New Music 1/4/2019

(re-post from Facebook, edited)

Completed New Music Week 1 catalog through Tidal.

Yes, this is a thing now. If you follow these catalogs and missed the last post, along with regular catalogs, I want to listen to new music as well – so each Friday (release day) I’m going to download any albums from artists I’ve already done a catalog of (to keep it up to date) and then 5 unrelated albums – with the only criteria being name recognition or the best pieces of cover art.

Someone asked me last week why I’d do something like this – and I think it’s a pretty easy answer. My favorite days in college were during my year as music director at WTSR. During that year there were probably 100 CDs a week that came to my desk and I’d sample every one of them, then fully review them if I liked what I sampled and give the others to staff members. But it was that thrill of the mystery of what’s under the cover that I loved. So now I’m taking that same thrill to the digital age but on a smaller scale.

Anyway – each week, I’ll listen to the five records and give a brief summary.

So here’s this week’s 5 (and the first week of January is slim slim pickins)

Song of the Week: Kevatta’s “Palm Trees”
  • Album: Devo – Turn Around: B-Sides & More
  • Previous knowledge: It’s Devo, so I know them very well.
  • Chosen: Name recognition.
  • Review: Well, I mean, it’s another Devo B-Sides record, this one spanning 1978-1984 and really, they are b-sides for a reason. While uncovering old Devo tracks is really cool, there’s really nothing here that caught my attention, so this one is really for diehards only.
  • Rating: 6/10
Devo’s “Soo Bawls”
  • Album: Legion of the Damned – Slaves of the Shadow Realm
  • Previous Knowledge: By name only. Never heard any of their music.
  • Chosen: Name recognition.
  • Review: Their first album in 5 years. Pretty standard death / thrash metal. Better than I really expected it to be but there are plenty of death/thrash records out there and this doesn’t stand out from the crowd in any way.
  • Rating: 7/10
Legion of the Damned’s “Nocturnal Commando”
  • Album: Kevatta – Castle Walls
  • Previous Knowledge: None
  • Chosen: Album art – a big old castle with palm trees in purple, pink and neon green.
  • Review: I expected this to be some kind of light, airy pop and well, it has a little of that element. But it’s an instrumental rap album, with pretty standard hip hop drum beats mixed with what feels like 70’s light rock. One the surface it seems like something I could make if I really tried but it’s a neat and pretty catchy record even though it’s less than 20 minutes long.
  • Rating: 7.5/10

Kevatta’s “Snake Charmer”
  • Album: Scattershot – Self Righteous // Self-Infliction
  • Previous knowledge: None
  • Chosen: Album art – this crazy masked man, with a huge tongue, hidden by fog.
  • Review: Metal logo, kind of a stoner metal cover – that’s what I was expecting and instead I got hardcore record. I’m no hardcore expert my any means but I know enough to get that this is a perfectly well played chugfest. “Perfectly well played” though seems like something that really isn’t all that positive for a hardcore group.
  • Rating: 6/10
Scattershot’s “Let Me Sleep”
  • Album: Dead Quiet – Dead Quiet
  • Previous Knowledge: None
  • Chosen: Album Art – a floating orb over a river, rolling through a canyon.
  • Review: Expected some of kind of progressive rock and that wasn’t far off. It’s more of a stoner rock record than anything else but not the slow, downtrodden stoner that’s most common. A relatively loud, rockin’ stoner metal mixed with a slight bit of doom but not much on this record. First half is really good but it gets kind of weird near the end. And in looking it up for a link right now – I see it was released in 2015, so no idea why it was the new release section.
  • Rating: 7/10
Dead Quiet’s “My Finest Hour”