Wow, these posts are starting to slow down, huh? Well, it might get even slower. But for now, we are here. This volume of GOOD Music is pretty stacked, so many great albums – so much good music, and we are (just a bit over) halfway through September!

I can’t do post intros anymore.

ALBUMS

Sematary – Rainbow Bridge 3

SPOTIFY // BANDCAMP

Favorite tracks: God’s Light Burns Upon My Flesh, Murder Ride, Chainsaw Party, I’m A Sinner, Necromanser, Creepin’ Thru Da Woods, Come With Me To Hell, Witching Hour, Skincarver, Meet By the River, Crucifixion

Even with the brick walls of compressed distortion, the refrains are so goddamn catchy that I recite them like a sermon randomly – “Nekkhrromaaanser” is something that feels so fun to enunciate for some reason. I was apprehensive looking at the album length, I thought that the novelty would wear off but surprisingly there’s some nuance in the noise-swarm-like production that kept my attention. The absurdly funny lyrics turns the listening experience into this Hausu-like vibe where horror and comedy intersect to make something that transcends genres. Still, not all tracks reach that high (especially some of the ones in the middle) and I feel that another album/mixtape following the same beats wouldn’t make me like it as much.

Tropical Fuck Storm – Deep States

SPOTIFY // BANDCAMP

Favorite tracks: The Greatest Story Ever Told, G.A.F.F., Blue Beam Baby, Suburbiopia, Bumma Sanger, New Romeo Agent, Legal Ghost

With Deep States, Tropical Fuck Storm’s deserty-psychedelic sounds even more anxious, disheveled, and dusty. And that has produced songs like the opener and Bumma Sanger, which are some of the best material in the band’s discography so far. But at the same time, their instrumentation has significantly less body in the album (a notable example being the ending track), but not to the point where the songs sound absolutely diluted. There are still great vocal performances and teeth-rattling instrumental meltdowns. The songwriting still has that absurdist-humorous edge coinciding with indelible dread that colors their songs but this time around, it feels all the more real with the pandemic in context. Even if I find this record a slight step down from the previous one, I still think there are fantastic tracks here and I would recommend this.

Audrey Nuna – a liquid breakfast

SPOTIFY

Favorite tracks: Typical, Comic Sans, damn Right, Cool Kids, Blossom, Top Again

The first half is tight, I like the beat choices, and Nuna’s deadpan, ice-cold flows mesh so well with the minimalist production of the record. I think her rap ability is leagues better than her singing and songwriting, not that it’s bad and I think she can improve on those in future projects. But she shows a lot of promise. The vocal processing in tracks like Get Luv and Baby Blues could have been better. Still, the run from Typical to Cool Kids definitely made for rap highlights of the year for me – they are an effortlessly cool batch of tracks.

AAAMYYY – Annihilation

SPOTIFY

Favorite tracks: Elsewhere, Leelo, Paradox, Utopia, Takes Time, After Life, Home

The psychedelic synthpop production sounds way smoother and the tracklist is more consistent compared to her previous album a couple of years ago. True, the songs have a stronger pop-rock sensibility to them, but I think AAAMYYY’s song structures have become a lot more stable and sturdy for her synths and instrumentation to do all the adventurous stuff for the song. Her vocal-synth melds sound more enchanting than ever, and I think she can make ballads sound not as formulaic as we usually see in the J-pop scene – a case in point is the album’s closer (Home). I think the album goes by a bit too quickly and there are some duds in the tracklist that recycle old motifs, but I came away from this album pretty impressed.

Turnstile – Glow On

SPOTIFY

Favorite tracks: Fuck it, ALL OF THEM except maybe Fly Again

Gosh, what a refreshingly kickass hardcore record this is. Sure, the levitating synths and the shoegaze-y reverb on the vocals on certain songs bring a sort of novelty to their hardcore sound, but it doesn’t sound too overbearing and deconstructive of their core sonic aesthetic. The riffs and grooves have this smile-inducing, melodic clarity to them, it’s like looking at a clear, pink sky (like the album art) but at the same time, they go hard. Even when they play around with different ideas, no one song sounds out of place in the LP. The pacing of the tracklist is tight and the songs never overstay their welcome, though I think the ordering could be tweaked a bit (with some of the songs following this order). Still, this album has been on heavy rotation for a couple of weeks now, and it’s probably going to end up being my favorite punk album of the year.

Little Simz – Sometimes I Might Be Introvert

SPOTIFY

Favorite tracks: Introvert, Woman, Two Worlds Apart, I Love You I Hate You, Little Q, Gems, Speed, Standing Ovation, I See You, Protect My Energy, Point and Kill, Fear No Man, How Did You Get Here, Miss Understood

Little Simz builds worlds upon worlds in this gargantuan album, where she displays her insane versatility as a songwriter and performer, yet she somehow makes each song sound like they belong on the album. The orchestral arrangements, especially in Introvert and theatrical interludes, are mixed so well, the production in each track has this sense of purposeful detail in them. Simz’ lyricism remains as blunt and in-your-face as it was in Grey Area but the delivery feels a lot more “from the heart” or organic. It’s amazing how far and wide, stylistically, she reached with the album and still somehow managed to keep the production and songwriting so rock-solid and purposeful throughout its runtime. I don’t know what else to say, I’m still dealing with the content of the record – this is some larger than life stuff. Definitely one of the best hip-hop albums of the year (or even in the past couple of years).

Atvm – Famine, Putrid and Fucking Endless

SPOTIFY // BANDCAMP

Favorite tracks: Sanguinary Floating Orb, Anag-ou Matoy, They Crawl, Vagh Nakh, Squeal in Torment, Slud

Holy crap, no metal album in 2021 has excited me as much as this one has. It’s primarily an instrumental-driven album if you are looking for air-thickening ambiance or ultra-visceral vocal performances, maybe this isn’t for you. But for me, I really dig the grooves and riffs on this. I still think the vocals are adequate, they could’ve been mixed to have more of a presence but I really don’t mind the way it is on the record. I think the drum solos in the backend and the visceral grooves more than make up for it. The genre clashes are so playful, the prog-death-tech jazz melds made for some of the most fun heavy metal jams of the year. No question.

EP

dennoko-P – DENNOSTALGIA

SPOTIFY

Favorite tracks: DAI DAI DAI KIRAI, TIMELIMIT KOIBITO, Planet’s End Aru-Aru, BAKUAI-TOGUE

Apparently, this EP features reworkings of dennoko-P’s older material. The tracks sound fuller and the glitch reworkings remind me of Hakushi Hasegawa’s music. The mix of stylistic influences are more restrictive and less out-of-left-field than Vocaloid Crescendo but that means the song structures have a more solid foundation – and that often results in catchier melodies.

SINGLES

Dev Lemons, Whose Rules – Guessing Games

Whether it’s the jazzy breakdown in the middle, the floaty vocal lines or the odd-rhythmed chorus – the song is catchy and, as Dev Lemons would put it, stinky as hell. It’s a very nice, syrupy psychedelic pop tune.

Deerhoof – Plant Thief

The guitar tone and layering are ear candy on this song. The track sounds sunny and somehow heavy at the same time. The B-side, Department of Corrections, is as catchy. I can’t wait for the album.

Remi Wolf – Guerilla

I’m glad I discovered her this close to her album release date, now I won’t forget to listen to it once it comes out. I love the vocal layering and her energy in not only this track, but almost all of the teaser tracks to this album. I really enjoy the colorful clashing of loud guitar tones and very clean, melodic pop – it’s not the most cutting-edge thing out there but I can’t deny its catchiness.

That’s all for this volume of GOOD MUSIC. See you in the next one.