Published on June 3rd, 2014 | by Craig Silliphant0
The Feedback Society’s Week in Music
Albums we’ve been listening to this week at The Feedback Society. Jonestown Massacre, the return of ATR, Shooting Guns, Trash Talk, and Robyn and Röyksopp.
Brian Jonestown Massacre – Revelation
I saw Jonestown in Austin at Psychfest a few years back and while they were excellent, they were a lot more centered than some of Anton Newcombe’s legendary will-he-or-won’t-he-freak-out shows of past mythology. I’m sure I won’t be the first writer to point out that the title of the album is sort of ironic, because the album is not revelatory in any way, however, it’s a damn good listen. It’s more straight ahead than some of their more mind-expanding music, with some solid songwriting and fuzzy psych and shoegaze moments, even channeling Robert Smith and David Bowie. There’s just one song that makes me hit ‘next track’ in the queue. I’m sure this is really a subjective thing, but ‘Second Sighting’ sounds like some fucking flutey renaissance fair song. Other than that annoyance, while not a revelation, BJM’s 14th record is a superb album.
Shooting Guns – Wolfcop Soundtrack
Polaris Music Prize Long Listers, doomy Canadian stoner rock outfit Shooting Guns were tapped to record a soundtrack for the Canadian B-movie production Wolfcop (which is being released June 6th in Canada). They quickly grabbed some Pilsner, slapped a makeshift studio together, and started laying down tracks, eventually enlisting a talented composer friend of theirs to help make sense of things. It still sounds like the alternately hypnotic or punishing motorik riffage of the Guns, but it leans into John Carpenter or Lalo Schifrin territory as well, not to mention a country-fried, whiskey guzzler with vocals. You can hear the tracks online or in the movie, and I hear there’ll be a blood red vinyl release of the soundtrack eventually. Wolfcop Soundtrack: here comes the fuzz, indeed.
Robyn & Röyksopp – Do It Again
The former teen star that fell from grace only to find her voice and her place in the music world first joined forces with the accessible but hard to categorize Norwegian production duo in 2009. ‘Do It Again’ is their latest collab, an EP that’s mostly the kind of electronica that can give EDM a better name. Instead of obnoxious, strobing Axe Body Spray bass drops or soulless, auto-tuned voices spurting shitty clichés, ‘Do It Again’ is replete with a low-key elegance and intrepid sonic meanderings. There’s a strange undercurrent of sadness that floats just below the surface, giving it more depth. It’s smart and sensual, while also being drifty and playful — a few tracks are good for wild-haired Saturday night dance floor jams and a few good for casual Sunday morning listens.
Trash Talk – No Peace
California’s Trash Talk released a knock out punch of an EP in 2011 called ‘Awake,’ which mixed their livewire, hardcore-on-roids sound with an Occupy Wall Street flavour (though much angrier and more disillusioned; think occupiers in balaclavas bashing suits in their stupid faces with skateboards). In 2012 they (strangely?) signed to rap label Odd Future and put out their 4th full-length record, ‘119,’ which began to trade out a bit of their booming brevity for the ability to squeeze more ideas in, for better or worse. ‘No Peace’ seems to continue this trend and I can’t fault them for wanting to grow their sound. However, while they do find some new ideas in the mire (or at least, The Alchemist does on two tracks he produces for the album), I honestly think the less subtle aggression of ‘Awake’ (or even ‘Eyes & Nines’) is what I want when I reach for a Trash Talk album.
Atari Teenage Riot – Is This Hyperreal?
ATR has always been of a particular flavour that causes most people to make the face of a little kid forced to take a belt of whiskey. My old roommate introduced me to their 1999 major label debut ’60 Second Wipeout’ during a particularly horrible winter, and embracing their abrasive, anarchist techno-violence felt like the right mindset to be in to face the dispassionate winter haze. Since Carl Crack died in 2001 (mere days before 9-11) and Hanin Elias is long gone, the only other founding member, Alec Empire has tapped returning member Nic Endo to take on the female vocal duties, and added CX Kidtronik to the roster. Some writers have tried to associate ‘Is This Hyperreal’ with The Occupy Movement, which I suppose could fit with their cyber-anarchist ways. They’ve also been able to change their message a bit to embody the idea that the government/corporations have infested the ‘free-thinking’ Internet. All that is great, but unfortunately, the music just isn’t there for me. It still sounds like ATR, but it seems sillier, less immediate, and even a bit more poppy and clubby. Or maybe I’m out of touch with this wacky cyber-generation and Atari Teenage Riot was a time and a place that’s done for me now.