(EDITOR’S NOTE: We only got quickies for you this week, due to dat bird with the fixins… you know the one. Regular biweekly reviews pick up again on December 4!)
Dark Psychosis – The Edge of Nowhere (Moribund)
Psychedelic black metal from Lansing, Michigan. This is a one man operation, and sounds like it.
Honestly, aside from some creepy-cool ambient effects, there’s not a lot to grab hold of. I am in favor of lo-fi recordings and underproduction in general, but this album treads that murky area in between. He tried really hard to have quality sound production, but has no idea how to put it all together. The result is sterile feeling and awkward, which might work for garage-indie, but black metal needs to feel visceral or it doesn’t work.
Sean. Buddy. Stop going by Xaphan because no one is actually going to call you that and stick to working with Cavalcade. Their input would most likely have helped this record quite a bit.
The best track on the album is the Digital Only cut, “Drink Fight and Fuck”. What makes it good is the raw, live feel to it. No production whatsoever. Sounds like shit and is better for it.
Start with: “Born to Lose”, “Dark Call…”, “Drink Fight and Fuck”
Man, the top 40 was weird this month. Songs popped up then plummeted. 21 Savage’s entire album charted one week, then all but disappeared as everyone moved on to something else. Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” recharted 40 years after being released thanks to a TikTok video. (I didn’t include it in this month’s rankings but that song’s a solid 87-90. I really like the whole Rumours in general.) Oh, and country actually had a taste of pop success this month, so all around a busy month on the charts. What that does mean is we got a lot of tracks to sift through, so hold on to your butts. (throws the main breaker). Note: There’s a ton here so a lower ranking doesn’t necessarily mean a song’s bad. In fact, if you want to get right past the bad and meh, jump down to like #20.
31. Justin Bieber and benny blanco – Lonely Another “woah is me, fame is so hard” anthem from the Biebs. I thought “I’ll Show You” was bad enough. I usually find strength in tracks where artists express their struggles with mental health. It can help those who are struggling to find something in pop culture that they can relate to, knowing that they are not alone in the struggle. But fuck is this just whiney. It sounds more like the slurred wailing of the drunk cryer in the group. It’s hard to feel anything for you when your expressions of self-loathing come off as nothing more than a cry for attention instead of help. There is a difference. The minor keyed Fender Rhoads backing track just amplifies this feeling that the emotions are disingenuous. I’m not saying the kid doesn’t have mental health issues and I wouldn’t dream of berating him if that were the case, but there’s nothing on this track that feels like a genuine examination of his heart. And seriously, what the fuck is that warble on the hook?
The Brofather is back to sing the praises of a new drink. Beer alone is no good, we need tequila. Actually, we need a rewrite of Tracy Byrd’s “Ten Rounds with Jose Cuervo” with a little Kenny Chesney spin on it and… oh, he name checks Chesney in a verse. Well, at least he knows. It’s a song that is technically fine. His band is more than capable. A few extra points for trying to make a party song in the middle of a summer where we could all use a pick me up. But there’s still quite a hole to dig out of here.
This week, we take a look at another pretty good month in music. Jeremy and Zack give us their favorite albums of the month, Dan looks at the best and worst top 40 hits and the guys play their first round of the Looks Like game.
Jeremy’s Top 3 Albums of July: 3. Mannequin Online – I Feel It 2. Gaerea – Limbo 1. Ellie Goulding – Brightest Blue
Zack’s Top 3 Albums of July: 3. Gucci Mane – Gucci Mane Presents: So Icy Summer 2. Taylor Swift – folklore 1. Juice WRLD – Legends Never Die
Dan’s Top 2 Top 40 Tracks of July: 2. Megan Thee Stallion – Girls in the Hood 1. Lil’ Baby – The Bigger Picture
It’s time again to get the best new releases of the month, as Jeremy and Zack have their five best albums of the month while Dan has his rankings of the month’s new top 40 hits.
Zack’s Best of May: 5. Johanna Warren – Chaotic Good 4. Hayley Williams – Petals for Armor 3. Christian Lee Hutson – Beginners 2. Carly Ray Jepsen – Dedicated Side B 1. Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit – Reunions
Jeremy’s Best of May: 5. Asking Alexandra – Like A House On Fire 4. Boston Manor – Glue 3. The 1975 – Notes On A Conditional Form 2. Deau Eyes – Let It Leave 1. Shiner – Schadenfreude
Dan’s Top Hit Singles of May: 3. Ali Gatie – What If I Told You That I Love You 2. Sam Smith & Demi Lovato – I’m Ready 1. Megan Thee Stallion – Savage