REVIEW: Good Grief – Git Gooder (2018)

It’s sloppy, muddy, and all there. The potency of the Good Grief’s songwriting and dedicated performance is a cut above the rest. Git Gooder is the sole album by Asheville, NC Punk band Good Grief. Released in 2018, the songs featured on the album are short, sweet, and to the point. Git Gooder’s sweeter moments, such as Prom Song’s saccharine sincerity, are balanced so well and so seamlessly by the anger and discontent shown on tracks like Valentines 2018 and Brewery.

That said, second to closing track Brewery is the best evocation of the sullen rage one feels growing up in a beer tourism town such as Asheville, NC.

It’s hard to describe what makes Good Grief a cut above the rest, but I like to think it can be triangulated between the spirit of Crucifix, Husker Du, and early Weezer. Yeah, that’s right, I brought Weezer into this.

Buy this record.

For fans of: Husker Du, The Dicks, The Spits

Like Good Grief? Give these a listen: Nature Boys, The DiMarcos, The Budget

Sound in Residence 12.25.21

Sound in Residence is the weekly track-oriented recommendation list from Resident Sound and Lubert Das. It’s a Patreon exclusive regularly available to all Resident Sound Patreon members. But since the holiday season is coming to a close, and to thank you all for being with us for our first calendar year, we thought we’d go ahead and share the 12.25.21 Christmas installment of Sound in Residence here on Resident Sound for all see. Enjoy!

Our weekly track-oriented recommendation list. Only the good stuff! Xmas edition!

Whoa! It’s Christmas! Hopefully you haven’t torn your hair out yet. Whether you’re with family, friends, or alone, we hope your holiday season has been a fun one. And if not, well, here’s some tunes!

1. Mad Tea Party – Oh Shit it’s Christmas Time (2010)

Ukeabilly for your ears. Mad Tea Party had a reputation for doing kid-friendly music, which makes this track all the more enjoyable. And hey, who can’t relate at least once in their life? Listen to Mad Tea Party – Oh Shit it’s Christmas Time 

2. Vince Guaraldi Trio – Skating (1965)

If you somehow don’t know already know this, I don’t judge you, but now’s the time. Guaraldi’s work is beloved, and how could it not be? We all know it as ‘The Peanuts music’, but sometimes it’s great to sit back and appreciate the music by itself. From the soundtrack, I think Skating is my favorite, which is why it’s here. A close second place favorite is the instrumental version of Christmas Time is Here, but the whole album is so good. I recommend checking it out after listening to Skating. Listen to Vince Guaraldi Trio – Skating 

Let’s change tracks, shall we?

3. Agoraphobic Nosebleed – The Ghost of Christmas Past (2011)

“Seth Putnam; a dick in a box.” I agree, though I think they might be somewhat joking. Anyways, nothing says Christmas morning like hyper-violent drum machine-laden Grindcore. So enjoy! Listen to Agoraphobic Nosebleed – The Ghost of Christmas Past 

4. Sparks – Thank God It’s Not Christmas (1974)

I hate to break it to you, Russel, it’s Christmas. Man, this list took a turn. I hope people don’t think I hate the holidays. But hey, this song is enjoyable year round, and since today is Christmas, I need to give you something more evergreen.

It’s classic Sparks! What’s not to like? Listen to Sparks – Thank God It’s Not Christmas 

5. Outkast – Player’s Ball (1994)

The original version is way better, so I’m sticking with it. It might be the only ‘Christmas’ song that makes you deeply consider anything, so for that reason (and because it’s such a good song) it’s making the list. Listen to Outkast – Player’s Ball (Original Version) 

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Drive safe!

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REVIEW: Eleven Pond – Watching Trees / Portugal (2012)

The Angular Records’ 2012 re-release of Eleven Pond – Watching Trees / Portugal single comes across somewhat ‘standard issue’ from the surplus of the recent past. Originally released in 1986, this moody synth-pop single was mostly distributed in Europe (according to Angular) and has yet to be caught by Discogs at the time of this articles release.

A-side track Watching Trees is milked for everything its worth over 3 versions on the re-release, though the Bedroom 4track Mix bookend version is “completely identical” to the opening Bedroom Demo version according to Bandcamp user Chrisdee. Percolating synth lines blip and bubble across an undercurrent of ghostly synth wails. Steady drum machine rhythms thump back and forth while vocalist James Tabbi pines for the incidental attention of being seen in a tree.

I fail to catch anything noteworthy or particularly distinct from b-side track Portugal. It all comes across a bit quaint, dated, or simply lacking. But b-sides never really were the star, were they?

Watching Trees lives on via digital giants of music discovery; an algorithmically transmissible Spotify track and on Bandcamp with inconsequential bonus versions of its a-side. It’s not a record that will change anybody’s life, but is worth interrupting one’s doom scrolling to check it out.

For fans of: New Order, Flock of Seagulls, Visage

Like Eleven Pond? Give these a listen: The KVB, Mount Sims, Dream Affair

REVIEW: Nmesh, t e l e p a t h テレパシー能力者 – ロストエデンへのパス (The Path To Lost Eden) (2015)

ロストエデンへのパス (The Path To Lost Eden) is the 2015 album by Vaporwave and Electronic psychedelic artists t e l e p a t h テレパシー能力者 and Nmesh, respectively.

With a 2 hour runtime, this behemoth of a split album forces even the most reluctant listener into its steady molasses groove. Massive layers of synth pads blanket the album in a lush fog, a defining feature I would eventually come to view as an intense dedication to New Age flaccidity.

Interrupting ロストエデンへのパス’s slow serenity are moments of jarring tackiness. E.g. the Nmesh produced 心はシダであります, in which punchy synth flutes dominate all sonic space. Other notably grating moments include a scattershot of speech samples; a litany of gritty male monologues throughout the album and the standout soft-pornographic dialogue of 体熱. 

Copy from the album’s Bandcamp page sells Nmesh’s use of speech sampling as the following: “Fans of Nmesh will recognize his narrative-like composition techniques, with use of quotes to maintain a sense of cohesion between the different tracks and new age vibes…”, which posits that the most finely crafted art in relation to this album is the art of good copy.

By track 9 I had wished the album had ended by track 2. Nmesh never quite breaks away from or expands upon this sound, which by the time the album nears the 1 hour mark I can only pejoratively call it a ‘formula’. Chord progressions feel like an afterthought with each snippet of speech acting like a marker of time- more so a palette obstruction than a much needed palette cleanser.

I couldn’t have been more bored by the time the Telepath b-side takes hold. Not the ideal mentality to be in for the slow textural works of Vaporwave, particularly for a near 7 minute long soundscape.

Tacky synth flutes carry over to the album’s b-side, much to my disdain. But while remaining sonically complimentary to the Nmesh a-side, Telepath creates a degree of vigor which had previously been lacking. 

The third Telepath song 東京の夜 blends percussive folly and synthetic instrumentation into a lush and rewarding track not topped anywhere else on the album. The use of processed vocal samples are intriguing here, especially after so many milquetoast speech samples across the a-side. 

I wish Telepath’s contribution could have been more of a saving grace to ロストエデンへのパス, yet still has the shortcomings of a repetitive hour long work by itself. Perhaps if released on its own my view of the Telepath b-side would be more complimentary, but what doesn’t fix an hour of slow synth pads is more of the same.

In total, ロストエデンへのパス (The Path To Lost Eden) acts as a work of New Age Exotica by two white men- Nmesh, or Alex Koenig from Kentucky, and Telepath, or Luke Laurila from Ohio- and which at times uncomfortably strays into Orientalism. 

While individual tracks have at times been intriguing to me, the album itself fails to expand upon ideas and emotions within the aesthetics both artists have stringently adhered to. There’s plenty of other meditative works out there to be explored, don’t worry about getting through this one.

For fans of: Macintosh Plus, Mandragora, Cobalt Road

Like Nmesh, t e l e p a t h テレパシー能力者? Give these a listen: 식료품groceries, Heaven Drugs, Tim Hecker

REVIEW: VTSS – Identity Process (2019)

If relentless pounding Techno is your jam, you better get out the toast for this record. Not to be confused with the goofball festival that is cyber goth, Identity Process sounds Industrial in quite a literal way.

Bring The Noize opens the album with its rough and relentless mechanical tonality and textures. It’s beautifully hypnotic in a way that’s similar to a high functioning fully-automated assembly line. The whole album is like this, though finds its softer side (albeit still pounding) by closing track Devil-may-care.

Warsaw-born, London-based DJ and producer Martyna Maja started putting out music under the moniker VTSS since 2018, releasing their debut EP Self Will on the German label Intrepid Skin that same year. Identity Process is an exciting listen both as a stand alone record and as a release only 1 year into Maja’s trajectory as a producer. I look forward to hearing the many avenues which VTSS may go down in the coming years, and their interpretations and distinctions as an artist in an Electronic medium.

VTSS’s forthcoming 12” EP Projections is slated for an early 2022 release and is now open for pre-orders on Bandcamp. You can go stream 1 track from the album, Trust Me, right here.

For fans of: Regis, Front 242, Schwefelgelb

Like VTSS? Give these a listen: Ouxh, Tommy Holohan, Choking Chain

REVIEW: Music For Sleep – Music From A Sinking World (2021)

Under the moniker Music For Sleep, artist Andrea Porcu’s 2021 release Music From A Sinking World is a beautiful and haunting work of melancholic tape loop ambience. Across seven vignettes or ‘short trajectories’ as music writer Peppe Trotta described it, Music From A Sinking World is like standing still in a cold marble gallery of a bombed out museum. The pieces themselves are distinctive and worthy of individual attention, yet contribute to the collective works’ melancholic and haunting potency.

The record is beautiful and haunting and everything else one could wish for in a masterful Ambient album. Originally recorded from March to October of 2020 and later recovered, each song on Music From A Sinking World takes a singular motif from an orchestral recording and amplifies subtle emotional qualities through a thick blanket of melancholia.

Acting like wind erosion on the listener’s perception of time, the work of Andrea Porcu feels at the behest of some greater current of the universe. Muddled melancholic loops spin like Ouroboros, bleeding out as reverb across any definitive point in the cycle. Andrea Porcu’s sculpting of tone and texture are beautiful, but it is the subversion of the listener’s perception of time, drenched in melancholy, which is the greatest takeaway of Music From A Sinking World.

Music is an art of movement, and so our perception of it is through the lens of time. How fitting is then that its end always sneaks up on the individual?

I really enjoyed Peppe Trotta’s description of this album, which is why I felt a need to quote them. “Brevi traiettorie” is just such a great way to describe the individual songs on Music From A Sinking World, so please go check out their review of the album on SoWhat Musica.

For fans of: Caretaker, William Basinski, Susumu Yokota

Like Music For Sleep? Give these a listen: Slow Blink, Brian J Davis, Robert Chamberlain

REVIEW: Weed & Dolphins – Islandkid Cassette (2017)

Sure, it came out on cassette, but it’s also part of the album’s name. Islandkid Cassette is the 2017 full length release by Belarusian Indie Rock and Alternative Hip-Hop outfit Weed & Dolphins. Filled with dreamy glazed-out guitar riffs and reverb-drenched drum machines, Islandkid Cassette shows a band developing their sound in a world of good vibes indie rock.

While there is nothing particularly profound about the album, Weed & Dolphins deliver a multitude of easy going tunes worthy of attention. It’s an early effort that makes me excited to see where Weed & Dolphins will go with their craft. They’ve certainly left many routes open to explore with Islandkid Cassette, and we’ve since seen maturity with their 2019 single High.

They’ve released a steady trickle of singles across the last year or so and where ever they go with their music they surely make it interesting, so be on the lookout for their work!

For fans of: Bass Drum of Death, Arctic Monkeys, Damaged Bug

Like Weed & Dolphins? Give these a listen: Why?, Stevie, KAPUTT

REVIEW: SlapClapS – Screams From The Darkness

No ‘1950s tough-guy’ cosplay here, Russian Psychobilly duo SlapClapS’s 2019 release Screams From The Darkness is a return to the gothic Punk origins of the Psychobilly genre.

Opening track Pimple of Lust (gross!) roars out of the starting gate like a bat out of hell. Snares shuffle with such speed and punch that it feels the track is on the edge of exploding. Guitar shimmies its way all over the fret board while standup bass chatters along at equally high speed.

Following tracks Point of No Return and Bubble turn up the degree of spookiness with a more Western guitar style typical of Psychobilly. The vocals are snotty in that kind of capital ‘P’ Punk way that when utilized well, which they are here, is both hostile and charming.

Screams From The Darkness is what you want a Psychobilly record to be, but rarely come across. SlapClapS avoid the overproduction and cheese of cosplay music to instead create focused, raw psycho rhythms and tunes. The songs are fast, fun, and non-ostentatious. This may be SlapClapS’ biggest distinction from their contemporaries, and what more could you want from Psychobilly?

Oh! I just got it. ‘slap’ / ‘clap’, like the sound of a standup bass. Nice.

For fans of: Koffin Kats, Horrorpops, The Hellfreaks

Like SlapClapS? Give these a listen: The HellBillys, Alien Blood Transfusion, Zombie Ghost Train,

REVIEW: Catcher – Yesterday’s Favorite / The Skin (Uninformed Versions) (2021)

Catcher’s brooding melodies and pummeling rhythms constitute a sound reminiscent of early 2000s Post-Punk revivalism. It’s the revival of a revival sound, held back only by an unwillingness to move forward. Any artistic experimentation or intrigue associated with the original wave of Post-Punk have been overridden by the contemporary fixation on the semblance of prior artistic movements.

As far as being a vehicle of emotional expression, I don’t think they could take the carpool lane. Both the vocals and instrumentation feel phoned in and prescriptive in nature. Yesterday’s Favorite and The Skin feel like songs written from the top down, rigid to fashionable tastes within an ever homogenized underground scene.

These are songs I’ve heard before, done better by the artists Catcher has attempted to emulate. Yesterday’s Favorite consists of equal parts Crime & The City Solution and …And You’ll Know Us By The Trail of The Dead, while The Skin is the same only with a double shot of Gun Club.

I wish them luck and hope they make lots of money.

For fans of: Bass Drum of Death, Swans, …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of The Dead

Like Catcher? Give these a listen: Geisha Girls, Crime & The City Solution, Rule of Thirds

REVIEW: Pencil Lead Syringe – The Agua Mansa Massacre EP (2006)

SoCal trio Pencil Lead Syringe’s 2006 EP The Agua Mansa Massacre is a near 12 minute exploration of the intersection of Brutal Death Metal and scatter shot Grindcore. Lead vocalist Ramon Mercado’s pig squelched vocals don’t let a single word escape the noise, but it works. Agua Mansa is a completely percussive and textural album, with exception to the surprisingly melancholic lead out on closing track Buy Me Bonestorm (an early indication of the band’s penchant for referencing The Simpsons).

Pulling double duty tracking both guitar and bass, fretted string striker Chris Phillipsen creates brutal crunching riffs across all 6 tracks. But it’s when Phillipsen breaks away from conventional metal intonation that The Agua Mansa Massacre really stands out. It’s this willingness to get just a little weird that helps engage the listener and let’s Pencil Lead Syringe get out of the dog pile that is Metal’s ‘brutality’ pissing contest.

Balanced with David Gloria’s frenzied percussive attacks, Pencil Lead Syringe’s unique blend of brutality and weirdness is a gratifying installment in the mid-naughts Metal scene.

For fans of: Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Exhumed, Self-Deconstruction

Like Pencil Lead Syringe? Give these a listen: Gimli, Son of Glóin, Gets Worse, Exit 13

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