The Wedding Present, "Nobody's Twisting Your Arm"
The first Wedding Present album is a perfect gem, full of the best kind of frantic jangle pop. And, of course, David Gedge's heart breaking about every two minutes.
Emperor, "A Fine Day To Die"
Looks like this is the first time we've had Emperor on here, so we get to go over the history of yet another important and deeply shitty bunch of Norwegians. The lineup that produced In The Nightside Eclipse featured Ihsahn and three dudes who wound up in prison, for burglary, arson (of a historic church), and murder respectively. The album reflects a lot of that ugliness, reveling in horrible sounds and dark lyrical themes. But, for all that, it's maybe the most influential black metal album of all time. Maybe because of all that. Many following bands cribbed their style from this record, with its chilly darkness and bleak relentlessness.
As with these other bands, separating the art from the artist is almost impossible. The awareness of the fact that a literal murderer helped make this album, not to mention a guy who followed up on his anti-Christian rhetoric with violent action, is hard to forget. Certainly, deciding to just avoid everything from this entire scene is a rational action, and I really have trouble deciding if I should ever feature anything from them on here. Because of the historical interest, I've gone ahead with it, but I'm still not sure that's the right decision.
Pinkwash, "The Brevity Is Unkind"
Philly duo Pinkwash add some math rock-ish sounds to their fury, resulting in some really interesting stuff. There's unfortunately only one record, but maybe we'll get some more in the future.
Brief Encounter, "Got a Good Feeling"
There are some fantastic re-issue labels operating right now, bringing back amazing records from the past and making them available to everybody again. Brief Encounter's Introducing, released in 1977, is a lost funk classic that was a highly collectible record and therefore basically impossible to listen to. But now, you can just grab it off Bandcamp, and it smokes. Listen to this! Hell yeah!
Dan the Automator, "The Truth"
Dan the Automator released an EP, A Better Tomorrow, that he later augmented to a full LP (A Much Better Tomorrow). Overall, it kind of comes across as a bit of a dry-run of Dr. Octogon, as Kool Keith appears on a bunch of tracks, and Dan is trying out his drum-heavy and cinematic sounds. It's good stuff, and if you love Dr. Octogon, it's worth seeking out.