Sunday, 18 February 2018

3 - 10,000 days - Tool

progressive, psychedelic dark rock

10,000 days

Tool homepage

Quite late in the Tool canon, “10,000 days” sees them in full psychedelic rock flow, with quiet, noodly, introspective sections blossoming into complex, stoned soundscapes.

I’ve only had the stand-out track “Right In Two” on my phone for years, having given the full album a listen only a handful of times in the past. However, giving it another audition yields some different bits that I’m picking up on and I have restored the full track list to my working collection. I think maybe it was the rambling intro for “Lost Keys (blame Hoffman)” that originally did it, where a Doctor tries to get a patient to talk after presenting at an Emergency Room in a silent, troubled state. I guess it doesn’t feel quite so close to the bone now, so that’s progress, right?

Sunkist and Sudafed, gyroscopes and infrared

The sound they produce is immense; signature guitar setup pervades, the drums display various complex-timing trickery, and the chunky, intricate basslines, thick with harmonics, bounce around the low- and mid- range. Get a decent copy and bathe your ears in it.

Trivia

Two of the tracks - “Wings for Marie (Pt 1)” and “10,000 days (Wings Pt 2)” can be layered together to form a single song (see https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=EFjEp79zaNw) which has an interesting call-response thing going on.

Highlights

  • Right In Two
  • The Pot
  • Vicarious

MASSIVE UPDATE

It turns out that the packaging for the CD is EPIC - with a built-in stereogram viewer and about 15 illustrations.

Showing off the cover

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

2 - 1/f - immune

progressive hard rock?

Bandcamp link

1/f

Once upon a stumbling around Bandcamp, I found immune linked from somewhere, referenced as an interesting, Tool-esque, British band to explore. Was not disappointed!

I don’t really know that much about them aside from that they went through a name change at some point - they are now known as Master & The Mule - but they have a talent for melodic, dark, progressive rock. It’s quite thoughtful, introspective, and only shouty when it really needs to be.

Highlights

  • Monkey
  • Selling Screen
  • Consume

1 - Brave enough - Lindsey Stirling

primarily instrumental violin

YouTube channel

Brave Enough

Note: This is first in my album list due to a naming quirk (the ID3 tags all have “Brave Enough” surrounded by quote marks).

I’ve followed Lindsey Stirling’s career for a few albums now, and hearing that she had a new one out last year was an automatic decision to buy and add to the collection. There are a few more vocal collaborations this time, but still the same rich, unpretentious melody lines and beats. Her music, like her, is perky, fun and can catch you emotionally with a set of heartfelt and brilliant tunes. And when she’s got an idea in her head she really lands it simply because she’s insanely good at expression.

The album is a tribute and celebration of a friend of hers who, tragically, died young, and the songs are weaved around memories of good and sad times, aspirations and regrets. The emotional tug of the songs is strong and conveys a great deal, though I think I preferred the big, instrumental tunes on her previous album “Shatter Me”.

Overall it’s bittersweet and that’s a wonderful thing. If you don’t know her work then please check it out. She’s a delight and a wonderful talent who may surprise you. Further, the relationship she has with her fans at live shows and via social media is infectious and commendable.

Highlights

  • Brave Enough ft. Christina Perri
  • Something Wild ft. Andrew McMahon
  • Gavi’s Song

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

0 - Intro

And then I decided that I wanted to review every album that I have on my phone, in alphabetical order, as they play. “Good excuse to write!” says the aspirational bit of my brain which really does need a good kicking every so often. God help us all; here we go.

Album list