El Ten Eleven – Banker’s Hill

The creative process is such a fascinating part of the human condition. Whether it’s writing, songwriting, filmmaking, speech, or any number of other creative pursuits, the process of making something just to make it is so uniquely human and yet completely out of grasp to understand until you do it.…

Stern – Missive: Sister Ships

One of the greatest traits of the underground music community is its deeply collaborative nature. A journey into one artist’s discography will often illuminate connections to other like-minded artists, which initiates the insatiable quest to devour yet another intriguing discography. Such is the case with Stern, which likely attracted attention due to its…

PREMIERE: Spooky Cool’s “Black Wine” Is The Deviously Infectious Summer Jam You Need

Maybe I’m finally showing my age, but I’ve gotten to the point where it takes something really special in the indie rock sphere to impress me. Albums still come through occasionally that scratch that itch I felt so often throughout college and much of my 20s, but few things really stick and weave their way into my brain like they used to. I still keep my ears out though for new bands and tunes that can bring those earworm melodies packaged with interesting songwriting that deftly balances hooks with more challenging meat that I crave. This is exactly what drew my attention to Richmond, VA’s Spooky Cool when I found their debut EP Every Thing Ever in my inbox. Formed in 2015, the band blend the big hooks and powerful melodies of classic indie like The Pixies, unconventional art-rock/pop noodling and vocal stylings reminiscent of Dave Longstreth and Dirty Projectors, with the occasional outbursts of angular guitars and noise that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Deerhoof record. The band have already premiered the excellent tracks “Strange Rooms” and “Old Hair Mine,” which you can hear on their Bandcamp. We are pleased to be premiering another track, the epically groovy “Black Wine,” which you can listen to here!

Gazpacho – Soyuz

Creating an album based on a singular, defined concept has always been an intriguing prospect for lots of bands and artists. The practice seems to be more common amongst bands with artistic and progressive tendencies than ones churning out heavier fare. Norway’s six-piece outfit Gazpacho have evolved over a career…

Unmetal Monday – 5/7/18

There’s a lot happening in the music world, and we here at Heavy Blog try our very best to keep up with it! Like the vast majority of heavy music fans, our tastes are incredibly vast, with our 3X3s in each Playlist Update typically covering numerous genres and sometimes a different style in each square. While we have occasionally covered non-metal topics in past blog posts, we decided that a dedicated column was warranted in order to more completely recommend all of the music that we have been listening to. Unmetal Monday is a bi-weekly column which covers noteworthy tracks and albums from outside the metal universe, and we encourage you all to share your favorite non-metal picks from the week in the comments. This week, we’ll be highlighting a few albums and tracks that struck our fancy over the past few weeks. Head past the jump to dial down the distortion:

Hypno5e – Alba – Les Ombres Errantes

Stripping something down to its core components is one of the oldest and most powerful of tropes. The story of getting down to the core of things has immeasurable power over us. In fact, it appears that it becomes more and more relevant the farther along we go; as our lives get more and more complicated in the modern age, the appeal of a return to basics strikes deep. Works  as varied as Into the Wild, Breaking Bad and Inception all revolve around the idea of the fake, sleek, modern, and inauthentic self sloughing away, leaving behind it a core that rings with truth and power. These themes and narratives are the fuel behind Hypno5e’s latest release, Alba – Les Ombres Errantes. There can be no other impetus for a band known for their complexity and contrasting influences to make a minimalist album; the drive which makes such an effort go is inherently tied with the idea of a return to basics.

Steven Wilson – To The Bone

Clichés exist for a reason; usually, they represent a grain of truth that gets buried underneath public scrutiny. The more that people observe or muse on that single grain, the more it gets reused and worn. In the process, a certain derision becomes attached to it but that does nothing to take away from the actual grain present there. Clichés, when used right, still have the potential for truth and incisive perspective. Steven Wilson has, for all intents and purposes, worked long enough in the business to become his own cliché, a musician whose style is so important that it is an arch-type when one approaches music in a large number of sub-genres. As Wilson continues to progress down his career, what is left to him? It seems as if every peak has been conquered. What keeps him going? If To The Bone, his upcoming release, is any indication, it is probably a mix of love of music, dedication to the craft and the constant need to tweak his own style.