My favorite album for the month of May was White Lung’s fourth studio album, Paradise. The Vancouver based bands’ newest release brings forth a more polished sound to their hardcore/post-punk nature. Admittedly White Lung is not for everybody. What drew me to their unabashedly, unapologetic, punch you in the face music was the swiftness in which they present their songs, leaving you in a daze and your ears ringing for more. Their previous album did not have a song over three minutes, while the new material has a handful of songs clocking in above three minutes, but still under four minutes. I have found this album to be more accessible than its predecessor, perhaps signaling that White Lung has found their groove and are poised for something bigger.
Other albums released in May that I had a chance to listen to:
- The Joy Formidable – Hitch – I was a little apprehensive at first to listen to The Joy Formidable’s new album, not because I expected it to be bad, but clocking in at just over an hour, I was afraid I would come across a spot or two on the album that would seem to drag out. Perhaps it is the day and age we live in, but whenever an artist releases an album with over an hour of material, I start to assume that they did not quite cut off all the fat. While The Joy Formidable don’t deviate too much sonically from the formula that has brought them to this point, the band’s third effort finds the lyrics taking a more introspective look than their past offerings.
- King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – Nonagon Infinity – I cannot remember when and where I read about King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, but based on their name alone I had to check them out. Luckily for me they had a new album on the way and it is a psychedelic/prog rock tour de force. On the Australian bands eighth release all songs flow seamlessly into one another, leaving the listener to wonder exactly where they are in the album. The band hypes it as the “world’s first infinitely looping album”. It is an album worth taking a couple of loops through.
- The Seratones – Get Gone – a very solid debut album for the four piece ensemble out of Shreveport, Louisiana that melds together a blend of rock and soul with a dash of swamp water. Lead singer A.J. Haynes sounds like she would be comfortable singing any genre with her dynamic, powerful voice.
- Unloved – Guilty of Love – I first read about this band in an interview with Butch Vig and figured if they are good enough for him to name drop in an interview, I had to check them out myself. Their debut album is a retro sound of 60’s psychedelic pop with undertones of cinematic darkness. A great album to light a joint and sit back and relax to.
Other things that have come across my sonic radar this month:
Recently I have found myself delving into 90’s rock records and reliving my teenage years. These are some of the albums I cut my music teeth on and have led me down this path of music love over the years of my life.
- Pearl Jam – No Code
- Pearl Jam – Vitalogy
- Radiohead – OK Computer
- Rage Against The Machine – Evil Empire
- Soundgarden – Superunknown