by Billy DeFrain
Every week, I am stunned by the sheer volume of metal which is released. I’ve never been a huge fan, but I can appreciate good chops when I hears ‘em. What is also stunning to me is the sheer volume of metal bands which feature “Plague” in the name. There seems to be a new Plague release at least once per month. This week, we get it out of the way immediately.
Altar of Plagues | Mammal | Profound Lore
Really, really long metal songs, which are also kinda slow as long as you ignore the bass drum on every 16th note. Also, this fulfills this week’s Plague-band name quota.
An Horse | Walls I Mom & Pop Music
Stripped down, unremarkable indie-pop duo, and colloquial grammar enthusiasts.
Armor for the Broken | The Black Harvest | Tragic Hero Harvest
Better album name than Altar of Plagues’, also, faster.
Count Basie | Basie Meets Bond | EMI Japan
Re-release of Count Basie’s (ranks beneath Duke Ellington in the peerage) take on Connery-era Bond songs.
David Kilgour | Left by Soft | Merge
Solo album from the founder of the ’80s post-punks The Clean, who did this song:
Deafheaven | Roads to Judah | Deathwish Music
When I first misread this, I thought “Jesus Christ, do we need yet another band with a deer name?” (He said no, we don’t). But Deafheaven is not a deer band. They are brutal, brutal metal.
Dirty Vegas | Electric Love | OM
Blah, blah, blah.
Emmylou Harris | Hard Bargain | Nonesuch
I was going to make a Steven Seagal joke, but then I remembered that that movie was called Hart Target and stars Jean Claude Van Damme. But it does star Lance Henriksen and Wilford Brimley.
Explosions in the Sky | Take Care, Take Care, Take Care | Temporary Residence
I love Explosions in the Sky, but what would really make me happy is a Mr. 1986 reunion show/album. Oh well.
Florence + the Machine | Lungs (Deluxe Reissue) | Universal Republic
Includes some bonus tracks, live versions and remixes along with the original 2009 version. She’s got a hell of a voice.
KMFDM | WTF? I Metropolis Records
blah blah blah
Of Montreal | Thecontrollersphere I Polyvinyl Record Company
One listen and you’ll know why these songs weren’t included on their last album. Nice cover art, though.
Crank alert: I liked Coquelicot Asleep in the Poppies the best.
(soundtrack)| Prom: Original Soundtrack I Hollywood
What will the kids listen to at prom this year? Will it be the soundtrack to Disney’s Prom? What did I listen to at my senior prom? Nothing. I didn’t go.
Thao & Mirah | (s/t) | Kill Rock Stars
Speaking of “she’s got a hell of a voice,” here’s the fruits of last year’s collaboration between Thao Nguyen and Mirah. And here’s a good Mirah song not from this album:
Tia Carrera | Cosmic Priestess | Smallstone Recordings
Not the chick from Wayne’s World, but they do have album art that looks like it was drawn by Jack Kirby.
Various Artists | Big Bully: The Best Foot Forward Series | Recess
An inspiring collection of anti-bullying jamz for all you nerd kids out there.