BEST ALBUM OF THE MONTH
MEATBODIES: Meatbodies (In the Red/Border)
If Meatbodies were a woman, they'd be the hottest grungy chick with Jun-tea breath and a Propagandhi hoodie and hair dyed a bunch of colours. I would give a year's worth of my pitiful VICE salary to eat 2C-B and make sweet, sweet love to her in a passive-solar straw-bale home. Actually, that fantasy is pretty close to the first time I got a tuggy in eighth grade—she was also hot and rainbow-headed. This band probably knows their way around an HJ, too. What I'm trying to say is that I love this record.
THE INTREPID TRAVELER
WORST ALBUM OF THE MONTH
CHARLI XCX: Sucker (Warner/Neon Gold)
"Break the Rules," the first single off Charli XCX's new album, Sucker, premiered August 18, 2014, on BuzzFeed.com.
BEST COVER OF THE MONTH
RUN THE JEWELS: Run the Jewels 2 (Mass Appeal/Playground)
Politically this is perfect, and the production is stellar. One thing, though: You guys have got to chill on the enunciations. I know you put a ton of thought into all those lyrics about social oppression, and I totally back them, but, like, I don't need to hear every single syllable. Rap should be cool, and coolness is inversely proportional to how well people can understand you. That's why people love Bob Dylan and have forgotten about Donovan. If you need me, I'll be over here listening to Young Thug again.
FRANK LLOYD TIGHT
WORST COVER OF THE MONTH
CARIBOU: Our Love (Merge/Playground)
Caribou was a pretty cool psychedelic rock band back in the early aughts, but then the main dude listened to way too much Four Tet and went stupid. The album cover of Our Love looks like an overpriced shower curtain you'd buy at Urban Outfitters, and the songs sound like the shit they play at sushi restaurants in Nolita.
Tinashe sounds great, looks great, and probably smells great. Well, I've never taken a whiff of her, but I'm thinking she either smells like Dove body wash and rose petals or White Diamonds by Elizabeth Taylor, Cheeto dust, and cognac.
"The Man" might make you believe that rappers need to rap about sex, drugs, and violence to be cool, but like every other time "The Man" told you anything, he's lying. No one gives a fuck about lyrics as long as the singer sounds cool, and Eric Biddines sounds as cool as what you would get if you defrosted a frozen caveman and played him a bunch of Dungeon Family records—which is why he can get away with spending half an album rapping about coffee.
Everybody knows that the least cool genre of music is instrumental hip-hop. Flying Lotus knows too, which is why half of this album is instrumental jazz freakouts that might impress anybody who's never listened to Sun Ra. Congratulations, Flying Lotus, you've made the new favourite album of state-college stoner trash. Not even an overpriced Kendrick Lamar verse can save you.
Yeah, we gave the Flying Lotus album the finger and are currently tongue-polishing Yung Lean's hairless Swedish asshole. We did it for two reasons. One, Yung Lean made the druggiest rap album of the year. Two, we wanted to piss off all the true heads.
Someone who cares more about the ethics of reviewing music than I do once said that you should never meet the artist whose album you're reviewing, because you'll end up reviewing the person rather than the work. Well, T.I. came to our office like three weeks ago and he was a swell fellow. This album could have been a word-for-word cover of Having Fun with Elvis on Stage and we still would've thought it was the best thing since the Animorphs book series. Hopefully T.I. doesn't get into jewelry next, because I would totally buy whatever he was pushing even if it were cat turds wrapped in tinfoil with some fishhooks through them.
Like a Kate Bush who reads expensive fashion magazines instead of dreaming up new types of elves, Jessie Ware makes heartbreaking English synth-pop for Pitchfork readers and other women I love who will eventually dump me. Unlike every barista who stomped on my heart, my girl Jessie understands my pain. She sings breakup songs and probably smokes Lucky Strikes outside of Tesco. She knows our pain. She's felt it, too.
WILLIAM "REFRIGERATOR" CARLOS WILLIAMS
Peaking Lights' latest turd takes the proverbial space cake for shameless self-parody. They only sing gibberish about telepathy, "knowing eyes of cosmic dust," and vague non sequiturs about fucking aliens. Not actually, like, fucking aliens, but I'd be more interested in a concept album about E.T.'s sordid, coke-fueled jizzfest in Sri Lanka than this butt cheese.
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I am giving this a good review because I grew up listening to Bloc Party. I no longer criticise the things I liked when I was younger, prettier, smarter, thinner, and poorer. Since I'm too fat and lame to be cool now, I prefer to pine for my long-lost relevance. Thanks for everything, Kele. Even if this album were 67 minutes of nonstop fart noises looped over phone calls from inside the World Trade Center, I'd still like it.
I always wished Robyn fucked with downers and Robert Smith were a girl who sang over macabre club beats. Luckily, Zola Jesus has answered my prayers, and ironically, she's given me more concrete answers than anything that other Jesus ever did.
WILSON DE GOUVEIA
Mass & Volume
I have night terrors. One time I had a night terror about having a night terror in which I was terrified I would shit my pants because of a night terror. Pig Destroyer allows me to feel this same combination of doom and excitement without even having to poop.
.5: The Gray Chapter
God, you know the smell of those latex Halloween masks? I had a Hellraiser one and, as much as I wanted to look scary as shit while trick-or-treating, I would have rather been sodomised by a talking tree from The Lord of the Rings than breathe all night in that thing. I feel the same way when I listen to Slipknot.
Some bands don't give a shit. Other bands actively go out of their way to prove they don't give a shit, but in the process end up proving they give way too much of a shit. Then there are bands like Oozing Wound that go so out of their way to prove they don't give a shit that their music gets absorbed into the rectum of suck and then barfed out the mouth of awesome, leading to life-changing gnarly tunes that make you want to chug a beer while conducting a human sacrifice.
There's a lot of good metal music and a lot more dogshit metal music. Everyone knows this—with the exception of 12-year-olds who blow their allowance money on MIW shirts and GarageBand drum samples that sound like elves violently masturbating inside a vacuum. Look, there's endless metal out already and thousands of other records you could be listening to besides this one.
Eleven Seven Music/Warner
I'm gonna let you guys in on a little secret: Most of the time, we don't actually listen to the records we review. These reviews are basically repositories for our shitty dick jokes and attempts at smug self-awareness to counterbalance the overwrought poverty porn and "investigative journalism" found in the rest of this shitrag. Other times, we genuinely try to listen to the albums but are so repulsed by how dog-awful the first song is that we just stop there. Congratulations, Sixx:A.M. We gave your music a shot, and we hated it.
Plowing into the Field of Love
Put away your pitchforks, shotguns, bowie knives, sporks, cheese graters, dynamite, and anthrax—we're not going to shit on the new Iceage album. It's the soundtrack of the cartoon with the woolly mammoth voiced by Ray Romano, right? If so, ROCK ON! I love to laugh. And so does my young son, Cody. Watching Ice Age is the only way I can get him to shut the fuck up!
Xerxes was the uncomfortably oily Persian god-king in the movie 300. He may have the body of Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson and the face of Nikki Minaj, but his soldiers lost in a battle against the Spartans because he was too busy shaving his chest with a sharpened elephant tusk to lead an army. Xerxes was also the name of an 80s hair-metal dad band from North Carolina. And this band, too.
A few years ago, I downloaded Taylor Swift's Red on a train ride to Scotland because a British boy I loved said he never wanted to talk to me again. "All Too Well" seemed like a good song to cry to. Two nights later, I took care of the same boy as he vomited in a bathroom at a rave. As his fag hag dragged him home, he forgave me. The album 1989 perfectly renders how I felt dancing at the rave after that, just as Red perfectly captured how I felt when he never wanted to talk to me again. It's perfect.
THE WORLD IS A BEAUTIFUL PLACE & I AM NO LONGER AFRAID TO DIE
If you've ever wondered what it would sound like if a freshman writing workshop recited their poetry about space travel, sacred geometry, and the tangential tendencies of our bodies' atoms while seven people played guitar at the same time, this record is a good starting point.
WILSON DE GOUVEIA
When I was in high school in Oregon, I lived near a big commune-type house called Stonehenge. A guy named Samuel ran it. He wore overalls, had Pippi Longstocking braids, and owned a pet chicken named Henrietta. One night I visited his house to see Wampire play in the basement. I don't think the band had actual songs—they just led the crowd in a chant of "Fuck the police, fuck the po-lice, fuck 'em." Later that night, the cops showed up and asked Samuel if he wouldn't mind shutting down the party. Heading home, my buddy tripped and twisted his ankle, and the police gave him a lift to urgent care. Goddamn fucking fascists.
This record makes my body move in sinful, disgusting ways that would get me banned from most indoor shopping malls. I can't listen to any Kindness songs while operating heavy machinery. I suggest staying at least 50 feet away from me while I'm jamming, because my violent pelvic thrusts might stab your eyes out. If the US military could weaponise funky grooves and hideous, erotic dancing, I could take down ISIS.
Ex Cops know they're ridiculous, but they make no feigned attempts to stop looking like assholes. The duo deliberately goes hog-wild with laser-tag and dying-plasma-ball sounds, singing lines like "You bleed on me / This dress is so expensive" with a straight face. These are meditations fit for a recovering American Girl doll as she enters her DJ phase. Whatever, let's dance.
PERSONAL GROWTH BARBIE
Everything Will Be Alright in the End
This album was supposed to be different. White people everywhere were clawing at their flannels in anticipation for the return of mid-90s Weezer: catchy melodies, crunchy power chords, and nerdy appeal. There are no Lost actors on the cover, and the songs were going to be better than "Pork and Beans." But alas, this album blows. Somewhere in the world, Ric Ocasek and Rivers Cuomo are high-fiving while watching a live feed of me crying.
CHARLES K. BLISS
I spread my fingers in between the soft grass, still moist from the morning dew. In my peripherals, I see a butterfly with wings of burnt amber. My insect brother perches himself atop my kneecap. "Hello, friend," I mumble softly. A gentle breeze blows through the valley, and I'm glad to be wrapped snugly in my periwinkle shawl. I take a bite of my lingonberry crostini and wash it down with a robust sip of Vita Coco. Vashti is love. Vashti is life.
DON JUAN MATUS
Philip Selway is the drummer for Radiohead, which means he could launch a nuclear-grade turd out of his butthole and people would still buy it. The dude could record himself talking to a Time Warner representative and loop it over the sound of his fist going in and out of a giant tub of cottage cheese, and his fans would pay $1.99 per download. Which is good for him, because this album is what you get when you black out on Xanax and wake up with a handful of songs.
The Best Day
Thurston Moore murdered the dream of true post-punk love when he decided to live a double life with a woman young enough to be his daughter. The Best Day is when Kim Gordon realised he was a two-timing dick and moved on. Behind the guitar riffs and psychedelic noise, I can only hear Kim kicking Thurston's lying ass to the curb.
FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE
In a land where "anything goes," does anything really matter? Are we prepared to live in a world without rules? Can our society handle the responsibility of pure, visceral anarchy? Who will pave our roads? Who will teach our children? Who will polish our silverware or drive our taxis? How will I get reception on my cell phone? What will come of us if anything truly does go? Florida Georgia Line doesn't fucking know.
SACK-O AND VANZETTI
THE FLAMING LIPS
Hey, Steven Drozd: On the off chance you're buying a new American Apparel cape for your stage costume and decide to flip through our magazine, listen up. YOU'RE BETTER THAN THIS, MAN. Can't you make some music on your own to balance out this crap? Can't you go all Jonny Greenwood and start writing symphonies or scoring movies? I'm only giving this record a smiley because you seem like you need a confidence boost before you get matching tattoos with Wayne and Miley.
Then It All Came Down is 2014's "We Are the World" for the drone-metal community but with zero charitable aspirations. J. R. Robinson leads the chaos with a rotating roster of members of Chicago experimental staples, like Corrections House, Codeine, and Indian. The result is like that one time I got unreasonably stoned before a flight to Texas—an attractive plan until I was miles away from comfort. Don't listen to this high.
THE DANGER BOYS
Your lead singer gave me your album when he was carrying a chair around Coney Island in his underwear. He looked like Lion-O from ThunderCats. I expected beautiful tortured, bleeding-heart songs because anyone who degrades himself in public must pour some serious neuroses into his music. Sadly, the album is full of bleepy-bloopy songs that sound like drug music made by people who have never done drugs. I'll never trust a naked man carrying furniture again.