Drudkh – Eastern Frontier in Flames

Eastern Frontier in Flames is a compilation of rare music by Ukrainian black metal group Drudkh, released in 2014 through French extreme metal label Season of Mist in anticipation of the band’s 2015 album A Furrow Cut Short. This album consists of two extended-plays originally available through limited-edition vinyl runs and one split with English…

Swans – Filth

Filth is the debut full-length album and second overall release of Swans, a musical group (although better described as a “collective” with how many members come and go) fronted by Michael Gira. Released in 1983, Filth is quite different from the post-everything experimental rock music that characterizes Swans’ famous Soundtracks for the Blind and The…

Weekend Nachos – Still

Apart from having one of the best band names this side of “Piss Vortex,” Weekend Nachos are one of the leading purveyors of the modern powerviolence/crust punk scene. Well, at least they were. They broke up earlier this year and released the teaser for their final album as I was writing this article.1 Still is…

TOYOMU – 印象III : なんとなく、パブロ (Imagining “The Life of Pablo”)

印象III : なんとなく、パブロ (Imagining “The Life of Pablo”) is the perfect metaphor for the cultural zeitgeist of 2016. Produced by Japanese producer TOYOMU in response to Tidal’s lack of presence in his native country – on which Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo exclusively premiered – Imagining represents the dichotomy between the ubiquity of information…

Dead Kennedys – Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables

While the California punk culture is known for its skate punks and as the birthplace of American hardcore, there’s an oft-forgotten art punk scene that played rhythm guitar to the leading one in New York City – the most famous (and visible) of which are San Francisco’s Dead Kennedys. Acts such as The Units and The Screamers utilized gender-bending imagery…

Radiohead – Hail to the Thief

By the band’s own admission, Hail to the Thief is kind of a mess.1 Exhausted (and rightly so) from the Kid A/Amnesiac sessions, Radiohead opted for an organic, spontaneous recording environment for their sixth studio album, relocating to the Hollywood area and writing songs in studio rather than meticulously planning them out through computers and…

Napalm Death – Scum

If Scum sounds like two different albums by two different bands, that’s because it is. Napalm Death recorded the first side in August 1986 as a three-piece,1 then shelved recording for nine months before entering the studio again in May 1987 with no returning members other than drummer Mick Harris,2 whose obsession with blast-beat percussion – a…

My Bloody Valentine – Tremolo [EP]

Tremolo was the second of two extended-plays released during the prolonged recording sessions of My Bloody Valentine’s shoegaze masterpiece Loveless. In contrast to its sister – the  heavier Glider – Tremolo forsakes indie/alternative stylings for abstract composites of sound produced by instruments that just so happen to also make rock music. The title refers to lead…

骨架的 – Holograms

Vaporwave’s association with kitschy pitched-down R&B is so intrinsic as to be memetic, and it all started with 骨架的’s Holograms back in 2010. Released around the same time as Chuck Person’s Eccojams Vol. 1 by Daniel Lopatin, Holograms ditched the “post-Internet” ethereal gloom that was previous release Skeleton for a nostalgia-bomb of old school muzak…

Bathory – Bathory

Venom made the genre’s eponym back in 1982, but it’s on Bathory’s self-titled debut that “black metal” became a subculture and motif distinct from other types of extreme music. Released two years after Venom’s thrashy ode to darkness, Bathory – under the leadership of Thomas Börje “Quorthon” Forsberg – took heavy metal’s longstanding interest in…

$3.33 – Draft

$3.33 (pronounced “three thirty-three”) is the moniker of Celia Hollander,1 a Los Angeles musical composer who utilizes looping, delay, and repetition in modern classical piano pieces. Draft is a thirty-seven minute long extended-play that was featured in a modern dance production of the same name by Hollander’s sister, Madeline.2 Draft is a dreamy exploration of…

Green Day – American Idiot

American Idiot is what every edgy teenager was thinking in the early noughties. We were growing up and started to believe we were seeing how the world was actually working. Blistering attacks on the government (for a Top 40 album, at least), thinly veiled references toward American cultural hypocrisy, and a protagonist who really wasn’t…