Known Johnson

August 3, 2005

Overlooked Alternatives: new releases for August 2, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tom @ 6:30 am

A couple of notable releases from this week, and a couple past ones I somehow managed to miss . . .

New Releases

Dug Pinnick: Emotional Animal – For whatever reason, King’s X bassist/vocalist Doug Pinnick dropped the “o” from his name and chose to work outside of his Poundhound side project, which is essentially a Pinnick solo vehicle itself. I’ve only heard snippets from this on the Magna Carta site (RealAudio, sorry) but it sounds like I expected it to, which is, basically, King’s X, just like Poundhound does. The funny thing here, as with Poundhound, is that the music sounds more like King’s X than King’s X has on their past few releases. And speaking of King’s X, look for their new album, Ogre Tones, in stores September 27.

Michael Penn: Mr. Hollywood Jr., 1947 – Singer/songwriter Penn returns after a lengthy absence with a loose concept album (perhaps as a desire to match his wife, Aimee Mann’s recently released concept album) about returning to normal life in Los Angeles after World War II. Penn’s gift for words and melody ensure this will at least be a good album, but will the concept work without being an overbearing and overly binding constraint?

Belated New Releases news

Pelican: The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw – Cinematic instrumental metal doesn’t come much better than this, the second album from Pelican. “Epic” is a word that is commonly used to describe the Pelican sound and it’s pretty hard to resist using that cliche’ – it works for a reason. The Thaw doesn’t necessarily offer anything shockingly new, but it witnesses the band tightening up an already tight machine. The music is complex, deep, and intense, with swirling textures and patterns. Highly recommended for both fans of Godflesh and Godspeed You Black Emperor! – just imagine a cross between the two and you have a real good idea of what Pelican sounds like. Released July 26.

John Zorn: Bar Kohkba Septet: 50th Birthday Celebration, Vol. 11 – You really can’t blame anyone for missing a Zorn release, can you? This man puts out metric tons of music every year. I mean, look at the subtitle there – “volume 11” and that’s just of things released in the last year or so. Anyway, here’s more of Zorn’s fascinating “Jewish jazz” chamber ensemble. This is incredibly beautiful music rendered by some incredibly talented performers. If this doesn’t both entrance you and make you smile, you’re dead inside.

Reissues

Killing Joke: s/t, What’s This For. . . !, Ha! Killing Joke Live, and Revelations – Remasters for the seminal post-punk godfathers of what would become “industrial” (not really industrial, but it inspired bands like Ministry and Nine Inch Nails, who somehow got wrongly lumped in with bands like Einsturzende Neubauten and Skinny Puppy, who really are industrial.) Unique here is the first-time-ever-on-CD Ha! Killing Joke Live, which documents the Revelations era of the band. All four releases are remastered and feature a handful of bonus tracks. And for those who like “there’s no justice” stories, Killing Joke, touring in support of their second self-titled album, could recently be seen opening for Motley Crue, of all damn bands. Are you kidding me? Motley Crue?

DVD

Beulah: A Good Band Is Easy To Kill – This documentary follows Beulah, purveyors of bittersweet indie-pop reminiscent a bit of Wilco’s sound on Summerteeth, as they tour in support of their fourth and final album, Yoko. More than a concert, it’s a documentary along the lines of Radiohead’s Meeting People Is Easy or Wilco’s I Am Trying To Break Your Heart, and bonus material is an entire two-hour long, 17-song concert. Frustrating as it is that Beulah is no more, at least they chose to go out on top – Yoko comes highly recommended. It might, however, make you slightly depressed that there’ll be no more music like that coming from them, so pick up this DVD (it’s cheap!) while you’re at it.

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