I’m running a little late on this month’s list, mostly because the writing part of my right brain has been pretty quiet lately. I’m still engaging the musical part nearly every day, and keeping it active in other ways, so it’s all good. I’ve still got my quarterly post about what I’ve been listening to most on deck as well, hopefully I’ll get to that soon. Anyway, here’s the new (and rediscovered old) stuff from July…
Jesus Lizard – Goat
I’ve been enjoying Duane Denison’s work with Tomahawk so much lately that it motivated me to go back and pick up some old Jesus Lizard stuff again. What better than their classic, some would say definitive, release? Loved it back in ’91, love it today. This also continues my trend of rediscovering a bunch of the old Touch & Go stuff.
Mastodon – Remission
This one is better than Leviathan, which I really didn’t care much for, but it’s still not close to the masterpiece that Blood Mountain was. Perhaps I’m setting too high a bar for Mastodon? I’ll have to go back to these one day, once I’ve gotten some distance, and give them a less critical listen.
Slipknot – Psychosocial
Slipknot is one of my (very) guilty pleasures. As much as I hate sharing a taste with the Hot Topic gothtard crowd, I can’t help it. This is only a one song single from their upcoming new album, and it’s amazing. I like heavy music, and I like pop music, and they’re one of the few bands that can straddle that line. Too many of their ilk just end up sounding like a bad Journey tribute band run through a distortion box, but they pull it off.
Gogol Bordello – Gypsy Punks
This is more punk and less gypsy than their latest, Super Taranta, but every bit as original and engaging. Any time someone tries to tell you that it’s all been done, that there’s nothing new left to do in music, point them at Gogol Bordello. If you get a chance to see them live, don’t hesitate. Their live shows are among the best you’ll ever see, the energy on the recordings is but a small slice of what the put out live.
Judas Priest – Nostradamus
Wow, what a piece of shit this is. I like Judas Priest, they were one of the first metal bands I got into as a young teenage, but this is made of fail. When Rob Halford finally rejoined the band they threw down the amazing Angel Of Retribution and declared their return, loudly and proudly. To follow it up with this two-disc concept album, filled with every cliche ever put on a metal album, is depressing. This is Spinal Tap territory, folks. Awful, awful, awful. I wonder if they lower little 6″ Stonehenge models onto the stage when they play this live?
Queens Of The Stone Age – Songs For The Deaf
This falls somewhere between Rated R and Era Vulgaris for me. A little more even that Rated R was, but not up to the high standard Era Vulgaris set. The presence of Dave Grohl on drums makes a huge difference here, the guy is a monster on the skins. As good as a front man he is with Foo Fighters, he’s so much better a drummer. My only real complaint on this one is the awful radio station interstitials between songs. They’re distracting and annoying, but worth dealing with to get to the songs themselves.
New Order – Get Ready
It’s New Order, there are no real surprises. Solid electronic pop music. All of their older stuff is so tied to specific periods of my life or certain memories, that it’s nice to get some new New Order that I can listen to unencumbered by any historical deference. It’s just good pop music. I like that.