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New Album Review

Album Review: Rob Zombie – The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy (2021)

“The Hellbilly,” Rob Zombie has returned with a new release on March 12, 2021, The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy (Nuclear Blast). His trademark eclectic style – Psychedelic Horror Metal, Go-Go Funk; sometimes folky, always spooky songs, samples, lyrics and instrumentals – is on display, and as all his album titles suggest you’re always in for a ride!

One of the constants on a Rob Zombie record as of late is his killer band – Zombie (vocals) John 5 (guitars), Piggy D (bass), Ginger Fish (drums). The other constant is the awesome musicianship of these veterans. If you’ve ever seen Rob Zombie live, then you already know the shock-n-awe of the visual expression of the psycho/horror sounds (all while Zombie go-go dances!). No matter what style the band employs on this newest record, it is incredible. And “The Hellbilly’s” multiple vocal ranges are, as usual, superb. 

The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy has landed in the top sales spot on the Billboard Charts, a first for Rob Zombie. While there are two good records separating them, this is the natural follow-up to the masterpiece Hellbilly Deluxe, in my opinion. Excellent production is on display on this 17-track offering, and even a new genre of music at one point – Industrial-Country! 

Track Listing:

  1. Expanding the Head of Zed
  2. The Triumph of King Freak (A Crypt of Preservation and Superstition)
  3. The Ballad of Sleazy Rider
  4. Hovering Over the Dull Earth
  5. Shadow of the Cemetery Man
  6. A Brief Static Hum and Then the Radio Blared 
  7. 18th Century Cannibals, Excitable Morlocks and a One-Way Ticket on the Ghost Train
  8. The Eternal Struggle of the Howling Man
  9. The Much Talked of Metamorphosis 
  10. The Satanic Rites of Blacula 
  11. Shower of Stones
  12. Shake Your Ass-Smoke Your Grass
  13. Boom-Boom-Boom
  14. What You Gonna Do with That Gun Mama
  15. Get Loose
  16. The Serenity of Witches
  17. Crow Killer Blues

Rating: 8.5/10! 

Favorite Songs: The Triumph of King Freak; Shadow of the Cemetery Man; Boom-Boom-Boom 

Stay Metal, 

THE SAW 

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Band/Artist Profile Classic Album Review Local Music Miscellaneous New Album Review

New Music Alert: Rehearsal

One of my long-time favorite bands, Skegss, has finally released another album. Skegss is a group of three guys from Byron Bay, Australia. The group formed in 2013 when childhood friends Johny Lani and Ben Reed started playing together as a duo around local venues. They soon paired up with Noa Deane and Tony Cregan and released their the singles “LSD” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio.” However Noa left the following year in pursuit of a surfing career, leaving Johny, Ben, and Tony to run the show. 

Since then they have released three EP’s and three albums. My personal favorite is their self-titled debut EP, however their two most recent albums are close contenders. Rehearsal is their most recent one to date and includes 13 surf-punk-garage styled rock songs on the album. It starts off with “Down to Ride” and “Valhalla,” which are both upbeat, fast paced songs that set a good tone for the album. However, my two favorites of the 13 are “Bush TV” and “Savor The Flavour.” They perfectly incorporate the iconic Skegss style and listening to them makes me feel like an angsty teenager again. Another honorable mention off the album is “Wake Up,” which is a bit of a slower song. That being said, I feel like this band doesn’t make slow, sentimental songs like this all that much, which makes it all the more meaningful. 

Fun fact about this band, they actually had their cover art for the EP “50 Push Ups for a Dollar” stolen by Lil Yachty and Reese for their single “Do It.” Go ahead and look it up, the comparison is laughably similar. 

That’s all for this week, hope you guys enjoy the music. 
-The DJ Formerly Known As Chippypants

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New Album Review

Genesis Owusu: Smiling With No Teeth

A man with gold teeth and facial bandages smiles at the camera
Album Cover For Genesis Owusu’s “Smiling With No Teeth”

Genesis Owusu is a Ghanaian-Australian rapper, singer, and songwriter. I can’t really tell you that much about his life or cultural context, because for all intents and purposes he just apparated into existence three months ago. His label is a persona non grata online, this is his debut album, and his music gives him very few contemporaries. All we really have to work with here are two interviews from The Guardian and Anthony Fantano, the content of his album, and the rather impressive word of mouth campaign surrounding it.

Owusu’s music is, in equal measure, hip-hop, pop, and rock. He described himself to the Guardian as “Prince, if he were a rapper in 2020s Australia,” which is a grand claim, though not an altogether inappropriate one. He has Prince’s combination of chameleonic versatility and instantly recognizable personality. Despite jumping from hardcore hip-hop to gospel to post-punk in the span of 10 minutes, his album has a stylistic cohesion exemplified by the sheer force of personality that is Genesis Owusu.

Beyond his overall aesthetic, Owusu is also an extremely talented vocalist, in a way that feels almost out of place given that the current ethos of hip-hop focuses more on production skills than raw vocal abilities. Owusu has both, and this means he can bend his voice to fit the mood of the track. He can also sing his own hooks in a different register than he raps, allowing him to get through the entire album with a total of one feature.

However, the most engaging element of the music is the lyrical skill demonstrated by Owusu throughout the album. The album is set up to have recurring themes, lyrical motifs, and an ambitious sense of musical arc. This is not to say the album is repetitive, in fact, Owusu covers a long list of subjects, and on the occasions where he does repeat, he approaches the topic from an entirely new angle. Themes of depression, cultural isolation, and biblical references are mainstays, and the album has a few explicitly political tracks that hit hard as well.

Take a listen to this album, especially if you don’t catch that many hip-hop records. The music is accessible without sacrificing depth, and it has some surprisingly uplifting cuts towards the end. Personally, it’s one of my favorite albums of the year so far.

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New Album Review

The Latest and Greatest: Joyce Wrice Album Review

Album: “Overgrown” by Joyce Wrice

Release Year: 2021

Label: Joyce Wrice Music

Rating: 8.5/10

Best Tracks: “Chandler,” “Falling in Love” and “On One”

FCC: 3, 6

If there was ever a way to bring the flavor of R&B from the early 2000’s to today’s realm of music, Joyce Wrice has the recipe. The Los Angeles artist recently dropped “Overgrown,” a journey through growth in love and searching for the perfect person. After a listen from top to bottom, this album is easily deserving of high remarks. The first track, “Chandler,” displays Joyce Wrice’s ability to share her feelings through her incredible vocals over smooth and bouncy beats. She does a great job of creating a feeling that allows the listener to escape from their reality and enter her world. In fact the first three songs are so good at this that I had to make them my favorites (even though the rest of the album is equally great).

The album also boasts features from other highly talented artists such as Lucky Daye, Freddie Gibbs, Westside Gunn, Kaytranada, and many others. Interludes throughout the album offer great transitions through the different emotions, themes, and aspects of relationships. Finally, one thing I greatly appreciated was the transition out at the end of the album. Joyce Wrice did an amazing job at bringing the listener in at the beginning of the album, and was consistent with ensuring the end was just as captivating. This made the album feel much like an experience I was sharing with the artist.

I highly recommend checking out “Overgrown” for anyone who is new to Joyce Wrice’s music. This album set a strong tone and I anticipate more amazing works from her in the future.

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New Album Review

The Truth Hurts Album Review

Written by Miranda

LA-based Drakeo the Ruler debuted in 2015 after being discovered through his mixtapes by DJ Mustard. Drakeo the Ruler, known also as Darrell Caldwell, then released his first project “I Am Mr. Mosely” followed by a second release a year later, “I Am Mr. Mosely 2.” Caldwell’s music gave him an in to the genre of underground rap. In 2017, Drakeo the Ruler’s home was raided by the Los Angeles Police Department and he was subsequently arrested. In 2019 he was again arrested and charged. While in prison, he wrote and recorded the album “Thank You for Using GTL.” His newest album, “The Truth Hurts,” follows “We Know The Truth”, which was his first album since his release from prison.

On “The Truth Hurts,” Caldwell bares his soul to the audience. He pairs his well-known muttering linked verse and allows his words to take the lead. He presents a variety of topics, seemingly anything he has his mind on. Some of the songs, like “Exclusive” seemingly flout the system that kept Drakeo in and out of jail for years. Others are more material and pleasure focused. All of the songs flow together smoothly and effortlessly.

Most of the other artists featured are also Californian underground rap artists. However, the last track on the album (Talk To Me) deviates from the traditional style Caldwell has followed. Drake’s feature on the track gives it a mainstream feel, and in fact, the song has gained the most popularity of all his new releases on the radio and music streaming platforms. Four of the tracks on “The Truth Hurts” feature Ketchy the Great, who sadly passed away in February. To pay tribute to his friend, Caldwell wrote and released a song in his memory.

Listen to Drakeo the Ruler’s “The Truth Hurts,” out on all streaming platforms now.

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New Album Review

Chemtrails Over the Country Club

ALBUM: “Chemtrails Over The Country Club” by Lana Del Rey
RELEASE YEAR: 2021
LABEL: Interscope
RATING /10: 10 – a country-folk dream
BEST TRACKS: “Tulsa Jesus Freak”, “Chemtrails Over The Country Club”, “Breaking Up Slowly (Feat. Nikki Lane)”
FCC: (none)


The Goddess of sadcore’s long awaited album is here. To announce the release, Lana Del Rey posted an extract on Instagram  saying: “Until we meet again, I’ll be out there, running with the wolves.” If you listen to the album, her caption just makes sense: “Chemtrails Over The Country Club” is about Lana running away from California to the countryside and finding out she’s Wild At Heart” in the process. She makes it very clear that she’s finally found her true self and that she’s not going to let stardom, the media or Los Angeles’ toxicity steal away her identity this time. It’s official: the dream pop queen has turned folk. This album is undoubtedly the result of her embracing both a wilderness and a vulnerability that only genres like 1960’s Americana and country-folk can reliably convey. The harmony between the guitar and the slow piano throughout the album makes for a very soothing record. Compared to the rest of her discography, which mostly depicts heartbreak and sorrow through a sad or glamorous prism, this album sounds like a timid ray of sunshine emerging from behind the clouds. 


Let’s talk about the cover first. Lana’s tendency to get inspiration from the 60’s and 70’s is never a surprise to anyone, so her choosing an old school aesthetic for this album isn’t either. The photograph on the cover depicts a group of women around a table inside a country club, all wearing summer dresses and a cheerful smile on their faces. Lana is standing among them, though barely noticeable at first glance, and she’s smiling like never before. The last time Lana chose to use a black and white picture as a cover was in 2014 for “Ultraviolence” where she was standing alone, staring into the camera with a dreadful look in her eyes. I love the idea that Lana went from glamorizing her loneliness and despair to celebrating her newly found happiness surrounded by equally happy women — as if the path home to herself took finding pieces of herself in other people. Speaking of being surrounded by women, all the featurings on the album are female artists: Nashville singer Nikki Lane on the slow and heart-shattering country ballad “Breaking Up Slowly”, and Zella Day and Weyes Blood on the cover of Joni Mitchell’s “For Free”.


Now for the actual content of the album. The very first song, “White Dress”, really intrigued me when I listened to it for the first time. Her trying of new high-pitched vocal techniques when she’s always relied on her deep voice was definitely unexpected, but still very pleasant. Each album she releases fits into a completely new era and universe in my eyes, so I’m always open to being surprised. In this song, she reminisces her past life when “[She] was a waitress / Wearing a white dress” in her teenage years, not yet burdened by the crushing weight of celebrity — a recurring theme on the album. “The best ones lost their mind / So I’m not gonna change / I’ll stay the same”: these lines from “Dark But Just A Game” are pretty self-explanatory. As far as I’m concerned, I’m mostly going to listen to this song for the sensual aura of its verses, which are hypnotic and even strangely addictive, but that’s just my take on it.

Lana is now claiming to be “Wild At Heart”, and indeed, the album unveils a side of her persona that’s wild, sensual, free and craving adventure. She’s no longer tied to the glamour of the City of Angels but rather to the recklessness of the countryside. Throughout her discography, the New York-born singer went from idolizing the “West Coast”, to questioning if she really belonged in Los Angeles in her poetry book with “LA Who Am I To Love You”, to eventually wanting to move away from California as far as possible. That being said, the allusions to country culture and the Midwest throughout the record are all pretty obvious: her sharing of religious faith with her lover in “Tulsa Jesus Freak”, her love for living on the road in “Not All Who Wander Are Lost” and her leisure time at the country club in “Chemtrails Over The Country Club” are good examples.


In an interview she gave for Mojo, Lana stated that her new album was  “more innocently emotional” than her previous records, and it would be hard to say otherwise. The fragile and bare emotions Lana had finally been comfortable writing about on both “Norman Fucking Rockwell!” — her last album — and “Violet Bent Backwards Over The Grass” — her poetry book — seem to have helped her transcend the desperation she’d been drowning in for years now. She’s no longer holding onto toxic lovers but rather finally owning her side of the story in “Breaking Up Slowly”, my favorite song off the album: “It’s hard to be lonely, but it’s the right thing to do”. I was also glad to find songs on the album that actually portray loving and healthy romantic relationships. Lana has always been heavily criticized for “glamorizing abuse” or only singing about toxic relationships. While I never minded her writing about her own experiences and actually found comfort in her portrayal of heartbreak, lyrics like “You make me feel I’m invincible / Just like I wanted / No more candle in the wind” in “Yosemite” are very relieving to hear. The last thing I’ve noticed about her lyrics is how playful and carefree Lana seems to have become: sunny afternoons spent by the swimming pool, road trips in her old sports car, drinking whiskey and coke at the bar or teasing her love interest about his astrological sign — her new ranch Americana and roots persona seems to be having fun.

I could honestly keep writing about Lana’s music for days, but I’ll end this review here. I’m glad she’s finally found her “own version of America”, by leaving Los Angeles behind and being one with the countryside. As someone who’s been listening to her music for 10 years now, I’m glad she’s finally welcoming warmth, happiness and playfulness into her songwriting — without the underlying fear that often comes with being that vulnerable.

-Lise Nox

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New Album Review

St Vincent Shakes Things Up on New Single

It’s hard to believe that St Vincent has been around for 15 years now. Her unique blend of Art Pop and Classic Rock hasn’t seen any dramatic changes during her career, and yet her style hasn’t worn off either. In fact, Vincent’s style is arguably more relevant now than it was in 2007, with the massive resurgence in popularity for some of her main influences, like David Bowie or Kate Bush. It would be easy for her to just coast on the sound of “Masseduction” and ride another wave of positive reviews and good sales. And yet, she decided to take notes from her idols by keeping one step ahead of the curve once again on her latest single.

“Pay Your Way in Pain” is a funk and disco track at its core. However, Vincent takes these influences in a bit of a different direction than the smooth and sleek Nu-Disco of Dua Lipa or Jessie Ware. Her take on funk is a bit more raw, reminiscent of  Parliament-Funkadelic, who mixed rock and dance music in a way very similar to what Vincent is doing here.

In an interview with The Guardian Vincent likened her newest track to a blues song. This is surprisingly apt as well, since, under the rollicking beat and bass, the song is ultimately about struggle, more so than celebration. The effect is uplifting without being schmaltzy, a song about getting back up and out there despite your struggles. The song was almost certainly recorded prior to the pandemic and postponed, but it’s still easy to draw a comparison to our slow and troubled exit from… well you know.

St. Vincent has done it again, at least for this one song. It will be interesting to see how she expands this sound into a whole album. “Daddy’s Home,” (a reference to her father’s return from jail) will be released on May 14th of this year.

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DJ Highlights Miscellaneous New Album Review

What I’m Listening to This Week

Does your weekly song rotation need an update? Well I’m here to help. Trust me, I know how easy it is to get stuck in a cycle of listening to the same few songs from the same genre on repeat, however breaking out of this routine feels so good once you start to find some new music. So here is my list of new finds for the week. 

“Trophy” by Crumb 
Crumb has such a unique, lovable style. You could pick out a song of theirs from a playlist with ease. With their wavy guitar riffs and distorted lyrics, Crumb’s music always transports me to a dreamscape. 

“Whisper (Want My Love) [feat. Steve Lacy]” by Patrick Paige II 
This new song is made by Patrick Paige II, one of my favorite members of The Internet. He and Steve Lacy blend together perfectly on this track as they complement each other’s styles. 

“Silver Lining” by Mount Joy
Ok this is definitely an older one, but I was recently reminded of its existence and honestly I’m at the perfect time in my life to where this song finally makes sense. Even if this semester isn’t turning out as planned, there’s still a silver lining in everything. 

“Sign Here” by Doohickey Cubicle 
I love the constant flow of this song. It’s relaxed yet upbeat; subtle but still has a lot to say. Something that I’d dance to while sitting down. It’s perfect. 

Other honorable mentions include “Never Gonna Give You Up” by the Black Keys, “Small Worlds” by Mac Miller, “Black Magic Woman” by Santana, and “Long Distance” by the Districts. 

Well that’s all for this week, hope you guys enjoy the tunes 
-The DJ Formerly Known as Chippypants 

Categories
Band/Artist Profile Classic Album Review Miscellaneous Music Education New Album Review

New Music Alert: 666

Warning: listening to this music may cause a significant increase in heat. Your body may feel hot and you will feel an overwhelming sensation of “fire.” The Sugar Candy Album “666” is a unique style of music that was perfected by the cross-section of the passing of early 2010’s Psychedelic Rock and the popularization of more mellow Indie Pop. All pretentiousness aside, 666 is a really good album. It is probably Sugar Candy Mountain’s best music that they’ve put out since they emerged back in 2014 with their first full album “Mystic Hits.” 

While “Mystic Hits” was undoubtedly a hit, “666” showcased the band coming into their own unique sound. Most of their songs tend to follow a similar pattern. The beginning starts out with a lackadaisical, relaxed beat that goes on throughout the entirety of the song while multiple layers slowly get added on as the song goes on. Moreover, the songs steadily flow into each other, making it easy to listen to all the way through. 

However, if you’re in a rush and don’t have time to listen to the whole album, I would suggest starting with the first three songs and ending with the eighth and ninth. “Windows” and “Change” make a good impression of the album and “666” is definitely going to be one of my most played songs of the year. With it’s echoed guitar and dreamy lyrics, the song can change around my mood on even the most stressful of days. 

Well that’s about all I have to say for this album, would definitely recommend with a score of 9/10. 
Hope you guys enjoy the music, 
-The DJ Formerly Known as Chippypants 

Categories
New Album Review

Album Review: Tash Sultana – Terra Firma (2021)

So, we all know that I love me some Tash Sultana, and when I found out that they were coming out with a new album, I absolutely geeked. Tash Sultana is just a breath of fresh air and their music always speaks to me. Their new album, “Terra Firma” is no different. 

This album is very different from their previous album, “Flow State” (which we all know is one of my favorite albums of all-time). Sultana incorporates different musical themes and instruments throughout each song; I think this is cool because it makes each song different and unique. Almost every song makes me feel like I am the main character of a movie and I absolutely love it. Let’s take a look at some of the songs that stood out to me on the album. 

The album opens with an instrumental track, “Musk,” which sets the tone, really, well for the rest of the album. It appears that Sultana is sticking to some of her musical roots but is also adding a little bit of flavor so the songs don’t sound the same. Their second song, “Crop Circles,” has to be one of my favorite songs off the album because it reminds me of their album “Flow State,” but with more of a jazzier feel. “Greed” is also another great song which talks about the music industry and how they only love you when you “make it big.” This song has the jazz, indie, lo-fi type vibe which I am in love with. Another song that I keep playing off this album is “Dream My Life Away” which is a very dreamy song. The song says a lot even when, lyrically, the song says so little. Sultana has always been good at capturing emotions not only though their lyrics but also through their instruments. 

Overall, this album is very enjoyable. It contains 14 songs and takes an hour to play front to back. The vibe of the album is jazzy with a hint of indie and upbeat tempo. I really enjoyed listening to this album and even though it is far different from “Flow State” it is definitely worth a listen. 

Rating: 7/10 

Favorite Songs: Crop Circles, Greed, Musk, Dream My Life Away 

Stay Metal, 

THE SAW