Big day today! This marks a full year of perfect updating. That's 1,825 songs, plus a few duplicates (which I don't say much about). I write a little paragraph for each of these things, most of the time. Sometimes a throwaway, sometimes a bit more, but let's say that I wrote about 60 words for each song. That's something on the order of 100,000 words I've written about music over the past year. And not a damn bit of it useful! And if you compiled it in one go, it's a novel's worth of garbage.
Sometimes, I do ask myself why I'm still doing this. I have other projects I want to be doing in my evenings. I have game designs I'd like to make progress on. I have other blogs I'd like to start, maybe even update regularly. I have a few programming projects that might be fun to work on as well. I started this to remind myself about music I'd forgotten about in my old collection, and to maybe share it with a few friends. And over the years (years!) I've been doing this, I've grown used to just having it around. It's comforting. And over the years, some folks that I didn't know before starting this have been following along, commenting, and it's nice. But is it the best use of my free time?
Something like 20 people check this thing out each week, if Google Analytics can be trusted. It might not be trustworthy at those low numbers due to sampling, but it's definitely just a handful of folks. But that handful of folks: thank you for checking this out. Music is so important to me, and I hope you all find something neat to listen to from this project. Thank you to everybody who has read, commented, liked my posts on Twitter, and otherwise acknowledged that this thing is here. And here's to another novel's worth of stuff!
Enough of that. Kick out the jams, Plexasaurus Rex!
Lord Mantis, "Death Mask"
Lord Mantis, the ugly blackened sludge band from Chicago, put out their 2014 album (also called Death Mask) and ran into a lot of controversy. Charlie Fell, the singer, bassist, and lyricist, filled the album with lyrics reflecting the desperation in his life. He was deep in the throes of heroin addiction and spiraling further down. His relationship with his bandmates was deteriorating, and he deliberately loaded the album with the darkest material he could think of. It's not an album that you really want to look up the lyrics to, frankly. I picked it up after a review talked about the musical side without addressing the lyrical content, and at this point, I don't think I'd buy it knowing what it's like. But, it's art created to reflect the mindset of the creator, and I suppose it achieves that. It's just that that's an extremely grim mindset.
The music and delivery, of course, also reflect that ugliness, which is kind of why I picked it up in the first place. Fell would leave Lord Mantis after this, and spent a couple years deep in a hole before starting to re-emerge, first with Cobalt and eventually re-joining Lord Mantis. I haven't picked up any of the latter's records other than this, though. I'm not sure it would be a good idea. As always, it's challenging to think of where the line is with a lot of these extreme metal acts.
Mr. Lif, "Earthcrusher"
Mr. Lif's brilliant I Phantom slowly builds from the personal tragedy across to this apocalyptic song over the length of the record. This is a fitting climax (there is a denouement after this, "Post Mortem") to a truly genius record.
Silver Scooter, "Remembering"
This is the final record from this forgotten indie rock band from the turn of the millenium. And by "forgotten", I include myself in that number. This is the only record I own from them, presumably becuase it made zero impression on me. This is fine?
Kyuss, "Green Machine"
Before the Queens of the Stone Age, Josh Homme, Alfredo Hernandez, and Nick Oliveri were in Kyuss. Like with QotSA, Homme was the constant and other people moved in and out, and like QotSA, they played a grungy kind of rock. The grunge gold rush swept them onto Elektra, where they put out a couple records before breaking up. It's a link in the chain for Homme's career, and the music is more straightforward and elemental than his later work. There's plenty of good here, but it's still a ways from his best music.
M.O.P., "Roll Call"
M.O.P. ("Mash Out Posse") got going in the mid-90s, continuing to put out records into the early 2000s. They kicked out East coast hardcore, bouncing around among labels, including a guest spot on the The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse. I'm not sure they made too much of a commercial impact, but this kind of hard-hitting stuff has aged pretty well compared to some of the more commercial rap of that time. I'm feeling this track tonight.