Records

By VICE Staff

THE PHARMACY
WIRES UNDER TENSION
MEMORY TAPES
GREEN DAY


SOLANGE
True
Terrible
Like all walking vaginas, Beyoncé probably snoops around her man’s computer from time to time. So after Jay-Z’s done deleting those naked photos of Kim that Kanye emailed him, I bet he clears his iTunes playlist cache, too, ’cause he definitely listens to this EP way more than whatever his wife’s been working on lately—and, trust me, you DO NOT want to get locked out of that fine, fine pussy.

SSST
GHOSTFACE KILLAH
Twelve Reasons to Die
Soul Temple
During the shit circus that is CMJ, I was at a twee-pop fest that just so happened to be taking place next to a Ghostface Killah show. At one point, I took a break from wanting to kill myself to go outside and smoke a cigarette, and saw that the whole street had been blocked off with cop cars because some manner of riot had erupted outside the Ghostface show. A guitarist for one of the twee bands later came out of the venue to find a shoe atop his windshield. That is all.

RYAN GOSLING
DAVINCI
The MOEna Lisa
SWTBRDS
DaVinci’s album is out on SWTBRDS, which I read as “sweetbreads,” which is a dish that is neither sweet nor bread. It’s the thymus gland of a calf, and I don’t even know what that means but imagine it tastes yucky unless you’re a weird-beard foodie who fashions himself as an outdoorsman. You know, the guys who are into frog legs, snails, pigeons, foie gras, blood sausage, spleens, horse cocks, and monkey brains. Basically, the more you’re “into food,” the more you like eating stuff that might be used in an occult ritual. What’s confusing is that, judging from the music he makes, Mr. DaVinci sounds like a guy who eats salads from McDonald’s for every meal. And I’m lovin’ it.

RHEK
TRINIDAD JAMES
Don’t Be S.A.F.E.
(Sensitive as Fuck Everyday)
Self-released
With rap albums dropping out of every nook and cranny of the internet every minute of every day, it’s hard to keep on top of all the hot young hits of today. You know, all the shit the kids are talking about. But we can’t let this one pass on by. Oh, no. On the surface, our boy James looks like maybe another trendy, ignorant fashion flash in the pan who’s good for a laugh and an outstanding viral video (“All Gold Everything”), but this is seriously one of the best, and most original, albums I’ve heard all year. Catchy choruses, progressive and hard-hitting beats, and the Trini gladiator is skilled on the mic, straight styling on ’em­­—he finna blow for real, superstar status. Plus the cover is Ol’ Dirty Bastard legendary. Pop a molly, we’re sweating—wooooo!!!

RHEK


CRYSTAL CASTLES
III
Universal/Fiction
This is some frigid shitshow electro. Then again, post-Xanax, all those choppy beats and bloop bleeps actually sound melodic. One of the best parts on the album is when Alice Glass’s vocals go from baby doll to screamy-me-no-understandy during “Pale Flesh.” And the raver “Wrath of God” is all dancey doom-goth and glow sticks. Breaking news: I’m shaving my head, getting gold grillz, locking myself in a cellar, and listening to this album. Forever. Deal with that shit, haters.

JENNIFER DARLING
PRINCE RAMA
Top Ten Hits of the End of the World
Paw Tracks
Top Ten Hits is, as its press release states, “a pseudo-compilation album” for which “the Brooklyn duo invented ten different pop bands that died during the apocalypse, channeling the ghosts of each one to perform the various songs.” OK. Well. It is an ambitious project, if we’re talking about the same kind of “ambitious” my parents used when discussing my childhood career goal of becoming a professional cat. Suffice it to say that the Larson sisters and I have found the same degree of success in our endeavors.

SEMIPRO CAT
EL PERRO DEL MAR
Pale Fire
The Control Group
El Perro del Mar’s Sarah Assbring dares to journey into the morass of message music this time around on her fifth (sorta, depending on your definition of LP) studio album, Pale Fire. It’s a pretty daring move for an artist who has previously crafted tunes out of smooth blips, sprinkled with lyrics so sparse each song could fit into a single tweet. Most artists who decide to switch gears and hop on a podium deserve to be punched in the face, but El Perro del Mar makes this transition with complete grace. The lyrical brevity is still present, only this time she weighs her words much more wisely. From concerns about the future in “Hold Off” to emphasizing the importance of love in “Home Is to Feel Like That,” Sarah gets her point across clearly and in a concise fashion, which is increasingly rare in our “lemme tell you why I’m a crybaby on Facebook” world. Plus, with climate change causing all of these weird storms to happen, “To the Beat of a Dying World” is eerily prescient. I bet she knows Susan Miller.

KATHY IANDOLI
WIRES UNDER TENSION
Replicant
Western Vinyl
The promo sheet for this thing likens Wires Under Tension’s music to a 1940s composer who manipulated player pianos to create music so complex that it was impossible for human hands to perform. This is a stupid comparison, because any composition made by the infinite number of pedantic laptop assholes out there could be described the same way. Unless your synthesizer runs off of steam and barber tonic or some shit, I’m not buying it. And if I do that means you’re a steampunk, which also negates your reason for deserving air. But the most depressing thing about this album is that you can tell how long the musicians spent on it (way too long), yet in the end it’s utterly disposable to me. I just listened to it twice, and I can’t remember one song. I do remember that there were dumb samples of people talking, and clean technical drumming that reminded me of some video of Travis Barker playing by himself. It’s like a more intense, more industrial form of trip-hop, but you can’t fall asleep to it or drink cocktails to it or fuck to it, so fuck it.

TONY BARMAN
ANDY STOTT
Luxury Problems
Modern Love
I’m too old to care about whatever white-label 12-inch Boomkat is hyperbolizing over this week, but Andy Stott is at the forefront of spooky, monolithic slabs of dark electronica, and this one is a burner. It’s “dance” music for goddamn bona fide adults who flee unbearable warehouse parties to chain-smoke and listen to this on the walk home while thinking adult-ass thoughts. And just plain ass thoughts.

BJ ARMSTRONG


BANANAMOU
S/T
Burger
This is your standard Burger Records fare, which is to say it’s a home-recorded cassette of pop-rock limited to 250 copies. Like every other Burger release, you should get it. There are fun and unique covers of “Oh Yoko” and the obscure Devo song “Shimmy Shake.” Bananamou’s records cast a hypnotizing love spell on me, and I will give them all the money I have in my wallet and ask them on dates and go to their shows and jerk off to their music because I am a terrible, unilaterally awful person just like you.

GREG GRUMBLEMAN
FRED THOMAS
Night Times
Framework
With the arguable exception of the Holocaust, there is nothing worse than going into a bathroom stall after someone has left a fresh turd that has clogged the toilet. It throws my whole day off. It’s like, This is my responsibility now? I have to get all resourceful in here before I can relieve myself? That hardly seems fair. And, just so you know, the papier-mâché hat you were apparently trying to make in here? It sucks. Also, try your best not to shit at work, please. Save your poop aggression for your home facilities.

SEAN YEATON
JAWBREAKER
Bivouac (Reissue)
Blackball
Do a Google Image search for “jawbreaker tattoo.” It will save you whatever money you were going to spend on your next stupid purchase. Cryptic? Yes. Consider this an intimate, interactive experience we just shared with each other, and then fuck off for a while. I’m busy.

YEAN SEATON
WOOLEN KITS
Four Girls
Trouble in Mind
These Australian guys used to make echo-laden fuzzy rock, but I guess that trend came and went because now they sound more like the Replacements and Hüsker Dü were put in a blender on liquefy. And that’s OK by me. There’s a lot of good post-post-post-post-post-postpunk coming out lately. 

HÜSKER DÜHHHHHHH
JOZEF VAN WISSEM & JIM JARMUSCH
The Mystery of Heaven
Sacred Bones
Your favorite director and some downtown NY avant-garde dude hooked up with the most unfuckwithable label of our modern times to make a record of scorched-earth, amp-worshiping death rock. My future girlfriend Tilda Swinton even pops up to deliver a gobbledygook spoken-word ditty about being impaled by a sword or something (wish it was my dick, knowwhati’msayin?). Whatever, the whole thing flows real smooth-like and even reminds me of Neil Young’s score for Dead Man, which, if you haven’t seen yet, is what you’re watching tonight on Netflix Instant. Somehow Jim Jarmusch even manages to make you forget about how Johnny Depp is now a shitty, balding actor. It’s called foresight.

JOHN “SPIDER” SALLEY
GREEN DAY
¡Dos!
Warner Brothers
My friend Nick loves Green Day. In fact, I think they might be his favorite band. He’s cool as fuck, has a hot wife, is funny as hell. Dude also loves weed. This time next year he’s going to be a dad, and so it make sense that his favorite band is Green Day. Which is fine; music just doesn’t enter our realm of discussion. But what would you do if your friend were in Green Day? Imagine calling up your old boy Billie Joe to see whether he wants to see a movie and his 40-year-old ass shows up late, looking like an Avril Lavigne flesh costume and asking whether you had a chance to listen to his demo for “Fuck Time” yet. The previews are on and this clown wants to talk about “Fuck Time”? How about “Fuck Your Face”? He’s taking a hot ¡Dos! in your ear and all you’re trying to do is get your Ben Stiller on. Cut your losses. Your friend sucks as much as his tunes.

BENT STILLER
TRASH TALK
119
Odd Future
It does my heart good to see a thrash band become as popular as Trash Talk has. Let me tell you, these guys can talk the talk but they can also thrash the thrash. All in all, with the exception of a few minor details, this record’s not a huge departure from their previous release. There’s a stoner-metal track with vocals from Tyler the Creator and Hodgy Beats, and there are fewer short songs than usual. Listening to it made me think about the times I saw Toxic Narcotic while wishing I could see them play again. Then the 28-second “For the Lesser Good” came on, which ends with the lyrics “6 billion people on this earth can all deserve to diiiiiiie! Diiiiiiie!” It’s subtle, but this bears a striking similarity to the well-known Toxic Narcotic song “Five Billion People Must Die.” At first I was like, “What are the odds?” but I think that the driving force behind thrash music is that you kind of want to kill everyone on the planet. 

NICK GAZIN
MMOSS
Only Children
Trouble in Mind
Most people pick the same sort of shit when asked, given the opportunity, which era they’d transport to in a time machine. A past littered with dinosaur crap, a future littered with alien (or robot) crap… isn’t it all the same shit? Sometimes you’ll get a guy who’d like to be sent back to colonial America so he can fuck with the Puritans. You know, “I’ll invent electricity and the internet, and they’ll think I’m God.” But it’s more like, “Nah, bud, they would hella burn you at the stake the minute you materialized by one of their ‘dour prudery’ congregations or whatever.” If you really want to get into it, if skipping across space-time is a reality of the future, I bet there’s a fiery pile of time-traveler skeletons keeping a bunch of robe-and-wig-wearing schmucks warm back in 1620. This album sounds like it could have been made by cartoon dinosaurs or grainy, B&W televised afterschool-special elves, is what I’m trying to say here.

SEAN YEATON
THE FAINT
Danse Macabre
(Deluxe Edition)
Saddle Creek
I sit across this girl from Omaha at work, and we’re pretty tight friends. Not like “take a bullet for me” tight, but we used to take smoke breaks together before I quit. We’ve definitely gotten hammer-drunk together at “work stuff,” but I can’t really handle that level of partying anymore. I guess people from Omaha still can, God bless ’em. Incidentally, I’ve eaten Thai food for lunch three times this week, and it’s Thursday. Hope it didn’t stink up the joint too bad. Hi, Kathleen! 

SEAN YEATON
BOOTBLACKS
S/T
Eve of the Last Migration
Bootblacks are a Brooklyn death-rock band that sound like Nick Cave and other gothy things you know and like. So, of course, they made a vinyl record limited to 500 copies with this topographic-map-style pattern silk-screened all over the front and back. Each copy is hand-numbered and has a little obi strip and an embossed sticker. It’s cool when a record and its packaging are about equally good. But, I wonder, why wasn’t this put out by Sacred Bones? I thought they cornered the market on beautifully and darkly crafted record packaging? Oh well, I guess they can go suck a good man’s dick for dropping the ball.

CHIM-CHIMENEY CHEROO

THE PHARMACY
Stoned & Alone
Old Flame
You know that smell of cigarette smoke mixed with leather, gasoline, and eyebrow-hair grease that conjures up every boner you’ve ever had? That’s this band, and this album is Life Viagra.

SATIN GRACELAND
TEEN DAZE
The Inner Mansions
Lefse
Some of the most frantic moments of my everyday life as a New Yorker have been spent squished between disgruntled nine-to-fivers and the graffiti-etched windows of the B train after it stalls out somewhere between Barclays Center and DeKalb Avenue. And I’ll tell you what: This serene, synthed-out situation IS NOT the antidote to ten claustrophobic and motionless minutes spent inhaling the regretful-lunch farts of strangers.

BECA GRIMM
MEMORY TAPES
Grace/Confusion
Carpark
Dude, I crashed my motherfucking four-wheeler into some rich fuck’s beach house. Luckily, there was this maniac sitting on the deck playing saxophone who looked exactly like that Jason Patric dude from The Lost Boys. Remember that guy? All sweat and hair? Who knows what happened to him (oh, right, Speed 2). Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s any sax on this album, but, for real, it DOES make me wanna have S-E-X. And I bet that at this very moment at least two people are banging the day away to the tempos of this record, and will double-down on that with 4:1 odds that they are absolutely NOT fatasses.

ORANGE JULIUS SIMPSON
THE WALKMEN
Heaven
Fat Possum
This is a very pretty record. In my mind, its title makes me picture a scene where I’m walking around in a city made out of clouds. This album is playing in my headphones while I skip along the ether, window-shopping up and down gilded and impeccably clean storefronts. Everything is so nice and pretty and smells of the cleanest of vaginas. But after thinking about that for a while, I get bummed out because this sort of place—heaven, if you will—doesn’t exist. A more accurate title for the Walkmen’s seventh LP might be Starbucks, because Starbucks is definitely a real place where very pretty, inoffensive music is always being played. It’s also a place where I take shits—without ordering anything, of course—when I’m stuck in the city and have to go.

DAVID BURN
GUIDED BY VOICES
The Bears for Lunch
Fire
Bob Pollard is 55, was born on Halloween, and, according to my research, is an alcoholic cyborg with no need for sleep and a digital liver that runs off Cheetos. He drinks at least 40-something beers on a slow day, releases at least ten records a year (this is the third GBV record released this year), and puts together pretty decent collages in his “free time.” All this, and the motherfucker still has a success rate of at least 85 percent. I’ll qualify that statement by admitting I haven’t heard all of it. No one has; no one could. I doubt that even Bob remembers more than a quarter of the stuff he’s written over the years. He has creative dysentery; it never stops. And, yeah, this record is great, but chill the fuck out already, Pops. Can’t you just be a cool-ass granddad and play catch with me every once in a while?

YOUR GRANDSON

SCHNEIDER TM
Construction Sounds
Mirrorworld Music
Whenever I ponder whether I’m actually enjoying a piece of experimental music or I’m just trying to jerk off my brain, what I’m really asking myself is: “Would I like this if I weren’t aware of the weird-ass context under which it was created?” This is especially the case with Construction Sounds—the result of Schneider TM spending eight years recording the sounds of construction sites near his home, which were slowly driving him insane. What the fuck were they building for eight years? Why didn’t he move? And why would he want to relive that experience by reverse-engineering nearly a decade’s worth of miserable noise? One thing I can say for certain is that the answers to these questions don’t matter and, at the end of the day, nobody really cares. I listened to this while lying on the ground in the middle of a pitch-black rainforest as bugs crawled all over me, and it was perfect, so that’s that.

DREW MILLARD
SUFJAN STEVENS
Silver & Gold
Asthmatic Kitty
I literally had to beg a friend who works in PR to email Asthmatic Kitty’s publicist to get a promo of this album to review (and to cherish) because my 50 or so requests went unanswered. If I’m honest with myself, this is probably because I’ve talked a little too much about how I’d love to scratch my back (and by “back,” I mean “tonsils”) with Sufjan’s penis, so I promise to be on my best behavior from here on out. But before that happens, I just HAVE to say this one thing: Hearing his voice sing “DING-A-LING-A-LING, JESUS IS THE KING” on this festive Christmas album isn’t exactly stifling my urge to make him get on all fours, tie a saddle around his torso, and ride him to and from the refrigerator like a manger donkey until he cries. On the real, though, Christmas albums are usually depressing because they are excellent at inducing déjà vu of your fucked-up childhood and dysfunctional family dinners (like that time your mom raped you with a gelatinous tube of cranberry sauce). But this one, my merry friends, is nice like a rub-and-tug from Mrs. Claus after a hard night of stuffing your fat ass down dirty chimneys. There’s even a song about unicorns! Sufjan is doing a tour for this album where he supplies songbooks to the crowd so that everyone can sing along with him. I’m gonna never break eye contact.

KAYLE MAQLUE

 

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