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Dec 14, 2018







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Kishi Bashi, Sonderlust (Joyful Noise Recordings)




Monte Pittman, Inverted Grasp of Balance (Metal Blade Records) 

For the record, yeah, I do get all the Metal Blade Records promos. The reason you don’t see many (if any) of them written up in this space is twofold. One, there are other metal labels I actually like, and two, I’ve always viewed Metal Blade as the Walmart of shopworn thrash ideas, tons of releases every year from bands comprised of bodies warm enough to sign the contract. At this writing, the new Charred Walls of the Damned just came out, and I agree with you that I should probably have covered that instead of this to work on my arbitrary made-up metal quota for the quarter, but I’m too lazy to hunt it down in my emailbox, so we’re going with convenience in this case whilst simultaneously checking in with the MB stable to see if this won’t put me to sleep. Monte Pittman is a one-man operation: singer, songwriter and guitar-god, or so I was told, and besides, he’s Madonna’s guitarist, so I expected a passable Iron Maiden imitation or at least a death-metal cover of “Who’s That Girl.” Neither materialized, though, just 1980s power-metal slop a la Savatage or Helloween, a few neat doggie tricks from Pittman’s axe to break up the monotony. Hmph, where was that Charred Walls link again? I know it’s here somewhere. C+ — Eric W. Saeger




Kishi Bashi, Sonderlust (Joyful Noise Recordings)
CD Reviews: October 27, 2016

10/27/16
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



 The greatest gift a recording artist can give is making an album after they’ve loved and lost, because it usually kicks ass. There are exceptions, of course, and we went over one of those the other week, but in the case of Kaoru Ishibashi it goes double, as we see here. It’s also one of those rare revelations in which a hired gun (he’s played violin with Of Montreal, Regina Spektor and others) turns out to be someone with a lot of good ideas, an odd duck with a unique, accessible vision. Produced by Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor, this third release focuses on his electronic side, and not just the violin-loop freak-outs of which fans are already well aware. Leadoff song “M’lover” starts out as a tribal, pretty, Luke Temple-ish trifle, hipster rock blended with quirk-EDM weirdness, but eventually emerges as a rock musical overture. It’s hard not to like the munchkin-voice samples or, well, all of it. “Say Yeah” tables bloopy Nintendo glitch and unabashed synth cheese in a double-dog-dare that Ishibashi’s falsetto turns into 1970s pop gold. It’s not often you’ll see the phrase “wildly creative and deeply melodic” and have it be true, but here you are. A+ — Eric W. Saeger

 





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