Welcome to the third installment of Phil’s Phive! It’s crazy, only three of these in and I’m already getting sick of doing them! You’ll notice after reading that there is a glaring void where I’m sure most people think/would have expected ol’ Cornrow Kenny’s new ‘album’ to be. Its exclusion is not a mistake. Let’s talk about that for a second. untitled unmastered only exists because of a LeBron James tweet. I am under the firm opinion that these demos were never meant to be released, and should have stayed that way. Kendrick was doing something very special with the Untitled live performance series. They were flash in the pan moments; meant to be experienced once and never again. It was a truly unique means of audience captivation, and by reducing the series to the standard album rollout treatment – complete with a seriously corny ‘how well do you know the lyrics’ contest like its not 2016 and every Kendrick fan isn’t Geniusing the shit out of the songs anyway – the tracks lose the mysticism that made them so appealing to begin with. The album went to #1, Top got another nice payday, great art got commercialized and compartmentalized, the shit wheel keeps turning. On to my list.
- Brood Ma – DAZE
The apocalypse is boring now. We’ve covered it to death. Even post-apocalypictica is approaching supersaturation in culture at this point. We get it! The world ends and everyone dies! Therefore, the logical next step here is…can you guess it…that’s right. The post-post-apocalypse. I’m talking about, like, robots have taken over the world and built their own robo-society but then THEY have an apocalypse too. Brood Ma’s DAZE sounds like this hypothetical robo-doomsday. There’s little humanity to be found on this record, but it still sounds horrifying in a synthetic way. DAZE soundtracks the inevitable anxiety of artificial intelligence when everything falls apart (because it always does, that’s just entropy). After all, as Earth’s last great human being said, name one genius that ain’t crazy.
Ridiculous Made Up Genre of the Day: rustcore
- O’Brother – Endless Light
Straightforward rock is pretty hard to pull off these days, which is why its always impressive when you actually come across it. Not to say that O’Brother are straightforward, necessarily, but on paper, there isn’t really that much to them. Guitar, bass, vocals, drums…yet there’s an essence to O’Brother that’s hard to capture on paper, a subtlety that you have to hear to understand completely. While comprised of all the basic ingredients to your standard rock band, there’s an understated majesty to their songcraft that you’d be more likely finding in sweeping post-rock groups like Explosions in the Sky and GY!BE. And instead of using time as a crutch to build importance, O’Brother elicit the same grandiosity out of 3 minute runtimes. Atmospheric yet propulsive, aggressive yet tender, O’Brother could very well be the next Deftones if they keep it up.
Ridiculous Made Up Genre of the Day: brood moon rock
- Young Thug – Slime Season 3
SS3 is less than half the length of either of its forebearers, is decidedly worse than either of them, and yet is probably the best mixtape of 2016 so far. Hopefully you’ve been paying attention so this isn’t any surprise to you. The first two Slime Seasons were my pick for Album of the Year last year, not only because I am a douche bag who just had to pick two mixtapes to be my favourite album, but also because the two tapes burst with more creative energy than any other release of the year. This tape has a lot to live up to, and it doesn’t quite meet expectations, but what the tape represents makes it just as satisfying as any of the other Slime Seasons. SS3 was announced with a funeral procession, a metaphor for Thug putting to rest this stage of his career and moving on to the next level. The leanness of SS3, a trait also found in February’s I’m Up, demonstrates a move away from the song dump strategy of his previous years’ releases, and a focus more on consistency, something that has always plagued Thug in the past. With literally his only downside being directly addressed by these leaner efforts, his long-awaited debut Hy!£UN35 is shaping up to be something incredible. After all, Thug’s go to producer recently described the record as being ‘ridiculously tremendous’, and if that doesn’t excite you, I don’t know what will. For now, we have Slime Season 3, a fitting send off to the now legendary run of mixtapes that made the world start taking the once oft described ‘weirdo rapper’ verrrrry seriously.
Ridiculous Made Up Genre of the Day: taffy rap
- Cobalt – Slow Forever
This is a metal album. This is a grow all your hair out or cut it all off, or have a normal haircut because that’s fuckin metal too, face paint wearing, face paint mocking, dreadlocked skinhead pisstaking fistraising spit throwing red hot firebrand of an album. This is the cosmos coming together and fateful events preceded by stars aligning to allow these four guys to get into a room and let the nastiest, gnarliest shit the universe has created manifest through riffs and drum fills and sweaty pissed off dudes snarling into a microphone knowing that it all means nothing and it was all for nothing but letting it all out anyway. This is a flaming fist punching through excess layers of bullshit that gets heaped onto us with every struggling gasp of air we take as we try to separate the oxygen from the methane. This, is a metal album.
Ridiculous Made Up Genre of the Day: metal-metal metal
- The Body – No One Deserves Happiness
No One Deserves Happiness is one of two albums The Body released this month alone. Before the year is over, they’re bound to release another few EPs, maybe even another full length. The Body are one of the most prolific and hardest working bands on the scene today, but don’t take that as a sign that their brand of music is easy to make. Listening to the the Body is almost always an emotionally wrenching experience, regardless of the form their noise metal comes in. Though only consisting of a drummer and a guitarist/vocalist, The Body has managed to attach many variations on their always distinctive sound, and despite having released numerous records a year for the past 5 or so years, they always manage to keep it fresh and interesting, usually through their healthy spirit of collaboration. No One Deserves Happiness is the band’s first outright…solo? record since 2013’s Christs, Redeemers, and while it’s hard to pick a favourite through across their vast discography, NODH might take it for me. The Body has experimented with electronics before, notably on 2014’s I Shall Die Here with the Haxan Cloak, but No One Deserves Happiness takes on a more straightforward vein of electronic music, deftly incorporating techno into their feedback laden sludge. The electronic edge combined with the healthy doses of frequent vocal contributor Chrissy Wolpert and Maralie Armstrong result in the Body’s most accessible album, relatively speaking of course. It’s still the Body after all. Don’t expect accessibility to be the route this band takes in the future, however. More likely than not, their next album will be more grim and punishing than anything they’ve made. That’s just how the Body works. This album proves that the Body can very well be much more than just noise but they choose not to be. Because after all, no one deserves happiness.
Ridiculous Made Up Genre of the Day: doom chamber noise metal