Teens of Denial ALBUM REVIEW

Teens of Denial Score

As I sit here in the passenger seat of Tucker’s car while he drives us to Athens, shuffling between Ian William Craig’s Centres and Macabre’s treasure, Dahmer, I’m reminded of the looming review for Teens of Denial I needed to have done weeks ago. I let slip the chorus of “Drunk Drivers / Killer Whales” and we put it on. We don’t really take it seriously, lasting only about twenty-six seconds before putting on Clipse instead. This ADHD-driven playlist of randomly strewn together artists immediately reminds me of how little Car Seat Headrest has positively grown. Juxtaposed against artists whose intentions were to share their creativity with those willing to appreciate it, the once precious Car Seat Headrest now feels especially propped, hollowed by self-awareness and career aspirations. That smug assuredness is ultimately the most detrimental aspect of Teens of Denial. It feels entirely calculated, backed by executives and filtered through test groups to hit that perfect wave of classic rock nostalgia strung along by deeply brooding phrase-verses whose meaning is inconsequential. Given Will Toledo’s overnight portrait of being touted as the decade’s savior of rock, the meteoric rise of the band is a bit suspect.  Continue reading “Teens of Denial ALBUM REVIEW”

Negus ALBUM REVIEW

Negus Score

When YC the Cynic announced he was retiring the pseudonym he’d adorned for the entirety of his short-lived career, the air on Twitter felt thicker than usual. After three nearly silent years of what should have been a summit rise from the underground manifesto Gnk, the newly named Kemba released The Farewell Tape, a collection of unused tracks from the YC days. The tape was solidly made, but it represented an unsettling career move in the death of what’s been shown to work, and reaffirmed the starving artist mentality that exists within him. With it, he subtly tweeted to not pay this release too much mind, as the debut of Kemba was quick to come. In retrospect, fans had little to worry about. Kemba’s noticeably matured, his discussions on black bindings having become significantly defter, but it’s hard to ignore the fact he may have delivered yet another highly original and organically political album onto deaf ears. Hopefully now, especially with the increasingly zealous outcries from the black community, Negus will find its proper audience, and with it, a place for Kemba.  Continue reading “Negus ALBUM REVIEW”

Cheetah EP REVIEW

Cheetah EP Final Score

Within the past twenty years, the line that distinguishes marketing and guerrilla marketing has seemed to blur. Now with the aid of a few well placed tweets, maybe a political #rant, and if you’re lucky, a beef with a fellow artist, you too can mass market your album to the masses. But when did these occurrences become a guerrilla marketing tactic? They’re transparent in nature, usually spiking within a few months of the release date. How do they remain effective, in a world that was born being sold a product? What’s the underground marketing scheme when everything is an advertisement? It seems like Richard D. James is the only one actively pursuing this philosophy of pushing the boundaries. And with Aphex Twin’s latest release, Cheetah EP, the only answer to building hype is to deflate the hype.  Continue reading “Cheetah EP REVIEW”

New Introductory Lectures on the System of Transcendental Qabala ALBUM REVIEW

Final Kel Valhaal Score

Hunter Hunt-Hendrix is selling New Introductory Lectures on the System of Transcendental Qabala for a mere $7.00. $7.00. Let that sink in, because this is not a series of typos where I keep forgetting to put a few extra zeroes in that previously stated final price listing. No, this album (read: bearer of enlightenment) is up for purchase at seven measly bucks. How do you put a price on higher learning? Well, I can tell you right now it’s $7.00. $7.00 for your very own piece of self-actualization, of a fuller understanding regarding existentialism, our being, our being’s relationship to our being’s surroundings, of a heightened sense of superiority regarding all others’ intellect, especially, but not limited to, insightful musings on spirituality and deeper, better sophistication. But don’t fear, this isn’t the standard string of transcendentalism so many charlatans have tried to swindle you with at a steep price; no, this is Hunter God Damn Hunt-Hendrix, delivering unto us his very first, in what can only be hoped to be a series of, gesamtkunstwerks with special emphasis on all that’s encompassed within the ideas behind Qabala and life force energyContinue reading “New Introductory Lectures on the System of Transcendental Qabala ALBUM REVIEW”

Bottomless Pit ALBUM REVIEW

Bottomless Pit Score

Death Grips is not a cool band. Whatever vogue abstruseness they cultivated after their first mixtape quickly vanished as they played dom to their fans and their press. Soured attitudes – and a fanbase that consumes their material as fervently as they speculate details regarding the band – has led to them occupying a somewhat impenetrable position in popular music. The antics and cryptic nature pushed away speculative listeners before the obtuse, genre-neutralizing music ever could. But following their break up note, the coda album Jenny Death, and the 2015 tour, the musical landscape that they hastily rushed into had changed. The modish way to deliver an album was the same that Death Grips had used to eviscerate their reputation: keep the listener in the dark with details until the release date. The Life of Pablo. A Moon Shaped Pool. The Colour in Anything. Lemonade and Beyoncé’s self-titled album. The particulars for each record came at a moment by moment basis until they appeared, accompanied by a radio show introduction, a short film, or a Madison Square Garden live stream. These two arcs, the one where popular music is consumed and how Death Grips interact with popular music seem to be intersecting. What Death Grips did to maintain authority offers no authority and offers no mystic enticement with the consumer when the consumer is accustomed to this. So what do they do? Unveil the most tame album cycle to date: an announcement, an EP, an artwork and track-list reveal, snippets and then a release. To summarize: Death Grips’ modus operandi is to not be cool.  Continue reading “Bottomless Pit ALBUM REVIEW”