Death and the Penguin – Anomie

In 2018, the following sentence is a confession: I still really like brit-rock. Don't get me wrong, the genre deserved everything it got; under the guise of alternative music and a rebel spirit, it connived with corporate interests to create some of the most plastic and regurgitated music ever made, hiding it all under the selfsame guise of edgy counter culture. But I was confessing; I still really like it. I like the morose style of vocals, I like the straight-forward guitar music, and I like the thin veneer of British depression and snark which coats it. And I love it when all of those elements are mixed with modern music, especially progressive rock. That's a pretty specific formula but, luckily for me, Death and the Penguin have been working at it for a while now.

What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 12/15/16

For those who missed our last installment, We post biweekly updates covering what the staff at Heavy Blog have been spinning. Given the amount of time we spend on the site telling you about music that does not fall neatly into the confines of conventional “metal,” it should come as no surprise that many of us on staff have pretty eclectic tastes that range far outside of metal and heavy things. We can’t post about all of them at length here, but we can at least let you know what we’re actually listening to. For those that would like to participate as well (and please do) can drop a 3X3 in the comments, which can be made with tapmusic.net through your last.fm account, or create it manually with topsters.net. Also, consider these posts open threads to talk about pretty much anything music-related. We love hearing all of your thoughts on this stuff and love being able to nerd out along with all of you.

Long Distance Calling – TRIPS

Allow me a personal note for a minute; I did not expect to like this album as much as I did. Long Distance Calling were always one of those bands that I almost liked but did not quite manage to fully embrace. Their sound seemed obvious to me and the last album, Nighthawk, did nothing much to assuage that. Their definition as post rock always seemed erroneous to me, my mind wanting to catalog them as simply another progressive, instrumental band. Sure, they had some good track on Avoid the Light, "The Nearing Grave" with Jonas Renske (Katatonia) was my favorite, but nothing was really awe inspiring. However, it would be a good idea to keep the above quote in mind before pressing play on their latest album. While it should be obvious by now that this band has been undergoing changes for some time, what with the addition of a vocalist to their last album, the extent of their transformation is perhaps not readily apparent from the cover of TRIPS. This album is an intriguing experiment in what happens when you take your core sound and throw it out the window, instead focusing on the dynamics and interactions that existed beneath it.