Five Songs, 8/25/2017
Ice Cube, "I Wanna Kill Sam"
Here, we have Ice Cube from one of his peak albums, in full-on fury at the state of America. I love the break in the middle of the song. At any rate, when Ice Cube was at the top of his form, there wasn't anybody better.
Jesus Jones, "Your Crusade"
There was a brief boomlet in "Madchester" music, centered around the Stone Roses and Happy Mondays, which combined alternative rock with dance music, giving an interesting hybrid. Technically, being from London instead of Manchester, Jesus Jones weren't actually part of that scene, but spiritually, they were. Doubt, their second album, was a massive hit, thanks to "Right Here, Right Now". Their followup record, Perverse, is impressive in one way: they could have basically made a carbon copy of their huge breakthrough album, but they chose instead to make some big changes to their style. In particular, they pushed the electronic stuff to the fore, rather than leaning more in the rock direction.
Now, I haven't really listened to this stuff in decades, but I have to say, I enjoyed this song more than I expected I would.
Ulcerate, "There Are No Saviors"
I don't really listen to a ton of straight ahead death metal. But there are death metal bands that go far enough beyond the usual formula that they catch my interest. Ulcerate is one of those. They're willing to play around with atmosphere, they're willing to leave some space in their songs for different textures. It's not just fury, shouting, and a billion riffs a second. Vermis is my favorite album from them, but their followup, Shrines of Paralysis, is very good as well.
Skeletonwitch, "Of Ash and Torment"
I feel like I spend a lot of time talking about taxonomy for metal bands around here. I suppose a certain amount of that is endemic to talking about metal, though. There are enough micro genres in it, and they present pretty differently, that I feel like it's worth trying to give an idea of what to expect. It might give folks a chance of being able to read criticism of metal reasonably well. So, here we are with Skeletonwitch, the blackened thrash band. "Blackened" because their vocals are straight out of black metal, croaks and all, and "thrash", because it's all galloping riffs out of Metallica's playbook.
Squarepusher, "C-Town Smash"
Tom Jenkinson, deranged genius behind Squarepusher, here with just some straight up bass wankery off of Ultravisitor.