What’s up guys! Another month, another Album Round Up. Below is a quick run-through of all the records I checked out this month:
Abysmal Dawn – Phylogenesis: One of the finest Death Metal albums of the year thus far and a strong candidate for my upcoming Mid-Year Metal list! Abysmal Dawn combine dizzying technicality with a truly hideous aesthetic, capping it all off with an impressive cover of Human-era Death. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
DaBaby – Blame It On Baby: Jonathan Kirk (a.k.a. “DaBaby”) has put out three full-length studio albums in just over a year. I’m fucking exhausted by it, so I can’t imagine how he feels. This “quantity-over-quality” thing really starts to bleed his sound dry on Blame It On Baby, which must’ve been made quite hastily since there are multiple references to COVID-19 within it. Despite a few banging beats (SethintheKitchen’s “Rockstar”, London On Da Track’s “Nasty”, and a couple of joints from DJ Kid), I found this LP pretty forgettable. NOT RECOMMENDED.
Fiona Apple – Fetch the Bolt Cutters: Here’s a singer/songwriter – a Grammy-winning one, no less – whose work I was completely unfamiliar with until the “music writer crowd” compelled me to take a listen. Fiona’s intimate, conversational style of vocals is endlessly charming and has such an authentic vulnerability to it. From the personal narrative of “Shameika” to the downright uncomfortable “Under the Table”, I’ve enjoyed escaping into her neurotic world. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Purity Ring – Womb: God, what a gorgeous album. Everything I fell in love with when I first heard Shrines is still intact. The way Purity Ring combine Megan James’ ethereal, angelic vocals with a bellowing bottom-end and fairy dust keyboard flourishes sends me to a whole other universe. From the uptempo groove of the closer “Stardew” to the heartbreaking IDM-tinged “Femia”, this is my Album of the Month right here. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
The Strokes – The New Abnormal: I had no idea how much I missed The Strokes. One of the foremost Indie Rock bands of the 21st century returns to the fray with the Rick Rubin-produced The New Abnormal. This was never gonna unseat favorites of mine like 2011’s Angles or 2003’s Room on Fire, but the delightfully cheesy, Synth-Pop infused “Brooklyn Bridge to Chorus” and the appropriately titled “Why Are Sundays So Depressing” are worthy additions to the band’s catalogue. RECOMMENDED.
Testament – Titans of Creation: Following some misguided experimentation on 2016’s Brotherhood of the Snake, Chuck Billy and co revert to the status quo for a solidly enjoyable platter of old school Thrash tunes with a modernized sound. As usual, my favorite moments are when the band briefly flirt with Extreme Metal, as on the blistering “Curse of Osiris” and “The Healers”. Here is a full review. RECOMMENDED.
Trivium – What the Dead Men Say: As a Trivium fan for over half of my life, I am as qualified as anyone to take the following deeply unpopular position: this album ISN’T GOOD! Sorry. From the half-baked guitar tones to the Pop-Metal songwriting to the lazy, recycled solos, this is one of Trivium’s worst moments, outdone perhaps only by 2015’s Silence in the Snow. Here is a full review. NOT RECOMMENDED.
A FEW MORE:
August Burns Red – Guardians (Metal)
AWOLNATION – Angel Miners & the Lightning Riders (Alternative)
The Black Dahlia Murder – Verminous (Metal)
Dvsn – A Muse In Her Feelings (R & B)
Katatonia – City Burials (Metal)
Like Rats – Death Monolith (Metal)
Thundercat – It Is What It Is (Jazz Fusion)
All Time Low – Wake Up, Sunshine (Alternative)