REVIEW: Kill The Intellectuals – “I Hope You Die Painlessly – With Laugh Lines And Wrinkles Around Your Eyes”

ktiKill The Intellectuals is a project that lives in the margins. It would easily to classify as lo-fi folk music. It’s would also be easy to classify as bedroom music. Indie, folk punk, whatever. It’s not important. I don’t want to spend a lot of time classifying. Because, like any other piece of art, it should be about substance over style. It’s about how genuine it is. Sincerity goes a long way. Genre, production costs, and any other bullshit trappings don’t. What matters most is the heart and soul. Angela-Grace Foster, as Kill The Intellectuals, has made a record that is entirely heart and soul.

I Hope You Die Painlessly – With Laugh Lines And Wrinkles Around Your Eyes is a record that defies classification. It can be delicate and frail, it can be loud and abrasive. The vocals can range anywhere from singing to yelling to spoken word. The music can go from voice and acoustic guitar to voice over electronic samples and sound collage aesthetics. Songs like “Car Collisions” are built around acoustic guitar and electronic samples. “Fucking Up Yur Spine For Fun” is just static and speech. It’s a record that is emotional and disjointed in a lot of ways.

Overall, it seems to be a general portrait of the artist. Reflections on death and god. It is a record where you are completely exposed to someones entire psyche. It’s not an easy record. It’s not a background noise record. It is a record that demands your attention.

The guitar clips, there is a sustained tape hiss throughout, the vocals turn around on you at the drop of a hat. It’s so fucking hard to explain, but it’s also one of the purest records I’ve heard in a long time. Please, do yourself a favor, give it a listen. This is one of the most engaging 35 minutes of music I’ve heard this year.

Kill The Intellectuals
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REVIEW: Parachute For Gordo – “Ten Metres Per Second Per Second”

pfgParachute For Gordo did a lot of things on Ten Metres Per Second Per Second that a lot of other bands of their ilk probably wouldn’t. Recorded live over just three hours, it is a record that has a very strong sense of urgency and power behind it. This is a band that, much like their labelmates in twothirtytwo, have carved out an interesting niche for themselves.

Parachutes For Gordo are, in the end, an art band. They also have a knack for making disjointed songwriting work. They primarily exist in the middle ground of post-punk and indie rock. They are a band that shifts everything within their songs. Tempos, styles, overall structure. Things can go anywhere at anytime. Ten Metres Per Second Per Second is a record built on experimentation.

This experimentation shows strongly on songs like “I Offered You A Small Dog In The Kitchen“ and “The Labrasaga – Part I: Labrador Deciever, Part II: LabraDoodlebug.” The former is one of the most straight forward songs on the record. It has an excellent rise/fall/rise dynamic to it. The latter is a song that, clocking in at around 16 minutes, shows exactly where this band succeeds. It is a song that is standard indie fare for the first half of it. At almost seven minutes in, goddamn, it gets heavy. It goes from a clean guitar that is kind of noodling about to a distorted riffing that is raw power. It then cycles back around.

While the loud/quiet/loud dynamic isn’t anything new, especially in indie and post-punk, Parachute for Gordo make it work. Ten Metres Per Second Per Second in energetic, raucous, and raw. It definitely stands out.

Parachute For Gordo
Rose Coloured Records
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REVIEW: Mason Mercer – “Slobber”

masonmercerBedroom recording culture has made music very interesting. A record made by one person can get expansive in ways that wouldn’t be possible for a solo artist in a traditional studio session. It allows a lot of room for experimentation. Hopefully you come out the other side with something good. Mason Mercer’s new EP, Slobber, is an interesting example of what can be made.

Mason Mercer is definitely experimental here. Doing what, I guess, is called adventure pop, he has crafted a very dense and brooding record. It has a lot of effects and samples involved to create an interesting soundscape. He’s making songs that mix tribal sounds with modern samples. It definitely owes a debt to industrial music. Especially when it comes to the vocal delivery.

I’m not sure what this record actually is. Like, to me, it feels like a hodge podge of electronic beats, tribal beats, guitars, and brooding vocals. It is pretty far outside what I listen to, and what I cover here. So, I don’t know, it’s really just kind of a thing to me. Like, it’s sound collages with just enough rhythm and flow to be songs.

Sure, it’s interesting. It’s sort of engaging. I just don’t get it. It’s just a little too abstruse and cryptic for me. I’m glad I gave it a listen. I may not understand it, but I can appreciate it for what it is. I’d say you should give it a shot. Or don’t. I’m not a cop.

Mason Mercer

REVIEW: Ghost Heart – "The Tunnel"

Post-punk has always been hard for me to enjoy. I like The Cure, but could live without the three minute track intros. I understand that the extended musical passages are used to create atmosphere, but my attention span has been severely damaged due to years of short punk songs. As a result, Ghost Heart’s debut full length is a tough listen for me. It is an enjoyable release. What it lacks in brevity, it makes up for with quality. But, it is not one of those records that lends itself to the modern era of shuffles and singles.

My first experience listening to this record came via a trip back from O’Hare International Airport to Carol Stream. To me, that is the ideal situation for a record like this. It is a long, relatively calm record that is best for stretches of uninterrupted listening. Overall, it clocks in at just about 40 minutes. Of the eight tracks, only two are shorter than five minutes. One of those tracks is basically a short interlude, so that barely counts.

Anyway, what you have here is pretty solid post-punk. Very heavy on tribal drums. Clear guitars are king here. The is barely any distortion. Pretty atmospheric keyboards/synth sounds are also spread throughout. Things get intricate, but never get too dense. There is definite shoegaze influence, as far as being able to make so much work at any given time, but it never gets overdone. The best point of comparison would probably be Animal Collective. But, even that comparison is a little lazy.

Shit, I guess I should just sum this up in a pull quote or something. This record is a great bit of textured, atmospheric post-punk. Listen to it on headphones and be stoked.

Official Site
Friction Records
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