These posts are written by: Bill Fetty

Best Of – Chris Cornell

Chris Cornell was nothing if not human albeit one with otherworldly pipes and a mind ripe with the ability to form words and phrases in such a way as to simultaneously connect and befuddle listeners and onlookers. By all accounts he was a contemplative person who loved his inner circle very much but he wasn’t alone in his troubles. His imperfections, those that his fans knew about anyway, bred a certain closeness strengthening the bond they had with the performer. He was one of rock’s golden but least gilded gods. We have lost another great one but his legacy speaks for itself. We will miss you, Mr. Cornell. Our condolences from the Heavy Blog Family to yours. Read on for what our staff and special contributors feel is a sampling of some of the best work over the course of Chris Cornell’s amazingly moving career.

Hey! Listen to Domkraft!

There are certain words and phrases that evoke powerful images for receivers of art and part of that power comes from the way that it effects people on such a visceral personal level. That is one of the more immeasurably important pieces of any work of artistic expression. Sometimes we reach for these symbols, words, and phrases in order to better acquaint the uninitiated with something that we ourselves are often only just beginning to understand. The need to connect and communicate, to dialogue and unpack, the importance of these signifiers is what brings urgency to the way we pass important personal affections back and forth.

VIDEO PREMIERE: Year of the Cobra – “Temple of Apollo”

Since Year of the Cobra’s 2015 inception, Amy and Jon Barrysmith have proven that you don’t need a huge band to create a huge sound. Producing massive, infectious heavy riffage and a sound mightier than a duo should rightfully lay claim to this pairing pummel audiences the world over. You’d be forgiven for drawing the easy straight-line comparison to Jucifer considering the similar pieces parts but you’d be doing yourself a woeful injustice to both bands.

Oxbow – Thin Black Duke

When bands return from 10 years away from the recorded word it’s logical for fans to expect *something* that sounds familiar. We want those echoes. The nostalgic pull at our heart strings for days of yore when we listened to “Band – Last Album” with such glee and aplomb that it would leave us wanting more, so much so that a decade later we will line up to ingest their latest offering. But realistically speaking, the question has to be asked how can we expect anything to be even remotely the same as it was after a prolonged period away from itself like that? Oxbow swaggers into the room to forcefully ask the audience this question on Thin Black Duke, their newest album coming hot on the heels of 2007’s The Narcotic Story (if Antarctica seems like terrific beachfront property to you).

Ghastly Sound – Self-Titled

Misdirection. Sleight of hand. Tools used to create confusion often, and especially so, in the name of showmanship. This type of confusion that has fueled many a magic act over the years and a variant of it is on display on Ghastly Sound’s self-titled EP. There are times that bands span genres and styles over the course of their career to keep fans slightly off-balance but rarely do bands try that on an album, let alone an EP. Ghastly Sound says “hold our drink” and proceed over the course of four songs to throw a lot of influences and ideas at the wall on their debut.

Always Riled Up: The Knowing is in the Doing – Mike Watt: An Interview

Some artists are iconic because of record sales or bigger than life personalities but a lot of the time they reach that hallowed status because of the influence they wind up having on others and their ability to stay humble in the face of praise. A lot of the time it’s because they have their own guiding philosophy that keeps them contributing long after others have come and gone. The latter can operate in the spaces between traditional measures of success much of the time. Some even deflect the praise onto those they’ve worked with instead of keeping the recognition to themselves.

Chill, Dummy and Listen to P.O.S.

A man who overcame a failing kidney. A performer who was just about to take his leap at the ring. A rapper who came back and said “fuck it, this is me”. All of these statements are true about Stef Alexander aka P.O.S. and the back-story of his struggles have been told over and over again (our abridged version is below) so in this edition of HLT we’re going to look at the curious case of Stef and how he got his mojo back by producing one of the best LPs of 2017.