August 28, 2009

Phil Ochs - All the News that's Fit to Sing

Genre(s) - Folk
Origin - El Paso, Texas
Year of release - 1964
Bitrate - 160 kbps
Size - 48.61 MB

Yo Phil! If you were still alive I'd totally hang out with you, ya know. You'd play some of your songs and I'd sing along, and we'd get ourself all worked up over the same issues, and laugh bitterly when people say we're just idealistic 'cause they have no idea. We could share a bottle of booze and a joint, and tap into the same upward spiral of black-humoured philosophy that leaves us dizzy and past our energy peak. Then we'd split paths, and go to our beds groggily, and meet up the next day to do it all over again. But you're dead, Phil, and have been since long before I first heard your music. All that'll ever rest me is to spin your records. So that's what I'm gonna do. I love you, man.
  1. One more parade
  2. The Thresher
  3. Talking Vietnam blues
  4. Lou Marsh
  5. Power and the glory
  6. Celia
  7. The bells
  8. Automation song
  9. Ballad of William Worthy
  10. Knock on the door
  11. Talking Cuban crisis
  12. Bound for glory
  13. Too many martyrs
  14. What's that I hear?
  15. Bullets of Mexico
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August 27, 2009

Forefather - Ours is the Kingdom

Genre(s) - Melodic black metal
Origin - Surrey, United Kingdom
Year of release - 2004
Bitrate - 128 kbps
Size - 55.22 MB

Two near-identical brothers playing what they want us to call Anglo-Saxon Metal, but what is actual fairly straightforward melodic blackened pagan metal with a penchant towards performing fellatio on Sir Oswald Mosley. Despite the weak harsh vocals, the drum computer and a feeling of immaturity in comparison with the newer full-length Steadfast, Ours is the Kingdom is an entertaining listen. The riffs, just like the clean-sung choruses, are rather lively but also epic, and they will get stuck in your brain like someone's old chewing gum. Some of the later tracks on the album such as Keep Marching On and To the Mountains They Fled exhibit some wistful pride, which I can always appreciate, and the pleasing interlude The Sea-Kings even reminds me of later Dernière Volonté. But Iron Maiden is clearly a lot higher on their influences list. That, and their silly nationalism. Anyway, here's a metal album more fun than playing pingpong with Nick Griffin's freaky glass eye.
  1. The shield-wall
  2. Ours is the kingdom
  3. Proud to be proud
  4. The golden dragon
  5. Smashed by fate
  6. The sea-kings
  7. To the mountains they fled
  8. The folk that time forgot
  9. Threads of time
  10. Keep marching on
  11. Rebel of the marshlands
  12. Wudugast
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August 24, 2009

Bathory - Under the Sign of the Black Mark

Genre(s) - Thrash/black metal
Origin - Sweden
Year of release - 1987
Bitrate - 192 kbps
Size - 49.19

Arguably the first actual black metal project to survive its demo period (you can hardly call
Venom a BM band and keep a straight face about it), and later the first, as far as I know, to release Viking-themed metal, Bathory was by all means an innovator, a flag-bearer, and a legend. The first two albums being generally too simplistic for me, and devoid of any emotional depth, third-born Under the Sign... is the spot Quorthon began developing his songwriting. Bathory suddenly had melodies - not too much though - and songs that actually went somewhere. Call from the Grave and most of all the long Enter the Eternal Fire are accurate forecasts on what was to come on Blood Fire Death and later: slow metal, but with a strong, impelling flow and epic riffs. Most of the other tracks were as fast as they used to be, but (still rather crudely) gained a melodic layer during the finale; quite something back in those days.
  1. Nocturnal obeisance
  2. Massacre
  3. Woman of dark desires
  4. Call from the grave
  5. Equimanthorn
  6. Enter the eternal fire
  7. Chariots of fire
  8. 13 candles
  9. Of doom
  10. Outro
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August 18, 2009

Beatallica - Garage Dayz Nite

Genre(s) - Metallified pop/rock
Origin - United Kingdoms of America
Year of release - 2001
Bitrate - 128 kbps
Size - 17.34 MB

Metallica was a groundbreaking band that changed the fate of rock music forever, and the Beatles were somewhat influential as well. That's what the musical history books want us to think, at least. This long-supressed demo, however, reveals a terrifying secret that has eluded the general public for forty years and is bound to make the critics eat themselves in sheer what-the-fuckness: they were actually the very same band! Jaymz Lennfield (doing an inspired Hetfield-impersonation with all the Ooh!s that come with it), Krk Hammetson III, Kliff McBurtney and Ringo Larz provide us with a glimpse into an alternate reality in which nothing is what it seems. Beatles tracks and Metallica tracks are mashed together to hilarious effect. All too serious fans of the respectable bands may see it as sacrilege but all these guys want is to have a bit of fun so they don't care. So may I introduce to you, the band that drank a thousand beers: Sergeant Hetfield's Motorbreath Pub Band! Great times.
  1. Sgt. Hetfield's motorbreath pub band
  2. A garage dayz nite
  3. For horsemen
  4. No remorseful reply
  5. The thing that should not let it be
  6. Everybody's got a ticket to ride except for me and my lightning
  7. And justice for all my loving
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Rasputina - Frustration plantation

Genre(s) - "Cello rock", dark cabaret, gothic
Origin - United States of America
Year of release - 2005
Bitrate - 192 kbps
Size - 59.63 MB

Another album that defies any succinct description, but we have no choice but trying to give you one, regardless. It all started with Melora Creager's wish to give the cello (I do love celloes) a prominent place in rock music. Consequently the music she creates under the name Rasputina is most often referred to as "cello rock". Gothic elements are present, but it doesn't sound like any established style of gothic music I know. If there's one band Rasputina's quirky visions can be compared to I would suggest the Dresden Dolls, even if musically it really occupies its own category. Frustration Plantation apparently deals with the Old South, and not just lyrically. The whole release breathes this theme - it tends to remind me of the American Gothic painting: intruiging because of its unmistakable origin and hidden (unintentional?) dark undertones that you hardly pick up on unless you look or listen intently. The title makes a good new genre designation for this band; American Gothic is exactly what this sounds like. Especially recommended songs: Wicked Dickie, If Your Kisses Can't Hold the Man You Love and, most of all, High on Life.
  1. Doomsday averted
  2. Secret message
  3. Possum of the grotto
  4. If your kisses can't hold the man you love
  5. The mayor
  6. When I count...
  7. High on life
  8. Wixked dickie
  9. My captivity by savages
  10. Saline the salt lake queen
  11. Oh, injury
  12. When I was a young girl
  13. Momma was an opium-smoker
  14. November 17dee
  15. Girls' school
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August 13, 2009

Various artists - Rocking out against Voldemedia

Genre(s) - Wizard rock
Origin - USA, mainly
Year of release - 2007
Bitrate - 256 kbps
Size - 49.59 MB

What many uninformed nay-sayers don't know is that J.K. Rowling's beautiful universe is a very political one. This brilliant concept compilation is taking some of the political themes implicitly touched on in the later Harry Potter books in order to shake people awake in our own world, in particular about corporate media, a main tool of the privileged classes to dumb us down and divide us. The project was initiated by the Harry Potter Alliance for and features ten wizard rock bands, ten tracks (and an introduction) about state repression, misleading and libelous publications, resistance and free press in Harry's world for ours to benefit from. The idea is maybe a tiny bit more interesting than the actual music, but it's good ol' comfy and cosy American amateur pop with lyrics about wizards in modern-day Britain so you need it.
  1. The Harry Potter Alliance - Introduction
  2. Catchlove - Potterwatch
  3. The Remus Lupins - (Never) do what you're told
  4. DJ Lovegood - Here's the scoop
  5. Gred and Forge - Save the Quibbler
  6. Harry and the Potters - Don't believe it
  7. The Whomping Willows - The rebel call
  8. The Owl Post and The Mudbloods - Owl post strike
  9. The Sneakoscopes - Potterwatch episode 294
  10. Roonil Wazlib - Voldemort controls the media
  11. Tom Riddle & Friends - Quick quotes quill
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August 11, 2009

Errata - Errata EP

Genre(s) - Screamo/post-rock
Origin - Lisbon, Portugal
Year of release - 2009
Bitrate - 192 kbps
Size - 33.81 MB

Oooh, I feel so acknowledged. A band came to my blog to ask me if I could maybe upload their EP! Well, maybe, I said, if it meets my standards. And it does! The raw power contained in Errata's five tracks can not hide the intricacy of the sometimes meandering, other times savage melodies, and the amount of detail is astounding. Of course, for a post-screamo band atmosphere and emotion are what really count, and those aspects are proudly flown during the ebbs and the flows of the music. The dual guitars are instrumental in this, creating oxygen-poor mountaintop soundscapes (lilting, then spasming) that never last as long as you want them. The vocalist wrings a nice raw hoarseness from his throat but sometimes alternates with a cleaner, even more miserable voice that reminds me of early Appleseed Cast. It's a band these Portuguese, even though they're more extreme, could be roughly compared to if you'd listen through your earlashes. Errata play intense and pained music that's all the more impressive if you consider this is just a first EP. I hope these guys make it far.
  1. Permanecer
  2. Estética sentimental
  3. Tempestade em segundos
  4. (In)extência
  5. Honesty is hard as myths
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Nachtmystium - Instinct Decay

Genre(s) - Black metal
Origin - DeKalb (ugliest town name evar!!), Illinois, USA
Year of release - 2006
Bitrate - 320 kbps
Size - 64.46 MB

It wouldn't be realistic to place Nachtmystium under a "psychedelic black metal" label, as having an intoxicating effect on the listener's mental state is or should be a goal of the genre as a whole. Blake Judd (sounds like the hero from some old computergame) and his band do take that extra effort of incorporating cues from good ol' psychedelic rock, for whatever it's worth. Some people hate it, and it does seem a bit contrived at first mention. But in reality, though Instinct Decay has become an atmospheric and druggy album with a mind of its own, you don't seem to notice too much of the rock influences apart from the oddly-processed (flanged?) guitar leads that lend a faint, actually rather warm glow over the otherwise coarse, cold music. Don't worry though; the music is definitely not (luke)warm. Compared to the Eulogy IV EP (here) the album is much more of a single whole organism, and that's the main improvement, and arguably a big one. But by all means, Judd for yourself. Ha!
  1. Instinct
  2. A seed for suffering
  3. Keep them open
  4. Chosen by no one
  5. Circumvention
  6. Eternal ground
  7. The antichrist messiah
  8. Here's to hoping
  9. Abstract nihilism
  10. Decay
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August 7, 2009

Placebo - Soulmates Never Die (live in Paris)

Genre(s) - Alternative rock
Origin - United Kingdom
Year of release - 2004
Bitrate - 128 kbps
Size - 130 MB

Soulmates Never Die is a concert registration released on DVD but I found an mp3 version of it, which I had to split up into two files because of its length. It's a vibrant liveshow that got me in love with a good deal of the songs even though I'm not familiar with most of their studio works. Placebo's electronica-influenced alternative rock, with its slight melancholic under- and overtones, is right up my alley. It's not the whiny-ass teen angst music you might expect (I know I did). In their concise songs they don't neglect the rock aspect and a lot of 'em, starting simple, gain more and more momentum as they go by. Plentiful guitar, keyboard and vocal hooks, and a strong chorus in most of the tracks, are given an extra shinin' by the live show's energy and especially the tandem of Bitter End and Soulmate gave me goosebumps (not that dopefiend-anthem Special K or the Frenchified version of Protect Me aren't worth the mention). Just great modern rock with a heart.
  1. Intro
  2. Bulletproof cupid
  3. Allergic (to thoughts of Morther Earth)
  4. Every you every me
  5. Bionic
  6. Protège moi
  7. Plasticine
  8. Bitter end
  9. Soulmates
  10. Black-eyed
  11. I'll be yours
  12. Special needs
  13. English summer rain
  14. Without you I'm nothing
  15. This picture
  16. Special K
  17. Taste in men
  18. Slave to the wage
  19. Peeping Tom
  20. Pure morning
  21. Centerfolds
  22. Where is my mind? (Pixies cover; with Francis Black)
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Part 2: Load it down (70.29 MB)

August 4, 2009

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Self-titled full-length

Genre(s) - Dreampop
Origin - New York, NY
Year of release - 2009
Bitrate - 320 kbps
Size - 56.98 MB

Though I had kind of decided not to post any albums in the year that they are released anymore, the pull to share this is too strong, the world needs it too bad. With their self-titled debut, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart prove that simple recipes are usually the tastiest. They take the original shoegaze sound, a bit of Belle and Sebastian's melodic style and indie pop sensibility, and some surprising harmonies and synth-additions that strongly remind me of 80s rock. The music manages to be exuberant and sad at the same time, it's trippy and deceptively intense. This Love is Fucking Right! and A Teenager in Love both belong to the more melodic songs and they're quite beautiful, not in the least because of the delightfully fucked-up lyrics. Gentle Sons is an example of the harder tracks, with a very heavy stomping beat and intense psychedelic guitar play. Most of the others are somewhere in between but not less wondrous because of it. I wish I could force you to try it but you'll have to do it on your own accord. Love them forever, like I will.
  1. Contender
  2. Come saturday
  3. Young adult friction
  4. This love is fucking right!
  5. The tenure itch
  6. Stay alive
  7. Everything with you
  8. A teenager in love
  9. Hey Paul
  10. Gentle sons
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