcore. Charged with tight drums and start-stop blasts of chaos, Hungry is meant to be listened to 6 times in a row as loud as possible in your parents' basement.

At 2 a.m.



Similar acts/sounds: Iron Lung, Spazz, Exposed as Rot, Dropdead, SIEGE, Jarhead Fertilizer, Mind Eraser

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