IS HILL DEAD!!?!?!?!?

January 26, 2010

Hello peoples! it’s been a while so i thought I’d say what’s up!

So that’s what’s goin on! I’d also like to talk a bit about the best albums of 2009 as I haven’t posted since the new year. So I’ll give you 4 albums. I’m not going to rank them, and I’m not going to say they are any worse or better than any other particular album, they are just 4 from last year that I think deserve mentioning.

#1 is Between The Buried And Me’s “The Great Misdirect”. I know I said that I wouldn’t compare albums, but this is the exception. They have proven once again that they are the greatest and most complete band since Pink Floyd. This album once again takes them in a new direction but not straying too far from the “Colors” vibe and tone. In fact I would say that the two albums are the most like each other of any of their albums and at first I thought maybe it was too similar. But after listening to it everyday since it came out, I’ve found that the guitar tones are incredibly similar at some points on the album but the similarities really stop there. This is the first album where there are discernible structure in some songs as well as a full acoustic song (and not an emo one like on The Silent Circus) as well as an obvious attempt to show their blues and classic rock influences. All in all they are the best… have been since Alaska and will be for the foreseeable future. This is not something that can be argued or discussed… this is fact. They are by far the most complete band without going into the obscurities of jazz-fusion… which when you look at it BTBAM is exactly that.

#2 Is the newest from Converge called “Axe To Fall.” This was an album that I tried writing a review for but couldn’t come up with enough of a review to really do one. Basically this album pummels you from beginning to end with a couple of mellow spots to breathe. The 3rd track which is the title track is just so crazy and forward driving it’s hard to take in all of the mayhem at once. A Quick note for all the pussy hardcore bands out there… THIS IS HARDCORE! The album is a bit too strait forward to rank it up there with the absolute best of the best. But, they play around with a lot of cool poly-rhythms and show they are masters of their instruments. It also has some of the best vocal layering around. Props to the engineer! This is one that you want to buy if you love hard shit but don’t want to spend months of your life trying to figure out exactly what the hell BTBAM is doing, or can’t get into the sporadic nature of Dillinger.

#3 Is from one of the most epic bands ever… Russian Circles. This one might not have made it on to this list had I not already done a review on the newest Mono album, praising it’s beauty enough for one man. But I don’t want to take anything away from this album as it is indeed mind blowing in every way. In typical Circle’s fashion they are huge, heavy, and epic without making a fuss about it. This album has some of the best bass tones ever. That is because they make it sound huge but rarely with a lot of drive and mostly amp tone. PROPS TO THE ENGINEER! If any band proves you don’t need lyrics to be heavy… its this one. But how can that be if the guitars are floating so nicely and aren’t even that dirty most of the time? The answer is simple. It’s how the songs grow and how the guitars are layered with each other and with the strings. It’s the attitude you feel in the bass when it comes in perfectly with the drive of the drums. It’s because this band knows how to grow a song from the dirt up, build tension, and then release the tension with pummeling bass and drum grooves. They are one of a few bands changing the definition of heavy right before our eyes and it gives me goose-bumps just to think about it.

#4 Will be an odd pick for most people but Clint Mansell’s soundtrack for “Moon” truly deserves to be mentioned with the best albums of last year. As most people know I have a passion for movie soundtracks. I feel it’s a different and sometimes much more difficult skill to write music to an image and try and capture someone else’s feelings rather than your own. I’ve been a fan of Mansell’s since watching the movie “Requiem For A Dream” and then “Pi” shortly there after. He also wrote the music for “The Fountain” which was performed by “Mogwai.” So his resume is very impressive and has made him a bit of a hero of mine. Anyway, he out-did himself once again with the soundtrack for “Moon” (which is also one of the best sci-fi movies ever… go watch it now!). There are so many musical ideas, sounds, and textures going on at most points of the album it can be hard to wrap your brain around. But there are also incredibly basic hypnotic sections that can send you into a trance with reverb-saturated grand piano. Anyone who is interested in synth based music or any music with a ton of electronic textures needs to check this album out immediately!

So thats it! Check back for a full review in a couple of weeks time! In the meantime… DON’T SETTLE FOR ANYTHING LESS THAN PURE ART…

hill of yage

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The 50 List..

July 22, 2009

miles-davis-kind-of-blue

Alright so my brother just posted a list of his 50 most important books and one of my fathers has asked me a few times for a list of 50 album recommendations for him. So I thought this would be a good time to do that and I figured I might as well post it here so people can see what I’m into. There are a couple of things I’d like to point out first.

Reservation The First… I mostly just threw this list together. I’m sure a couple of albums slipped my mind as it was extremely hard to narrow it down to 50. 

Reservation the second… Although I took many things into account when picking albums (influence, longevity, musicianship etc) there is obviously a large amount of personal bias and personal influence that also went into picking this list.

Reservation the third… I am still very young and obviously have not listened to nearly as much music as I should have or will in the future. So this list is based on what I have listened to enough to get a handle on in my life.

Reservation the fourth… I know people will disagree, if anyone even bothers to read this. Please comment and let me know how stupid I am for picking a certain album or leaving one off.

Reservation the 5th.. There is no real order to these picks except that the first on the list is clearly #1!

Here goes….

Kind Of Blue – Miles Davis

Sketches Of Spain – Miles Davis

Mirrored – Battles

Pet Sounds – The Beach boys

Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles

The White Album – The Beatles

Alaska – Between The Buried And Me

Colors – Between The Buried And Me

The Times They Are A-Changin’ – Bob Dylan

Highway 61 Revisited – Bob Dylan

Movies For The Blind – Cage

Salvation – Cult Of Luna

Saturday Night Wrist – Deftones

Calculating Infinity – The Dillinger Escape Plan

Morrison Hotel – The Doors

All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone – Explosions In The Sky

Celestial – Isis

Axis: Bold As Love – The Jimi Hendrix Experience

In The Court Of The Crimson King – King Crimson

Arrangements For Fulminating Vective – Lye By Mistake

Avalanche – Matthew Good

The Audio Of Being – Matthew Good Band

Nothing – Meshuggah 

Hymn To The Immortal Wind – Mono

One More Step And You Die – Mono

Harvest Moon – Neil Young

Dark Side Of The Moon – Pink Floyd

Ummagumma – Pink Floyd

The Wall – Pink Floyd

Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd

Evil Empire – Rage Against The Machine

Rage Against The Machine – Rage Against The Machine

Chaos AD – Sepultura

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, And Time – Simon & Garfunkel

God Hates Us All – Slayer

Bass Extremes, Vol. 2 – Steve Bailey & Victor Wooten

Couldn’t Stand The Weather – Stevie Ray Vaughan 

Texas Flood – Stevie Ray Vaughan

Lateralus – Tool

The Unforgettable Fire – U2

A Show Of Hands – Victor Wooten

Exodus – Bob Marley & The Wailers

Extraction – Dennis Chambers, Greg Howe, and Victor Wooten

Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs – Derek And The Dominoes

Word Of Mouth – Jaco Pastorius

Impressions – John Coltrane

A Love Supreme – John Coltrane

Road Apples – The Tragically Hip

Led Zeppelin II – Led Zeppelin 

Portable Immortal – Immortal Technique