Today is Veterans Day in the US and Remembrance Day in Canada and the UK, so before we get to the new releases today I’d be remiss not to thank, on behalf of Playback and RX Music, the veterans and active service-people of the armed forces for their service and sacrifice at home and abroad. I have the ability to write about music because someone laid down their life, youth, sanity, or family member in the name of freedom and democracy. And as much as this kinda sounds like lip service, it’s really important to remember, quite frequently, the scale, severity, and human cost of the wars of the last century.
One feature I found earlier this week was from the Toronto-based Global News. They mapped every single war death in Toronto in the 20th century. For someone who currently resides in Toronto it seriously hit home to see that the family across the street lost all 3 sons at the Battle of Ypres in WWI. Horrifying.
But, let’s get on to the music, shall we?
Royksopp | The Inevitable End
This one has been on my watch list for quite a while. This, apparently, will be the Norweigian electronic duo’s last foray into the “classic album format”, and while they will not necessarily give up on music altogether, it looks like they’ll be focusing on singles, EP’s, and touring for the foreseeable future. When it comes to ‘final’ albums this is probably as good as they could have envisioned. Cohesive, addictive, combined with a sad tinge of bittersweet melancholy throughout – the album is about ‘the end’ and is not necessarily subtle about it either.
“You know I have to go… there’s nothing more to say.”
Parkay Quartz (Parquet Courts) | Content Nausea
This being their 4th studio album since 2011, and their second of 2014, one has to wonder how much music these New York studio brats have in them. Their never stagnant form of songwriting kinda makes the choice of album name sort of meta. When you’re never really standing still, but happy with it… what do you have? Content Nausea? Their own unique blend of weird bent Americana and punk garage rock really shines on this one and the fact that they can do this a mere months after their last studio record makes me think that there is a lot more where this came from. We’re looking at the beginning of a prolific songwriting career.
Hookworms | The Hum
Okay – so their first record, Pearl Mystic, was good. Hookworms were showcasing exactly what they were all about. And it was alright. Now, however, instead of burying the lead vocalist under layers of tension-and-release guitar and bass riffs while the lyrics and melodies were lost in the haze, The Hum brings this element to the foreground while still maintaining a shattering, head thrashing, heart pounding, fun to listen to record. Psychedelic Rock? Yeah, you could call it that. Or you could just call it a ton of fun.