Sunn O))) & Boris – Altar.
This is way left field for me and is the frist drone/doom album I have listened to for any length of time. Basically Sunn O))) (ignore the rather pretentious punctuation, call them Sun) and Boris are two bands that collaborated on an album that is held by some as the seminal record in both doomrock and dronerock. However some see it a quirky footnote to the band’s careers… and I don’t know yet. The album is something of an ordeal and an experience, being nothing like I have listened to before. There are no discenrable structures and no real “song” parts as it is uses guitar drums and production values to create an epic wall of sound that only really be described as Lightning Bolt without the riffs and the lyrics. The track at the middle of the album is stunning, “The Sinking Belle”, but is it easy to listen to? No. Is it like anything I have listened to before? No. Will people like it? Probably not…
The Sinking Belle (Youtube)
Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles
Glitch computer electronic trance dance rock. As many descriptors as I can give and it still doesn’t make up what Crystal Castles are like – their debut album is made up of sketchs of ideas and short pieces with distored vocals that make the voice sound more like an instrument than a lyrical line of words and that effect is something that I have loved on The Knifes album. Here is works with the Mega Drive / Atari blips and bleeps that make it sound like nine people are playing different games of Mario Land, Tetris and Paperboy in a dark room with lasers and smoke blasting the atmosphere with a punctual demounr like a scattering spray of shotgun pellets into fabric. The album is different again and is something that I have grown to love.
Crystal Castles (Myspace)
Why? – Alopecia
I missed this the first time round, even when it was being rammed down my throat by hundreds of screaming fanboys and glowing reviews. I perceived them to be either rocky like Johnny Foreinger or indie like British Sea Power, but what I was not expecting when I popped the album in was a trip-hop rock band with some of the greatest rapped vocals I have heard since Beastie Boys’ in the heyday of the Jurassic Five. I am not big a fan of rapping to be honest… but the melodies here are strong and the lyrics are downright incredible… “I lost the first game of Chess I ever played” and “I saw to guys fucking in a dark corner of a basket ball court” being two choice examples, and the way that they are wound around the music, performed by a live band, make for a very compelling album and a worthy investigation. Pushing for my favourite find this month.