Like the grand majority of modern metal fans, our tastes here at Heavy Blog 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 weekly column which covers noteworthy news, 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. Head past the jump to dial down the distortion:
Cymbals Eat Guitars Channel Their Inner Springsteen In New Single “Wish”
This news is in fact a couple of weeks old, but we haven’t done one of these columns in a while and new Cymbals Eat Guitars is always excellent news, so here we are. Last time I mentioned the Staten Island by way of New Jersey raucous indie group they had released an unpatently CEG track in standalone single “Aerobed“. The band are officially back with their fourth LP, titled Pretty Years, and both the album art and the new single once again run counter to many of the things fans have come to expect from them.
“Wish” opens with a wickedly bouncy and sax-heavy groove, one that wouldn’t be at all out of place in a classic Springsteen jam. It’s got a heavy 70s Americana rock vibe to it in a similar way that fellow enigmatic indie rockers Deerhunter have employed the aesthetic a few times (most notably on the also sax-heavy “Coronado” off of their classic Halcyon Digest). Speaking of sax, I’ve read multiple comments on different sites complaining about the prolific use of skronky sax, and let me just say that every single one of those people are wrong and I will meet them in a dark alley and fight them right now because YOU CANNOT HAVE ENOUGH SKRONK. EVER.
And though the track certainly feels like a big departure for the group, frontman Joseph D’Agostino’s raspy touch is unmistakable. Not to mention it features one of the hookiest hooks to ever hook in the chorus, and this is coming from a band that could write a master’s thesis on writing excellent hooks. There honestly isn’t much else I can say here. This track rules, and Pretty Years is easily one of my most heavily-anticipated releases of the year. If you didn’t listen to me the first time and listen to them, go do it already, dummy!
Pretty Years is out September 16 through Sinderlyn Records. You can pre-order it here.
Matt Corby – Telluric
Matt Corby is a name gaining in recognition both within his native country of Australia and, increasingly, outside of it. The young singer songwriter took part in Australian Idol as a 16 year old back in 2007, finishing runner up in a career move which he has since declared to be a terrible decision, and one which he very much regrets. Since then, he has released five EPs as he has tried to find his musical identity. The most successful of these releases, 2011’s Into the Flame, yielded the hit single “Brother”, a song about a time when Matt fell out with his best friend after he had done “something incredibly stupid”. Whatever it was that took place, the matter is clearly extremely emotionally important to Matt and this shines through in the song, arguably the greatest he has written to date. As a warm up to our review of his debut album, check out a live acoustic performance of the track below, one which really emphasizes the emotion he brings to his performance, the angelic qualities of his voice and the remarkable control he has of his falsetto.
Matt’s debut album, Telluric, was released on March 11th, seven years after his debut EP. It has been a long time coming, largely because he has tried to write and record the album several times over the past few years, only to throw all of his songs in the trash and start from scratch because he wasn’t satisfied with the standard of his own writing. Having established a name for himself within Australia, the highly anticipated release thankfully lived up to the hype as he delivered 11 tracks of excellent material. The record brings to the table his fusion of blues, jazz, roots and soul, and, whilst he didn’t track every instrument, he wrote parts for, and can play, everything featured. The record has a soothing quality to it, one which can help take you to another place as he croons over subtle instrumentation and layers each track with gorgeous harmonies. If there can be one complaint, it is that over its run time the record is somewhat one-paced. This is fine if you’re making an EP, as you can only fit a handful of songs on there, but over a full length record it certainly helps to add some more diversity amongst the track-listing. Despite this, tracks like “Belly Side Up” and “Wrong Man” still make Telluric one of the best independent releases of 2016, and it has already won a number of ARIA awards (Australia’s [less shitty] version of the grammy’s). Follow Matt on Facebook and check out this fantastic album below – he’s definitely a name to keep in mind for the future, let’s hope we don’t have to wait so long for its follow up.
Go Into Remission With Neurotech
You might recall that, a while ago, I wrote one of these entries for Neurotech. Quick recap: it’s a one man, retrowave machine manned by a guy named Wulf. He produces dark, dark retrowave, going even darker than genre mates Perturbator and Carpenter Brut. His vibes oscillate in between breakneck beats and dreamy interludes, painting a goth/cyberpunk vision of intense clarity. Now, it’s time to go even darker but at the same time, reach for the stars; yesterday, Neurotech dropped In Remission and it’s an amazing nod towards dance, house and, of course, the retrowave sensibilities we know and love.
The change can be felt right from the first track. “Retrieve” opens with thumping drums which return towards the end, to usher in the dreamy outro. However, it also has some far out and futuristic vocals from Wulf himself (I think) and a neon blue dance line that’s impossible to resist. Add in the fade away into the “As Will Ascends” and you have something much larger than just a retrowave release. Suddenly, a chuggy metal riff is introduced and we’re in Devin Townsend territory, the vocals suddenly backed by a million tracks. The epicness is curbed back by an ethereal interlude but we’ll back in heavy territory very soon. From there, everything unfolds according to the EDM progressions of yore. However, the guitar riffs make sure that any fear of stagnation is elevated by injecting a whole different vibe into the track.
A million other cool moments exist on this album and needless to say, this is something you have to check out if you’re a fan of modern metal mixed with heavy synths and an overall vibe that’s more at home in clubs. From the more textbook EDM sensibilities that make up the flesh and bones of this album to the wildball flirtation with metal, Neurotech expertly weaves in and out of the styles, encompassing both lofty emotions and down-in-the-ground aggression. Long story short, it’s smooth as hell and will make you dance. Get on it.