Have to admit, the last full-length offering, Even When The Cat Comes, while a cover album was fascinatingly interpreted. Doom crooner Andy The Doorbum sings with so much melancholy, resonating from deep within his soul. With his new album, No Amount Can Quench Mouths Maimed By Drought, a title that literally paves the way for gloomy transitions, gives us a lot more of what we should expect. The funeral-like dirge “Hymn Of Dolor: Singing Away The Spider Bites” is sparce on instrumentation, opening with vocals and a lightly strummed guitar that gives eventual way to other instrumentation and backing vocals. We can feel the sorrow as well as the pain, which seems about right considering ‘Dolor’ is translated as pain. Everything here sounds deliberate, much like the instrumental sparseness of “The Glut Of Golden Ages: Relinquishing The Lure Of A Precipice” until the moment Andy howls “And shines like a star!” where everything comes together. But the twang of the slide guitar brings the song to the dusty corners of the southwest. But the sadness of “A Newborn Ghost: Space For The Lifeless” is probably the standout here as the misery in Andy’s voice is obvious with a dragging guitar melody to match. More than halfway through, the song takes a turn, a movement of clear beauty, creating a landscape of sound that’s majestic. I’m not sure what I expected but No Amount Can Quench Mouths Maimed By Drought is Andy The Doorbum in his purest form.
When you think ‘East Coast,’ you’re never really thinking ‘Ease EAST Coast.’ But here we have the collab between Niagara Falls, NY rapper John Creasy and Nova Scotia DJ/Producer Uncle Fester for Super Villain, an interpretation of New World Order’s Hulk Hogan-era. Sure the theme may seem odd, but it makes sense. John Creasy’s laid-back drawl works wonders over Uncle Fester’s thick beats, that are an ode to the Boom Bap. On “3rd Man” in particular, Creasy rips his metaphors & similes focused on all things wrestling, descriptive wrapping them around imagery that one might think wouldn’t fit but it clearly does. “Bash At The Beach 96’” though, is soulful with Creasy slowly creeping around the track with his words. He slips in more of that NOW imagery, incorporating it where it seems fitting. He spits his words as if he’s undefeated, but it’s never a lie if you truly believe it. Creasy doesn’t litter his rhymes boastfully through braggadocio but instead, it’s with the confidence of a champion. Super Villian is tight like that.
ILL PEACH – THIS IS NOT AN EXIT
The Los Angeles duo ill peach is made up of professional songwriters Pat Morrissey and Jess Corazza who worked together with an assortment of artists (SZA, Weezer, Pharrell) and at some point came to the realization they could make a go of things on their own. Thus, the group was born. The band has released an assortment of singles off its debut offering, THIS IS NOT AN EXIT (Hardly Art), an album rife with shiny pop frequencies with semblances of dissonance & experimentation. “BLOOM” flips the switch with a colorful bassline, surrounded by swirls of keyboards, and Jess’ airy vocal delivery while “HUSH” burns with the fury of a thousand suns. The juxtaposition of aggressiveness and Corazza’s vocals, which ranges from cooing chanteuse to heavy rocker, works within the context of the song.
But it’s ill peach’s ability to shift directions that you may find interesting. “Capillary Bed,” plays ever so slightly with dynamics, allowing the melody of the notes picked as the track begins to furiously control the song itself. The sweet softness of “COLLIDING” might just be what the band is all about as it works the same process of the previously mentioned number but here, the percussive electronics take control, although Corazza’s voice and melody is unmistakable. Yes, you might be here for it just like everyone else is. Am I? Well, most certainly. With THIS IS NOT AN EXIT, ill peach finds its way through pop songs that have a heavier edge that’s unrelenting.
PAINT IT BLACK – FAMINE
Who’s back? Well, it’s Philadelphia’s Paint It Black who return with a new eight-song full-length release entitled Famine (Revelation Records). The last time the band released an album was back in 2008 which seems like a lifetime ago. See what I did there? Anyone? Anyone? Well, if you weren’t aware, frontman Dan Yemin is the guitarist for Lifetime, a band that runs concurrently alongside Paint It Black, although, Lifetime hasn’t released an album since 2007, I’m sure as shit expecting something eventually. But I digress.
Paint It Black returns with a fury of aggression and a fire in its proverbial belly. The band doesn’t leave any room to breathe, opening with the fiery title track, we get there’s an obvious distaste for America, “the land of Cain and Abel…” but man, it’s the direct hardcore punk attack that’s probably the most important factor because the group hasn’t lost any of its potency. Yemin rallies across a lot of emotions through his words, and you can feel it if you pay attention. When he sings/screams “When hate hits wall, and I’m not getting through…” we get it’s the culture of the times, living in the upside down. Yeah, I’m in. Sure there’s a frenetic energy on the release and “Dominion” crashes all around us, barely leaving room anywhere as guitars clash against one another while the rhythm section tears through the song like a raging storm. Until about the 1:15 mark where we find the band slowing down a bit grooving slightly to an infectious melody as the song closes.
By no means is the band leaving anything on the sideline, and Paint It Black does things as quickly as possible without sacrificing anything on the song and it’s magnificent. There’s no need to wait for something great here because “The Unreasonable Silence,” plays with dissonant notes and even melody to an extent. It’s hard to ignore, it might differ from other tracks a bit but it’s still recognizable as Paint It Black.
Well, Paint It Black is back and they’re trying to make a statement, with its music and lyrics. Famine is a pretty good record I’ve listened to a number of times already and I’m sure it could fit snuggly alongside those dusty albums you haven’t played in a while and force you to dig in the crates. That’s what I’m doing.
RID OF ME – ACCESS TO THE LONELY
I think we have to start off by saying this is Rid Of Me holds a lot of musical prowess from its past with members coming from a variety of sources (Legendary Divorce, Fight Amp, Low Dose, and others) and the band’s 2021 full-length debut album, Traveling, only hinted at the band’s capabilities. It was raw and emotional, and while it is a good album, there seems to be something missing that I just couldn’t put my finger on it… that is, until now.
The band just released its sophomore album, Access To The Lonely (Knife Hits) and if the first release was its call to arms, its second is its feverish attack on its unexpecting audience. As unassuming as it might be, “Rid Of Me,” the name of the opening track comes in rather quietly before the band dynamic shift explodes to set the world on fire with guitars set to overdrive and singer Itarya Rosenberg moving from monotone to howling siren. Things quickly shift with “I’m So Lonesome I Could Die,” where the band bloodies its instruments, beginning with muffled drum play before Mike McGinnis and Jon DeHart volley guitars around one another while Mike Howard, steadily ravages the kit he works with. The band showcases its hardcore leanings with a quick and steady 1-2 rhythm deep within the grooves, which is totally unexpected but offers the clear juxtaposition necessary.
But it’s “Cut” that might be the surprise here as we find there’s no easily classifiable category Rid of Me can be placed under, never fitting neatly in one spot while finding comfort within many. The noisiness of the band’s music here is offset by its grandiose guitar solo that’s arena-rock sized but it’s not the only place we find it. While the frantic “Libertarian Noise Rock” leaves little to no room to breathe, the band adds a nimble guitar solo without compromise. It remains Rid Of Me piecing together cinematic notes which only adds to the group’s unique qualities. The variety doesn’t end there though as “How You Say It Is” takes a much more direct approach, as Rid Of Me simply remains, Rid Of Me. Heavy on the melody, with clashing guitars leaving nothing in their wake. But heavy is what the band’s capable of manifesting as well as we turn to “Hell Of It” as the track erupts in unison right from the beginning. Sludge-infested waters are surrounded by battling guitars around stop/starts as Rosenberg gruff delivery matches the instruments in every which way. I keep running circles around the closing “Weekend,” where we’re left with a sense of dread and melancholy, It’s Rosenberg’s delivery alongside the whine of guitar strings, as the band plays with dissonance, that adds to that dark and brooding feel. It’s a change of pace for the group while still remaining Rid Of Me.
While Access To The Lonely may come as a surprise, it also doesn’t. THIS is what we’ve come to expect from Rid Of Me, a group filled with rage, angst, and seasoned maturity. Okay, this is probably one of the more anticipated albums of the year with the band following through in expectations. Simply put, one of the best recordings of the year.