Five Songs, 1/7/2019
Five Songs

Five Songs, 1/7/2019

IT STOPPED AT THREE DAYS, WHO COULD HAVE GUESSED? Eh, whatever, it's not like I said I'm going to do these every day or anything. At least, not after I edit this place. NEW STREAK HERE!

Negativland, "Keep Rollin"

Negativland's No Business is a meditation on copyright, art, and the nature of culture in general. Or, more succinctly, it's a Negativland album. On the spectrum of experimental noise to something that could be described as music, it falls closer to the musical end, making it one of the easier Negativland albums to absorb. Which isn't to say it's easy listening. By the time they made this record, they had decades of experience in assembling these kinds of oddball things, so they had gotten very good at the sound manipulation required.

SWANS, "Right Wrong"

From the very beginning, Swans were uncompromising in their vision. They came from the "no wave" scene in New York, exploring forms of anti-music. Their first album (Filth) is punishing and brutal right from the beginning. There's an intersection with industrial here as well, with the pounding, repetitive rhythms and abrasive noises. It's a grim, dark vision, but fascinating nonetheless. While Michael Gira would expand his songwriting and add nuance, drama, and subtlety as he went along, he was an outstanding talent right out of the gate.

Beige, "Beige 04 / 35 / 08"

This is perfectly pleasant.

Melvins, "Sky Pup"

Houdini is the most conventional Melvins album, by a fair bit. And nevertheless, it still contains some oddities. For instance, there's...whatever this is. Do you think King Buzzo is trying to be sexy? Is this what the Melvins think sexy sounds like? I'm scared it might be.

Big Black, "Cables [Live]"

We've got some real veterans of the 80s underground here today! Big Black were another band that took elements of industrial, fusing it to hardcore and producing some of the seminal albums for the noise rock scene. This is the closer to Atomizer, a live version of a song from the earlier Bulldozer EP, and you can hear the signature slashing noise of Big Black's guitars and Albini's ascerbic lyrics. Atomizer is one of the essential releases of the 80s underground, so if you haven't listened to them, you should absolutely fix that.

Joshua Buergel
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