Mike Schiller: It’s just two verses and a hook, but these verses kill. Vince Staples hasn’t been around long but his mastery of meter, rhythm, and wordplay is in full effect throughout “Big Fish”, which says its piece and leaves us wanting more. It sounds like it’s a tale of self-aggrandizement thanks to its hook, but the lyrics are another tale of the difficulty and conflicts of interest that came with the gang affiliations of his youth (not to mention the literal sinking ship of the video). “Big Fish” is a fine way to lead into his new album. [9/10]
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Electronic producer Mux Mool is fascinated by the sounds of classic arcade games as well as abstraction and experimentation. He grew up in Minnesota endlessly absorbed by an inexpensive little sampling keyboard, amazed by how changed when you lower an octave. Mux Mool used that tool and many more keyboards after it to keep chasing the sounds he wanted to create. After a couple of releases through Ghostly International, Mux Mool released his 2016 album Implied Lines via Bandcamp, but now he’s re-releasing the record via Young Heavy Souls and adding two tracks, including “Starfighter Courage” that we are premiering today.
For me, the time between falling in love with an album (and possibly hearing the band for the first time, to be honest) and seeing that band perform live, has probably never been shorter than it was for Slowdive. Their 2017 come-back, self-titled release is one of my favorites of the year and one of PopMatters’ Picks. Right from the get-go, with the first track “Slomo”, Slowdive had me hooked on a band over two decades old.
Fortunately, the band had scheduled shows to support the album including two nights at Brooklyn Steel. When the group finally took the stage after 9 pm, the audience collectively stood poised at attention. And Slowdive kicked off the show with “Slomo” but sadly, a couple of minutes in, one of the sound guys came on and pulled the band off-stage—there was an issue with a monitor or something. So I didn’t get the full cathartic experience of “Slomo” at the beginning, but I did hear a lot of powerful songs from their back catalog and the new gems, like “Sugar for the Pill”. And I wondered if the band would have made something as great if they had remained together for most of the past two decades.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard contains a strong grindhouse aesthetic, but I’d hesitate to call it a grindhouse game because it’s actually more stylistically complicated than that. It absolutely does evoke grindhouse in its violence, but its exploration, atmosphere, and puzzles are inspired by a very tonally different kind of horror: found footage. It seems like an obvious comparison, given the fact that one sequence has you literally playing as the cameraman for a TV show, but the inspirations go deeper than this kind of obvious imitation.
Nashville’s *repeat repeat have an amazing sound that’s rooted in garage rock and psychedelic rock, but possesses the energy and attitude of punk alongside some killer harmony singing that artists in Nashville do better than anyone else. The band’s sound is urgent with slashing guitars, waves of synths, yet beautifully melded to a hazy, sunny Calfornia vibe. They are describing themselves as a “surf rockcandy trio”, but their sound is a lot broader than that to my ears. I hear a significant way forward for the guitar and rock music, which have been maligned of late as things of the past. *repeat repeat’s stunning guitar work powers the rhythms and beats, but it also colors each passage and creates multiple voices in the music. The way the guitar effortlessly blends with the electronic elements in the song “Plugged In” that we’re premiering today, is impressive.
// Notes from the Road
"Although sound issues delayed their set on the second night, Slowdive put on an unforgettable show in Brooklyn, or rather two shows.READ the article