Songs of the Week: 4/10/2020

I only have two goals for this series: 1) Introducing the masses to great new music and 2) Giving myself an excuse to listen to every single new release on the Tidal streaming service so I can stay up with new music. Doing this on a weekly basis means that I have a one week window to get this up before the Tidal feed flips to the next set of records, so by posting song reviews rather than full album reviews, it allows me to get more out there and then if you choose to dig deeper, you can.

So… songs of the week for the release date of 4/10/2020.

  • Artist: Local H
  • Song: “Demon Dreams”
  • Album: LIFERS
  • Genre: Rock
  • Notes: If I could turn one artist into a superstar, I might choose Scott Lucas, the leader of Local H. With a semi-rotating drummer, this dude creates rock music that’s both straightforward and unlike any other band, which is really tough to do. The racket he creates is fucking amazing and whether you go all the way back to the mid-90s with Ham Fisted, As Good as Dead and Pack Up the Cats or more recent material – it’s all chaos rolled up in a digestible rock package. If you can’t tell, I love Local H!
  • Artist: The Strokes
  • Song: “Brooklyn Bridge to Chorus”
  • Album: The New Abnormal
  • Genre: Rock
  • Notes: I had no idea the Strokes even still existed let alone were releasing a new album and since I had never jumped on their bandwagon back in the day, if I wasn’t listening to every new release Tidal, they wouldn’t have been on my radar. But I’m glad I listened. The first single, “At the Door” does nothing for me but the rest of the album is solid adult-like rock music – and produced by Rick Rubin none-the-less.
  • Artist: The Kooks
  • Song: “Something to Say”
  • Album: Unshelved: Part 1 EP
  • Genre: Indie Rock
  • Notes: These Brighton, England indie rockers have been around since 2004 creating a mix of Indie rock and Brit pop. I’m not 100% sure what this EP is in particular but based on the name alone, I’m led to believe it’s some B-sides/Outtakes, whatever you want to call songs that didn’t make their records. If that’s the case, jesus – all five of these tracks are awesome. Let’s hope there’s a part 2-10 coming.
  • Artist: Kiesza
  • Song: “Crave”
  • Album: TBA
  • Genre: Pop
  • Notes: The first single from her fourthcoming third record, this Canadian singer has created a mind-numbingly good pop song!
  • Artist: The Dream Syndicate
  • Song: “Dusting Off the Rust”
  • Album: The Universe Inside
  • Genre: Progressive Jazz
  • Notes: Yes, this is the same Dream Syndicate that was an alt-rock band in the 80s, took more than a decade off, then reformed as more of a psychedelic rock group. The Universe Inside is very jazzy though and largely progressive. Five tracks span almost 60 minutes and it’s mostly instrumental. And it’s fantastic. I don’t really know what their previous three albums since they reformed, sounded like, so this could be much of the same in the end.
  • Artist: Sparta
  • Song: “Cat Scream”
  • Album: Trust the River
  • Genre: Post-Hardcore
  • Notes: For their first album in 14 years, Sparta brings the power, mixing alt-rock with post-hardcore, sometimes a bit chaotic and sometimes a bit polished and straightforward.
  • Artist: Metal Church
  • Song: “Conductor (Redux)”
  • Album: From the Vault
  • Genre: Thrash Metal
  • Notes: Not just from the vault – this album consists of four new songs, some outtakes from the previous record, cover songs and a couple live tracks. This is one of the new ones and well, it’s very typical Metal Church thrash.
  • Artist: Maddie & Tae
  • Song: “Write a Book”
  • Album: The Way It Feels
  • Genre: Country
  • Notes: Maddie & Tae are pretty awesome and their second album is a really smooth and hook filled modern country record.
  • Artist: Dool
  • Song: “God Particle”
  • Album: Summerland
  • Genre: Dark Rock
  • Notes: This is the second album from this Dutch group that play a heavy brand of rock that teeters the metal line but never quite crosses it fully.
  • Artist: A N T I T H E S I S, Awon, Bluntone
  • Song: “Musings”
  • Album: A N T I T H E S I S, Vol. 1
  • Genre: Rap
  • Notes: Here’s a fantastic and very different sounding rap album for 2020. Each track has a hip-hop backbeat but over piano melodies, sort of making this rap over classical music. The result is pretty stunning.
  • Artist: HellgardeN
  • Song: “Learned To Play Dirty”
  • Album: Making Noise, Living Fast
  • Genre: Groove Metal
  • Notes: The closest thing to Pantera since, well, Pantera.
  • Artist: A-Q, M.I Abaga
  • Song: “The Live Report”
  • Album: The Live Report EP
  • Genre: Rap
  • Notes: A-Q and M.I Abaga are two Nigerian rappers that have been around for a while now but if their music has made it to the US with any sort of promotion before this point, I’m unaware of it. But this EP is fantastic and clearly recorded recently as “The Live Report” is about Covid-19 – with the downright terrifying line that “God would end the world by people catching a cold.”

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