November 24th, 2009 | music
Continuing my list (and yes, there will be more of these posts to follow, so don’t tell me what I’ve left off this list):
MONOLITHS AND DIMENSIONS, Sunn O))): the more I listen to this immense album, the more I think of it as four movements transitioning from the pagan to the organised church through an apocalyptic collapse into some awful, barren post-civilisational doomspace that fades to become a weirdly sylvan, almost innocent place. Of course, that could just be me. Never discount the possibility that I am a mad old man and completely full of shit. Anyway, yes, it all sounds a bit prog, but they pull it off as far as I’m concerned.
BROMST, Dan Deacon: perhaps not as gleefully mental as SPIDERMAN OF THE RINGS, but still a greatly entertaining record and a working-playlist staple for me over the summer. Very beautiful in places, and, I think, curiously revelatory of his conservatory background. It’s a record you can just spazz around to that also rewards a close listening, just to hear how he really builds that stuff.
"Skeletons," Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Off the album IT’S BLITZ. Honestly, much of the album left me cold. "Skeletons," though, approaches the heights of "Maps" (and if you don’t like "Maps," then you’re dead inside). Love as a long winter march.
"Dog Days Are Over," Florence And The Machine: similarly, I thought LUNGS was a weak album, and I suspect "Dog Days" will prove to be their One Great Song. (I have a half-arsed theory that 95% of bands have One Great Song in them, and I can prove this using an abacus, Manhattan Love Suicides’ "Veronica," and my right fist.) This one is the one: brilliant structure, some beautifully written lines, she sings like she knows what she’s talking about (which I didn’t get from "Kiss With A Fist, oddly), and she opens up her pipes and blows the door off.
SYMBIOSIS, Demdike Stare: this was a marvellous thing. World Hauntology, if you like: Middle Eastern musics, lo-fi drone and the hideous Arctic menace of Scando exorcists like Elegi, all whacked together with stark rhythmic instinct and crazed machine intelligence. I get the impression this record went way under the radar this year, and it really shouldn’t have.
More in a while.