Rico Nasty's Mosh Pit Music and 8 More Albums for Heavy Rotation

This week's essential listening also includes the return of Schoolboy Q, meditative drone metal, and an incredibly emotional footwork album.
April 26, 2019, 6:12pm

Every week, the Noisey staff puts together a list of the best and most important albums, mixtapes, and EPs from the past seven days. Sometimes it includes projects we’ve written about on the site already; sometimes it's just made up of great records that we want everyone to hear, but never got the chance to write about. The result is neither comprehensive nor fair. We hope it helps.

Rico Nasty and Kenny Beats: Anger Management

Rap’s best working wrecking crew—of Baltimore rapper Rico Nasty and reformed EDM dude Kenny Beats—turns in a project both the length and force of a classic hardcore record. Anger Management, perhaps paradoxically, is 18 minutes of music fit for elbowing your friends in the face, totally crushing and full of life. Rico’s always a compelling ringleader for this sort of thing—you can trust her repeated assurances that nobody else can touch her at her game, which is screaming over beats that hit like noise-hyphy. Kenny’s production takes on some new wrinkles care of some famous friends, Baauer shows up to make “Cheat Code” and “Big Titties” feel capable of toppling skyscrapers. But the best moment, for my money, is the barely minute-long “Relative” on which Harry Fraud jumps in for one of his signature slippery piano samples. Rico turns that into a rave-up too of course. She’ll mosh anywhere you let her. —Colin Joyce

ScHoolboy Q: CrasH Talk

ScHoolboy Q told GQ that he recorded three albums since 2017’s Blank Face LP in hopes to arrive at his fifth studio album. He didn’t release any of them. After two years in purgatory the Los Angeles rapper ended up with CrasH Talk, a 14-track album which finds him as poignant as he is playful.

His collaborations are dizzying. He’s incredibly horny on “Drunk” featuring 6LACK, and uses Ty Dolla $ign and YG to call people’s bluff on “Lies.” The best parts of CrasH Talk are the story-songs ScHoolboy uses to bookend the album. On “Tales” the rapper reminisces on the moment he gave up football and the idea of college, and the reality that could have been his future if it weren’t for rap. “The only way that we’ll see 30 ‘less we live in the can / Probably miss my mom funeral, my daughter a hoe / Because the man of the house ain’t the man no more,” he raps. The album’s closer, “Attention” brings Q’s story full circle as he recalls his favorite moments next to his idols: Jay-Z, Nas, and Dre. The song is a gut-punching reality check that the highest points of his life could not come without the lowest. —Kristin Corry

DJ Nate: Take Off Mode

Chicago mainstay DJ Nate had a long, unlikely journey to Take Off Mode. In the nine years since Da Trak Genious made him one of footwork’s first international stores, he seemingly turned his back on the genre, in favor of making colorful, fractalized versions of rap and R&B. He had no small amount of success in that field, before an accident at his day job left him briefly paralyzed from the neck down. As he recovers (he’s since regained his ability to walk), he returns to the sound he first mastered offering muscular and emotive takes on his city’s greatest gift to underground electronic music. Tracks like “Come Back” are full of brittle longing and “Fuck Dat” is full of deserved bravado—he works convincingly in either mode too. Nine years later, it feels like he’s picked up right where he left off. Now he’s ready to take off again. —Colin Joyce

The Mountain Goats: In League With Dragons

John Darnielle has been such a talented writer that he’s managed to expand and open up the affecting and layered world he’s created through 18 albums with the Mountain Goats. Always one to wear his dearest pop culture references on his sleeves, his band’s latest In League With Dragons is ostensibly a concept record inspired by the fantastical elements of Dungeons and Dragons but also features asides about baseball players (“Doc Gooden”), country legends (“Waylon Jennings Live!”) and true-crime (“Cadaver Sniffing Dog”). But more importantly, these are the most grandiose and cinematic Mountain Goats songs in the band’s catalogue, washed with strings, saxophone, and pristine production. It’s a new look for a band that’s always let Darnielle’s nasally croon and his words do the majority of the work but its ambition foretells a new way to keep the group fresh for the future. —Josh Terry

Sunn O))): Life Metal

These intercontinental drone mystics have promised that later this year they’ll be releasing a second “more meditative” record, but this one is plenty placid. Shepherded by Steve Albini, master of the minimal, they shirk the gothic architecture of their best known works in favor of four-long instrumentals that creep and roll like fog through a mountain clearing. There is some darkness inherent to their work—they harbor, as ever, a pentecostal appreciation for Sabbathian riffs stretched to infinity—but there’s something home-y about Life Metal. It’s like a weighted blanket you might hide under when it’s time to shut out the outside world. Heaviness isn’t always a burden, it can be a comfort too. —Colin Joyce

Claude Fontaine: Claude Fontaine

Claude Fontaine evocatively captures the spirit of ‘60s and ‘70s Jamaica on her self-titled debut album, echoing rocksteady rhythms and vibe of reggae. She does so in part thanks to bringing the original articles and pioneers into her backing band, enlisting Steel Pulse's Ronnie McQueen, Brazilian percussionist Airto Moreira, and several sidemen of acts like Ziggy Marley, Sergio Mendes, Gal Gosta, and more. It’s sunny escapism but one that can turn wistful on “Cry For Another” or longingly melancholic (“Pretending He Was You.”) When she sings on the latter, “All that I have is the dream of the past” it feels like a mission statement for the whole LP. She lovingly captures the spirit and the sonic textures of these records but does so in a way that’s natural and current. —Josh Terry

Kevin Morby: Oh My God

Kevin Morby’s fifth album Oh My God is his most intentional solo work yet. In his previous efforts, the songwriter has thrived on transience, nomadically bouncing between New York and LA crafting homespun songs that explore the edges of American music: folk, rock’n’roll, and soul. But here, he ditches much of the ramshackle arrangements for his must lushly-orchestrated LP yet while still managing to keep his plainspoken warmth as a frontman. Throughout the expansive 14 tracks, Morby’s focused on religious imagery, whether it’s repurposing a guilt-heavy childhood prayer for the opening of “Congratulations” or reimagining lines from his single “Beautiful Strangers” into the more rollicking context of “OMG Rock n Roll.” Morby decided to approach the album with a piano-first philosophy, largely ditching guitars, especially on the title-track opener, and it sets an intimate, almost spiritual tone for the following songs. —Josh Terry

Otoboke Beaver: ITEKOMA HITS

Formed in 2009 at Kyoto University’s music club, the four-piece Otoboke Beaver has been carving at the edges of confrontational punk across three albums and a handful of EPs and singles. ITEKOMA HITS, their fourth, feels like the best encapsulation of their uncompromising vision; it’s as unhinged as it is unpredictable. Taking already-released songs from 2016’s Bakuro Book EP, their 2017 Love Is Short EP, their 2018 single “anata watashi daita ato yome no meshi,” plus seven new tracks, the 14-song LP broadcasts what makes the band great by being loud, in-your-face, and deliriously fun. — Josh Terry, “Brace Yourself for the Frenetic Punk of Japan’s Otoboke Beaver”

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard: Fishing For Fishies

The intensely prolific Melbourne band has been stretching out and deconstructing psychedelic music so expertly that their constant barrage of new music is more a welcome experience than an inundation. With their latest, Fishing For Fishies, King Gizz use American blues as a template to showcase their wildly experimental and adventurous arrangements. Take “Boogieman Sam,” a classic rocker complete with harmonica riffs and choogling groove. Elsewhere on single “The Bird Song,” the band ventures into a more yacht-ready territory, evoking the breezy noodling of Steely Dan. By the end of the tracklist, it’s clear there's no road in the nebulous genre of rock music King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard won’t gleefully run on. —Josh Terry