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Old 08-03-2011, 05:33 PM   #121 (permalink)
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75. Mogwai - Government Commissions BBC Sessions 1996-2003 (2005)
Genre: Post-rock



Tracklist

01. Hunted by a Freak
02. R U Still In 2 It
03. New Paths to Helicon Pt. 2
04. Kappa
05. Cody
06. Like Herod
07. Secret Pint
08. Superheroes of BMX
09. New Paths to Helicon Pt. 1
10. Stop Coming to My House


Probably the only compilation album I will include on this list. I'm sure someone will wonder why I chose this album over Young Team or Happy Songs for Happy People. Honestly I don't know, generally I stay away from compilation albums because it kind of feels like reading the cliff notes of a book, it kind of feels like cheating. Yet there's just something about this album in particular that I keep coming back to.

I love how the album really takes you through Mogwai's years, showcasing their expanded sound. It's also nice how they haven't ordered the songs in a way that would clearly indicate their evolved sound. The album actually starts off with one of their 2003 hits "Hunted By A Freak" which is far more full and shimmering, giving off that pure post-rock sound, then towards the end of the album you're given one of their '97 EP's which is incredible sparse and dragged out songs. In the middle you're treated to quite possibly their greatest song (and best version) "Like Herod" which uses a loud/soft dynamic that has some truly wondrous rif***e action going on. It definitely reminds you that post-rock doesn't always have to be beautiful quiet full sounds, that it is allowed to rock out every now and then.

The album does suffer from the typical post-rock trend of just dragging on for too long. I know it's part of the allure to post-rock, but some songs just go on for far longer than they need to.

The recording and production quality on this album really do deserve a mention because of how crisp, clean, and clear everything is. You get a decent quality copy of this and I wouldn't be surprised if you could hear one of them breathing at some point. It is also very nice to hear John Peel introduce the band at the beginning of the album.

Post-rock is always hard to write about because you can only use pretty adjectives for so long until you actually have to start making actual points. However how can you really describe a post-rock album without just using pretty adjectives?

It's a tight rope, if you like post-rock you've probably already listened to this album a million times already so it will be yet another ego stroke to a popular band , and if you don't like post-rock, I can't say this will change your mind, but give it a try.

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Old 08-03-2011, 06:42 PM   #122 (permalink)
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I've never listened to this, not sure why as I'm a big Mogwai fan. Thanks for piquing my interest. I got hold of Special Moves recently, what I'd do to catch them live.
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Old 08-03-2011, 06:45 PM   #123 (permalink)
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It's definitely worth a listen if you're already a fan. I would definitely catch them live if they were to ever tour in town or around the lake.
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Old 08-10-2011, 06:52 PM   #124 (permalink)
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74. Choking Victim - No Gods / No Managers (1999)
Genre: Punk Rock



Tracklist

01. 500 Channels
02. In Hell
03. Crack Rock Steady
04. Suicide
05. In My Grave
06. Fucked Reality
07. Money
08. Hate Yer State
09. Fuck America
10. War Story
11. 5 Finger Discount
12. Praise the Sinners
13. Living the Laws


It's been awhile since I've had a punk album on here and to be honest... I've lost the list I had made, so everything from here on out is going to be me winging it.

So Choking Victim... Interesting band. This album was recorded in a single day and then the band broke up, with some of the members going off to form Leftover Crack, and the others went to form some other band I've never heard before. While Leftover Crack and the newly formed Star Fucking Hipsters have enjoyed more success, I find myself coming back to Choking Victim more. I think its got more to do with the fact that this was one of the first punk bands I could talk to metalheads about as well as gain acceptance from the punk community.

One of the things that I like most about Choking Victim is their ability to combine so many elements of music. The ferocity and in-your-face attitude of punk with an almost poppy delivery (on some songs), Satanic imagery (which was what actually first attracted me to the band), politically charged lyrics, and a fun playful demeanor make them a far more approachable band then their appearance and imagery would suggest. I mean I got someone who thought Simple Plan was the shit into this band.

What I like most about this album is that the songs are fun. They've got a message behind them, but they're not too serious or full of themselves, and this is something that turns me off some other politically charged punk bands. To just give you an idea of how fun I think this band is, I'm a criminal justice major going into law enforcement next year, yet I still love singing along to "Crack Rock Steady" which goes like this:

"Crack rock steady
are you ready to stop
the rotten blue menace lets go kill us a cop
crack rock steady, are you ready?
Living above the law"

Even when the band is being more serious like on "In My Grave" (which contains an awesome subtle nod to Slayer's "Reign Blood") I still detect a hint of playful and fun attitude. I think that's what I love about this album is the inviting attitude that doesn't really make you feel bad or angry. Not only that it's a very cathartic album so if you're having a bad day, it's a great way to blow off some steam.

The musicianship is pretty tight and if you like good basslines then you'll be very happy with this album. The production is minimal as one would expect in a punk album, but everything sounds crisp in a dirty kind of way (if that makes any sense). I don't care for a lot of the samples, particularly the ones featuring Michael Parenti, some activist/ wanker I've never heard of who has one of the most annoying voices, which when added to his content, makes you want to punch him in the face.

Overall this is definitely one of the better punk albums of the '90's and proof that the spirit is still alive. Definitely give this album a listen if you're into punk.



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Old 08-17-2011, 01:08 PM   #125 (permalink)
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73. ISIS - Panopticon (2004)
Genre: Post-Metal, Atmospheric Sludge Metal, Post-Rock



Track List

01. So Did We
02. Backlit
03. In Fiction
04. Wills Dissolve
05. Syndic Calls
06. Altered Course
07. Grinning Mouths


Just over 25 reviews and already 3 albums are from the emerging post-metal/atmospheric sludge metal/post-rock/metal-gaze/whateverthefuckitsbeingcalledthisweek genre. I have an admiration for the experimentation and the willingness to showcase metal in ways that defy the stereotypes. Not only that it makes for great study music if you let it, so that's always a plus.

If Neurosis are is the father of this bastard sub-genre then ISIS would probably be the cool uncle that would buy you alcohol and leave his porno magazines in easy-to-find places. They had a 13-year life and in that time release 5 studio LP's and a large handful of EP's, live albums, demos, and splits with other bands. Vocalist Aaron Turner also founded Hydra Head Records, a label that specializes in signing and promoting post-metal bands but also houses such notable artists as Kayo Dot (Experimental/ Avant-garde metal), Dalek (Hip Hop), and Agoraphobic Nosebleed (Grindcore).

Out of all of their albums, I feel that Panopticon (2004) does the best job at bridging the gap between post-rock and post-metal, which I think is an important step in helping the genre break out of its niche appeal. Mid '90's Neurosis can definitely appeal to to any metalhead, but if someone is unfamiliar with the genre, then it's appeal is limited. That said though, listening to early Mogwai, one can definitely hear the influence, and vice-versa with ISIS. ISIS definitely take a lot of their influence from the layered atmosphere building of Mogwai and Godspeed You! Black Emperor and I think those influences really shine through on this album, which makes it a perfect entry point from post-rockers to make the plunge into the murky depths of post-metal.

The song lengths can be a bit of a problem, especially if you go into the album intending to rock out. While there certainly are moments to bang your head, it's a very slow moving album with a lot of build up to these moments, so in most cases you would have probably stopped caring by then. This presents the hardest challenge post-metal has with finding its audience. Not everyone who listens to post-rock wants to headbang, and not every metathead wants to wait 6 minutes for the song to get heavy, however if you have the patience and an appreciation for atmosphere, then neither problem should be too much of an issue.

As is the case with a lot of post-metal albums (and ISIS albums in particular) is the running theme throughout the album. I can't say I've delved too deep into what Panopticon is about, however if Wikipedia is to believed it's a theoretical prison design that allows guards to peer in without alerting the inmates that they are being watched. It was envisioned by philosopher Jeremy Bentham in the late 18th century and it's general idea was to instill discipline through psychological control. A pretty high-brow theme for a metal album, however one that would be a little hard to follow if you didn't sit down and read the lyrics and other people's interpretations to help form your own.

Panopticon is definitely in a league of its own when it comes to blending the sounds of post-metal and post-rock into something that can please (most) of both camps. It's definitely the kind of album you would put on in the background while writing or browsing the internet, but it will catch your attention again and again with heavy hooks, and brilliantly written passages. If you're looking to get into the genre or the band, I'd definitely recommend this as your first album.

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Old 08-17-2011, 09:24 PM   #126 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoathsomePete View Post
[CENTER]74. Choking Victim - No Gods / No Managers (1999)
Genre: Punk Rock
I like this album for what it is but I have never found it anything other than throwaway fun personally. I appreciate the fact that it has huge links to the whole squat culture in the U.S but listening to it, it feels to me like a social statement rather than a musical statement.

The Ska element throws me a lot considering what the album was representing. Still a very decent list though. Keep it up.
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Old 08-18-2011, 06:22 AM   #127 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoathsomePete View Post
73. ISIS - Panopticon (2004)
Genre: Post-Metal, Atmospheric Sludge Metal, Post-Rock



Track List

01. So Did We
02. Backlit
03. In Fiction
04. Wills Dissolve
05. Syndic Calls
06. Altered Course
07. Grinning Mouths


Just over 25 reviews and already 3 albums are from the emerging post-metal/atmospheric sludge metal/post-rock/metal-gaze/whateverthefuckitsbeingcalledthisweek genre. I have an admiration for the experimentation and the willingness to showcase metal in ways that defy the stereotypes. Not only that it makes for great study music if you let it, so that's always a plus.

If Neurosis are is the father of this bastard sub-genre then ISIS would probably be the cool uncle that would buy you alcohol and leave his porno magazines in easy-to-find places. They had a 13-year life and in that time release 5 studio LP's and a large handful of EP's, live albums, demos, and splits with other bands. Vocalist Aaron Turner also founded Hydra Head Records, a label that specializes in signing and promoting post-metal bands but also houses such notable artists as Kayo Dot (Experimental/ Avant-garde metal), Dalek (Hip Hop), and Agoraphobic Nosebleed (Grindcore).

Out of all of their albums, I feel that Panopticon (2004) does the best job at bridging the gap between post-rock and post-metal, which I think is an important step in helping the genre break out of its niche appeal. Mid '90's Neurosis can definitely appeal to to any metalhead, but if someone is unfamiliar with the genre, then it's appeal is limited. That said though, listening to early Mogwai, one can definitely hear the influence, and vice-versa with ISIS. ISIS definitely take a lot of their influence from the layered atmosphere building of Mogwai and Godspeed You! Black Emperor and I think those influences really shine through on this album, which makes it a perfect entry point from post-rockers to make the plunge into the murky depths of post-metal.

The song lengths can be a bit of a problem, especially if you go into the album intending to rock out. While there certainly are moments to bang your head, it's a very slow moving album with a lot of build up to these moments, so in most cases you would have probably stopped caring by then. This presents the hardest challenge post-metal has with finding its audience. Not everyone who listens to post-rock wants to headbang, and not every metathead wants to wait 6 minutes for the song to get heavy, however if you have the patience and an appreciation for atmosphere, then neither problem should be too much of an issue.

As is the case with a lot of post-metal albums (and ISIS albums in particular) is the running theme throughout the album. I can't say I've delved too deep into what Panopticon is about, however if Wikipedia is to believed it's a theoretical prison design that allows guards to peer in without alerting the inmates that they are being watched. It was envisioned by philosopher Jeremy Bentham in the late 18th century and it's general idea was to instill discipline through psychological control. A pretty high-brow theme for a metal album, however one that would be a little hard to follow if you didn't sit down and read the lyrics and other people's interpretations to help form your own.

Panopticon is definitely in a league of its own when it comes to blending the sounds of post-metal and post-rock into something that can please (most) of both camps. It's definitely the kind of album you would put on in the background while writing or browsing the internet, but it will catch your attention again and again with heavy hooks, and brilliantly written passages. If you're looking to get into the genre or the band, I'd definitely recommend this as your first album.

I actually always regarded Panopticon as not being one of the better Isis albums, but after this write up, I`m probably going to go back and give it another listen.
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Old 08-18-2011, 11:23 AM   #128 (permalink)
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I actually always regarded Panopticon as not being one of the better Isis albums, but after this write up, I`m probably going to go back and give it another listen.
You should definitely give it another try, but I don't think your opinion will do a complete 180. I have some strange album preferences, especially when it comes to post-metal bands. Another good example of this is preferring The Ocean's newest album Anthropocentric (2010) to their 2007 album Precambrain which is widely regarded as their best album. Still I hope it at least lets you look at it in a different light, or perhaps a new appreciation.
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Old 08-21-2011, 07:43 AM   #129 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by LoathsomePete View Post
You should definitely give it another try, but I don't think your opinion will do a complete 180. I have some strange album preferences, especially when it comes to post-metal bands. Another good example of this is preferring The Ocean's newest album Anthropocentric (2010) to their 2007 album Precambrain which is widely regarded as their best album. Still I hope it at least lets you look at it in a different light, or perhaps a new appreciation.
Didn't they get a new vocalist for the newest release, though? The clean singing on Anthropocentric is done really well, sort of like a soulful Chris Cornell. Obviously the screams and harsh vocals are cool too but all in all I found the lyrical content to be the best part of the album.
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Old 08-21-2011, 09:11 AM   #130 (permalink)
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Yes lists, love em. Have to do me own album list soon. Liked the Morphine mention, will have to check that out as I've only heard Good witch is good.

keep it up.
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