“Do I Wanna Know?”, the British four-piece’s newly released single as well as the lead cut from their forthcoming album, AM (9 September), reveals a growing control of this heavy (for them) mode. Anchored by a throbbing guitar line and crunchy percussion, “Know?” is a steadier take on the murky, stomping style that was all over 2009’s Humbug. Or, to be more recent, it’s like a cleaner, slower-burning “R U Mine?”. The pace is very deliberate, and even the wide-screen chorus has the feel of a monitored explosion. Thumbs up. But lest you fear that the Monkeys have gone overly self-serious, the lyric still boasts crafty (Alex) Turner-isms like “Simmer down and pucker up” and “Maybe I’m too busy being yours to fall for somebody new.” And this is to say nothing of the video (found below), which is a loopy animated melange of sound waves, shapeshifting sexpots, and nightmarish fantasia. Arctic Monkeys = talent + wit + style.
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From the looks of the video (spliced images of camera phone and news footage showing the recent riots that took place in Turkey), rappers Rahdan, Buğra Milat and Kerim Erduran take aim at the powers that be with “Yatsı Vakti”, a hypnotic pulse of hip-hop grooves and gunslinging Southern twang. With a sampled riff of a slide guitar providing the sole hook, an air of presentiment hangs over the sombre rhymes as the three trade verse for verse in an uneasy exchange of politics and passion. At once optimistic and solemn, the song strikes a curious balance between youthful rebellion and a wise-beyond-their-years outlook that is remarkably successful in its confluence of emotional upheaval and workmanship-like determination. The fact that it is incredibly catchy doesn’t hurt the song at all. Considering how much of an impact Turkey’s riots have had on the nation, “Yatsı Vakti” will most likely be one in a slew of tracks to flower in light of the recent events. But for now, it takes first place as Turkey’s response to Johnny Cash’s adage of why you should never take your guns to town.
Last time we heard from Candy Claws, 2010’s Hidden Lands, the band showcased a soft, dreamy, layered style that was easy (and often quite pleasant) to just get lost in, letting it carry you off to its titular lands. Their newest song, “Transitional Bird (Clever Girl)”, from Ceres & Calypso in the Deep Time, due out June 25th, retains the same layers and a measure of the dreaminess of Hidden Lands, while sounding a good deal more propulsive and energetic. Instrumental and vocal hooks are also much more clearly audible, and the bite of shoegaze guitars buzzes through the candy-colored haze.
Don’t let anyone steer you wrong. Despite the fact that it’s an excellent album, Kendrick Lamar’s breakout LP good kid, m.A.A.d city was not the best rap record released last year. That distinction goes to the unexpected and sublime team-up between Dungeon Family-associated rapper Killer Mike and rapper/producer/former Def Jux label head El-P, the El-P produced Killer Mike album R.A.P. Music. Though they only rapped on one track together on that record, the project was a standout chiefly for their remarkable (and somewhat unlikely) chemistry. For that reason, it’s impossible to not be excited about their newest collaboration, a duo called Run the Jewels that features the two sharing rapping duties (and El-P wielding some typically monster production, naturally). First full song leak from the album “Get It” (a snippet of a song called “Banana Clipper was released a few weeks previous) shows the two in vicious quotable mode (El: “My name is Jaime Meline / I’m not chasing the green, I’m taking it”, Mike: “Mike’ll fuck a rapper’s life up like Monique did to Precious”) and they relentlessly try to one-up one another while sounding like two friends genuinely happy to be working together. They trade bars in classic style, and it’s rare to hear two modern rappers work so well together—so much the better, then, that Fool’s Gold will be releasing the group’s full-length LP for free this summer.
It seems like Polish grindcore lifers Suffering Mind are releasing something as often as other bands practice, whether it be a split, EP, or the occasional LP (the band love odd formats, as they have currently released a record in every size from two to eight inches). What makes this acceptable is that virtually everything they release is of such a high quality that the chance to get new Suffering Mind is tough to pass up. Their sound incorporates bits of grindcore, crust punk and death metal and influences from Assück, Discordance Axis, Phobia as well as a host of others. It also includes a liberal dash of mid-paced death-doom that features prominently here, spiking the blasting passages with a heavy, Repulsion-gone-doom reek before returning to the track’s frantic pace, complete with vocalist Radek’s blistered-throat high screams. This forthcoming split 7” with Canadian mincecore heroes Archagathus is an excellent place to pick up in the swift stream of Suffering Mind releases.