New Music 1/25/19

(re-post from Facebook original, edited)

Completed New Music Week 4 through Tidal.

Each Friday release day, I’m going to download 5 albums with the only criteria being name recognition or the best pieces of cover art and review them. These are the releases of 1/25.

Song of the week: Terror Jr.’s “A-Ok (Everything’s Perfect)”
  • Album: Boogie – Everything’s For Sale
  • Previous Knowledge: None
  • Chosen: On Shady Records and I’m always interested in hearing someone that Eminem signs.
  • Review: Well, I always think that stuff on Shady records is going to sound a bit like beats from Dre/Em but this doesn’t at all. These are really standard, plodding beats with little variation from track-to-track. And Boogie really isn’t all the great of a rapper. You can tell that immediately on the track “Rainy Days” when Eminem does his lone verse on the record. Never ever have someone that’s immensely more talented than you rap on your album.
  • Rating: 4/10
Boogie’s “Silent Ride”
  • Album: Steve Hackett – At the Edge of Light
  • Previous Knowledge: Genesis baby! And GTR but weirdly enough, never any of his other 24 solo records.
  • Chosen: Name recognition
  • Review: Funny, I saw Steve Hackett’s new record in the new release section on Tidal and was very excited about it. Why funny, you ask? Because as pointed out above, this is his 25th solo record and I haven’t heard any of them, even the 80s albums. The last record I had heard was in ’86 when he was in GTR. So yeah, funny I was excited for this album after three decades of ignoring him completely. Since I don’t know other records from him and I don’t feel like going to back to check, I’m not sure if he’s followed the early prog-Genesis path this whole time or if he’s ventured out of the box since then but this is very much what I thought it would be – a progressive rock record that sounds very much like what the early version of Genesis might sound like if they were still making that type of music today. Or maybe 15 years ago, as it does sound a little old and dated in the end but still a solid listen.
  • Rating: 6.5/10
Steve Hackett’s “Underground Railroad”
  • Album: Sneaks – Highway Hypnosis
  • Previous Knowledge: None
  • Chosen: Album Art – bright pink cover with just a small picture of her, face partially hidden by a pink feather boa.
  • Review: Bass, drum machine, vocals and some electronics are all that’s really present on this interesting album. This is her third record and at 28 minutes long, her lengthiest to date. I was reading up on Sneaks and there seems to be a prevailing thought that she’s playing off of post-punk to get her sound and well, I mean, there may be a post-punk root somewhere in here, but this is mostly minimalist hip-hop with various other influences mixed in. I rank after one listen but this is one of those records that might take a few listened to get the full scope, even as minimal of an art as it is. It’s good enough to go back to it again, though that’s not what I do. Maybe it’s what you do instead.
  • Rating (8/10)
Sneaks’, “Suck It Like a Whistle”
  • Album: Puppy – The Goat
  • Previous Knowledge: None
  • Chosen: The band is named Puppy, the band logo font screamed glam rock and the cover is pink with a skull, candles and lots of wicca references. I mean, with that in front of me….
  • Review: Based on what I said above I was expecting something kind of rock oriented like The Darkness or something silly like Steel Panther. It’s certainly closer to the former than the latter but this one is a bit tough to figure out. They are on Spinefarm and listed as Heavy Metal on their facebook page, which is not true at all. It’s definitely a rock oriented record and heavy at times but more like how a band like Velvet Revolver worked – with rock songs and pop hooks mixed in. Think VR, Buckcherry, etc…
  • Rating: 7.5/10
Puppy’s, “Vengeance”
  • Album: Terror Jr – Unfortunately, Terror Jr
  • Previous Knowledge: Loved their first EP, Bop City and in particular the song “Come First”
  • Chosen: Name Recognition
  • Review: This is the group that back in 2016 was rumored to be led by Kylie Jenner because “Come First” was premiered in one of her commercials but it turns out I don’t love a band led by a Jenner or Kardashian after all! But I really do love Terror Jr. They are a pop band at the core with brilliant electronics and dark hip-hop beats interchanged throughout their songs. It’s unbelievable these guys aren’t incredibly huge by this point. Anything here could fit both with today’s non-trap hip-hop scene and pop scene extremely easily. It’s only four weeks into the year obviously but this is the first record going on the list for best album of 2019.
  • Rating: 10/10
Terror Jr.’s “Hungoverheadcrack”

Albums ranked 10/10 in 2019 (in order of release date)
1. Terror Jr. – Unfortunately, Terror Jr.

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