Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Record store haul: May 23, 2015

It's been just under two months since my last haul—I wasn't planning on going but I was in the area and had some free time. And, apparently, cash to burn. Despite the increasing stock of crappy, overpriced represses (I try to never pay more than $15 for a typical record, and neither should you!), I managed to snag a pretty decent selection of music.

Ballast – Fuse (LP, $8)

Remember these guys from the last haul? They had both albums there, and since I liked the first one I picked out so much I decided to grab the second. More of the same slightly-melodic, slightly-crusty hardcore. Not sure which one is better yet, as I've given each just a spin or two, but these guys are still really good. I doubt they're still around (it's hard to say for sure) but if not, at least they left us with two fantastic albums.

Snowblood – The Human Tragedy (LP, $4)

This is a random obscure sludge metal band I discovered a couple years ago; they're not fantastic but their music is pretty decent if you're a die-hard sludge fan like me. For some reason there were three copies of this one in different parts of the store; they were all in disappointing shape but at the price it was hard to pass up, if not just to play once or twice and see how they sound on vinyl.

Cloud Rat – Cloud Rat (LP, $3)

I had actually heard of this band before—I got one of their splits in a mail-order haul from an online distro and they were decent enough, and $3 for an LP (even a shorter one) is a good deal. And they're great on this album, too; furious, relentless grindcore that tries (and succeeds) to push a few boundaries and stand out. These guys are worth checking out.

Muslimgauze – Deceiver (2×CD, $9)

I've been meaning to check out Muslimgauze for ages, hearing about his stuff here and there on the Internet for years, and I suppose it's finally time. I generally like middle-eastern-influenced music (maybe because I listen to so little of it so it's usually new and interesting), and Muslimgauze combines traditional Arabic tribal music with heavy, glitchy, and very-'90s-sounding electronic beats, combined with ambient sound collages and some stuff that sounds like noisy hip hop. It's pretty neat stuff, though I'm not sure how he managed to keep up the same shtick for the dozens of albums he did; even these two discs start to drag on after a while (after all, it's over two hours of material). Still, a cool novelty and I'm glad I eventually got around to looking into it.

Atheist – Elements (CD, $7)

Atheist – Jupiter (CD, $5)

I don't listen to much older death metal, but when I do, it's usually Atheist. (Maybe because they're only sort-of-death-metal—there's a lot of proggy jazzy stuff in there). I discovered these guys only kind of recently but I have been loving all of their albums; even though the first two are usually considered the best I think Elements is my personal favorite, and Jupiter is still good despite being the odd one out (released after a seventeen-year gap). Elements is a 2005 remaster from Relapse and, while I'm usually not thrilled about remasters and represses, I think I prefer this edition. You get some nice bonus tracks and it sounds amazing in the car—something I can't say for most older metal. One of those bands that, if you're into death metal at all, you should listen to at least once.

Robedoor – Rancor Keeper (CD, $5)

This is the third time I've gotten Robedoor from the record store even though (like I mentioned in an earlier review) I'm pretty sure I don't really care much for it. Drone can be good stuff but Robedoor is usually kind of boring. But this album is actually pretty good, and it had been so long since I listened to it that I forgot all about it. No, it's not amazing as far as drone goes, but there's some interesting stuff going on and not just indie-avant-wankering like I usually get with these kinds of releases. Even if the music isn't noteworthy the packaging on this album is really cool—the vertical cardboard gatefold has this neat angular-cut housing for the CD with a foam liner. Unique, if nothing else. Plus the Cthulhu wizard guy on the cover is pretty rad, you have to admit.

Various artists – D;O;UXF? (CD, $3)

Supposedly this is a compilation of local Columbus bands, though I wouldn't have known since I've never heard of a single one of these bands before—but the extra sticker teasing "OLD, WEIRD CBUS COMP" was hard to resist. Even the cashier told me I was in for a treat. There's a really bizarre mix of music here—going from noise to weirdo minimalist electronic to funk rock to cybergrind (and those last two were even the same band). Compilations like this are usually neat in concept but provide average music; this one isn't much of an exception. It's neat, and I'm glad it exists, but I probably won't be listening to it much at all, though there are a couple standout artists.

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