The Implicit Order Supernatural Folk Tales – chilly ambience from deconstructed samples (some more deconstructed than others). Indistinct bits of music and voices melding into a sort of industrial edge-of-reality feeling. This is far from the only release by this outfit this year, though: these guys churn this stuff out by the case.
Across Tundras Sage – Kyuss’s desert gigs may be the stuff of legend but in my opinion it takes more than just sounding kinda like Kyuss to deserve the tag “desert rock.” Across Tundras get the desert vibe down on here, by mixing some of the sort of dusty tonalities common to latter-day Earth in with the riffs, among other tricks: a couple minutes into the first song I figured I was just in for another groovy doom album with cool rambling psychedelic basslines, then suddenly this quick-stomping country-western section came in, with horns! I’ve heard some truly bad attempts to mix country bits into heavy music (Blood Cult comes to mind) but this isn’t one of them, it fits. As far as rock music evoking the desert goes, this is easily up there with the likes of Diesto and Las Cruces. I’m not even sure how this ended up on my iPod in the first place, and I had no idea these guys had so much stuff out, but I’m glad I gave it a spin. “Hijo Del Desierto”‘s call for “water, cool, clear water” is especially headsticky.
Opiate First Document – any real appreciation of “power electronics” is a new thing for me if I have indeed managed to achieve such. On this EP these guys make pretty good use of their enveloping, crushing masses of distortion, varying the tone and throwing in a few squiggly synths and drums for variety, to deliver their message of tearing it all down, burning it, and pissing on the ashes. A seemingly improvised, unstructured variation of old-school political hardcore “rage at all the bullshit” vocals gives you an idea where they’re coming from mentally when you can make out the words in snatches. This is some seriously pissed off shit.
Cop Bar No Justice Just Law – Trashy, crusty lo-fi grind/hardcore as fronted by the living legend Samuel Locke-Ward. As fun and badass as this is I can’t help feeling that their next release will blow it to pieces.
Ron Mexico s/t download EP – Iowa dirtball hip-hop legend otherwise known as Cracka Don, T-Nutz, or Sperm Bank Hank, tosses out six very brief tracks as yet another alter-ego. More hilarious swaggering raps about crack-smoking and dogfights.
The Mighty Accelerator Soccer Mom EP – A different set of Iowa dirtballs debut with riff-rock inspired by early Def Leppard.
Curmudgeon Human Ouroboros cassette/download EP – Ugly-ass sludgecore. Nothing mindblowing but a good time.
The Bassturd The Dark Side Of The Turd – The Bassturd bows out in grand style on his final album of epic synth-driven rabble-rousing Devo-meets-hip-hop-isms.
Ydestroyde Synzosizer – Old-school Japanese sci-fi sensory-overload electro-noise-rock in the vein of Space Streakings and classic Boredoms. Hell of a good album. With Boredoms having since gone all mellow on us (not that I’m complaining), it’s nice to still have this kind of thing around. I totally missed out the US tour, it had Midwest dates even, and I even tried at the last minute to help get a Des Moines date lined up but I was too late. Maybe I’ll get lucky and they’ll do another.
Wreck and Reference Black Cassette EP – Debut recording, lo-fi (probably self-released), from a duo making doomy post-rock with no guitars, just drums and a sampler. This got a lot of love this year too, enough that I think it even got a vinyl reissue. It’s heavy and very different. The last track reminds me a bit of Vulturum.
Looking forward to in 2012: Black Pyramid II; Ember Schrag The Sewing Room; Cop Bar/Captain 3 Leg split, Napalm Death, Neurosis?