It’s pretty unfathomable that this is Enslaved’s 14th album. This is a band who has been relentlessly putting out quality albums for 26 years, and it’s no surprise that E is yet another notch on their belt. What is surprising, though, is how different it is. Ever since they adopted…
Black Pudding is a garage-rock trio who can rock a mean fuzz sound while coating it with cheesy lo-fi production and intoxicating hooks. The band are still very early into their career, building some hype through the release of singles such as these ones “Sci-fi Si” and “Tillagio”. Nonetheless, the band have a clear goal for their sound to fit this ongoing modern trend of fuzzy garage rock, because while this doesn’t reinvent the wheel, this will surely please any fans of the style. These tracks at times act as a hazy trip of distortion and slurred vocals, but these guys can pen a catchy hook and some sharply humorous lyrics among their warm bedroom rock.
The G, an “LA guy in Singapore,” burst onto the scene this year with his debut album Postcards from LA which the man himself describes as “a love letter to the California coast. I made it while I was preparing to leave, and wanted to express my feelings for the stretch of coast from Santa Monica to Santa Barbara—which has so much romance for me. It’s a deeply nostalgic record, which to me conveys warmth with maybe a touch of sadness.” His sophomore release, Cosmopolis, is very much attuned in the same way as it’s been touted as a “retro-futuristic road trip” since its release. “It’s still road music” The G declared. “So in that sense it is similar to Postcards. But it’s about the future, with all its promise and foreboding, and it’s about the romance of looking up to the stars and wondering what’s out there.” The G went on to elaborate, explaining that “I think it has a lot more emotional range than Postcards. So much synthwave is emotionally monotonic—like, “summer, summer, summer” or “dark, dark, dark.” Cosmopolis is a bit of both. There are upbeat songs, like “Arcology” or “Reunited,” and moody ones, like “Shadows in the Neon Rain” or “Stars That Fade.” I’m not always in the same mood, so why should my music be? I’d rather take listeners on a journey. A lot of my favorite albums take that approach, like 88:88.”
A fact that’s often lost on an American audience is the connection of Italian culture and the occult. From early vampire movies to the esoteric circles of the Tourino literary scene, Italian film, music and literature have been dealing with the absurd, the fantastical and the downright terrifying for well over half a century. The connections to music are plentiful; the Italian punk scene for example has always been fascinated/repulsed with occult imagery. This is fertile ground for post metal as the saturated genre already gravitates towards the obscure and esoteric. Thus, it is no surprise that Lento’s latest release, Fourth, marries post metal and occult imagery. It goes further than just the cover art, effective as it is; the music itself gives us off this distinct vibe of otherness, of a dark presence surrounding you.