Eye On Springfield with Sean Barry

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For the last Eye On Springfield for 2015, I talked with one of my favorite people on Twitter, Sean Barry. Sean writes about metal for Consequence Of Sound and in general has some pretty excellent taste in music. We often bond over a shared love of bands like Deafheaven and Vattnet Viskar. He’s also a big Simpsons fan, helping contribute to the Treehouse Of Horror interviews I did back in October.

Thanks to Sean and I hope to work with him again on Xtapolapometal in 2016!

What is your history with The Simpsons? Do you remember the first time you saw the show?

I remember that it was the show my parents vowed I would never be allowed to watch when I was younger, but by the age of 7 or 8, I was hooked. We had a taped copy of “Last Exit to Springfield” on VHS, and I remember watching that episode a lot whenever there weren’t any reruns on TV. I also remember getting a Treehouse of Horror compilation DVD when I was in the fourth or fifth grade that I watched over and over and even out of the Halloween season.
I don’t know why I loved the show so much even though it was one that my parents mostly despised. I guess I just connected with it on some comedic or familial level that all Simpsons fans eventually do.
Who is your favorite character?
Milhouse, of course. It’s like that character is written for any sort of misfit kid who’s gone through divorce and spends their youth trying to figure out what kind of person they’re going to be.
Do you have a favorite episode(s)?
As I mentioned above, “Last Exit to Springfield” certainly has that nostalgia factor for me. The same goes for “Lisa’s First Word”. I remember finding naked Bart swinging from a clothesline to be the funniest thing I had ever seen when I was a kid.
More recently, though, with episodes being more available in the past year, I discovered “Marge Be Not Proud” from Season 7, and along with the inclusion of the eternal Thrillhouse joke, I found the episode to be one of the most poignant with Bart learning what it was like to grow up in your parents’ disappointment rather than scorn. It really struck a chord with me on first viewing. I think I even teared up a bit. AlsoBonestorm would be my pick for a Simpsons-themed metal band name.
The Simpsons has a wide array of guest stars. Do you have a favorite?
It’s an easy pick, but I’m always delighted with Kelsey Grammar’s performances as Sideshow Bob. Even in the latter seasons with the writers just phoning in his Bart-centered homicidal plot lines, he still delivers every time.
Who from the world of metal would you love to see guest on the show?
I imagine Ghost would make for a really cool cameo in an upcoming Treehouse episode maybe worshipping Flanders’ devil.
Do you have a favorite musical number from The Simpsons? Also, what band would you love to see cover said song?
Lisa’s strike song from “Last Exit To Springfield” still gets stuck in my head from time to time.
But when it comes to artists covering the show’s best songs, and I’m sorry here Nate, but I imagine Animal Collective playfully covering “You Don’t Win Friends With Salad” in the same sort of style as “College” from Sung Tongs.
I’ve always thought Lisa Simpson would be the one character to end up getting into punk or metal. Who do you think will grow up and discover metal or punk?
I could totally see Milhouse sporting a Deafheaven t-shirt in his early 20s (Because I often sport a Deafheaven t-shirt in my early 20s).
Do you still watch new episodes of the show? If not, do you remember what made you stop watching?
Not really, unless I feel optimistic about a particular episode because I’ve see some high praise for or something. Inevitably, though, I get disappointed with it and swear it off until another episode comes along with the same sort of hype, and then the cycle begins again.
The show’s jokes have just gotten too unfocused and seemingly specific for an audience that I don’t necessarily feel apart of anymore.
How would you like to see the series end? Any ideas on where you would like to see the family end up?
Unceremoniously, with no big plot points or anything; just the family gathering around to sit on the couch and watch TV. Something simple and open ended.
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Sean recently posted a best of 2015 list on Consequence Of Sound that is excellent. Check it out HERE! You can also follow him on Twitter HERE!

BCW – Monolithe

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Forming in 2001, Monolithe having been releasing some of the best doom this century. Wallowing in the same slow waters as funeral doom band Skepticism (whom they covered the song ‘Edges’ for a tribute album).

Monolithe have been releasing albums since 2003, the first four of which are part of the same concept storyline. Starting with Monolithe I and ending with Monolithe IV, the story focuses on the origin of mankind while digging deeper throughout the four albums. There were also two free EP’s released online in between Monolithe II and Monolithe III.

Monolithe recently released their new album, Epsilon Aurigae, which is the first to not be a part of the origin of mankind storyline. It’s a new area for Monolithe both thematically and musically. They’ve always pushed their sound into newer territories with each release, and Epsilon Aurigae is no different. It’s still extremely slow and heavy, but with a new sense of purpose. The atmosphere on the three tracks is incredible and must be heard.

You can buy Epsilon Aurigae HERE.

Follow Monolithe at:
Monolithe Facebook

 

My Favorite Albums Of 2015

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Well, here we are. Another end of year list. This is the first time I’ve ever had a platform other than Twitter/Facebook to talk about my favorite albums from the past year. My original idea was to do 27 albums to coincide with 27 seasons of the Simpsons. But that seemed like a weird number, so I just evened it out to 20.

Note: These are the albums that have been on constant rotation for me since they were released. I’m sure the new Yellow Eyes and Mgla would have made this list if I just had more time with them. These 20 albums hit me hard and deserve all the attention they could get.

 

#20: Veiled – Omniscient Veil

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Excellent black metal featuring members of Gnosis Of The Witch. This is one of the strongest first albums I’ve heard from any band. 4 songs of exactly what I want to hear when I listen to more of a raw style of black metal.

#19: Dragged Into Sunlight/Gnaw Their Tongues – N.V.

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If you’re looking for something dark, both musically and emotinally, look no further than this collaboration between Dragged Into Sunlight and Gnaw Their Tongues. It’s a brutal piece of art filled with grim noise and sound clips of serial killers to add to the harshness Dragged Into Sunlight normally bring to the table. This album is very grim and distressing at points, which is exactly what you would expect from both acts involved.

#18: Dr. Colossus – Shut Up & Eat Your Pinecone/Whack Sabbath 7″

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Dr. Colossus have gotten better and better with each song they’ve released. The two songs on this 7″ are a perfect example of what Dr. Colossus does: doom rock/metal with lyrics about The Simpsons. Also check out the singles for Stupid Sexy Flanders and Excellent they released this year.

#17: Vile Creature – A Steady Descent Into The Soil

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Two people shouldn’t be able to sound this heavy. These 3 songs form one piece that is emotionally draining and raw. Lyrically focusing on what it’s like to be trans/gay in an unaccepting world, Vile Creature produced a doom masterpiece.

#16: Immortal Bird – Empress/Abscess

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Blackened grind with some heavy doom influences is Immortal Birds specialty. These songs are catchy and memorable, which is something that a lot of metal bands can’t pull off. The vocals are harsh, with lyrics about how mankind is complete garbage. The perfect soundtrack for the end of days.

#15: A Pregnant Light – All Saint’s Day 

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Damian Masters is a pretty prolific musician. He has numerous bands that all sound different, yet all have the same Damian Masters touch. A Pregnant Light is his most popular project, especially following the My Game Doesn’t Have A Name album last year. This EP is a good mix of older A Pregnant Light mixed with the sound he perfected on My Game…  The song ‘Phoenix Street’ is one of my favorite things Masters has ever written.

#14: Twilight Fauna/Old Thunder – Boodlines

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Featuring 2 songs from each artist that highlights their Appalachian metal, black from Twilight Fauna and doom from Old Thunder. This pairing works so well that after listening to it, all I wanted was more. Both sides of the split feature the best work each band has released so far.

13: My Fictions – Stranger Songs

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My Fictions were a new find for me this year. This album is a phenomenal emotional hardcore album that cuts straight to my core. The drums are a huge highlight and one of my favorite performances of 2015. The sound clips on the album remind me of Bob Dylan (not totally sure who they are) and add a nice breather in between the blasts of hardcore.

#12: Bjork – Vulnicura

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Bjork is one of my all time favorite artists. Every single one of her albums is a masterpiece to me and Vulnicura is no different. It’s a beautiful album full of emotionally raw lyrics about her divorce from her ex-husband Matthew Barney. Bjork delivers some of her best vocal deliveries in her career. The song ‘Black Swan’ is a huge highlight in an exceptional career.

#11: Mar – Demo

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Mar is a band I don’t know anything about. I stumbled across this demo on Bandcamp and was immediately enamored with their lo-fi doom metal. Both of the songs on here are exceptionally heavy and have a nice dose of punk to them that make them stand out from their contemporaries. I’m hoping they are still together because I’d love to hear a full length.

#10: Curezum – One Hundred Years/The Top

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All I’ve wanted me entire life was metal versions of The Cure that were done earnestly and with love. That dream has finally come true and it’s amazing. Sounding like a mix of black metal and industrial, these songs are both incredibly heavy while retaining the spirit of The Cure’s originals. Keep an eye out for a full length in 2016.

#9: Cult Leader – Lightless Walk

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This album is fierce. Lightless Walk features all of the elements that Cult Leader do well: fast as fuck hardcore mixed with Tom Waits/Johnny Cash inspired slow parts. It’s a mix that shouldn’t work, but Cult Leader makes them their own and creates some amazing music. They also write the best album closers. I didn’t think they could top their cover of ‘You Are Not My Blood’, but the song ‘Lightless Walk’ knocks it out of the park,

#8: Clouds Collide – All Things Shining

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The latest Clouds Collide follows in the footsteps of the beautiful Until The Wind Stops Blowing. This time focusing on the springtime, All Things Shining is warm and breathtaking. There is a lot more clean singing and lushness in Clouds Collide’s signature black metal, to a much greater effect. The first time I heard the album, it made me weep. It’s a beautiful progression and some of the best black metal being made today.

#7: King Woman – Doubt

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King Woman’s Doubt is probably the most beautiful album released this year. It’s full of heavy doom mixed with lush shoegaze elements. It’s what I imagine Mazzy Star would sound like if they were a metal band. The album is lyrically about singer Kristina Esfandiari’s struggles with her religious doubts. It’s a breathtaking release.

#6: Wildspeaker – Survey The Wreckage

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Wildspeaker are ferocious. A mix of blindly fast hardcore and doom with black metal elements, Survey The Wreckage is a album full of lyrics about humanity disappearing and letting nature take the Earth back, all being spewed fourth by vocalist Natalie, who is one of the best vocalists in the hardcore game. Get this, play it loud, and pray for the end of humans.

#5: Kowloon Walled City – Grievances

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This album took me by surprise. I was vaguely familiar with Kowloon Walled City, but this album was like a sucker punch from out of nowhere. I was immediately hooked. Everything about Grievances is wonderful, but especially the bass. Ian Miller is phenomenal and makes this album unmissable. The album is exactly where I wish Aaron Turner would have taken Isis. Check out the song ‘Your Best Years’ and be glad there are still bands that experiment with their sound instead of resting on their laurels.

#4: Couch Slut – My Life As A Woman

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While this was released digitally in 2014, it wasn’t physically released until 2015, so I’m counting it. Couch Slut sound like a mix of Made Out Of Babies and The Jesus Lizard if they were 1000 times more psychotic. Vocalist Megan Osztrosits sounds truly manic and unstable over the off kilter noise rock laid underneath. My Life As A Woman is an album that needs to be heard to understand. It’s a truly original work of art that is uncomfortable and way more brutal than any death metal band could hope to be.

#3: Cattle Decapitation – The Anthropocene Extinction

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I don’t know how they do it, but Cattle Decapitation have managed to top themselves with each album. The Harvest Floor was a masterpiece that was them outdone by Monolith Of Inhumanity. Cattle Decapitation blew both of those albums out of the water (no pun intended) with The Anthropocene Extinction. Focusing on how much humans have ruined the waters of the Earth and what it is doing to us, the album is a brutal listen. Musically, there is a more focused approach the Cattle Decapitation’s brand of death metal, this time with more of a black metal feel to the guitars. It’s exceptional and makes the music more memorable. The vocals are an extension of what Travis Ryan was doing on Monolith Of Inhumanity, including more of the “clean singing” that have made Ryan standout as one of the best death metal vocalists around. I don’t know how Cattle Decapitation will top this album, but I can’t wait to hear how they try.

#2: Royal Thunder – Crooked Doors

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I’ve been trying to put into words how much this album means to me since it came out in April. I still can’t. It’s a complete work of art. It’s beautiful and emotional and heartbreaking. It’s one of the most gorgeous break up albums ever made and makes me want to weep every single time I’ve listened to it. Vocalist Mlny Parsonz is in top form and is my standout performance of the year. Especially on the closing tracks ‘The Bear I & II’. Crooked Doors is completely brilliant. Again, it’s difficult for me to put into words how much this album effects me.

#1: Vattner Viskar – Settler

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Settler is the only album that could top Crooked Doors for me. It’s very rare that a band releases and album that truly feels like it was written just for you. I couldn’t believe how perfect it was when I first listened to it. Vattnet Viskar have streamlined their black metal sound into an amazing amalgamation of black metal and post hardcore that works so well. Lyrically focusing on the Challenger space shuttle explosion and space travel in general, Settler is full of lush guitar parts that sound heavy and wonderfully melodic at the same time. A song like ‘Dawnlands’ sounds like you’re being rocketed into space while a song like ‘Glory’ (which features a full fledged nu metal riff) feels like floating in the atmosphere over the Earth. The album has an incredibly original feel and at times has a lightlessness to it that is refreshing. The interplay between the rhythm section is a standout performance in metal this year. Casey (bass) and Seamus (drums) helped take Vattnet Viskar’s sound to all new levels. Settler also features the best solo of the year at the end of closing track ‘Coldwar’. It’s made me cry and numerous occasions. It’s equally depressing and uplifting at the same time and put a beautiful cap on an album that is utterly perfect. Settler hits me right in the heart and doesn’t let go even after it’s over. There is no other album that has made me feel the way Settler does, not only this year, but in recent memory.

 

Honorable Mentions:
Castrator – No Victim
Regnvm Animale – Et sic in infinitum
Full Of Hell & Merzbow – Full Of Hell & Merzbow/Sister Fawn
False – Untitled LP
Caina – Setter Of Unseen Snares
Ethicist – II
Seltar – Are teike
Deafheaven – New Bermuda
Ashbringer – Vacant
Twilight Fauna – Shadows Of Ancestors

Smartline

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This week for Smartine, I wanted to focus on a company called Collaborative Goods, from Columbus, Ohio. They work with artists to help turn their work into patches and pins. They do excellent work and you should keep an eye on them since they update frequently. Here are some of their Simpsons related items:

Bad NeighborBart Lisa CatdogBuzzed LightyearComic Book BartDr Nick PeanutDuff CanSpider Pig

All of these can be found at their website HERE!

 

Eye On Springfield with Matt Solis from Cormorant

eye on springfield

One of my favorite parts of running this blog has been meeting some pretty awesome people working within the metal community. Finding people that can quote The Simpsons along with you from metal has been completely satisfying and fun. Ben Handelman from Black Metal & Brews turned me on to Cormorant earlier in the year and informed me that Matt was a huge Simpsons fan. Matt plays guitar and sings for Cormorant and appears on their three full lengths (Metazoa, Dwellings, & Earth Diver). Cormorant are beautiful and heavy and progressive and write some of the best black metal happening today. Check them out at the links after the interview. Thanks so much to Matt for taking the time to answer these questions!

What is your history with The Simpsons? Do you remember the first time you saw the show?

I’ve been on board since the beginning. When I was six years old, my mom came in my room and told me there was a Christmas cartoon on TV that she thought I might like. I ventured into the living room and there it was, the original 1989 Christmas Special in all its glory. It was unlike any cartoon I’d ever seen, and I loved everything about it. About six months later, the regular series premiere aired and I was once again transfixed by this crazy yellow family and their hellraising son. Those early episodes focus a lot on Bart as a catalyst for conflict, and I remember my mom being concerned that I was being influenced by his bad behavior…even though she was the one who introduced me to the show in the first place! But I turned out fine. No cherry bombs in the toilet, at least.

Who is your favorite character?

My favorite member of the family is Maggie—I even have a tattoo of her on my leg. I just think the writers use her brilliantly, particularly in the Golden Era episodes. She’s so much smarter than Homer and Bart, and it creates this hilarious dynamic where she’s always doing something that calls attention to their stupidity. My all-time favorite Maggie bit is in “Lisa on Ice” when she jumps up and catches a beer bottle that’s rocketing toward Homer’s head. Kills me every time.

My favorite non-family member is probably Mr. Burns. I love the running joke of how insanely old he is, like when he’s putting together a softball team full of ringers and all the players he wants have been dead for like 100 years. His old- timey vocabulary, infant-level strength and cartoonishly evil motivations are also constant sources of hilarity. Whether he’s blocking out the sun or stealing Marge’s mom away from Grandpa, he’s always up to something entertaining.

Do you have a favorite episode(s)?

There are probably 50 that are in the conversation for Top 10, but my all-time favorite episode is “Bart of Darkness.” I think it’s a perfect representation of how good the writing in The Simpsons can be, and it has the best film parody they’ve ever done (Rear Window in the third act). One of my favorite bits ever is the “Can we have a pool, dad?” scene; I can’t even count how many times I’ve recited that one.

“Homie the Clown” is a close second—that might have the best first act in the show’s history. “Itchy & Scratchy Land” is also right up there. “We need more BORT license plates!” Basically, anything from Season 6 is untouchably brilliant.

The Simpsons has a wide array of guest stars. Do you have a favorite?

Albert Brooks as Hank Scorpio immediately comes to mind—that performance is unbelievably funny (“Homer, if you want to kill someone on your way out, it would help me a lot.”). James Woods in “Homer and Apu” is also absolutely classic. When he’s on the phone with his agent while he’s cleaning the Kwik-E-Mart microwave…it doesn’t get much funnier. Both of those guys ad-libbed most of their dialogue, too, so maybe that’s why they’re so great. And of course, who doesn’t love Cypress Hill’s appearance? “Come on, people, somebody ordered the London Symphony Orchestra…possible while high.”

Who from the world of metal would you love to see guest on the show?

Before he passed away, I always thought Dio would be a good fit. Maybe Abbath? The Simpsons are going to Norway!

What character would you be most excited to find out was a fan of your work?

I think Otto would have an appreciation for our shredding guitar solos and general acceptance of the Dark Lord. Maybe he could even drive the bus on our next tour!

Do you have a favorite musical number from The Simpsons? Also, what band would you love to see cover said song?

I love “The Stonecutters’ Song”—it has some really clever lyrics that work well with the all-male vocal melodies. That one needs to be covered by a really epic band, like Blind Guardian or Sonata Arctica. The entire “Planet of the Apes: The Musical” sequence is great; I could see Between the Buried and Me doing that one.

“Who Needs the Kwik-E-Mart?” is another classic with some hilarious lyrics. I’ll go with Neurosis to cover that one, just so I can hear Scott Kelly scream out, “I doooooooooooo…”

I’ve always thought Lisa Simpson would be the one character to end up getting into punk or metal. Who do you think will grow up and discover metal or punk?

Lisa would definitely be way into L7, Babes in Toyland, Sleater-Kinney and Bikini Kill. Obviously Jimbo, Kearny, and Dolph would get way into the thrash/skateboard culture and listen to stuff like Municipal Waste and Iron Reagan.

I could see Ralph getting into some seriously avant-garde shit like Arcturus or Sebkha-Chott. And then there’s Baby Gerald…a future grindcore enthusiast without a doubt.

Do you still watch new episodes of the show? If not, do you remember what made you stop watching?

I haven’t watched any new episodes in probably 10 years. I did enjoy The Simpsons Movie; it was smart to bring in a lot of the best writers from the series’ history, and they did a pretty decent job. I started realizing that the show’s quality was rapidly declining around 1999 or so…there were still some funny episodes here and there, but the consistency was nowhere to be found. The writing went from this sharp, outside-the-box satire to “herp a derp, look how stupid Homer is!” and I just totally lost interest. I wish they would just put it out of its misery already, but on the other hand, it’s crazy to think about how long it’s been on the air now.

Regardless, no one can take those Golden Years away from us (Seasons 2-9 in my opinion), and those episodes alone make any later shittiness well worth it.

How would you like to see the series end? Any ideas on where you would like to see the family end up?

I definitely don’t want to see it end too wacky, like something from Treehouse of Horror where they end up in space or some shit. Maybe an episode where they move out of Springfield for good this time (sorry, Cypress Creek!) and spend time with characters that have impacted the show throughout the years, like what they did in “22 Short Films About Springfield.”

matt

Follow Matt & Cormorant at:

Matt Solis on Twitter

Cormorant on Twitter

Cormorant on Facebook

Cormorant on Bandcamp

BCW – Mi’raj Aswad

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Digging through Bandcamp one day, I stumbled across the debut EP from Mi’raj Aswad, a black metal band from Singapore. The EP immediately caught my attention and engrossed me with their form of black metal that would fit perfectly alongside early Alcest, Heretoir, and Ghost Bath. I don’t know much about the band, as it seem that they are another black metal band shrouded in secrecy (band members are listed as F., (S.), and some weird X with a triangle symbol). But their music speaks for itself.


Follow Mi’raj Aswad at:
Mi’raj Aswad on Bandcamp
Mi’raj Aswad on Facebook

Josh Thieler’s Top Ten Songs Of 2015

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A month or so ago, I reached out to Josh about doing a best albums of 2015 list on here, but he had already had one set up on another site (you can check that out HERE courtesy of Inhale The Heavy). So, Josh put together another list, this time his top 10 songs of 2015 for Xtapolapometal.

If you are unfamiliar with Josh, he plays drums and sings for the band Slaves BC. Slaves BC are from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and play a form of hardcore that is heavily influenced by doom and black metal. They’re really, really good and will be releasing their first full length sometime during the first half of 2016. I can promise you it will be worth the long wait. Until then, check out Slaves BC and check out anything from this list.

From here on, the rest is from Josh.

I had 36 albums that I absolutely loved that came out in 2015, and I wrote a top 15 end of year list for Inhale the Heavy. Those 15 releases did not include some of my favorite and most listened to songs of the year. I have felt like I was doing a disservice to these songs by not talking about them, so thank you to Nathan for agreeing to post them on his site!

Author & Punisher “The Barge” https://authorandpunisher.bandcamp.com/track/the-barge

Author & Punisher has (deservedly) been getting a lot of press in the last couple of years. I feel that “The Barge” perfectly demonstrates why this one-man industrial wasteland has been generating so much buzz. This song clocks in at over 8 minutes and it does not really change much. The track is very repetitive and takes its time getting its point across. “The Barge” feels like some post-apocalyptic junkyard robot is just pummeling you into swamp of nuclear waste.

Chelsea Wolfe “Carrion Flowers” https://chelseawolfe.bandcamp.com/track/carrion-flowers

This song was used for the first Fear the Walking Dead trailer, and it was the perfect choice. I could not have cared less about that show, but “Carrion Flowers” brought the “Fear” to life for me and got me super pumped for the show. This song rules. I never knew how much I needed to hear a sludgy industrial soundtrack with Chelsea Wolfe’s gorgeous voice. So good.

Couch Slut “Lust Chamber” https://handshakeinc.bandcamp.com/track/lust-chamber

I was recently turned onto Couch Slut. The music is crushing, noisy and straightforward. By itself, the music reminds me of some of the better offerings from Kowloon Walled City. HOWEVER. Couch Slut’s vocalist, Megan, is my favorite new vocalist. She sounds like Julie Christmas (Spylacopa , Made Out of Babies) was caged and tortured for years, and she just escaped and is screaming at her captors while smearing their blood all over herself. The vocals in this song give me chills every time.

Cursed Graves “Opus Dei” https://cursedgraves.bandcamp.com/track/opus-dei

Cursed Graves does not fit into my usual musical box that I put myself in. “Opus Dei” is a punk song with rock’n’roll swagger. The album is great, but I have played this track over and over again. Cursed Graves don’t do much with the song, but as soon as it comes on, I’m having fun. I need to see these guys live so I can fist pump, high-five, circle pit, or whatever they do at Cursed Graves show.

Ghost Bath “Golden Number” https://ghostbath.bandcamp.com/track/golden-number

Within five minutes of starting this song, I went from being aloof, to weirded out and confused, to the realization that I was listening to one of my favorite records of the year. “Golden Number” is breathtaking and epic. I don’t know if this is a solo project or where the guys from, but I do know that this is one of the most beautifully expansive songs that I have ever heard. Listen to it, if you can get passed your “THIS ISNT CVLT” knee-jerk reaction, you may find this song as refreshing as I do.

Imperial Triumphant “Twins” https://auralmusic.bandcamp.com/track/twins

I sleep to playlists of all of the most horrible sounding black metal that I can find, and I sleep like a baby. This track made me shoot out of bed in complete horror, not understanding what I was hearing. It sounded as if Cerberus was bellowing out from the gates of hades challenging me to continue subjecting myself to the aural abuse that possesses this entire album. This track is great, but seriously, listen to the whole album. “Abyssal Gods” is one of my two favorite records of the year.

King Dude “Deal With the Devil” https://kingdude.bandcamp.com/track/deal-with-the-devil

I love King Dude. I am fascinated by the way that he and Chelsea Wolfe can write such chill music but it feels so freaking metal! If Tom Waits sounded scarier, and the music was interesting (sorry, Mr. Waits, I love you) he would be King Dude.

Monolord “Cursing the One” https://monolord.bandcamp.com/track/cursing-the-one

This is my favorite doom song of the year. “Cursing the One” reveals its main riff a minute in. I’m listening to it again right now as I type and I just keep smashing fists into the desk. This riff. This riff is one of those riffs that Monolord will spend their entire musical career trying to recreate or eclipse this riff. Monolord is great, but this is one of those perfect riffs that most people will never write, and no one gets to write more than one of them (unless you are Electric Wizard). Also, the vocalist sounds like some kind of water spirit or something crying out through the mist (read: weed smoke). Hold on. I’m playing this song again.

Napalm Death “Apex Predator – Easy Meat” http://napalmdeath.org/

I feel guilty saying this is my favorite song on this album as this song is a very different Napalm Death than what I’m used to. 2015 has brought a lot from different bands experimenting with industrial influence. Napalm Death is one of the bands that executed this the most successfully. This industrial influence is most prevalent on the opening and title track. This song is solely responsible for opening my eyes to this genre. It is fantastic. Napalm Death is one of the oldest and best grind bands there is, and they have written one of the best industrial songs I have ever heard.

Sufjan Stevens “Should Have Known Better” http://music.sufjan.com/track/should-have-known-better

I’ve loved Sufjan Stevens for about 12 years now. I had great expectations for this album and they were completely blown away. This album is his most stripped-down release which allows the melancholy and passion to really ring through each lightly strummed chord and softly crooned lyric. I am not afraid to admit, that I have cried every time that I have listened to the album in a sitting. “Should Have Known Better” is only the second track, and it is usually about the time the tears start to flow. After over 15 years of releases, Sufjan is still evolving. This song is wrought with sorrow and loss. It is as beautiful as it is tragic. Give it a listen.

 

Thanks again to Josh. You can find him on Twitter through the Slaves BC account.

 

Smartline

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Nothing Shirts:

The band Nothing recently put out two new shirts featuring Bart Simpsons on them. One features Bart spray painting the Nothing logo on a wall, while the other features Bart losing his mind from drinking a squishee. Both are $15.99 and can be picked up from Nothing’s Cold Cuts Merch page.

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Bart Vs. Homer Pin:

T’s For G’s recently made this awesome pin featuring a very cartoony fight between Bart and Homer.

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You can pick this up, as well as a cool Milhouse pin, at T’s For G’s website.