New Music | Friday Roll Out: Melvins, Cadence Weapon, Couch Slut

Yes, excitement gets the better of me at times. Last week was no different, never paying attention to dates. Last week I was premature, dropping the review of LUCI’s They Say They Love You, and if you don’t know LUCI, you should. That’s all I’ll say about that since you can read about it yourself by following the link.

With that said, did you know the Melvins have aa new release out? Well for fucks sake, get on it. Melvins has always been the band you cannot fuck with as its massive sound reigns down on everything around it. Through the 5-song Tarantula Heart (Ipecac Recordings) things aren’t very different. Musically, I’ve always thought the music created by the Melvins was larger than life and if you listen to “Working The Ditch” you’ll understand. The band never hedged on its direction and with this one, takes its arena-sized rock to another level as low-end guttural guitars growl, and the rhythm section creates an unencumbered wall of sound. Buzz Osborne elevates it even further with his own snarling delivery. But the band still remains an innovative force as dual guitars duel on “She’s Got Weird Arms” on this oddly warming track. And it seems we get the best of both worlds with “Smiler,” which is highly infectious and filled with raucous energy with Osborne channeling the ghost of Ozzy Osborne (oh wait, he’s not dead yet.) Yeah, Tarantula Heart is remarkably energetic and powerful, some of the best the Melvins has to offer.


Anyone that knows me, understands my love for all things noisy and grandiose so Couch Slut just might fit the bill. Around since 2013, the band is has been brandishing it’s self-professed “strain of drug-fueled, incendiary noise rock” for some time now. Its latest offering, You Could Do It Tonight (Brutal Panda Records) just might literally be that. I mean, I haven’t heard of any overdoses yet but noisey goes above and beyond it seems.

The sound(s) Couch Slut seems to utilize seems to reach further past “noise,” almost reworking death metal and the most barbarous of hardcore we’ve listed to. The mélange still attacks with a visceral rawness though that will dictate which way your emotions will travel. That’s not something that’s easily done. Information on the group is stark but the quintet makes one hell of a racket to make up for it. Through its opening “Couch Slut Lewis” dissonant guitars feedback against an unyielding throbbing rhythm. Growling vocals spit venom and while most of the lyricism is indecipherable, it makes no difference because there’s power on all fronts as guitars bleed all around. This is the way to start an album! By the time “Ode To Jimbo” follows, we should all in. Here it’s a singular rhythm that’s unrelenting in sheer brutality, bats & clubs pummeling on the unsuspecting listener. It has sludge from NY and NJ making its way across the Lower East Side instead of the trendiest parts of Brooklyn.

Through “Wilkinson’s Sword,” the band lightens up slightly. While things remain visceral, there’s room to breath through the dense stench of the NY transit line. Guitars and distorted bass maneuver around the steady backbone of drums with gruff vocals continuing its path. “The Donkey,” borders on insanity with a story midway through creating a stop-motion animation film about dolls having sex and cutting herself with razor blades because it doesn’t go so well. Making decisions to do this after ending up under the influence. Insanity might be putting it lightly as we wait for that Joker sequel. The band pummels away though, in unison with the obligatory guitar solo. Now we flip over to side B. High energy and animated enthusiasm encapsulate “Energy Crystals For Healing” as the band continues to swallow everything around it utilizing the black hole its music opens, tearing at the fabric of reality. But it’s “Laughing And Crying” that gets my attention as the band blares out something oddly enticing with cacophonic guitars squealing over a dense rhythm and haunting vocal delivery. If there ever was a “WTF” moment, this just might be it as dissonant notes crash around the rhythm.

For better or worse, You Could Do It Again captures your attention and does it with no fucks given. They bludgeon you into accepting what they’re offering, which is an intense view of the world through its music.


Revisiting old ways, and past days, it’s the easiest way to go back in time to get a clearer idea of growth and progression. It may seem like a cop-out but you can’t always remember every single aspect of maturation. At least this way, we can all take it in and see it for what it is. I for one am never opposed to looking and listening to things that way.

This time around, it’s obvious Roland Pemberton, better known as the Canadian emcee Cadence Weapon, has turned things up a notch with his sixth solo release, Rollercoaster (MNRK Music Group), which seems to find him exploring the Matrix, uncomfortable with some of the things he’s seen. But is it real? Where do we draw the line between reality and fantasy? Through his new album and with the help of an assortment of producers, he tries to navigate that space. There are moments here where Cadence Weapon is stripped down and vulnerable like on the opening “Cadence £∞”, singing over an acoustic guitar, attempting to move forward, nowhere to lay his head, unable to pay to live. It’s a feeling most can relate to, living but at what cost? Even on the piano-driven closer “tl:dr” he wraps up a wide array of emotions through real-life situations but his delivery is matter-of-fact and doesn’t miss a beat through his delivery. Online, offline; everything blends together into a hodgepodge of life, much like a mixture of varying mediums.

But it’s the music throughout Rollercoaster that elevates his lyricism. While 2021’s Parallel World may have been electronically driven, here it reaches another level. “Press Eject,” filled with electronic blips and thundering low-end vibes works around Cadence’s words, bothered by the systematic control others place upon him. It gets his point across while “Exceptional” speeds up the beat a bit when he takes control back. None of this prepares us for “My Computer.” The bubble has burst, as his stylized delivery is layered over Meat Beat Manifesto-like rhythms. Props do go to Machinedrum for the beat which allows Cadence to wrap his lyricism that reflects the commodified uses of computers and the internet. This couldn’t get any better and he expresses what everyone goes through on a daily basis, whether they’re aware of it or not.

The album is literally a rollercoaster of emotions everyone goes through on a daily basis, completely reliant on the digital age and he expresses that on the melodic “Blue Screen,” which we’ve all seen at one time or another. The music here is catchy, allowing the autotune of his vocals to fit within seamlessly. The harder edge of “Bots” allows for his vehemence and distaste for what’s not real doing things his own way. And then there’s “Shadowbanned,” with his words echoing the pain of social media control. Myst Milano, yet another Canadian emcee shares verses with Cadence here and the distaste they both have for social media control is obvious if not visceral. The one thing that’s surprising is the melodicism Cadence Weapon has allowed more of through Rollercoaster and we get that on the sparse “Alarms” which features the Canadian electronic band Austra. Musically, this joint is catchy AF, and much different from anything we’ve probably heard from Cadence before, or from anyone else for that matter. It’s one of my favorites off the album.

The three-year space in between albums has done Cadence Weapon well. Really well. Rollercoaster takes its shots at a corrupt corporate world, internet control, and social media’s influence as well as giving Cadence the ability to look inside himself too. This is a lot but it’s well worth it. Constant spins is what this has gotten and will continue to get. Cadence Weapon has elevated his own game exponentially. We should all be appreciative of that.