Songs of the Week: 4/24/2020

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 4/24/2020.

  • Artist: Ministry
  • Song: “Alert Level” (Quarantine Mix)
  • Album: None
  • Genre: Industrial Metal
  • Notes: Always good for a nice political song and never shying away from controversy, this is a solid new one-off track about Covid-19 and Trump.
  • Artist: Hayley Williams
  • Song: “Dead Horse”
  • Album: Petals for Armor II
  • Genre: Pop / Rock
  • Notes: The second in a series of EPs for the Paramore front woman, sees her again breaking away from the sound of the band and trying new things from pop to rock, to slight touches of reggae but pretty much nothing like the sound of her band.
  • Artist: Danzig
  • Song: “Pocket Full of Rainbows”
  • Album: Danzig Sings Elvis
  • Genre: Elvis Tunes
  • Notes: It’s no secret that Glenn Danzig was heavily influenced by Elvis Presley and he’s been teasing an album like this for years so fans have been clamoring for this. The one thing it has going for it is that it doesn’t have your traditional covers on it but in the end, man, this is likely for die hards only. Glenn reworks most of these songs into really dark, minimal arrangements that fit his voice perfectly and it’s actually a really solid album but I can see how for a lot of people this would be a fucking snoozefest and a half.
  • Artist: The Used
  • Song: “Wow, I Hate This Song”
  • Album: Heartwork
  • Genre: Screamo
  • Notes: I was a big fan of The Used debut record back in 2002 but lost them after their second record and critically they have been blasted for two decades, so I felt no need to go back but this may make me. This definitely reminds me of what I loved about them in the first place. Screamo, rock, pop and all crazy levels of chaos mixed together. But I initially went into “Wow, I Hate This Song” figuring this was going to be another pretentious song about a band trying to write a hit for their label – but it’s not – it’s about hating all the other songs on the radio (ok, so a similar concept) and while a bit silly, it contains my favorite chorus/post-chorus in a while: “Wow, I hate this song / Each time it comes on / I hate this song / Each time it comes on / La-la-la, make it stop / La-la-la, heard enough/ La-la-la, holy fuck / I don’t wanna sing along/ La-la-la, make it stop/ La-la-la, heard enough/ La-la-la, holy fuck/ I hate this song.” And if that sounds completely stupid to you – now picture it from the perspective of a kid sitting on this couch with his hands in his ears trying to block out the noise by say “La-La-La.”
  • Artist: Brendan Benson
  • Song: “Freak Out”
  • Album: Dear Life
  • Genre: Alt Rock
  • Notes: This is off the 7th album from Benson – a member of the Raconteurs with Jack White and a great solo artist in this own right. The albums is a mixture of really catchy pop tracks and some rockin’ tunes that definitely have that Raconteurs vibe.
  • Artist: Jack Garratt
  • Song: “Get In My Way”
  • Album: Love, Death & Dancing
  • Genre: Pop / Alternative R&B
  • Notes: Technically this album doesn’t come out until the end of May, 2020 but he’s releasing three songs at a time on EPs and this is on part 2 of that. This track is a pretty unique and quirky mix of pop, alternative and R&B.
  • Artist: BC Camplight
  • Song: “Cemetery Lifestyle”
  • Album: Shortly After Takeover
  • Genre: Indie Rock
  • Notes: BC Camplight is an awesome musician with a bit of quirkiness and self-sabotaging of his own songs. It’s best to just say he’s indie rock because he dabbles all over the place with styles, many times within the same song. Every time you think you have a song figured out, there’s a twist or turn that catches your ear and all with a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor in his lyrics.
  • Artist: Loote
  • Song: “All the Fucking Time”
  • Album: Heart Eyes
  • Genre: Pop
  • Notes: Here’s a pretty great pop song that is totally radio ready, you know, once you beep out all the fucks in it.
  • Artist: Cirith Ungol
  • Song: “Legions Arise”
  • Album: Forever Black
  • Genre: Heavy / Doom Metal
  • Notes: Cirith Ungol are one of my favorite metal bands of all time – heavy and catchy at the same time, their songs are always quite memorable. But it’s Tim Baker’s vocals that really make the band what they are, with the falsettos and crazy extending of pretty much every line he sings, it’s hard to get that sound out of your head.
  • Artist: Elephant Tree
  • Song: “Exit the Soul”
  • Album: Habits
  • Genre: Doom / Post-Rock
  • Notes: Fuzzy doom, mixed with some post-metal creating a really dark gloomy experience.
  • Artist: Theraphosa
  • Song: “Mother Night”
  • Album: Transcendence
  • Genre: Progressive Metal
  • Notes: These guys started out back in 2018 as Groove Metal but this new album is full on progressive metal with tons of heavy riffs.
  • Artist: Upchurch
  • Song: “Sunshine Girl”
  • Album: Everlasting Country
  • Genre: Bro-country
  • Notes: I’ve never heard anything from Upchurch but I see he’s been labeled as a country-rapper and if so, that’s not present on this disc. This is a pretty much a bro-country record at the core and follows that blueprint to a T.
  • Artist: Werewolves
  • Song: “Know Your Place”
  • Album: The Dead Are Screaming
  • Genre: Technical Black/Death Metal
  • Notes: Absolutely killer tech black/death from this Australian trio. The three members have been making music for years with other bands but this is their debut together.
  • Artist: Scouting For Girls
  • Song: “Don’t Need You”
  • Album: Lost Songs: Everyone Wants To Be On TV
  • Genre: Indie Pop
  • Notes: Scouting For Girls is a pretty awesome pure pop band from England that write killer hooks and pretty creative lyrics. “Don’t Need You” is lyrically awesome with lines like “I Don’t Need You / Like a House Don’t Need No Roof,” “I don’t need you / Like Shaggy don’t need Scooby Doo” “Don’t need anything / Unless you have a twin” and “I don’t need you / like a rapper don’t need a crew / like Bono doesn’t need U2 / and like the world didn’t need Bad Boys 2 (well maybe that one ain’t true)”
  • Artist: Lena Stone
  • Song: “Kids These Days”
  • Album: Princess EP
  • Genre: Country
  • Notes: Despite the album cover looking decidedly pop, Lena Stone creates country crossover music that’s in line with virtually every other country crossover female artist. Nothing unique but still a damn fine EP.

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