Plini – Sunhead

If you read my entry on this month’s Editors’ Picks (publishing in a few days), you’ll see that I talk about growth there. Without spoiling my pick for this month (hint: it’s not too far stylistically from Plini), let me repeat, briefly, my ideas from there: one of the greatest thing in the world is seeing an artist grow. Watching someone dig deep into why they make music and take ideas that were just hinted at in their early works as foundations for something greater is one of the main reasons why I spend so much time with music journalism. There really aren’t too many examples which better drive this point home than Plini; from bedroom project, through nu-prog sensation and all the way to an artist which constantly (and I mean constantly, take a look at his tour dates) tours the world, Plini has grown before our eyes into one of the most impressive and intriguing musicians around.

Can This Even Be Called Music? June Edition

This column is a monthly feature where I point the Heavy crowd to some more obscure releases that deserve to be heard. If you want more obscure and weird music recommendations, visit my website! … The Recent Stuff Portuguese instrumental prog band Shell from Oceanic just released their highly anticipated sophomore album, the sequel…

Jazz Club // COAST – COAST

“Modern” has always been one of my least favorite genre prefixes. With the myriad of stylistic tags at artists’ disposal, it seems like an odd choice to fixate on the recency of a piece of music as a means of describing its sound. As is demonstrated by any number of revivalist movements operating in the current music landscape, “modern” music isn’t always a guarantee of fresh, forward-thinking ideas, and in my experience, the tag is often used to posture standard genre fare delivered with a newer sheen as something new and revelatory. Of course, there’s an exception to every rule, and when it comes to this particular pet peeve of mine, I’ve never been happier to have a band prove me wrong as wrong as COAST do with their phenomenal self-titled debut. Every aspect of COAST embodies what “modern” jazz should represent. Over the course of the album’s six brilliant tracks, the quartet executes jazz’s greatest traits with precision and agility. In short, COAST offers everything jazz fans love about the genre, except this time, it’s simply performed at a better, higher level.

Usurpress – Interregnum

Did you ever hope that Tom Waits got together with Hubert Selby Jr. and write a death metal album? Because your wish has finally come true. Usurpress has a new album out, and it’s easily the greatest labor they have yet to produce. Prior to Interregnum, Usurpress was a death…

Merkabah – Million Miles

The saxophone has become an increasingly en vogue addition to the extreme music formula. Ever since John Zorn bleated and honked over grindcore and avant-garde metal with Naked City and Painkiller, a growing crop of younger bands have demonstrated how to masterfully incorporate a jazz staple into heavier compositions. The sparsity of such bands should come…