Wilco, "Bright Leaves"
Wilco returned from hiatus for 2019's Ode to Joy, although their hiatus only lasted three years, which is like a normal inter-album pause for many bands. Anyway, the album kind of feels like it's looped back to The Whole Love in terms of the song construction - setting aside the (relative) noise of Star Wars and the sort of confessional feel of Schmilco (this track notwithstanding). Is it good? Well, I think it's good, but maybe not great. It's not an essential Wilco record, but I like it just fine.
What makes the Arsonists' first record special is that it's a large crew (five people), and they did everything. What you hear is the vision of five people coming together on the beats and the rhymes. No producers for hire, no guests, just five people laying it all out. It's bracing and very enjoyable.
Dag Nasty, "Circles"
Dag Nasty carried the flag for DC hardcore in the mid-80s, with Can I Say being produced by Ian MacKaye and released on Discord. And yeah, there's more than a little Minor Threat worship going on here, but Dave Smalley on vocals in particular does a nice job balancing the shouting with a little bit more of a melodic approach. He would actually leave after this album and join ALL, but later would return, but they wouldn't really ever match the energy of the first record.
Jonah Matranga, "Suggestion"
Hey, speaking of Ian MacKaye! Silence Is A Dangerous Sound: A Tribute To Fugazi is exactly what it sounds like, a 44 track compilation of Fugazi covers. As with any tribute comp, it's all over the map, ranging from pretty faithful recreations of the originals, to somewhat straightforward variations, to pretty radical re-imaginings of the songs. As with most of these comps, it usually just makes me want to listen to the original, but I've enjoyed spinning this occasionally.
Ulthar, "Through Downward Dynasties"
What we've got here is some blackened death metal out of the Bay Area. Merging the vocal style of black metal to the big riffs of death metal, it's a hybrid that will appeal if you think to yourself "I like the riffage, but I wish the vocals were grotesque in a different way" when you listen to death metal. Anyway, this is a pretty good example of the style, in case you were wondering.