Early Plays: All Them Witches’ Sleeping Through the War

All Them Witches are an American band which plays a nice blend of stoner and psychedelic rock. In their relatively short career they have been really prolific since from 2012 they have already released 3 albums and their new work, Sleeping Through the War, is about to come out in late February 2017.

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Early Plays: Power Trip’s Nightmare Logic

Power Trip are a metal band from Texas that plays an energetic and violent blend  of thrash and hardcore. They aren’t around since many years but have already accumulated considerable experience playing live together with some big names like Anthrax, Lamb of God and Napalm Death.

Their sophomore release and second album, Nightmare Logic,  will be available from the end of February 2017. I heard however a couple of tracks that have been released as an anticipation of the publication of the disc, they are definitely promising.

Check out the single Executioner’s Tax

Best Indie & Alternative Rock in 2017 (so far)

Edit: there is a new chart for Indie, Punk and Alternative Rock. Check it out from the homepage.

The top five albums within the Indie & Alternative Rock category (first update in 2017).

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Major Musical Disappointments in January 2017

The first 30 days of the year have given us a good collection of music albums, in particular in the rock scene (with Japandroids, AFI, Cloud Nothings, You Me at Six, and Dropkick Murphys). As always, though, there have been a few highly anticipated discs that ultimately disappointed our initial expectations.

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Best Music Albums of 2017 …so far

Edit: there is an updated chart for the Best Music in 2017. Check it out from the Homepage.

1) John Garcia, The Coyote Who Spoke In Tongues.

Genres: Stoner, Acoustic.

A new studio album by the prolific and legendary voice of stoner metal. This acoustic album cointains some re-arrangements of Kyuss-era songs together with new original material. Garcia is here accompanied by acoustic guitarist Ehren Groban, percussionist Greg Saenz, and bassist Mike Pygmie.

“An emotional acoustic ride through Garcia’s solo work as well as songs by Kyuss in new arrangements like you have never heard before.” (Blabbermouth.com)

Guerino’s previous entry for this album is here.

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January 2017: Best Jazz Album

Up and Coming by John Abercrombie Quartet

Guerino’s rating: 7/10. This graceful album by jazz-rock pioneer John Abercrombie is the perfect companion for these winter nights. I enjoy the nice balance between the delicate melodies and Abercrombie’s signature guitar phrasing.

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January 2017: Best Stoner Rock Album

The Coyote Who Spoke in Tongues by John Garcia

Guerino’s rating: 9/10. I’m a long term fan and lover of JG and I appreciated almost every single album he published or where he simply contributed with his wonderful voice. In this disc, however, he really managed to convey a tsunami of emotions and the balance between new and old tracks is definitely satisfying.

The Coyote Who Spoke in Tongues is an acoustic album which contains new songs and some wonderfully rearranged tunes from the Kyuss era.

Favourite tracks: Gardenia, Green Machine

From Blabbermouth: normally you would expect some heavy guitars, pounding drums and fuzzy tunes from Mr. Garcia. But not this time, as his new effort is something extremely special and presents him stronger and more emotional then he has ever been. Recorded and mixed by Steve Feldman and Robbie Waldman, mastered by Gene “The Machine” Grimaldi at Oasis Mastering in California, “The Coyote Who Spoke In Tongues” offers an emotional acoustic ride through Garcia’s solo work as well as songs by Kyuss in new arrangements like you have never heard before!

From Metal Injection: while I have doubts that there was any intention in creating something that would top his past main project, Kyuss, the way that Garcia approached these re-recordings was tasteful and creative.

January 2017: Best Electronic Album

Migration by Bonobo

Guerino’s rating: 7/10. I really like the various influences which permeate this beautiful album. An elegant selection of rich and elaborate tunes.

Favourite songs: Bambro Koyo Ganda, Kerala

From Pitchfork: Bonobo’s early records were slightly hazy and indistinct, but Migration is the most sophisticated effort of his career.

January 2017: Best Metal Album

Forever by Code Orange

Guerino’s rating: 6/10. In a month that has been really poor within the metal scene, this release from Code Orange stands out because of its good qualities: nice songs, an audible sense of anger, nice production.

Favourite song: Bleeding in the Blur

From Spin: Forever throws some interesting surprises that pay off immensely. The majority of the record is solid beat downs and devastating instrumentals. At times the sound is ripping away like a buzz saw, or slowly turning its gears with immense weight. What helps make Forever a solid release though are the odd surprises within it. These surprises take the listener out of that constant crunch and hardcore slam, and present really terrific spins that are way out there. And with everything together, comes one beastly collection of jams.

From Pitchfork: with their third LP and major-label debut, the hardcore band Code Orange offer up compelling, caustic, and occasionally even catchy evidence that they have earned their alpha-dog scene posturing.

January 2017: Best Meditative and Neoclassical Album

Three Worlds: Music from Woolf Works by Max Richter.

Guerino’s Rating: 8/10. Delicate, elegant and relaxing.

From Resident Advisor: Three Worlds: Music From Woolf Works, as the name suggests, draws from Richter’s score for Wolf Works, a critically acclaimed three-act Royal Ballet production from Wayne McGregor inspired by the works of the influential English writer Virginia Woolf. Described as featuring “a vast palette of sounds—from solo instrumental and orchestral episodes, to electronic textures and music for wordless soprano,” the score makes use of themes from three of Woolf’s novels, Mrs Dalloway, Orlando and The Waves. It also employs a rare 1937 BBC recording of Woolf reading an essay called “Craftsmanship,” reportedly the only surviving recording of Woolf’s voice, along with the farewell note she left her husband before committing suicide in 1941, which is read by Gillian Anderson.

January 2017: Best Indie Rock Album

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Near to the Wild Heart of Life by Japandroids

Guerino’s Rating: 7/10. Maybe not as extraordinary as their previous album, but it’s still a really good record. The overall tones are lighter and the songs, consequently, result more accessible.

Favourite song: Near To The Wild Heart Of Life

From Consequence of Sound: it’s been five years of waiting for a new Japandroids album. The two wrote Near To The Wild Heart Of Life over the course of 2014 and 2015, hiding from the press and, it seems, hiding from their past selves. Though it was recorded by Jesse Gander, the man who handled their last two albums, the record sounds polished in a way their past works hadn’t. It’s eight songs long once again, but none of them are covers (We see you, Thin Lizzy and The Gun Club). It seems Japandroids sought out a new way of writing, and when a band takes risks, they run the chance of losing their heart. At various points throughout, Near To The Wild Heart Of Life seems victim of exactly that.