This week we have everything from gorgeous country ballads to apocalyptic thrash metal, because the world is full of contradictions. “Women of the world, take over. Because if you don’t, the world will come to an end, and we haven’t got long.”
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Power Trip “Nightmare Logic” (From “Nightmare Logic”)
I guess if there is one thing that nuclear uncertainty and apocalyptic Republican leadership is good for it is whiplashing thrash metal. Dallas juggernauts Power Trip are about to release their second album informed by the heavyweights of 80’s hardcore punk and thrash, from D.R.I. to Nuclear Assault. Like the contemporary maniacs in Iron Reagan (who also just released a scorching album of their own), Power Trip pull from a palate that was once used to rail against Reagan, but that now has been retrofitted for Trump. This track spirals into oblivion with some hyperkinetic blasts of soloing that recall the late, great Jeff Hanneman of Slayer.
The Jesus and Mary Chain “Always Sad” (From “Damage and Joy”)
It’s been eighteen years since we have gotten a new album from The Jesus and Mary Chain. In 1985, the band released “Psychocandy”, a landmark debut that showcased a brilliant melding of tinnitus-inducing noise and 60’s girl-group melody. The short and to-the-point “Always Sad” is perfect pop confectionary.
Cold Beat “62 Moons” (From “Chaos by Invitation”)
Dreamy synth-pop full of bubblegum melody and tinged with just enough Human League-style iciness to keep things from turning saccharine. This could have been on your crush’s Valentine’s Day mixtape in 1983.
Alison Krauss “River in the Rain” (From “Windy City”)
Krauss has a way of conveying melancholy that never reads as forced or aimlessly dramatic. On her new album, and first solo release in almost eighteen years (there must be a trend this week), she covers ten country classics. “River in the Rain” was written by Roger Miller from the Tony Award-winning Huck Finn musical “Big River”. As much as I love Roger Miller, easily one of my favorite country songwriters, Alison manages to mold the song into something more delicate and poignant than the original.
Jean-Michel Blais & CFCF “Hypocrite” (From “Cascades”)
A beautiful collaboration from perennially underrated Montreal producer CFCF (Mike Silver) and avant-classical pianist Jean-Michel Blais. Blais’ piano style culls from the melancholy, nocturnal influence of Erik Satie and the minimalism of Philip Glass, and Silver, influenced by the work of Ryuichi Sakamoto, utilizes tasteful restraint in his productions (even when building to intense arpeggiating climax as he does at the end of this track). The pairing makes perfect sense.
TIMELY TUNES, VOL. 35
1. Nuclear Assault “Critical Mass”
2. Power Trip “Nightmare Logic”
3. The Walker Brothers “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore”
4. The Jesus and Mary Chain “Always Sad”
5. Spiritualized “I Want You”
6. The Supremes “It’s Time To Break Down”
7. Saâda Bonaire “The Facts”
8. Cold Beat “62 Moons”
9. The Sound “Sense of Purpose”
10. Mdou Moctar “Iblis Amghar”
11. Grateful Dead “Wharf Rat (Live at Fillmore East, April 26, 1971)”
12. Alison Krauss “River In The Rain”
13. Gram Parsons “We’ll Sweep Out the Ashes in the Morning”
14. Issa Bagayogo “Saye Mogo Bana”
15. Philip Glass “Etudes, Vol. 1: Etudes No. 2”
16. Jean-Michel Blais & CFCF “Hypocrite”
17. K. Leimer “The Outpost”
18. Ivor Cutler “Women of the World”