Preoccupations ALBUM REVIEW

Preoccupations Final Score

When Viet Cong announced the retirement of their supposedly offensive title, there was an understanding of social pressure outweighing artistic vision. With the coinciding timing of Andrew Jackson Jihad revamping their image as the eye-rolling AJJ, music seemed to be taken into consideration second to appeasing the outspoken minority groups who took offense to anything that could be taken offense to, regardless of actual targeting and oppression. In either scenario, it was a very un-punk move, eschewing any sense of what punk once stood for. In this sense, the tag of post-punk feels especially resonant, offering a surrounding meaning of what the music has become and the creation behind it. Putting misguided social adjustments aside, in becoming “Preoccupations” and killing the relation to “Viet Cong”, the music needed to be different enough to warrant an image renovation. Ditching the past meant creating the future, offering something that couldn’t have been offered under the previous pseudonym. Most importantly, however, their sound needed to be betterContinue reading “Preoccupations ALBUM REVIEW”

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”