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Jan 23, 2018







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Nosaj Thing, Parallels (Innovative Leisure Records)

The nom-de-DJ of barely-above-ground Los Angeles tech emperimentalist Jason Chung, Nosaj Thing is a project that aims to explore the well-covered dualities of man, such as “emotion vs. technology,” “nostalgia vs. right now” and so on and so forth. How he gets there is through innovative hip-hop beatage which in this album’s case is expressed through a lonely, waterlogged pseudo-piano arpeggio decorated with forlorn cheese (“Nowhere”) to begin with anyway. You all know by now I’m not a fan of minor-key depression-ward stuff, but Steve Spacek’s 1970s-soul vocal on “All Points Back To U” is instantly haunting, anchoring down a ghostly array of synth lines that really fit together exquisitely if a bit too Nintendo for my constitution. The big sell here is the single “Way We Were,” featuring the smoky Roberta Flack-ish vocal of Zuri Marley cooing over a brilliantly seductive pattern of bloop-glitch and stifled trap, a no-brainer for after-party chill. A — Eric W. Saeger




36 Crazyfists, Lanterns (Spinefarm Records)
Cd Reviews: October 5, 2017

10/05/17
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



36 Crazyfists, Lanterns (Spinefarm Records)

Seventh album from the Anchorage, Alaska, quartet, which has quietly accumulated such achievements as tour slots with Alice in Chains, Atreyu and Fear Factory as well as a spot on the Resident Evil: Apocalypse soundtrack. A nice epic sob-story about the singer’s divorce is the final point to ponder when considering this stuff for your list; metal albums always have more punch when the bandleader’s life is in a temporary state of ruin. In the end, though, it’s a good-not-great mishmash of microwaved sounds stripped from their influences, with singer Brock Lindow nicking everyone from Tom Araya and Staley Hetfield to your basic black-metallers and Cookie Monsters, some nu-metal middle-ground covered while he’s at it. That’s not to say the riffs aren’t heavy — they are, but the stoner factor is a bit lacking, which wouldn’t matter, but to start a ripping-heavy song like “Better to Burn” with disposable Dashboard Confessional chords isn’t my idea of disruptive innovation. B Eric W. Saeger 





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