dogwander's reviews - Rate Your Music (2024)

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dogwander's reviews - Rate Your Music (2)

2Pac - Loyal to the Game (2004)


I really like this one. Eminem did a very thorough and clean job at making sure that all these vocal sections (some of them from the Thug Life era mixtapes if I am not mistaken) fit his beats. You can hear that a lot of effort went into this.

It was sort of weird at the time to see that one of the biggest singles on the radio was a 2Pac/Elton John track. I remember Ghetto Gospel was a big deal everywhere you'd go. Still holds up as one of the better posthumous singles.

My favorite tracks on here are probably Black Cotton, Thugs Get Lonely Too, Don't You Trust Me and Hennessey. All of the featured artists did a good job in my opinion, especially Nate Dogg.

One thing I really didn't like were the remixes. Pointless or should have been thrown out as a separate flop EP release. Also some of the vocal cuts felt corny to try and fit the record, like 2Pac giving shout outs to G Unit members and to Obie. Another pointless thing imo.





dogwander's reviews - Rate Your Music (4)

2Pac - Pac's Life (2006)


Most of the beats are really sh*t and it is kinda obvious that they were dealing with the last remaining 2Pac vocals they had. I mean look at the amount of features plastered all over here, especially on Don't Stop. Gee.

Also after Django Unchained, the Swizzy remix of Untouchable has been overplayed in movie trailers.

The only track I really liked on here is Sleep. Both Young Buck and Chamillionaire did a decent job. The latter went on a flow barrage as well, so props to him.

Pretty bad, but Sleep is really nice.





dogwander's reviews - Rate Your Music (6)

50 Cent - The Massacre (2005)

Ultimately this album was just meant to be 50’s most hated release. Coming from the success of Get Rich Or Die Tryin’, releasing Candy Shop as the first single from the album was exactly what everyone didn’t want coming from 50, who completely annihilated the charts with his first album’s singles.

Yet there it was. The Massacre was released on Valentine’s day and received reviews that were reaaaally lukewarm. I bought my copy the same month it was released and was pretty happy with what was on it.
However on repeated listens, this album is just a mess. Too many producers, no singular vision in the album’s creation. There are some moments where 50 straight out obliterates (more like one moment though), but others just don’t work at all.

After a cringeworthy opening, In My Hood has this orchestral beat that just feels lavish and 50 does a good job of painting the Southside Jamaica Queens landscapes. There is a slight tick in the listener’s mind though, since this is supposed to be somewhat an equivalent of “What’s Up Gangsta” from Get Rich and it’s just not up to par. Beat is nice though.

Following tracks aren’t really worthwhile and we’re only on the third track. “This is 50” has a subpar beat with mediocre lyrical component, I’m Supposed To Die Tonight has a nice grimey beat but that’s it, Piggy Bank is a diss track that tries to be How To Rob really hard and fails, Gatman and Robbin’ is outright bad. Then we have Candy Shop that has the “brilliant” lollipop line over Scotch Storch’s “royal” beat. Olivia is a boring feature that did absolutely nothing for G-Unit in general.

Everything that happens further on is pretty much a bore. The most interesting thing is that Dr. Dre’s beats on this are sh*t. Both Guns Come Out and Outta Control are nowhere near the high standards that Dre sets for himself. Especially the former. The loop lacks any imaginative progression and is barely listenable after half a minute, holy sh*t.

I sort of do like the features on the second half of the album, Even Tony Yayo tries hard and not in the “try-hard” mode he is always in. Jamie Foxx is a nice inclusion too. All of the tracks here are unapologetic filler. My favorite track on this album is right at the end of the album. Don’t Need ‘Em is fantastic. sh*tty chorus, but the beat and most importantly 50’s grit on the delivery is that special something 90% of this album needed.

On the CD I got back then I had a bonus track of The Game’s Hate It Or Love It with the entire G Unit back up and that one was pretty good, but mostly because the original was great.

sh*t album with some nostalgia around it.





dogwander's reviews - Rate Your Music (8)

Damon Albarn - Everyday Robots (2014)

"Landing in Helsinki after a transatlantic flight on a Saturday and realizing your connection flight home is cancelled so you have to spend the rest of the day in the airport thinking about how you will miss out on hanging out with your girlfriend this weekend and you have to take another flight for work as soon as you get home": the album. At least it was for me.




dogwander's reviews - Rate Your Music (10)

AMM - AMMMusic 1966 (1967)


The original consists of 2 pieces. Both “Later During a Flaming Riviera Sunset” and “After Rapidly Circling the Plaza” are basically simultaneous deconstruction and decomposition of the 60s. It is a huge clash of EAI, musique concrete and radio samples that sound very dark. Guitar, sax, percussion, piano, cello, violin and the transistor radio all create this post-apocalyptic landscape and works as a complete opposite of the traditional happier upbeat hippie 60s music. This piece of work is very reminiscent of what This Heat were doing on stuff like Radio Prague, Rainforest or Music Escaping Like Gas. The instruments sound extremely restrained, ugly and chaotic. It all gives off this haunting angry vibe. However, from a musical standpoint, it doesn’t lack moments of sheer beauty. Around the 13 min mark of “Later During…” a string orchestra sample enters with into this decomposing instrumental world. It sounds surreal. Reminded me off the more interesting Schaeffer pieces I have been listening to on and off this month. I also thoroughly enjoyed the piano performance on this track. The second track has some outstanding percussion as well as the droning cello that was to my liking. The sax duo in the latter half of the track brings out a very ferocious competition between the 2 instruments that is similar in its sound to Brotzmann Octet's Machine Gun. Really great track.

The other bits and pieces available on the CD concentrate on the same concepts as the 2 main pieces but do not expand them onto the next level. The 2 shorter versions of the original 2 pieces are kinda pointless here too. Some of the other tracks had interesting cases of radio sampling.

I would suggest getting the CD version but the key pieces here are the ones that were on the original record. Therefore I will give this 2 ratings. One for the CD version (8-/10) and one for the original LP pieces (9+/10).I loved this and will keep on listening to this.

8-/10 (9+/10 LP)




dogwander's reviews - Rate Your Music (12)

Ellen Arkbro - For Organ and Brass (2017)

Highly reminiscent of the minimalism that was presented on La Monte Young's The Second Dream of the High-Tension Line Stepdown Transformer From the Four Dreams of China. Almost as hypnotic as well. I always love the way the instruments intertwine in such drone performances, so I fairly enjoyed it.





dogwander's reviews - Rate Your Music (14)

Félicia Atkinson - Hand in Hand (2017)

If Jenny Hval was into recording ASMR stuff over disjointed electroacoustic improvisations, it would probably sound like this record. It is a very intimate affair of sound. Atkinson's poetry spoken out into this indeterminate soundscape sounds extremely cold. You can almost feel the condensation of her breath as she speaks.

What I really like is the layering of vocals on here. For example track "A House A Dance A Poem" feels like the performers are standing behind sets of mirrors as their vocals and the lost noises bounce off each other.

Interesting listen. I wouldn't say that this album is forward-thinking, but the execution felt fresh.





dogwander's reviews - Rate Your Music (16)

Derek Bailey & Keiji Haino

Derek Bailey
灰野敬二 [Keiji Haino]

- Drawing Close, Attuning - The Respective Signs of Order and Chaos (1997)


So here I have an album where the 2 free improv guitarists collaborate within a very similar style, coined by Bailey. 75 minutes with one of the tracks going for a half an hour.

The wanking is really strong with this one. The first couple of tracks are very short and establish the main concept of what is about to go down. It is interesting to see how they decided to differentiate their playing even though Haino’s guitar style is just a copy of Bailey’s free improv. Fortunately, Derek’s guitar always has a cleaner guitar tone than Keiji’s. Haino instead moves into a similar style but with the tone knob all the way down and with some mild distortion. What made this album different for me was the usage of feedback (for the most part after a single note was sustained) from one of the players that allowed the second guitarist to deal additional damage.

What was truly great about this particular record were the dynamics between the 2 of them. I would still claim that Bailey was the primary moving force. It was swift and moved in a very gracious and polite way. Haino’s playing seemed to be much more aggressive. The name of the album sums up the whole technique here very well.

The last 2 tracks of the album (26 and 30 minute respectively) sort of summarize what was going on in the first “short” 5 tracks and expands on the techniques. Track 6 is more of a clean and fast affair. Track 7 features distortion on both ends and concentrates on the little spaces between the feedback, used by each guitarist to present their part of the argument to the other.

Now I do not know what in particular makes me enjoy this guitar wankery so much but I thought it was great because it shows off the very slight contrast Haino put in his Bailey-style rip off. It is an interesting conversation between the guitarists. Will listen to again and I recommend it to people who like more jagged-edge guitar playing.





dogwander's reviews - Rate Your Music (18)

Bedhead - 1992-1998 (2014)



On my recent trip to Texas I was able to snatch a boxset from the Dallas band Bedhead. I first heard them when I was trying to explore slowcore through bands like Low and Red House Painters. Bedhead were slightly different though. They were a very strange cultural occurrence for the area they were based in since most of the music to come out of the “scene” around Texas was mostly dedicated to hardcore punk ala Butthole Surfers. In 1993 the drummer of mentioned band signed up the band on the Trance Syndicate Records label and this was the first out of the three albums released by Bedhead in the short-lived life span of the band.

WhatFunLifeWas “kicks” off with the opener “Liferaft”. Very dreaded guitars along with a minimal rhythmic drum section open the album in what does sound like a classic slowcore sound. However, I feel like there is something very special in the melodic relationship of the three guitarists of the band that is rather unique. Maybe it is the polyrhythmic relationship between each one of them. The other interesting thing is that you could technically claim there is a presence of post-rock style buildups but they sound much more reserved. They are not here to give it a bombastic attention seeking style but to rather keep the melody going forward. The lyrical part is great. The imagery of the sea here sounds grand but in the end it is all just an imaginary world inside of the protagonist’s room. I think the instrumental entirety of the track works on that sense too. A huge, almost orchestral sound from a regular “rock-band” line-up. Once again, I would like to put the emphasis on this NOT being what is traditionally considered “post-rock” (second wave is what I am referring to mostly). It sounds different and definitely holds its roots in slowcore.

It takes a while for the instruments to fade before moving onto the second track titled “Haywire”. It is a much more aggressive song and seems to have some shoegaze influences in it based off the droning fuzz in the back. I believe there is a very small appearance of tremolo on here too. Just like “Liferaft”, this song is able to bring ordinary 4-5 chord progressions into small separate sections with very powerful switches. The lyrics do have a sort of passive-aggressive element to them. It features a sensation of losing any power over life and works around the feeling of absolute helplessness. The tension itself cannot be fully extracted from the musical or the lyrical part separately. It is only present there when the two forces meet.

“Bedside Table” ,that was the band’s “hit” during their early life performances, starts off with a much calmer image. A lot of single notes from the clean guitars go on peacefully with the drum beat. The track barely does any angular shifts and keeps working its way into a more powerful ending. Louder rather than angrier or dramatic. The biggest switch occurs at 3:35, where consecutive guitar strums and cymbal crashes overload the picture. What is wonderful about this section is what sounds like very intricate and small tremolo picking sections in the back. Lyrics hover around a personal story from the bandmembers’ childhood, where Matt Kadane recollects Bubba Kadane’s incident of hitting his head on the bedside table. To him it sounded like “the ultimate betrayal, the bedside table taking advantage of its proximity to a serenely sleeping body” (quote taken from the boxset booklet by Matthew Gallaway). I enjoy this song a lot.

“The Unpredictable Landlord” opens with a descending slowcore riff and has a lot of cool moments further down. The little interlude that ends with harmonics (around the 2nd minute mark) sounds really awesome. The whole track has a lighthearted aura of the musical accompaniment and it never goes too loud. One weird comparison that pops up in my head for this particular track is Coldplay’s Viva La Vida guitar playing and the tone in particular (yes, yes, I know the latter was released years later). The lyrics are very playful, sounding like a letter of complaint to the landlord. The occurrences at the place of inhabitance our protagonist points out range from things falling from the sky to the unhealthy living in the location. Obviously Kadane makes a parallel to God as the “landlord” in this particular track, making the us, the people, the inhabitants. The song ends on a very melancholic line: “And no one deserves to live here…”.

“Crushing” is a depressing song. The instruments do sound bleak, but not as shattering as the lyrics. There is a very pretty glockenspiel section in the instrumental interlude after the first verse. The actual verses are more oriented towards the slowcore guitar arpeggi. The lyrics here make the process of “crushing” an ideal state of being. The protagonist rejects God as a force for he has never seen anything that will justify his existence. Instead, he takes upon the idea of “crushing” as a blessing, a realistic and an understandable state. At the same time, he equals the process of “drowning” to the “gift of God”. It might give an idea that the protagonist believes that God is just cruel, but for the most part the outro verse just makes the ability to believe in the conventional concept of “God” unrealistic.

“Unfinished” has a presence of an acoustic guitar but it is still under 2 other electrics. Most of the track progresses off clean single guitar notes interchanged between the 3 players in a slow tempo. The acoustic guitar somehow gives the track a more folk-ish vibe closer to the end, considering how simple and pretty the 4 chords sound. The lyrical side of things continues to explore the idea of God in the eyes of protagonist, making him more of a man than anything. The narration is done in first person and features episodes where the God himself makes mistakes while working over the Earth. In a way it might justify the amount of pain God brings in “Crushing”.

The following “Powder” is the longest dirge on the album, clocking at 7 minutes. This is the first track where I would say it has a more traditional post-rock crescendo with whale-like guitars. The singing part only takes on half of the track, leaving the rest to careful build-ups and breakdowns. They are not aggressive but rather cautious. That is important to notice. The lyrical part talks about the loss of someone close. There is also a constant haze of helplessness in the face of unexpected life events such as the one in question all over the narration. It really does sting. It depresses the hell out of me. Every single verse of the story is well-written and has a lot of emotional content charged into it. Definitely the highlight of the album. The album booklet tries to speculate on a different perspective of the whole piece being narrated by the “god” persona from the previous tracks but I feel like it might be looking too much into this case.

“Foaming Love” has a dissonant opening guitar riff with Matt’s soft singing over it. The drum beat on this particular song makes the composition sound like some sort of folk march. Especially the bits around 3:20 where the song goes into a folk rock-ish coda with the snare drum being utilized a lot. The lyrics in this particular song are well-written, even though they still confuse the crap out of me. Kadanes’ imagery is very complex, using Greek gods to transmit the idea of passing power (or at least that is what the booklet helped me with. I always had troubles figuring this song out to the full extent). A vivid imagery that is worth noting in the lyrics is located in the final passage, where Matt sings about “Uranus’s scrotum’s a totem pole / in the middle of Washington state”. Not sure if it is a funny or a disturbing reference to the Greek myth of Cronus but it is definitely a line that stands out.

“To The Ground” sounds like a playful tune at a first glance. Twangy guitars and a rimshot-fuelled intro drum beat don’t really give an insight on the gruesome lyrics here. The song is basically about co*ckroaches eating each other. The interesting thing is how “human” the radioactive survivors are portrayed here, so basically not only the story equates humans to co*ckroaches but it also covers this sort of a cannibalistic ritual as the prime activity in the lives of these savages. Personally I find the image to be rather unnerving. I guess Bedhead operate in the world where taking everything literally would be a mistake. Maybe there is a sense of humor in it but what they are trying to implement on is the actual sad parts of the story. Just giving a listener an idea of what the songs are really about.

“Living Well” starts with a surprisingly powerful single bass note repeatedly played. The guitars enter with the tone knob all the way down in a wave-like manner before a proper track start around 45 seconds in. It sounds like a fairly straight-forward “alternative” song with some shoegaze influences. Lyrically it concentrates on the idea of constant actions upon the ideas that the protagonist doesn’t believe in. He does them because it seems to be a given. I guess you could say he is a nihilist but even if so, a very very passive one. I do like the closing passage on the track.

“No good for your living will
No good for living well
Because your god for your willing will
Is no good for living well.”

Once again a religious theme is raised in the track. However by now you probably realize that these guys barely talk about god in a religious sense of the word. It is mostly a synonym for the commonly accepted beliefs in my opinion.

The closer on the album is titled “Wind Down”. Starting off with more traditional slowcore arpeggios from a single guitar before the whole band slowly starts coming in with the frequent appearance of the Telecaster feedback swools. The whole track keeps growing with more tremolo picking, feedback and more powerful drumming but it seems to end right as it was about to move into a following part. The album’s culmination seems to break off so suddenly. The reason why that happens might have something to do with the lyrics. They talk about the sensation of one’s death and how it works in the relationship to the rest of the world. Kadanes use the imagery of a dying tree to portrait the event and it has a bittersweet feel to it. A picturesque scene of the death slowly becoming just a background event as the world keeps turning. It is a sudden event and the impact doesn’t last too long which is probably why the song/album/life ends very unexpectedly and doesn’t stay around for too long.

That’s it for Bedhead’s debut. While maintaining a standard formula of slowcore, these guys were able to inject some powerful lyrics, unique imagery and recognizable elements into the instrumental counterpart. I love this album and it is definitely a grower. I recommend checking out this album if you are into slowcore. These guys will definitely not disappoint.



After touring for a bit, the band released this EP. Note the weird album cover of a doll hand.

The opening “Heiszahobit” (read:he-is-a-hobbit, a reference to Kadane’s friend apparently) is a very straight-forward song instrumentally. There are very little section switches and for the most part it is the standard slowcore sound with some acoustic guitar thrown in. The latter didn’t frequent WhatFunLifeWas as much, so it is worth pointing out its presence. The lyrics are surreal and nonsensical with a very fitting closing passage. “Do you have any idea / what I’m talking about” followed by a confusing tale of 2 close people hanging around. Kadane does employ a lot of soft and comfy imagery into the lyrics though.

“Dead Language” has a certain swing to it, country-like almost. The vocals are high up in the mix and that is really noticeable. Most of the time their songs have the vocals lower than the instruments. The electric guitars still have a very bright sound. With the vocals toned up you get to notice Matt’s occasional off-tune vocal performances that, while present on the first LP, are even more noticeable here. The lyrics are gorgeous with a lot of references to ancient relics and death. I love them.

“What I’m Here For” is a mid-tempo slowcore track with a very simple guitar riff. The little bit at 3:20 reminded me of Radiohead’s High And Dry. The lyrics of the song mostly concentrate on the classic Bedhead subject of love and loss. The narrator does he best to show his love and appreciation to the person he loves using very interesting contrasts. It’s a good track but other than the lyrics it wasn’t that special to me.

The closer is a cover of Joy Division’s “Disorder”. A slower version with a slightly different bassline in the chorus transition. It sounds like the original on codeine. Very slow, mellow and blurry. The ending on this track has a louder guitar strum, giving this section a different flavor than the rest of the track. It’s strange because when reviewing WhatFunLifeWas I felt like there was a definite relationship between the bands in terms of the sound. Technically slowcore does have its roots in the more traditional post-punk stuff, so maybe it was a logical parallel here. The execution of this track is pretty good, I definitely enjoyed it.

Overall the EP is good but there is something missing in the sound that was present on Bedhead’s first LP. The production was handled differently here so I guess there is some justification to the change. Still, a pleasant listen.


The Dark Ages

More touring in 1994-mid 1995 before Bedhead returned to the studio. The sessions brought to life this 3 song EP and the second LP. Note how the song titles coincidentally form a single sentence that accurately sums up the whole EP.

The EP opens with the title track. Clean guitar tone, depressing lyrics. Kadanes seem to be concentrating on dealing with the external world. The idea of feeling uncomfortable for a short period of time makes the depressive issues reappear for longer than that moment. Hence “the dark ages”. All these meditations are set to the usual electric guitar trio that plays a somewhat simple ascending guitar progression which becomes more vivid around the 4th minute mark.

“Inhume” is an instrumental that had its first live appearances during the early stages of Bedhead’s existence. I love this track for its simplicity and the feedback waves from Kadane’s telecaster in the back. It has a very melancholic vibe to it even without any spoken words. Maybe it is the initial message sent through the title of the track that brings these emotional responses.

“Any Life” closes off the 3 song EP. The sound of the track reminds me of this Neil Young song “Journey Through the Past”. Just a very laid back sound but, just like Neil Young’s song, “Any Life” has a very complicated array of emotions hidden behind this instrumentation. The lyrics concentrate on the moment of realization that you do not love someone anymore. Kadanes’ lyrics do a very good job of putting you there on the spot of the protagonists with their narration.

I enjoyed this small EP. Very solid stuff.



What follows the Dark Ages? Beheaded. It was recorded around the same time during the same sessions and released in June 1996. It is considered to be the most depressing release by the band, which doesn’t make it any less beautiful.

The opening title track of the album starts off with feedback and a melancholic guitar riff. Kadane’s vocals enter 40 seconds in, bringing a very bleak picture. A protagonist who is thinking of giving up everything. In addition to that there is a line “if there was someone to take advice from / would he say give up”, implying that not only there is an internal turmoil in the person’s life but also that he seems to be alone. The last verse also brings in a character that the protagonist wants to somewhat impress. “but mostly I just wanted to save you / to do something you wouldn’t expect me to” are the final lines muttered before a lengthy coda begins playing. Interplay between the upset guitars and this small bell hit every now and then sound gorgeous. It possibly signifies an upcoming slumber or a hope for a good ending in this short story. Either way, the track culminates with Bedhead’s favorite feedback.

“The Rest Of The Day” continues the album with the longest track on here. The topic is simple: hangover and the struggle to get up after it. However, the instrumentation is what makes it so great here. Lazy guitars and a somewhat bumpy drum beat (soft cymbal hits/snare). As Kadane goes through telling us about why he would rather stay in bed, the instrumentation softly gets more and more intense. Around 2:40 they let the vocals sing out more reasons for why to stay in bed before digging back into soft solo interchange between the 3 stringed instruments. At 3:50 we get a proper build up and it’s great. The 5:10 blast is a step up with the higher-note guitar solo appearing. In a classic manner, Bedhead don’t quiet reach a full-blown crescendo but just stop and leave the feedback going for a few seconds.

“Left Behind” has the first appearance of Bubba Kadane on the vocals. Slowcore guitar interchanges with the lyrics of self-reflection. The narrator is at the point of hoping that he will be remembered regardless of whether it is in a positive or a negative light. The booklet that comes with the album theorizes that the track contains the thoughts of a man at a deathbed, hoping to die. The very anti-climactic (for me at least) ending of the track is seen as the actual death of the narrator, with the feedback being all that remains after the last words are muttered. Bubba’s vocals seem to be even less melodic than Matt’s but they still contain an emotional confusion in them which I do like. Good track but I am not sure whether the speculative theories provided to us by Matthew Galllaway are really true.

“What’s Missing” sounds like something a close friend would say to you when he feels uneasy. It is about an essential thing missing in life and what the protagonist experiences. “I had no worries when I had no doubts” is the key line in the lyrical content. There is a very small instrumental uprising at the end of the track and it complements the last lines of the track, leaving the listeners with a hopeful thought. Feedback.

Bubba returns with the vocals on “Smoke”. Somewhat bright guitar strums with a distinct chord progression. In this story, the protagonist is stuck in the middle of metaphorical smoke and his efforts to escape from it. There is a sense of this “smoke” acceptance in the final verse because the protagonist feels like there is a certain part of him that is responsible for the problem at hand (or just for the fact that he got stuck there in the first place) and “if I blame them for anything / it’s nothing more than I blame on myself”. Other than acceptance, this track brings the idea of inevitability of such moments in life and the need to just deal with their presence instead of ignoring them.

“Burned Out” has my favorite imagery on this album. An idea of being stuck in the darkness and having this dilemma of making an effort at changing the situation with a possibility of a fatal outcome (I couldn’t move at all / and thought I might slip and fall) or just resorting to the passive wait for the “light” to come. This just leaves our protagonist standing still, contemplating. I think it is a wonderful image. The instrumentation here is more of the slowcore guitars that are rather moody but not exactly memorable. I did like the vivid sound of the drumstick hits though.

The burning theme continues with “Roman Candle”. The track has a returning country vibe here, mostly because of that bright telecaster tone and the upbeat drumming. Interesting thing is one of the guitars here tries to sing along with the guitarist with these clean little solos (slide guitar solos closer to the end too!). Sounds soothing. The lyrics talk about the firework being a metaphor for the relationship the protagonist is currently in. “With a short fuse and Chinese directions / I think you'll light yourself on fire / because a Roman Candle's got no direction / it just waits to expire”. Great verse.

The following “Withdraw” shares some similarities in terms of the instrumentation and themes with the previous track. There are more upbeat instrumentations, there’s the slide guitar. The lyrics bring in imagery of a shattering relationship and how everything just seems to show an imminent break up. “It’s not the same”, sings Kadane and it is just something the couple has to deal with. The ending of the track has a very bright guitar/drum burst with even tremolo picking making an appearance.

“Felo de se” is too happy and shimmering for this track title, which you can translate from Latin into simply “kill yourself”. Fast-paced drumming, upbeat guitar riffs with a somewhat lazy single-note guitar progression. Interesting thing is, the lyrics mention God for the first time on the album. The theme of god was very big on WhatFunLifeWas and his mention here is a rather bleak one (silence is useless in cases of torture / it says God won’t intervene). Other than that, the idea of suicide on this track seems like a solution because of how positive it sounds in general. I think it’s a cool thing that Bedhead managed to make the songs that are somewhat more depressing lyrically more upbeat in terms of instrumentation throughout the album. Feedback.

“Lares and Penates” is very slow. The guitars sound mellow with a distinguishable chord progression. The lyrics concentrate on the contemplations of a man alone in the room. The track goes into an inclusion of “spectres” that are staying along with the protagonist in the room. The initial thought (mostly based off the bleak imagery prior) is that the ghosts could represent either the memories or the problems in the life of our hero. However, Lares and Penates are actually deities that protect the household and bring wealth. Finally there seems to be a note of positivity on this album, hope.

The final track “Losing Memories” is the culmination of all the contemplations, regrets and the state of insanity. Only acceptance is left. A realization of being alone by a person in the middle of the room and that’s about it. The quiet guitar strums with no more twists, ascensions. Plain lyrical and musical state. It would all seem way too normal if it wasn’t for the emotional rollercoaster Kadanes put us through in the past ten tracks. In the end the protagonist ends his trip just like he started off with the title track: alone.

I love this record. It has flaws that are very similar to WhatFunLifeWas (most notably instrumental arrangements that tend to sound similar) but the correlation of the lyrics and the music make this album just as interesting to follow. It has depth and that’s what I like about Bedhead in general.


Transaction De Novo

After the release of Beheaded, the band went on to tour for a while around the US, Canada and Europe. Upon the return Matt moved to New York and all the composition between the bandmembers happened via 4-track tapes sent through the mail. Eventually they got to record their third album with the biggest budget yet and with no other than Steve Albini. The recording started at Albini’s home studio because Electrical Audio was still being built in 1996. The 2 songs recorded were scrapped though and what we get to hear on the record was contributed to tape in the freshly made Electrical Audio.

Bedhead’s third LP opens with “Exhume”. A slow bass—guitar driven opening with spaced out guitar duo is very subdued until another guitar comes in around the 2:15 minute mark. Matt starts singing about a certain photo he has seen in a college library of 2 statues trapped in a mudslide with a very serene facial expression (thanks for the info Matthew Gallaway). It is a very silent track with an occasional bell hit appearing, making it all sound like a near-death lullaby. I think it is important to note how the production gives this track a sense of hollowness around each sound.

“More Than Ever” has a simple kick-snare interchanging rhythm with the guitars and the bass trying to follow this slow-paced pattern. Eventually there is an extra kick drum hit and a full-band vortex closer to the end of the track with notably more distortion on the guitars than usual. I really liked the third guitar clean strums that just sounded relaxed and moody at the same time. The lyrics on this track touch upon Bedhead’s favorite topic of inevitable change. It’s just there and there is nothing we can do about it.

“Parade” returns the protagonist to an enclosure of the room. The theme is sort of similar to the closing track of Beheaded because most of the contemplations on this track have something to do with acceptance. The character is once again by himself in the room but this time there is a mention of a “parade” outside of his window and how no one pays a slight bit of attention to him. “I guess they all took me for someone they don’t know” sings Kadane and it is interesting to see how the world inside the bedroom expands to the outside. Instrumentally the track is somewhat traditional for Bedhead but there is a certain intensity wave occurring in between the verses with the distorted guitars exploding like they rarely did before. I really like the crisp clean guitar at 2:30. Very serene in comparison to the more bombastic sections.

“Half-thought” has a very light-hearted opening with clean guitars and a steady cymbal touch. Throughout the song the melody stays similar but there are a couple of time signature changes. Bubba is singing here and his lyrics touch upon a similar topic of life just happening as it is. It is fairly simple but Kadanes drop in a couple of memorable lines here and there (my favorite being “it’s such a bad excuse to wait for tomorrow / to think another day’s enough to wait for the next”). I like the laid back guitars on this track.

“Extramundane” has a very fast pacing and reminds me of Breeders. Steady clean guitar strums along with Matt singing about all sorts of things he tried to do to make the experience of living easier. At the end of the lyrical passage he concludes that relying on senses is probably something he shouldn’t give up on. It seems like paying attention to details sometimes makes it harder for the character to think. Note how the second verse and the last verse are structured very similarly but try to weigh things that seem radically different to the narrator (reason / senses). The lyrical passage ends around 1:20 before the post-rock style interlude enters (note the maracas percussion). Eventually a more distorted guitar enters and stays there until the track culminates with some single-note soloing.

“Forgetting” returns to a more mellow sound with quiet guitar strums and a slide guitar. At 2:35 there is a very sweet clean guitar progression that eventually just turns into sweet prolonged feedback waves. Reminds me of their first album. The lyrics deal with aging and how it affects the outlook on life. They are fairly simple and do not require any digging. This track is more of an interlude track. A very pleasant one as well.

“Lepidoptera” has some really great-sounding drums opening up with a very powerful kick drum. The clean guitars go through several different shifts throughout the song, much more complex than anything they have done thus far. On this track Kadane returns us to an empty room. A lot of themes in this track are similar to the opener of WhatFunLifeWas (thanks again for noticing that Mr.Gallaway) where the protagonist envisions his room as a completely different world in which the bed acts as a liferaft in the middle of this unknown sea. This time, however, we are joined by a moth flying across the room (“moonlit ocean”) towards an unlit lightbulb of all things. This is a very strange song lyrically because there are numerous metaphors that come to mind. Since we are dealing with the idea of uncertainty and a need of guidance throughout Bedhead’s albums, the moth is definitely a representation of the protagonist, looking for directions in the “ocean” and eventually heading towards something completely illogical. Lepidoptera is definitely a unique Bedhead track with a lot more depth if you dive into it.

“Psychosomatica” is a straight-out rock track that is combines Bedhead’s guitar orchestrations with a much rougher sound. Additional bass guitar, bombastic drums and different section changes make it one of the most positive sounding tracks with some moody lyrics about doubting. Very straight forward even though the present time signature changes make it stand out. 3 minutes of fun.

The closing track in Bedhead’s career is titled “The Present”. A 7 minute performance that acts as a farewell with a signature sense of nostalgia, melancholy. The instrumental component on this one is wonderful and works really well to complement the possibly self-reflecting lyrical component. First of all there is an organ added to the mix that sounds very low-key behind all the traditional Bedhead sound and yet, it brings some warmth to the mix. During the verse, there is a bowed guitar (?) section as well and it sounds wonderful. The 7 minute distance feels like much shorter here because of how hypnotizing the coda is. The final note of the organ just feedbacks into nothingness.

The last Bedhead album, just like the rest of their albums, offer great stories and images along with precisely measured sound. Albini did a good job of not dirtying their soothing and serene sound too much, making even the more loud and bombastic parts of the record sound in tune with the rest of their material. The spaceous gift of Electrical Audio made the sound really resonate too. A great way to end the existence of a great band.


Here are some thoughts on the Numero group boxset release. The music was great and I really liked the essay included to the records. It made the listening experience feel like an even bigger exploration with all the little notes on the song backstories and the band members’ recollections of the touring. I suggest snatching this boxset if you are a Bedhead fan.





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Lea Bertucci - All That Is Solid Melts Into Air (2017)

Very soft minimalism that employs stringed orchestral instruments to explore the physical properties of the space they are given, as well as the sound variety of the instruments they behold. Loops are also present in this soup and they are presented in fair taste.

Induces a dream-like state. The entire mix is exactly what I look for in my minimalism, so I'm very happy with this find!





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Maurizio Bianchi - The Second Death (2017)


But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.

This is a good dark ambient release from M.B. that features unnerving storms of synths, hailing with reverb. The detuned synths give it a sinister vibe that correlates to it's inspirational biblical theme of "second death". At times, they do sound like something burning straight out of the 80s' hell. This recording would probably work well with some John Carpenter film.

Oh and it costs $0.50. That's very nice.





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Black Sabbath - Technical Ecstasy (1976)


She's Gone is probably the only great moment on this album. Love that song. Rest is pretty mediocre.





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Black Wing - ...Is Doomed [olive green inside cloud] (2015)


I like Dan Barrett. Deathconsciousness is one of my most beloved albums because of its variety and well-crafted songs. Giles Corey project is another favorite of mine that proved the presence of a certain talent. He does a good job at making atmospheric records with very minimal means and that’s what I’m all about.

Black Wing is his most recent project. A lot has changed in Dan’s life for the better. The depression and borderline suicidal behaviour has been replaced by traces of happiness and some worrying about his health (according to the small note on this record).

The opener “Luther” shows off a simple fact about this record. The usual guitar composition has been dropped away, replaced by MIDI-controlled Logic tracks. Arpeggiated synth with a drum machine loop are joint with the classical drenched-in-reverb vocals. The lyrics are bleak, talking about possibilities of dying because of a health disorder. In the meantime, there are more and more different synths entering and while I definitely do not like them as much as I prefer his more guitar-driven stuff, I have to say they are somewhat atmospheric and compositionally tied to his previous efforts.

“Black Wing” opens with powerful drum machine sequences and droning bass synths. Barrett’s vocals on this one sound very desensitised, talking about acceptance of dying and equating it to sleep. I guess the imagery of a “black wing” gives it somewhat softer imagery. This track features a classic Barrett build-up with a breakdown after a vocal section. I don’t think it is well-executed but I didn’t mind it.

“Unemployed” closes of the first side with more industrial-influenced drum machine sequencing and synths. I think around now I start questioning myself about Dan’s sound and his songwriting in general. The thing is it sounds cool but I also feel like I have heard these song structures before. A lot. Basically a Trent Reznor syndrome. Same song structures over and over but, just like Reznor, they manage to sound interesting. That is definitely a good thing in my books but the fact that the tracks remind me of his older work stands. The lyrics were ok as well, talking about emptiness inside.

“DSA” is an instrumental. Now this is where the “Trent Reznor” bit definitely shows up. The whole beat and the synth arrangements this song offers sounds like something straight off “Hesitation Marks”. This is way too pretty and wonky to be a Dan Barrett song. Not saying it’s bad, just very different. Reminds me of old Nintendo game soundtracks. The whole track ends with a synth section that sounds like a regularly-structured OPN song.

“Death Sentences” continues the slow drum machine/arpeggiator relationship. The synths sound a bit too bright for the musical accompaniment here as well. It’s pretty though. The vocal performance style is the same as usual with a catchy outro line “I can’t relate to anyone” that I bet some people can relate to. The actual culmination features a TV or a radio recording which works well along to all the synths.

The closer on the album “If I Let Him In” brings in a bit more distortion into this world of synth arpeggiators.The lyrics are bleak and involve more self-loathing. I felt like they could be more powerful, considering this is the closer. The coda of the album was actually predictable. It has this whole “Dan Barrett closer” written all over it with a build up and an absolute climax blowing out from silence after an a cappella singing bit. The vocal harmonies in the back also sound very familiar. Just not that memorable.

That’s it for Dan Barrett’s new project. I don’t think it’s bad, not at all. It is just that after several projects of his this just doesn’t feel as powerful. It’s really nice that he tries to implement some new techniques with a complete removal of guitars but the general formula stays the same.





dogwander's reviews - Rate Your Music (28)

Blonde Redhead - Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons (2000)


How is this so good? The melodies (ha) are misleadingly delightful, the lyrics are heartbreaking and bring me back to the times of high school crushes. Kazu's occasional off-beat singing makes it all somewhat more meaningful too.

The genre tag might say "indie rock" up there and usually I'd be disinterested in something like this or at the very least wary, but the songwriting is so incredibly strong that I can't stop being in love with this.

It's perfect Morty.





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Blur - The Magic Whip (2015)


So finally the reunited Blur decided to put out an album and I was very very hyped for this. I love Blur circa s/t and 13. Knowing that Coxon is on it I had an understanding that it will not be the same thing as Think Tank (which I kinda disliked except for Out Of Time and the closer that featured Coxon). Well now the Magic Whip.

It starts off with a song that is more reminiscent of their Britpop era with similar guitar sound and song structure. Kinda upbeat, poppy, talking about shady stuff on Lonesome Street. It’s an ok track. Acceptable for the opener of a very hyped album.

New World Tower sounds like something straight off Everyday Robots. The vocal production and the drums especially. Considering how Damon did the recording while touring with his solo project I am really not surprised. He sings about his travelling experiences just like he did in ER (Neon lights of huge towers in the new world, possibly about Hong Kong since it was the main inspiration behind the album). Once again this track is alright but it lacks what I really loved about the Blur.

Now the main single from this album “Go Out”. The guitar from Coxon on this is what I wanted, especially in the fills. I think this is a fantastic pop song. After several listens this is among my main highlights of the album. The Lo-o-o-o-cal thing is so catchy. And that dirty guitar distortion with Coxon playing some fills in between the main riff… that’s what it’s all about. The drums so far on the album are classic Rowntree style. Rock-n-roll style with very little crazy stuff. Him and Alex mostly support the 2 main performers on stage but they’re pretty good at doing it so no complaints. My only complaint is that it sounds like Damon is half-assing the vocals on this. Barely any energy. And once again I love that Coxon guitar around 4:15. Awesome song.

“Ice Cream Man” is also close to Albarn’s solo project. Wonky synths supported by an acoustic guitar. Synths are actually surprisingly prevalent in this album. Wouldn’t expect that for some reason. Anyway this track has a little fill that reminds me of “There’s No Other Way” because of Coxon’s telecaster tone. Overall I think this track is kinda mediocre and would probably be a B-Side if it was a pre-Think Tank project.

“Thought I Was A Spaceman” sounds like another solo Albarn offshoot. This is one is pretty good though. I think Alex is playing a bowed double bass on this one he has been talking a lot about. It’s a very smooth track with Graham playing some occasional notes on an acoustic while a drum-machine-like groove supports them. Albarn adds his favorite reverb to his voice, talking about soul searching. Around 2:45 the track goes into a more energetic and groovy section with some glorious synths coming out of nowhere. In addition to that I think Coxon refurbishes his early shoegaze influences and plays a Shields-like gliding. It sounds hazy and dreamy.The guitar here is definitely MBV-influenced. Closer to the end of the track we also get some phonecall recordings thrown in.

“I Broadcast” is a synth-infused pop psychadelia. Very energetic and Coxon brings in more space guitar here with occasional distorted fill. The bass line from Alex James is more notable than usual. Also, there is a laughing track hehehe. My complaint that Albarn’s shout on this one sounds lame not because it’s an Albarn shout but because it doesn’t sound interested at all. Remember him shouting on Trimm Trabb? Now that is a shout. Anyway, short track that’s pretty good.

“My Terracotta Heart” has synth-like string arrangements with a notable percussion/clap lead. Swooling guitar in the background doesn’t hide the fact that it sounds like another solo effort from Albarn. The lyrical content is more of the same old same old broken heart stuff. It’s an ok track. I kinda like the clean guitar at the end but it doesn’t help the song much.

“There Are Too Many Of Us” is an anthem song. Sting section reminded me off Liturgy’s Kel Vahaal (possibly cause I've been listening to it a lot lately). Lyrically it is similar to The Universal in a way because of how global it is. There are more phone call samples in the background. What’s up with that Damon? There is even more synths on it. The little interlude is all spacey synths. I like this track but it just sounds a little bit too “big” without producing the “big” effect convincingly enough.

“Ghost Ship” is more talk about travelling. It’s a neat little pop track that lasts too long. I like the way the melody progresses in the chorus, especially the “HO-ONG KO-ONG” part. The guitar is extremely meticulous and sounds so closed off. The little fill around 3:22 reminded me off Kenny Burrell’s jazz guitar. Ok song.

Should I even talk about what “Pyongyang” is about? Starting off with a bell, a synth and an oriental sounding guitar. The chorus has a complete rip off in chord progression from some song I heard, can’t really put my finger on it just yet. It’s a meh track for me, don’t particularly care for it. The ending of the song is alright I guess. More sampling from Albarn too. Once again it’s too long.

“Ong Ong” is about Hong Kong. A very traditional Britpop song from them with more lalalalala in between the verses. This track would probably work great as a closer in terms of the context. Otherwise it’s kinda boring to me.

The closer “Mirrorball” is one of the better tracks on the album. I like Coxon’s clean guitar on this one as well as the strings. Very moody. Surprisingly it’s one of the first instances where you could easily tell there is piano present on the album. I’m not sure if it is a good thing or not. Anyway, the track is good. Definitely a highlight.

On to the final thoughts. This album would fit somewhere between The Great Escape and the s/t pretty well because it sounds like a transitional effort. However, considering how it is a follow up to a thrilling record like 13 (let’s face it, Think Tank is more of an Albarn solo effort) I am sort of disappointed. The musical content is more reminiscent of the Britpop era and sounds a little over-produced. Blur are much better off when they’re trying to dabble in lo-fi stuff.

Now onto the elephant in the room which are Damon Albarn’s lyrics. I really liked Everyday Robots because of how it talked about the EMOTIONS that travelling away from home evoked. I could even relate to that. A lot. Here, however, there is a more concern about the narration on what he saw rather than what he felt. That doesn’t stick with me too well.

Even though I am disappointed with this there is a chance it might grow on me. I really disliked Everyday Robots upon first several listens but it got better over time. I think this album is an ok effort from a band that has so much more potential if they actually got their sh*t together. Considering how disjointed the recording sessions were for this I am really not that surprised on how the album sounds like. I would still don’t mind seeing them perform this stuff live. I’ll give this a 6-/10 and see where it goes with more listens.


EDIT: Didn't grow on me outside of Lonesome Street. Go Out is still great.




dogwander's reviews - Rate Your Music (32)

David Bowie - Hunky Dory (1971)


My father had this record in his car CD-changer in the late 90s, so it was one of my first exposures to music in general as a kid. I used to hear this playing during my 1-hour primary school commute, constantly being excited when Bowie talked about Mickey Mouse on Life On Mars.

In retrospective, this is a marvelous pop album that I kept returning to my whole life. I think the only track that never really worked for me is The Bewlay Brothers, but mostly due to the fact that my attention was always pinned to everything that precedes the closer.

One thing that I was always in awe of here are the vocal melodies. The chorus on Quicksand is just stupefying for me. That key moment on the record is my absolute favorite. So simple and elegant. Andy Warhol, Queen Bitch and Life On Mars are fantastic in their own rights mostly due to the gorgeous chord progressions. Some parts have a slight filler feel to them (Eight Line Poem, Fill Your Heart, Song for Bob Dylan), but they all just fit in here.

Highly recommended pop record that I'll probably always return to, no matter the age.





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David Bowie - ★ [Blackstar] (2016)


Bowie is back with a new album on his 69th birthday. I did dig “The Next Day” a lot but Blackstar finds Bowie pushing his limit within the “art” pop realm. The album itself isn’t Bowie’s “Tilt” by any means. Unlike Scott Walker, he still remains in his comfort zone but adds lavish elements into his mix.

The album opens up with the title track. An odd one out, this track clocks at almost 10 minutes and it might be one of Bowie’s best-crafted songs I’ve heard. It sounds like something between Radiohead’s Amnesiac days and Tibet’s Hitler As Kalki. The song is written with the basic A B A formula. The middle section is more reminiscent of the classic Bowie sound. The rest of the track is riddled with dizzy vocals with adjacent string sections and interesting off-beat drum beats. Just like the rest of the album, Blackstar features a lot of sax and it does sound fitting to this “otherwordly” Bowie. Fantastic track.

The rest of the album relies on shorter tracks but certain elements definitely stand out. A lot of jazz fills from the sax and the drums. Occasional dissonance introduced by very subtle piano somewhere in the back. Little bits of distorted guitar on Lazarus that are incredibly fitting to the track and to my liking. Interesting lyrical themes of loss and rebirth. The production was really good, especially with the strings.

There were some bits I was not fond of. Bowie’s singing on Girl Loves Me wasn’t that great. Don’t think he pulled that off all too well. Sometimes the slower sax sections get a bit too shoddy. The other complaint is that the title track would be much more powerful if it closed off the album. Just feels like it is a burden of quality on the rest of the tracks.

Blackstar exceeded my expectations. Loved it. While it is not experimental and “out there”, it’s a well-crafted pop album with very few flaws. I am very indecisive on the score I want to give this. Somewhere between 8+ and 9-. I’ll play it safe for now and give it an 8+ because it was very good.


EDIT: RIP David. It's just sad.

EDIT 2: You know what? I have been listening to it throughout the entire year. Funny thing is though that I skip the first track. After numerous listens I really don't want to hear it as much. My love for Tis a Pity, Sue and Dollar Days grew exponentially though. Especially the former of the three. The drums and the sax, oh my!

In terms of David's death and how it relates to the album itself, I think there is a sub-conscious effect on how the work is subjectively perceived. Who cares?

Racking it up to a 9/10. I still cannot stop listening to it.




dogwander's reviews - Rate Your Music (36)

The Breeders - Pod (1990)


Kim Deal rocks. This was established prior to this album with her Pixies performances, but this is where she truly shines. This album clashes tons of my favorite things: Kim’s vocals, Albini’s raw (in this case RRRAAAAAWWWWWW) production, songs about liberated heartbreak survivors and just Britt Walford in general.

The album is pretty short and just brings out a powerhouse of alt rock after another. On top of everything, the entire album is ultra catchy. Punchy basslines projected against clean and distorted guitar leads with a mechanism that is Britt. So goddamn simple. To raise the simplicity levels they even covered a Beatles track. Mind you it is one of the more interesting tracks they could have touched upon so kudos to the ladies and Shannon Doughton a.k.a. the drumming guy from Slint. The latter is responsible for the hilarious small instance of classic Albini-esque studio banter at the end of the cover (“Josephine, do you think you’re going bald?”).

Humor aside, there are moments where emotions overtake the silliness of it all. Kim’s voice cracks on Oh! and her vocal breaks on Iris are my favorite. The tracks get slightly more serious closer towards the end of the album, but they never let go of the “we’re totally having fun here” sensation. That’s what matters. That’s why putting this album on whenever and wherever for the mere 30 minutes is a relaxing and energizing experience.

The only reason why I cannot give it a perfect rating is the closing Metal Man. I just don’t like it anywhere near as much as the rest of the record. It just seems monotone and boring. The one burst of energy really doesn’t do much either.

Almost perfect pop record with tons of raw energy. Very simple too!!! I tend to listen to it more and more lately during the short time breaks where no other album will fit.





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Peter Brötzmann, Haino Keiji & Jim O'Rourke

Peter Brötzmann
灰野敬二 [Keiji Haino]
Jim O'Rourke

- Two City Blues 1 (2015)


Haino let go off his Shamisen for the most part and switched to his guitar on this one. And boy did that work. The first track was a typical free improv jam (with Brotzmann playing sax in his typical fashion while Haino and Rourke seem to have a stand off between each other) but I feel like the true brilliance of this trio is located on the second track. O'Rourke seems to be concentrated on the carcass of the track while Brotzmann and Haino are doing some intense soloing with a fantastic clash around the 5-6 minute mark. They slow down things to go in a pretty hollow territory with Brotzmann taking the lead around the 10 min mark. O'Rourke and Haino eventually surface and Haino creates a huge drone I cannot describe with words..The final section of this mammoth is another instance of Haino-Brotzmann soloing. Damn man. This is some really good stuff right here. These guys take their instruments to different plains of existence. I prefer this one to Two City Blues 2.





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Burial - Subtemple (2017)


I have recently been thinking of Burial records as of phantom memories of different locations that reverberate in static and surrounding sounds. It sort of does work better with his latest materials, where it is more about the ambience and not about the nightlife echoes that have been loaded all over his post-garage material up to Rival Dealer.

Well Young Death/Nightmarket didn’t really work that well.

Subtemple, however, seems to find a certain ground of hypnotic simplicity (the clock ticking, the three-note toy piano) and the standard ghostly vocals of various artists. The two major minimalist elements make this track memorable unlike the previous ambient effort by Burial and it is a pleasant feeling. It's a great track.

Beachfires spends some time searching for some purpose, sounding like some transitional sections from his older material. The reverberated vocals give it some sense of majesty, but it falls short of establishing anything memorable. Then it just seems to follow a copy-paste technique of hollow ambient. Just feels like he was gasping for ideas. It still has some emotional depth to it, but Burial always managed to flesh out a sense of progression in his symphonies of loneliness. Kindred EP, Truant/Rough Sleeper and Rival Dealer jumped from one soundscape to another with a sense of purpose. Feeding me with Beachfires after that just seems tasteless.

I enjoyed the first track very much, the second was just hollow in terms of content.

Interested to see where he goes next though.





dogwander's reviews - Rate Your Music (42)

Can - Future Days (1973)


This will always be my favorite rock album I think. I can't think of a single element on here that I do not like. It's very accessible, features outrageously talented musicians performing genius (occasionally blues-infused which is always a plus for me) songs that take me to places I want to be in.

Oh and Bel Air is the greatest rock tune of all time.





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- Trout Mask Replica (1969)


A blues record that transcends blues itself. To be quiet honest, it transcends most of popular music.

Beefheart took full steer over every single thing on this record, starting from the highly complicated infuses of free jazz, childishness, poetry and blues into a single coherent piece of music and ending with an insane, paranoid atmosphere of nothing-but-bean-eating musicians stuck in a house with a madman.

At the end of the day, it sounds like one of the happiest things committed to tape ever. Now THAT is absolutely bizarre. Almost more bizarre than anything on this record.





dogwander's reviews - Rate Your Music (46)

Kate Carr - The Story Surrounds Us (2017)


Loved this. Kate takes the field recordings of her trips and uses them as a carcass for the musical sections. It is filled with ambient drones and occasional instrumental accompaniment. The sounds all fit with each other. This is an issue most of the artists, who work around a similar musical technique, encounter when lay down the field recordings next to the instrumentals.

If you’re into atmospheric ambient pieces and field recordings, grab this immediately.





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Julian Casablancas + The Voidz - Human Sadness (2014)


I always found Casablancas and his output in The Strokes to be boring.

Then he released this personal piece of emotional explosion set to a Mozart sample that goes from mood to mood while sustaining the thought of his father’s loss. Frustrations and regrets peak on this as much as Julian’s autotuned voice cracks through the monitors during his screams.

It is so incredibly crafted, even though each section manages to sound very out-of-place next to each other. It is overwhelming, but to me it sounds like it is a justified mean of expressing something as overwhelming as the death of your father.

Brilliant work, only brought down by some of the guitar work that doesn’t always fill fitting.





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Cheval Rétréci, Junko & Will Guthrie - Cheval Rétréci (2017)


An overwhelming oriental feast of improvisation. We get Shenhai, Taepyongs, Junko's voice and drum banging. Various sound effects thrown in for a good measure.

It all ends up sounding like a ritual of ascension. The boiling intensifies with every second throughout Side A.

Side B is more of a roll-call for all the participants. Instead of an energetic impulse, this sounds like a careful weaving of tones. It is so peaceful that I doubt Junko is even on it. Then again, the beginning of the track features both the shenhai and taepyongs sounding like Junko's voice, so I cannot be entirely sure.

Great stuff. Short, sweet and diverse sides of the same ensemble.


dogwander's reviews - Rate Your Music (2024)


How does rate your music work? ›

Rate Your Music (often abbreviated to RYM) is an online encyclopedia of music releases and films. Users can catalog items from their personal collection, review them, and assign ratings in a five-star rating system. The site also features community-based charts that track highest-rated releases.

Is Rate Your Music an app? ›

Rate Your Music is also ideal for music collectors and enthusiasts who want to keep track of their music collection and build a database of the albums they have listened to. The app allows users to create a personalised library of albums, which can be organised and sorted in various ways.

How much do you get paid to review songs? ›

Verified playlist curators can earn up to $14 per song review. The amount you earn may increase as your playlists gain more attention and followers.

Is there a website that rates music? ›

RateTheMusic lets you hear new music first, is used to launch careers for new artists, as well as helping established artists decide which new songs to release. From the decisions record labels make on music you hear, to what songs your favorite radio stations play, your input is critical!


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