Showing posts with label Odonis Odonis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Odonis Odonis. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

My Top Albums of 2021

2021 was a weird year for music. I spent A LOT of time on albums that came out in previous years. So much so, I wasn't entirely certain I could pick ten records that had a huge impact on me. Some of these have ended up here despite my having not fully ingested them yet. That's okay, I always know the special ones the moment I hear them (for the most part).

Here then, are my ten favorite records released this year:

Jerry Cantrell - Brighten: This is the album I've been waiting for Jerry Cantrell to make for years, and its arrival serves as the beginning of a new role for him in relation to popular music. Cantrell has always been a sage, but previously he's been reluctant about it. Brighten shows him aging into this new position in a way so as to best take advantage of the role as a songwriter and musician. Brighten is big and filled with living reflections, a man looking behind him to better inform his path into the future. The songs hit hard, because, despite a decade between us, I can completely relate. Aging is rough, but you have to take what you can from it, use your mistakes and triumphs to make the future better. 

Also, bringing Greg Puciato into the fold earns JC enormous goodwill in my book. 

Sleaford Mods - Spare Ribs: Spare Ribs hit at exactly the right time, in my opinion, to make it both extremely poignant socially and serve as the most idealized presentation of Sleaford Mods' sound to date (I say that at the risk of having Williamson dismiss my assessment as 'cuntish'). These guys have a social perspective that previously made their minimalist approach to songwriting feel a lot bigger than it might have seemed at first glance. With Spare Ribs, the music has caught up. 

Ministry: Moral Hygiene: I'm not entirely sure when the last time a Ministry album made it onto one of my year-end lists. Maybe 2007's The Last Sucker, because, while I've liked most of the band's releases, I haven't loved any since Sucker. Moral Hygiene, however, is a return to form for Uncle Al and his cohorts. This makes perfect sense, as who else could you expect to chronicle the shitstorm of the last two years into pulse-pounding, cynical Industrial Metal that perfectly represents where we are in relation to our planet and technology? 

Perturbator - Lustful Sacraments: How so many fans turned their backs on James Kent for this album blows my mind because to me, Lustful Sacraments is an evolution for him as an artist that makes 100% perfect sense. It's deep, layered with nuance and knows when to take huge swings - all of which land. Incorporating more traditional "band" elements is no doubt a turn-off to some old-school fans who want another Dangerous Days. For myself, I'm happy to go wherever Kent's artistic wanderlust takes him.

Mastodon - Hushed and Grim: Double albums almost never work, yet they remain a rite of passage for bands. Hushed and Grim is probably the most solid of the like to come out in three decades. There's no excess here, nothing is superfluous. Each of the songs helps to expand Mastodon's sound, while as an overall cycle, all fifteen tracks form a solid, coherent whole. Not a feat easily mastered, but then, Mastodon has become one of the best bands around. 

Odonis Odonis - Spectrums: After 2016's Post Plague ranked as my number one album that year, I've not even really liked anything Odonis Odonis has done since. Spectrums is a return to form for the group, running the line between industrial and electro in a way that feels unique to this particular band, thrilling and a little crazy.

Adam Egypt Mortimer - The Obelisk: Filmmaker Adam Egypt Mortimer conjures another dimension with The Obelisk. This is unlike anything else I've ever heard, and for that reason alone, it garners my praise. But moving beyond the stunning adventure of the album's occult soundscapes, everything about the textures AEM uses to construct this fit into my favorite types of music. Sparse beats, analog synth, brooding overtones and flitting, ghostly flourishes of voices and who knows what the hell else. This is another one of those records that opens a door I feel as though I've been waiting my entire life to step through.

Eldovar: A Story of Darkness and Light: I stumbled across this record by the combined talents of Elder and Kadavar with no previous knowledge of either band's work. I think I may have listened to an Elder album at some point, but I remember nothing about that previous engagement with them. This then was a complete surprise. From the opening notes of the record, an immediate comparison to Led Zeppelin came to me. Not because of the sound of the music, per se, but because of the timeless aesthetic applied here. I believe this is what some folks took to calling "Proto Metal" back in the 2010s, and despite a certain lack of clarity in that as a descriptor, I get it. There's also a healthy dose of Acid Rock. But the emphasis on melody, specifically intertwining vocal melodies, gives this one an ephemeral quality that is not nearly as important to rock musicians today as it was in the afterglow of the 60s. Eldovar seems to have learned the lesson of that far-gone era and transported it to the present day with this album.

King Woman - Celestial Blues: King Woman has always been about balancing Doom aesthetics with a certain Post-Metal reserve, and on Celestial Blues, they perfect it. As brutal as it is reflective, this one drones, beats, cuts, and soars in a way that I defy anyone to put a definitive genre tag on. The haunting overtures that ebb and flow throughout the course of the album's nine tracks show songwriting on a level that bodes great things from this band in the future.

Nun Gun - Mondo Decay: A last-minute HOLY FUCK moment thanks to Heaven is an Incubator's 2021 list, it makes perfect sense this would hit me as hard as it did seeing as Algiers owned both my 2015 and 2017 with their first two albums. Mondo Decay is a strange, sick record that's filled with sonic homage while still playing as an extremely new, unique sound. When I listen to this, I feel like I'm honing in on it from between white noise transmissions, like Harlan and Maxx finding the pirate transmissions in Video Drome. This is clandestine and important, and a little scary in the best possible ways.

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Odonis Odonis - Shadow Play


It's been a minute since I've kept up with Odonis Odonis. Back in 2016, their album Post Plague was a constant in my ears and on my turntable, however, the band's subsequent releases, while good, didn't quite live up to the same high regard I'd assigned them after what I still feel not only sums up a small era of my life but is one of my favorite records of that decade. So I guess that disconnect explains why I totally missed the fact that they dropped a new record back in October, and what's more, it's FANTASTIC. Special thanks - as always - to Heaven Is An Incubator for posting a track from this and alerting me to it. If you dig, you can order one of the thirteen remaining copies (fourteen until I ordered mine) of Spectrums over on their Bandcamp or from the always marvelous Felte Records.

It goes without saying I'd developed an affinity for this particular song, as it shares a title with the series of novels I've been working on for several years now. 

Time Machine GO!!! 1991:

In this past Wednesday's NCBD section, I casually mentioned an idea that kind of occurred to me on the spot but didn't really sink in as to what a profound self-insight I'd inadvertently made, the idea that my reversion to a fairly rabid Marvel Zombie/comic collector had more to do with a return to the things that had made the tumultuous task of navigating adolescent as an unconscious way to deal with the equally rocky navigation of Middle Age. This started with an out-of-the-blue interest in following the last year of Nick Spencer's run on Amazing Spider-Man but has pushed me not only back into following some of the modern X-titles (really, just one and a few mini-series), but a nearly inexplicable longing to rebuy and reread a bunch of the post-Claremont X-men stories, first with 1994's The Phalanx Covenant and now, of all things, the original Onslaught opus.

I want to point out here that these are books that I do not in any way shape or form consider 'good.' Conceptually, perhaps, but writing-wise, not at all. And while Fabien Nicieza had some pretty good chops, when we get into Scott Lobdell territory, well, I just consider that era of X-Men pretty mediocre-to-downright-awful stuff. And yet, here I am, combing the back issue bins at the Comic Bug and reading some of this stuff. And that off-the-cuff comment about reaching back into my past to reconnect with touchstones of my adolescence as a coping mechanism for the Horrors of aging in an era of little compassion and perhaps less tolerance really strikes me now as another instance of how our minds will do what they need to do to cope and survive, even if our personalities are completely unaware of those tragedies. So with that in mind, let me resurrect a moniker from my old Chud days to you about what I'm reading from the past, what I think of it now, and how it holds up.

Okay, granted this 1991's Muir Island Saga is still protected as awesome in my book because it's penned by Chris Claremont, however, it's Claremont's final entry and thus, the gateway to the end of his continuity, or rather the way he approached continuity, so I've always kind of held a grudge against both this series and it's villain, the Shadow King, who for whatever reason, I just could not care less about. That's my 'historical' perspective of this small, four-issue 'saga' that really doesn't feel like a saga at all. A bit short and to the point to be a saga. That said, in this instance, the brevity is good, and unlike the full-blown crossovers and X-Events that began to clog the continuity after the near-perfect triumph of Inferno, Uncanny X-Men 279-280 and X-Factor 69-70 feel like a pretty good story that lines 'em up and knocks 'em down, reworking all the allegiances Claremont had, up to this point, used to divvy up the characters and keep things interesting, paving the way for the 'Blue' and 'Gold' teams that would surface in Jim Lee's X-Men #1 and Uncanny 281, which realigned all the original X-characters like Scott and Jean with the Xavier camp and made X-Factor the new equivalent of Freedom Force, under Valerie Cooper - a character I had completely forgotten about.


The Neverly Boys - The Dark Side of Everything
Lower Dens - Escape From Evil
TVOTR - Return to Cookie Mountain
The Bronx - The Bronx (IV)
Motörhead - Ace of Spades
Motörhead - Overkill
Converge and Chelsea Wolfe - Bloodmoon: I (pre-release singles)
High on Fire - Electric Messiah
High On Fire - Luminiferous
Odonis Odonis - Spectrums
Drab Majesty - Modern Mirror 
Mastodon - Hushed and Grim


A reminder to strike while the iron is hot.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

2018: April 1st 10:21 AM

Yesterday was a sacrifice - finished the latest Drinking with Comics and put it up, worked in the middle of the day, cleaned and unboxed. Never had a chance to do the blog until later at night and by then March 30th, it's playlist and the idea of pulling a card were loooong gone. I do know that I woke up with this in my head yesterday though:

Nearing the end of Thomas Ligotti's Grimscribe and just finished The Dreaming in Nortown, easily one of my favorite stories in this collection of the author's earliest two anthologies. The story builds a nice, palpable dread by plumbing the depths of consciousness; that nasty little place where waking life and the oneiric plane intermingle. And Ligotti does this in a way that feels reminiscent of Lovecraft's best philosophical terror, i.e. the opening paragraph of The Call of Cthulhu, so there's a nostalgic harmony to my enjoyment of it, as well. That said, the slightly ineffective abstractions meant to masquerade as profound raison d'être for the characters wax and wane a bit in a kind of 'nothing is happening' way; not to say I'm complaining there's no action or monsters, quite the opposite. Once again though, as I have with other stories in this collection, I feel the The Dreaming in Nortown's end doesn't exactly payoff what the rest of the story sets up.

Also recently began Si Spencer and Sean Murphy's older Hellblazer story, City of Demons. So far, really good.

Playlist from 3/31

Tennis System - Technicolour Blind
Cash Money - Black Hearts and Broken Wills
Red Lorry Yellow Lorry - The Very Best of
Childish Gambino - Because the Internet
System of a Down - Eponymous
The Verve - A Storm in Heaven
Pink Floyd - the Wall
The Used - Ocean of the Sky
Garbage - Eponymous

Friday, October 13, 2017

New Odonis Odonis Album Next Friday

No Pop is out on the wonderful Felte Records next Friday. Funds have been a bit tight so I haven't ordered it yet but I'm changing that today and you can too if you go HERE. In the meantime, here's the first track. So good.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Odonis Odonis Interview NOW Magazine

Can you tell I'm obsessed with this band? Here's a great interview.

Post Plague has been my 'album of the year' since about five seconds into Needs the first time I heard it back in the spring. Hasn't been topped yet (though label mates Ritual Howls come pretty close) specially after seeing them live at the Echoplex last Thursday, when not only did they do every song I would have asked to hear had I realized they were opening the bill and thus playing a shorter set, but closed with a perfect cover of this old classic:

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Nite Fields - Depersonalisation

Beginning with my introduction to Odonis Odonis a few weeks ago, I have slowly succumbed to a wonderful, all-encompassing musical abyss named Felte Records. It's been years since I considered myself as having a 'favorite record label' but with Felte I feel I can once again make that claim. Their roster of talent is crazy good and seems styled after my own personal tastes (and probably yours too if you read this blog), their products and business approach are fantastic and, well, talk about friendly - when my vinyl version of Post Plague arrived in the mail the other day the fine folks at Felte had thrown in another record for free.

For Free!!!

I had not had the pleasure of hearing Nite Fields previously but once I saw that cover (pictured above) I immediately made the plastic incision and extracted the beautiful piece of black vinyl within, cued it up on my new record player and within moments the opening strains of lead track 'Depersonalised' pulled my consciousness into a beautiful, black spiral from which I have only reluctantly emerged to switch back to the throb and punch of Post Plague. The two make a great juxtaposition and I highly recommend both. Depersonalisation by Nite Fields can be ordered here and Post Plague by Odonis Odonis here.

Go forth and support an awesome independent label!!!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Odonis Odonis - Needs

Almost every year without fail I stumble across a record that immediately announces itself as my favorite of the year. This certainty usually arises within the first song, which always makes the record feel that much more powerful. Yesterday I sought out Canada's Odonis Odonis and was immediately struck with the certainty that, while I have and will no doubt hear a lot of other amazing new music this year, Post Plague is going to be my #1 come year's end.