Let’s set the scene. It’s another day in your pandemic life, and you’re stuck inside with nothing to do and nowhere to go so you think, “Hey, I’m going to listen to some new music!”. You go to your favorite music streaming service and scroll through new releases only to be overwhelmed by the literal fuck ton of new music on your screen. With so many good releases coming out every day it can be hard to know where to start or what’s worth your time. Lucky for you here, compiled in a nice little list, are this week’s best and most notable releases that may have slipped under your radar.
Spirit Of The Beehive – Entertainment, Death (Saddle Creek)
Entertainment, Death is the fourth album from Philadelphia freak-noise band Spirit Of The Beehive, and it proves to be their most daring and experimental effort to date. Fragmented riffs, synth interludes, and sampled commercials are pieced together to create this psychedelic jungle of an LP. The band strikes an interesting dynamic between spacy and downright haunting synth pop passages to hard hitting, punk inspired riffs draped in a wall of fuzzed out noise. Nothing is quite right on this record. The vocals and instrumentation twitch and glitch to noisy extremes. Time seems to slow down and speed up on a whim. It’s the musical equivalent of dropping acid in a basement and watching Japanese gameshows for eight hours. Truly one of the most magical and forward thinking records we will hear this year. Have a listen, I promise it won’t disappoint.
Entertainment, Death is out on Saddle Creek.
Hooveriii – Water For The Frogs (The Reverberation Appreciation Society)
The sophomore LP, and debut on The Reverberation Appreciation Society Label, Water For The Frogs shows Los Angeles’ Hooveriii at their best. Their sound is a unique blend of psych-rock and krautrock, and while the band wears obvious influences like Thee Oh Sees or Can heavily on their sleeves they still provide a fresh take on the genre. Much of the LP was written in a converted German bunker and you can hear the bubbling curiosity and exploration that a space like that provides. Tracks like “Cindy” and “Erasure” provide the catchy riffs and the danceable grooves while the finale “Gone” gives a much needed spacy conclusion to the record. Fantastic stuff! The perfect record to take you into spring.
Water For The Frogs is out on The Reverberation Appreciation Society.
Matthew E. White, Lonnie Holley – Broken Mirror: A Self Reflection (Spacebomb & Jagjaguwar)
Broken Mirror: A Self Reflection is the fourth record from Virginia based musician and founder of Spacebomb records, Matthew E. White. It’s also his first collaboration with Alabama musician and visual artist Lonnie Holley who lends an erringly haunting vocal performance to the record. The comparisons this LP brings on are endless. From The Seer era Swans to Bitches Brew era Miles Davis. That being said this record doesn’t quite sound like anything else. It’s a unique meld of free jazz rhythms and post rock grooves that weaves through hypnotically repetitive lines and poetic lyrics. The unique instrumentation of quirky synths, punchy drum machines, and fuzzed out bass give the sound a special electronic bent. At it’s core this is a record about strength and taking risks, and the risks Matthew and Lonnie take pay off very well.
Broken Mirror: A Self Reflection is out on Spacebomb Records.
Arabrot – Norwegian Gothic (Pelagic Records)
Noise rock and sludge metal veterans Arabrot are back with their ninth LP proving to be their most refined and riff heavy record to date. In their twenty year long career the band has explored the depths of spaced out noise and heavy, crushing, downright abusive metal riffs, but here they sound their closest to a rock and roll band. Out are the ten minute slow metal anthems and in are the short, well-constructed, and irresistibly catchy noise songs. Mix that with elements of gothic rock and you’ve got one hell of a record. Lyrically the band still hits the same notes. Enough existential dread to match Albert Camus and the death, despair, and loneliness of an Edgar Allen Poe. Easily their best record as of late. Not one to miss!
Norwegian Gothic is out on Pelagic Records.
Hiraki – Stumbling Through the Walls (Nefarious Industries)
Hiraki are a trio of industrial punks hailing from Aarhus, Denmark. Their sophomore record, Stumbling Through the Walls, is quite possibly the heaviest record I’ve heard this year. Taking cues from peers like Daughters, Street Sects, and Converge, Hiraki create a crushing wall of sound that doesn’t let up for the thirty minute run time. Elements of noise, industrial, and post-hardcore blend together on this LP in truly exceptional fashion. It’s gloomy and mysterious, lyrically dark, and yet very melodic all at the same time. Cara Drolshagen of The Armed fame gives a harrowing guest vocal performance on the track “Common Fear”. For me, every listen puts this LP in a new light and reveals another hidden angle of the record. Truly a magical listening experience!
Stumbling Through the Walls is out on Nefarious Industries.