Matt Fiander: You are unlikely to hear a bed of guitars and thick and loud and unyielding as the one Mike Polizze unleashes on “Fever”, the first track from Purling Hiss’s upcoming record, High Bias. The effect, along with the thundering roll of drums and pit-of-your-stomach low rumble of bass, is bracing, so bracing you might miss the excellent, even catchy rock song that takes shape around all those heady layers. The chorus is big and excellent, not only because it’s catchy but because when Polizze belts out “you’re so misunderstood” you can hear how much he relishes calling bullshit. Like so many great Purling Hiss songs, this one sneaks some sweet melodies into the craggy mix. But this may find Polizze’s project striking its best balance yet between cut-loose noise and tight composition. At the center of the squall that is “Fever”, Purling Hiss unleashes a deeply focused and triumphant defiant, which is exactly what we need right now. [8/10]
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One of the biggest innovations of the Souls games (including Demon’s Souls and Bloodborne) is their online component. Not the competitive online part that has us invading other players’ games, or even the cooperative part that has us summoning other players into our game to help with bosses and tough enemies. The real innovation is the passive interaction that we have with the unknown multitudes of players online—the notes we can leave for strangers, telling them about secrets, about treasure, about traps, or just tricking them into jumping off of a cliff with the promise of something great below. We could have all those interactions without seeing another player. We only ever saw their past—the bloodstains where they died, their messages, their ghosts—evidence of another life that made the world feel more friendly for the help and more harsh because of the obvious end of that other life.
DarkMaus is an indie game made by one guy, Daniel Wright. It’s a “Souls-like”, a game clearly inspired by Dark Souls that mimics the same pacing and difficulty and many of the same mechanics, but with a few important and truly clever tweaks to the formula.
If you’re looking for a fascinating way to spend 20 minutes this lovely Thursday morning, we’ve got you covered — we’re pleased to be able to premiere a mini-documentary on the sound of contemporary Latin American music. Produced by ZZK Records and featuring up-and-coming singer-songwriter Mateo Kingman on narration duties, it explores the innovative and exciting new music coming out of Ecuador. Have a look below.
Steve Horowitz: The song “Make Me” serves as a soundtrack to a video about the cool kids—the beautiful girls and handsome boys who indulge themselves and flaunt their good looks and desires. Fans will gyrate to the moves and imagine living the fantasy lifestyle, but without the video the song is nothing special. G-Eazy doesn’t add much to the mix. He just breaks up the monotony like the fat guy doing the dance moves. The professionalism and perfection of the whole thing is impressive but ultimately unsatisfying. [6/10]
Chris Ingalls: British singer John Newman has crafted a harmless, fun summer single that is undoubtedly pop but eschews the normal dance music trappings for something slightly more exotic. A light, carefree reggae beat stomps its way through the song and is carried along with some tasty rhythm guitar and Newman’s raspy crooning. The song sounds like it should come with a fruity umbrella drink. [7/10]