Saturday, August 1, 2020

Going (Band)Camping: Edition 3

One, two, three times a segment! My occasional musings on the music you can find and buy on Bandcamp has returned for its third edition. As I always state, there is no specific theme or link between what I review other than everything can be found on the website that treats artists a lot better than other sites, Bandcamp. Let's proceed with some reviews!

Pizza Hotline--dealswithawesterconglomerate
I talked about vaporwave in my last edition of this segment, and this is a bit in that mold with its wild techno and obsession regarding anything 80s. This is less of an album full of dancing as it is a terrifying acid trip into lo-fi corporate Hell of angry beats, however. I like it. Sometimes Pizza Hotline's album is more quiet and thoughtful such as with, "Tokyo Intermission," while other times it really cranks-up its noise. It is consistently interesting, however, even when it gets a bit on the edge of being a bit too staticky and harsh for my tastes (before then calming back down and being a bit more mellow and intriguing). Worth a listen if you like out-there techno or vaporware that is a bit on the more severe side.
3.5 out of 5 stars.

Frank Hurricane and the Hurricanes of Love--Life is Spiritual

Frank Hurricane and his friends have concocted an assortment of Appalachian blues and I'm here for it! With a sound that reminds me of decades ago but clever lyrics that touch upon modern concerns, Frank Hurricane and his band give us a stellar LP of guitar-picking, singing, and making feeling melancholy weirdly fun. On the tracks with vocals, Frank tells us some strange tales he engages listeners with both his deep and howling voice as well as some fantastical events he informs us about. My favorite track, "Lonely Love," has mentions of forlornly eating Taco Bell, "Sneedville Blues," warns us of characters who smoke cannabis laced with PCP, and, "Susquehanna River Blues," has Frank encountering some excitable Juggalos as he explores the town, with them sharing a meal of Burger King.

The lyrics are all a bit psychedelic and have a feeling of slight detachment from reality, but they compliment the straight-up blues of the instrumentation wonderfully. Frank Hurricane goes on some wild adventures, I'm pleased he was willing to share about them on, "Life is Spiritual." You can buy a copy in various formats here.
5 out of 5 stars.

The V.I.C.--Defcon 1!

You like beats? Well, The V.I.C. has beats so grimy he'd argue they could cause a riot at a missle base resulting in Defcon one. It's a clever story-concept for the album and now that I have listened to it I'd be tempted to say this beat tape is wild enough to kick-off a nuclear war if put in the wrong/right hands. With a thick bassline on most tracks and some cool samples popping off here-and-there, the whole LP is a pleasure to listen to, with standout tracks such as, "MvsMG," and, "Ring Rang the Phone Goin Bang," making things extra thermonuclear, if I may stick with the album's theme. I'm a sucker for a good beat tape, and, "Defcon 1!" is a treat for the ears. You can check out the album at this link and buy a digital copy or a cassette.
5 out of 5 stars.

LUME--Now and Then / Built a Home
LUME's music has a strong moody and ominous vibe. While listening to them rock-out you just get this feeling of impending doom that washes over you--but you like it. This four-track EP has three original tunes by LUME and a stellar cover of, "I Put a Spell On You," originally, of course, by Screamin' Jay Hawkins. Each track is pretty good, but the last cover tune is my favorite as they put a stellar spin upon it. The EP sometimes gets a little loud, but it all works out in the end for a solid listen. Get the digital download here.
4 out of 5 stars

Gray Worry--Trace Amounts
If you're after an atmospheric album that isn't so much dreamy as it is ethereal-yet-hinting at intensity, this is the album you're after! "Trace Amounts," is six tracks total and I personally quite liked the shorter ones such as, "Breaking Protocol," and, "Often Enough," as they emerge quickly, offer some impressive soundscapes, and then conclude. The longer tracks are solid as well with the concluding song, "Between The Earth And The Sun Is What We Become," serving as a fantastic closer. I loved this LP and feel it is perfect to put on when you're chilling but want to be too relaxed. Find yourself a copy here.
5 out of 5 stars.

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