Re: PMX2 Thursday Soundoff

Author:Matt Johnsen
Date:2018-10-11 14:31:34
In Reply To:PMX2 Thursday Soundoff by BenMech
Platinum - Iceman. A reddit find. Cheesy USPM from 1990, coming out of New Jersey, no less. The cover is... really nice. The singer is amazing, but the songs, for the most part, are what you'd expect from the best local act of Bloomfield, NJ circa 1989. There are a couple standout cuts, but mostly this is utterly forgettable.

Horrendous - Idol. The best DM band in the US now?

The New Pornographers - Challengers. This is my wife's fave NP album. I prefer Twin Cinema, but this is a great tone, too. The title track is astoundingly, almost unbelievably great.

Neko Case - Middle Cyclone. My fave Neko Case album, for sure.

Kansas - Point of Know Return. Is there a better rock ballad that "Dust in the Wind"? I don't think so!

Justin Sullivan - Navigating by the Stars. The quietness of this album grows on me as I get older. One of Sullivan's last true masterpieces.

Revocation - The Outer Ones. Dave's enunciation is too good for lyrics this bad. I mean, they're no worse than a lot of Lovecraftian metal lyrics, but in this case, they're just all so literal. Every song is like the Cliff's Notes summary of a dull Lovecraft pastiche (as I don't think any of these songs are based on actual Lovecraft stories so much as "inspired" by them, although I could be wrong). There's no nuance, no subtext, just plot summaries fitting of an 8th grade paper. The music is pretty great, and as always, it's an album worth hearing for the solos. Dave and Dan are the fucking man(s).

King's X - Out of the Silent Planet. The first two KX albums are the best, but even they're kind of dull. How did Ty Tabor ever get a rep for riffing? His playing is dull as fuck.

Children of Bodom - Something Wild. Still my fave. I love the looseness of this, compared to the ones that came after it (the good ones, I mean. They only released four good albums, and everything after that is garbage.)

Cheap Trick - At Budokan. I'll take the studio cuts of "I Want You To Want Me" and "Surrender" over the live ones, but otherwise, this is as good as rock live albums get.

Exodus - Force of Habit. What a stinker!

The Donkeys - Television Anarchy. Post-punk with a power pop edge. "No Way" is an all-time power pop classic, in my book.

Don Caballero - American Don. Probably the album of Don Cab's I enjoy the most. Funniest song titles, at least. Everything up to and including this album is great, though, and even the two albums after are solid. Don Cab were too good for their time.

Agretator - Distorted Logic + demos. The Dark Symphonies reissue. I've had this EP and the last Agretator demo since 2000, when I wrote some fanmail to Christopher Malmstrom gushing about how awesome Darkane is. He sent me a bunch of cool shit. This reissue also includes some earlier demos, which aren't as good as anything else on the disc, but still okay!

Amon Amarth - Sorrow Through the Nine Worlds. It's easy to forget that these guys were good, briefly, before they turned into a power metal band with a death metal vocalist. This EP and the first LP are quite enjoyable, I say. Their later stuff isn't bad, exactly, just utterly pointless, and not death metal in any meaningful way.

Carisma - 1825. A prog metal classic. I find that the albums from that late 90s scene that sound the least like Dream Theater, Queensryche, or Fates Warning are the ones that have aged the best. This album rules entirely.

Ark - Ark. It's truly astounding how great this band was. "The light that burns twice as hot..." etc. Even more amazing is that Jorn did all these vocals and lyrics without input from the other guys. They handed him the recordings, which were meant as a demo, and he gave thm back the finished album. How could the guy who could do that turn into the guy whose best* songs are all covers and whose originals are duller than the narrated Magica story?

Arsis - We Are the Nightmare. This is an excellent album that I find very hard to listen to because the drums sound so bad. You'd think the guy with three snare drums on his kit would be a little more demanding in the studio, and perhaps request that not everything be triggered.

Believer - Transhuman. When in doubt, pull this one out.

Trizna - Out of Step, Forgotten Tapes. Fun Russian thrash with some tech moves. The singer is reminding me of someone else, but I can't put my finger on it.

Sculpture - Sculpture. A one-and-done band from the main dude in Darkseed. Similar style (roughly: a mopey German take on Black Album-style post thrash) but less gothic. I like this a lot. After this, he did SpiRitual, a not-entirely-successful merging of metal and Dead Can Dance, then seemingly retired from metal. Too bad - he had a cool voice and a knack for catchy melodies that made the most of his limited range.

Tesla - The Great Radio Controversy. My fave of theirs, by far, although all of the first four, at least, are good. I never listened to any of the reunion albums. Should I?


*but still not good
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