Lately, I’ve been gravitating towards more of the “heavy” music, like metal, punk, and noise rock. I blame it all on a backlash behavior: rejecting the current trend of bubble-gum lo-fi recycled 80s pop music, that music reviewers and the dying dinosaur that is the music industry, are labeling as “rock”. They obviously don’t know the difference between heavy rock and some tame quasi folk/electronic dance song.
Don’t get me wrong, I have a space in my heart for folk songs and electronic music, especially the ones that dare to take some risks. Risk? Because that’s all you got: guts and a blurring-the-line sense of humor.
Another reason I’ve been going heavy is that I feel like there’s so much to scream and be angry about. We’ve been in a sort of zombie complacency, lackadaisical mummification, “I don’t care” state. A glaring example is the 8 years of having an idiot be a representative-leader for one of the most influential countries in the world (obviously, even in America fleeing monarchy and fascism is incredibly difficult).
One can argue that heavy doesn’t go with the current times that are affecting this incredible difficulty. From the way we wear our hair to the very way we walk, this economic crisis was foreshadowed by the however the cause was ignored. Maybe life should be concerned in a shift of what and when we want to recognize the fuckery? in the American way of being : a big, loud, bully is now passe. Well maybe. We’re going green, even though going green doesn’t change the Manichean paradigm.
This world divided into compartments, this world cut in two is inhabited by two different species. The originality of the colonial context is that economic reality, inequality, and the immense difference of ways of life never come to mask human realities. When you examine at close quarters the colonial context, it is evident that what parcels out the world is to begin with the fact of belonging to or not belonging to a given race, a given species. The colonial world is a Manichean world. Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, 40, 41.
If what “parcels out the world is to “belong to a given race,” then in the same way that we are divided by color, we are as well divided by gender, sexual orientation, immigration… and whatever anew division we choose to distract ourselves with and call the enemy. And consequently, we’ll never understand ourselves.
Human social development will never be the foreground and continue we go on this path to perpetuate a Manichean pulse in contemporary live thought/living, never as a History left behind, never as a backward thinking.
Thus, I feel a great affinity towards yelling and fucking shit up! It’s very therapeutic. I recommend it completely; that and going up to a tree in the forest and screaming loudly. It’s good for you, try it.
Anyway, in no particular order, here’s a couple of bands helping me along the healing process. I thank them with all my heart for their insanity.
Harvey Milk‘s Life… The Best Game In Town. I was pleasantly surprised while searching for a review on the movie Milk. I discovered the metal band from Athens, Georgia. with the same name. Intrigued, I looked them up and was immediately hooked by their sound: a fusion of experimental, psychedelic, noise rock and sludge metal. Granted, I have never been one to find growling vocals appealing, but it’s different with Harvey Milk, maybe it’s the timber of purposefulness in the growl. Faves: Death Goes to the Winner, Decades, After All I’ve Done For You,…, We Destory the Family, Motown, Barnburner.
Wizardry is a five piece NYC metal band, I saw for the first time at Trash Bar, and they were very entertaining. I highly recommend seeing them live, because they know how to put on a show. With their glam rock look and theatrics, and actual smoke machine, I was really impressed with their effort to make the stage their own. But they’re not just about theatrics and stage presence, these guys can play. With intricate drumming, insane guitars, and strong vocals, Wizardry will definitely dazzle you with their magic. I can’t wait for their upcoming album.
Spylacopa. Another NYC band, that a friend of mine turned me onto and to whom I’m now forever indebted. Spylacopa was just what I needed. When I played their debut EP on my ipod, I immediately knew that it was right, because they made meh pores raise (a saying from Trinidad, meaning, I got goose-bumps). With their skilled transitions and ample ability to switch genres in a fleeting second, a testament to their progressive sound, they’re at times noise rock delivered purpose and direction. An example would be when switching from the heavy, noise with a purpose tracks to the ambient piano/keyboard instrumental track, Together We Become Forever, and the very moody Sigur Rós sounding, I Should Have Known You Would. Faves: Bloodletting, I Should Have Known You Would.
Goes Cube. A noise rock power trio from you guessed it, NYC. My band actually had the great pleasure of playing on a bill with these guys, and they are awesome. They are a punishing combo of rock, punk and metal. Goodness! I remember the first time I saw them live, they made my ears bleed. I don’t think I ever regained the hearing I lost.
Mars Volta‘s The Bedlam in Goliath because it’s just brilliant. Mars is the epitome of progressive rock, they fuse latin/african, jazz, funkadelic beats with punk experimental rock. With orchestral musical arrangements, they take prog to a heightened level that when listening, you can’t help but think this is the electric version of classical music. It’s that multi-layered and expansive. I must admit I was a bit disappointed with their previous album, Amputechture. I felt like it was way too abstract and I couldn’t grasp anything. Even though this may have been the point of the album, as an avid fan I couldn’t bear it. A buddy of mine shared the same feeling, up until he listened to Amputechture under the influence. Apparently, the album is less abstract while on drugs: everything makes more sense. It’s almost like what people said about some rock music back in the day, that it was evil and if you played the record backwards you’d hear the devil. Spooky. Anyway, The Bedlam in Goliath is a complete 360, my only criticism is that at times the repetition was a bit too much. Faves: Ilyena, Wax Simulacra, Goliath, Cavalettas, Askepios, Ouroborous, Memories.
Marnie Stern‘s This Is It and I Am It and You Are It and So Is That and He Is It and She Is It and It Is It and That Is That. Probably one of the longest titles ever. I feel like I’m embarking on a study. I’m listening to a dissertation for a sociological/cultural studies thesis, that sounds like a mixture of AC/DC, Erase Errata, and Stern’s very own powerful voice as a songwriter. And what I’ve learn in the center is that I am it and my future is it! Faves: Prime, Transformer, Shea Stadium, The Crippled Jazzer, Simon Says, Roads? Where We’re Going We Don’t Need Roads.
Helm Alee‘s Night Terror. Helms Alee is an experimental, sludge metal, rock trio from Seattle Washington whose sound reminds me of the Twin Peaks soundtrack. With their pensive moodiness, great melodies, and hard wailing beats, mixed with at times delicate vocals, and then at others yelling, Helm Alee makes me feel like they’re preaching (in a good way). I feel like obeying them as I shake my head yes, yes, YEAH! I really hope they can visit NYC sometime soon. Faves:Honestly all of them. They capture most of the moments in my day to day.
MORE TO COME!