Change and progression have been requirements for respected rock bands (and art) for as long as there have been rock bands that want to be taken seriously. If you evaluate He Is Legend by this criteria only, they are one of the most successful bands of all time. Now He Is Legend are back with Few, their first album since Heavy Fruit in 2014.
On Madonnawhore, his latest solo effort, Driver embraces this image, creating an album of touching ballads which draw on the dreamy, art rock/pop themes that have become part of his staple sound. Interspersed with plenty of medieval references, the album also seems very much aware of its origins and historical context. The result is a rich and immersive album that sees the spotlight shift towards Driver’s delivery and emotional range, as befits any collection of ballads. This emotional fluency is best exemplified by “Avignon”, a touching track that hits deep right at the album’s beginning. Avignon itself was the city in which the Avignon Papacy was housed during the conflict between the French Crown and the Roman Papacy. It’s a city, located as it is on the south of France, that evokes heady themes of citrus, faint heat, spring and also erudite resistance, schism, affluence and opulence.
There are things out there in the world that make you laugh wholeheartedly with how heavy they are. There are also things out there in the world that make you go “huh?”. The best things are those that do both these things at the same time and I’m proud to present to you one of those right here, right now, in the form of Subetroth. What is this? While their music can certainly be described as avant-garde doom, they sound nothing like their others in the sub-genre, like SubRosa for example. Subetroth however are so damn weird and doom-based that this is the only label that fits. They blend fretless guitar and bass with Southern/Western folk instruments and a doom so heavy, it makes you laugh. OK, just head on below for your first listen so I don’t have to tie my tongue into any more knots.
We’re going to take a tiny detour off our safari of weird music and talk about minimalism. First off: what the hell is minimalism? We throw that term out a lot here on Heavy Blog, with Scott and Nick in particular being fans of post-minimalists like Tim Hecker and Colin Stetson, but there isn’t…