Among the Rocks and Roots – Raga

The Music

The Words

Raga is a brand new album from the experimental noise rock duo Among the Rocks and Roots, formed by Abdul-Hakim Bilal and Samuel Goff. Armed with a bass guitar, a drum set, and a voice, the two-man group play distorted and slow, cathartic music that is politically and socially engaged, lyrically. Indeed, Raga is the second part to an upcoming trilogy about addiction, and tackle the themes of abuse, race, and class conflict.

While I didn’t feel engrossed by part one of this trilogy, Samudra garba pathe, Raga is speaking to me. I have … Read more

The Central – Sick and Dying

The Music

The Words

Wisconsin’s The Central totally killed it, back in 2016, with their album Discovery of a Rat. Without any foretelling, they released Sick and Dying on Valentine’s Day. This EP is a nice follow-up to Discovery of a Rat. Its mathy post-hardcore is still here and still sounds fresh, perhaps because of a few new changes and additions. First of all, their sound seems to have put on some weight, making it closer to mathcore than it was on their previous effort. Secondly, I feel that there are more atmospheric moments; we could call them … Read more

We Pyrrhic Conquerors – The End Is Nigh

The Music

The Thoughts

The general free-flowing complexity of zeuhl music and the band name We Pyrrhic Conquerors suggest a sizable ensemble of musicians, performing with some level of loose improvisation. Yet Bandcamp informs us that the richly composed The End Is Nigh is the product of one Joey M. Bishop. That’s about all the information I can glean about the artist; there’s no Facebook page to refer to, no specific location given (Bandcamp tags the project as United States, but the drums were recorded at a studio in Indonesia?), and even Google currently returns zero results for the band … Read more

Kurws – Alarm

Kurws are a peculiar entity. Alarm is their most recent release, and is almost embarrassingly good. “Nagonka” readily baffles you with its odd polyrhythmic bouncing groove accompanied by saxophone and recording artefacts left in. It’s composition aimed at emulating free improvisation, or is it? It doesn’t matter, the result is the same: Alarm is disconcerting and wild! The Polish quartet certainly continues to experiment with music and push themselves on the brink of cohesion. Thanks to analog tape recording, the texture of the sound is at times very grainy, giving even more consistency to the aural soup we’re served, which, … Read more

Rivener – Rivener

The Connecticut free rock duo Rivener sent me a message about their 2016 album, Svengali Gaze, about which I had mixed feelings – a sentiment I still hold. On September first, they released its successor in this self-titled package of about one dodrant-hour long. Here, I feel a stronger sense of vision and unity within the duo, which translates into semi-improvisations serving much more convincing purposes. The songs on Rivener are oddly reminiscent of Omniataxia‘s “Scatterwhite” in their construct and in their final forms. The band definitely borrows a lot from free jazz, but they apply their knowledge … Read more