Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving and is enjoying some time off! It’s predictably a much lighter week for new albums, but last week was stacked so it’s a good time to catch up on one of the 15+ albums we reviewed last week or find something you haven’t heard yet from one of the year-end lists that have been coming out. And even though it’s a lighter holiday week, there are still a handful of great records out today. I highlight six below, and Bill also looks at The KVB, the Jarvis Cocker remix album, and more in Bill’s Indie Basement.
More honorable mentions: Voices, Richard Dawson & Circle, TEETH, Botfly, The Chisel, Pass Away (mem I Am The Avalanche, Crime In Stereo), the Girl Ray remix EP, the Deep Purple covers album, the Death Angel live album, the Sunn O))) BBC session album (ft. Anna Von Hausswolff), the Nell & The Flaming Lips Nick Cave covers album, the Helmet live album, and the David Bowie box set (including “lost” album Toy).
Read on for my picks. What’s your favorite release of the week?
R.A.P. Ferreira – The Light Emitting Diamond Cutter Scriptures
Prolific underground rap great R.A.P. Ferreira (formerly known as milo, sometimes also known as scallops hotel) kicked the year off with the release of Bob’s Son on New Year’s Day, and now he’s got another new album out on Black Friday, The Light Emitting Diamond Cutter Scriptures. Compared to the often-abstract Bob’s Son, The Light Emitting Diamond Cutter Scriptures feels a little more traditional, with warm production derived from jazz, soul, and psychedelia, and tight, in-the-pocket rhymes from R.A.P. Ferreira. Still, “traditional” is relative in this context; R.A.P. Ferreira’s version of hip hop remains experimental and forward-thinking. He uses elements of rap’s golden age, but reshapes those sounds into something futuristic. And his words remain surrealist and stream-of-consciousness, painting vivid images in your mind and conveying raw emotion too.
Lock Up – The Dregs of Hades
Last week, we got the new album from The Lurking Fear, the old school style death metal band fronted by At The Gates vocalist Tomas Lindberg, and today we get a new album from another Tomas Lindberg band, grindcore supergroup Lock Up. Lock Up, which was formed in 1998 by Napalm Death bassist Shane Embury, had Lindberg on vocals from 2002 to 2014 but he left and was replaced by Brutal Truth’s Kevin Sharp (who also fronts Shane Embury’s band Venomous Concept) for 2017’s Demonization. Now, Lindberg is back and co-fronting the band with Kevin, and they’ve also welcomed Pig Destroyer’s Adam Jarvis as their new drummer. With Anton Reisenegger (Criminal) on guitar, Lock Up are more “super” than ever. Similar to The Lurking Fear, Lock Up gives Tomas Lindberg a chance to make much faster, rawer music than he does with At The Gates (who also released a new album this year), and it remains a thrill to hear icons like these making such purely filthy music this far into their careers. It’s been a while since Napalm Death and Pig Destroyer have made a record this whiplash-inducing too, and The Dregs of Hades proves that these architects of grindcore still know how to throw down like they did when they were starting out.
Defcee & Messiah Musik – Trapdoor
Chicago rapper Defcee is a longtime staple of his home city’s underground rap scene (his 2015 album Damn Near Grown featured collaborations with Saba, Noname, and Joseph Chilliams before those artists blew up), and though he took some time off from music, he’s been more prolific than ever for the past couple years. He put out the August Fanon-produced EP We Dressed the City with Our Names earlier this year, and now he teamed up with billy woods’ Backwoodz Studioz for a new album, Trapdoor, entirely produced by Messiah Musik, who’s worked on multiple albums by billy woods/Armand Hammer, as well as other Backwoodz releases and projects by Mach-Hommy, Your Old Droog, Quelle Chris, and more. “His work reminds me of what I loved about RZA’s beats when I first discovered Wu Tang,” Defcee said of Messiah Musik. “’Dusty loops, heavy bag drums’ to quote billy woods.” Armand Hammer appears on the album, as do ShrapKnel members PremRock and Curly Castro (whose own new album Little Robert Hutton features Defcee), as well as Henry Canyons, Convertible Ashley, Joshua Virtue, Freddie Ol Soul, and Alaska. Messiah Musik’s production style will be very familiar to Backwoodz fans, and Defcee’s tough delivery fits it perfectly. Defcee is a rapper that frequently gets called “underrated,” and if you’re still sleeping on him, wake up and listen to this album.
The Filthy Radicals – The Fine Line Between Real and Insane EP
If you’re unfamiliar, Stomp Records was founded by Montreal ska-punk legends The Planet Smashers in 1994 and put out releases by a handful of classic ska-punk bands (as well as bands in other genres), and Stomp has played a crucial role in the recent ska resurgence too. They co-released the excellent new Joystick album with Bad Time Records earlier this year, and today they put out another one of the best ska-punk releases I’ve heard in 2021: The Fine Line Between Real and Insane, the latest EP by Toronto band The Filthy Radicals. Prior this, The Filthy Radicals had just released the Freedom 45 EP on Cursed Blessings Records last month, but Fine Line feels like a noticeable step up. It’s got much bigger, clearer production, but doesn’t tame The Filthy Radicals’ gnarly sound one bit. Across the EP’s first five songs, they offer up ripping ska-punk/ska-core in the vein of bands like Choking Victim, Operation Ivy, and Against All Authority, and even within that context, there’s a good amount of musical diversity, from circle-pit-inducing hardcore to slower rocksteady and a lot of in-between. (And its sixth and final track is a country song.) It’s not necessarily anything you haven’t heard before, but The Filthy Radicals do it really well.
Remedy – Remedy Meets Wu-Tang
Staten Island rapper Remedy has been an affiliate of the Wu-Tang Clan since appearing on the 1998 Wu-Tang Killa Bees compilation The Swarm, and now he has roped in several Wu-Tang members/affiliates (Ghostface Killah, RZA, Method Man, Inspectah Deck, Cappadonna, Masta Killa, Shyheim, Killah Priest, Solomon Childs, Trife Diesel, and StreetLife), plus Griselda’s Conway The Machine, for his first new album in over a decade, Remedy Meets Wu-Tang. It was almost entirely produced by Ghostface/Inspectah Deck collaborator Danny Caiazzo, and it features at least one Wu-Tang member on almost every track. Remedy may have a history as a supporting cast member, but here he’s the director and the star, and he’s also given us something that pretty much counts as a new Wu-Tang album. From the production to the rapping, everything sounds like it could’ve come straight out of the mid ’90s, and the low-stakes rawness makes it feel refreshing. And if this happens to be your introduction to Remedy, it’s a plus that he also included his signature song “Never Again” (from The Swarm and multiple Remedy solo albums), in which the Jewish rapper tackles Holocaust history in an incredibly personal way, taking inspiration from the real-life experiences his own family members had during that tragic period.
Julie Doiron – I Thought of You
Long-running singer/songwriter, former Eric’s Trip member, and Mount Eerie collaborator Julie Doiron has stayed busy but she hasn’t released her own solo album in nine years. That now changes with I Thought of You — which she made with Daniel Romano, Ian Romano, and Dany Placard — and it stays true to the kind of folky indie rock that Julie has delivered since the ’90s. Bill writes more about it in Bill’s Indie Basement.
Looking for more recent releases? Browse the Notable Releases archive or keep scrolling down for previous weeks.
For even more metal, browse the ‘Upcoming Releases’ each week on Invisible Oranges.
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