Last week, I did not listen to enough music to assemble a grid. That was not a problem this week.
Big Wreck – Grace Street: Overall, Grace Street is probably my favorite Big Wreck album since In Loving Memory Of…
The Night Flight Orchestra – Amber Galactic: ELO, Toto, Parsons, and more! They got it all at the NFO Store! That’s not the band’s slogan; I just really feel that way about Amber Galactic.
Mr. Big – Defying Gravity: Raw production values aside, this might be the most consistent Mr. Big album since their reunion. Bright, bluesy hard rock which satisfies like a cooling rain after hot summer air swells up to the bursting point, or maybe like the sun which peeks out from behind the clouds after.
Æther Realm – Tarot: Promising but patchy vaguely folkish melodic death metal with high dynamics and a delightful guest appearance from Alestorm’s Christopher Bowes on “King of Cups”.
Dead Cross – Dead Cross: Schizoid crossover noise from Dave Lombardo and pinch-hitting vocalist Mike Patton. I don’t know for sure it’s the most unhinged performance Patton has fielded since his collaboration with the Dillinger Escape Plan, but I also don’t know for sure that it’s not. Dead Cross just might be the perfectly fucked-up soundtrack to this perfectly fucked-up year of ours.
Sabbath Assembly – Rites of Passage: Satanic doom-rock which comes in bales of tangled, sinewy arrangements tied together by Jamie Myers’ pythic, stentorian delivery.
Accept – The Rise of Chaos: The Rise of Chaos clenches up tight like a prizefighter’s fist and punches you in the metal bone until it’s vibrating at Accept’s frequency.
System of a Down – Toxicity: Randomly sweeping through my music library sometimes sweeps up a random album and spirits it into the grid. So it was with System of a Down.
Devin Townsend – Ocean Machine: Biomech: The older I get, the more I can drill into the reservoirs of loneliness and depression bubbling up under this record’s wall-of-sound surface.