Archive for February, 2014

FIVE SONGS TO LISTEN TO, CURATED BY CULT LEADER

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Gaza was once a band. Now, they're a better band, and are called Cult Leader. Gaza was one of the first heavy concerts I ever attended back when I was in my early teens, and I've always loved their music. It's safe to say they rank among the best bands that Salt Lake City has ever produced. I was fortunate enough to get drummer Casey Hansen to send us a list of five songs to listen to, so read on:

 

1. The Electrician – Scott Walker The hardest thing to do in music is to marry true dissonance, discord, weirdness, and darkness with beauty and do it in a way that doesn't sound mashed together and underdeveloped. This song finds a way to flawlessly bridge musical chasms like nothing I've heard before.

 

2. Night Terrors – Cursed There's a reason everyone rips this band off and nobody wants to admit it.

 

3. Reckless Burning – Jesse Sykes and Sweet Hereafter Just an amazing song. There's nothing I can say about this song to add or detract from it.

 

4. They Sent You – Mare This band put out one EP ever, and it's amazing. Because of that, the potency of their catalog is perhaps stronger than anyone's. I've still never really heard a band to fairly compare this to. Pure genius.

 

5. Concubine – Converge Mind-bending, game-changing, and life-changing. For me anyway, that's pretty much all there is to say.

Huge thanks to Casey and Cult Leader for their time. Look out for their debut EP "Nothing For Us Here", coming in April via Deathwish, Inc. Tune in to Thought Forge Sundae, Mondays at 10 pm CST to hear bands featured on FIVE SONGS TO LISTEN TO.

 

-Arvind

FIVE SONGS TO LISTEN TO, CURATED BY FALLS OF RAUROS

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Hello KWURians,

For our first FIVE SONGS TO LISTEN TO of the spring semester, we reached out to Portland, ME's Falls of Rauros, who've been one of my favorite American black metal bands for several years now. They gave us an aweomse five songs, so check them out below!

 

Arab Strap – "Fucking Little Bastards" These guys are, to me, unrivaled in their outward projection of self-loathing and a sort of arrogance laced with beauty and dark humor. This song in particular is deafening.

Six Organs of Admittance – "S/Word and Leviathan" Incredibly tense without letting up. Twelve minutes of immense droning "folk." Even better in sequence with the rest of this album.

Silver Jews – "Death of An Heir of Sorrows" David Berman is a long-time master of wry alt-country songcraft. This one is very, very sad.

Julianna Barwick – "One Half" Beautiful. Multi-layered vocal parts woven with strings, synthesizer and guitar. A really gorgeous result.

Magnolia Electric Co. – "Take One Thing Along" I'd imagine this song could bring a stillness or silence to any crowd that heard it. Jason passed away about a year ago and is missed wildly.

 

Huge thanks to Falls of Rauros for their time. Be sure to check out their upcoming split with black metal stalwarts Panopticon (here), and download their incredible 2011 full-length, "The Light That Dwells in Rotten Wood", available via their bandcamp. Tune in to THOUGHT FORGE SUNDAE, Mondays at 10 pm CST to hear bands that are featured in FIVE SONGS TO LISTEN TO.

-Arvind

Sweet Leaf.

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

 

 

Black Sabbath are, for the most part, un-fuck-with-able. There's a timeless aura to every Sabbath track, and an air of almost too-cool effortlessness by which every song passes through your eardrums. Case in point, "Sweet Leaf". It's been a favorite song of mine for years upon years now, and it fits the bill for "classic Sabbath" in every way possible – a tremendously groovy blues crunch, a paean to that most holiest of herbs, a quick midsection freakout and a return to minor pentatonic glory, all topped off with Ozzy's signature vocals. Here's the thing though – it's all ups and no downs. I'm not just speaking to Iommi's riff. I'm talking about the general tone: weed as an indispensable element to the Sabbath image. Even the non-metalheads out there can conjure the image of the basement stoner, pleasantly and unobtrusively enlightened, using his dad's "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" LP as a joint-rolling surface. It's all ups, man. 

Enter Primitive Man. Primitive Man give us the downs to Sabbath's ups. Their take on "Sweet Leaf" reflects an experience similar to my own with marijuana. It's unrelenting, misanthropic, and oppressive. The classic bluesy stomp is drawn out, off-kilter, and full of warped menace. The vocals, instead of the Ozzfather's trademark wail, are indecipherable, orchestrated chaos contained within walls that shift and sway in accordance with a deranged beat. Primitive Man feel too big for the room, each element straining against the boundaries between metal and noise. Instead of fuzzed-out stoner metal, we get viscous sludge. Instead of a danceable middle section, we get a raw blastbeat and a glimpse at clarity, only for everything to slide back down into a pitch-black void. When some semblance of that glorious riff emerges from the gloom, it's a relief from the murk, but not from the song itself. It still sits there in the back of my head, replaying itself over and over, a reflection of twisted paranoia and schizophrenic terror. This is not a happy song anymore, and there are two sides to every coin.

 

Primitive Man's cover of "Sweet Leaf" is availble only on cassette via Tartarus Records (unfortunately, they are currently sold out). You can listen via bandcamp.

Thanks for reading,

-Arvind