Skip to main content

Featured Post

Doug Paisley - Starter Home Music Album Review

Gracefully navigating the intersection of folk-rock and country, the gentle-voiced songwriter turns detailed images of domestic tranquility and promise into reflections on disappointment.
For a decade, Canadian singer/songwriter Doug Paisley has turned quiet, specific moments into inquiries on life’s larger struggles. On his 2010 breakthrough, Constant Companion, Paisley used the inevitability of endings to explore understanding oneself, the only possible “constant companion.” For 2014’s Strong Feelings, he mulled death and its uneasy relationship with life, or how their juxtaposition ripples into every wave of existence. And now, on his fourth album, Starter Home, Paisley details the chasm that separates what poet Seamus Heaney described as “getting started” and “getting started again.” These songs examine how the person you are never truly aligns with the person you want to be, especially when you stumble upon a sticking point that’s hard to move past.



The Necks - Body Music Album Reviews

The Necks’ 20th album is as laser-focused on repetition as ever. But for the first time, the trio indulges its rock’n’roll instincts, resulting in one of the most powerful albums in the band’s catalog.

Spoiler alerts do not apply to the Necks. For nearly three decades, the instrumental Australian trio has often followed a deceptively simple formula, both in the studio and on stage: Begin in miniature, with discrete thoughts stated patiently with grand piano, upright bass, and spare drums. Over the course of an hour or so, ratchet up the intensity and density of those phrases, expanding and interlocking them until they suggest much more than those primitive elements—perhaps a symphony, sustaining a crescendo as if holding a collective breath, or a large free-jazz ensemble, locked inside an unexpected moment of improvisational communion. There are, of course, exceptions. Sometimes they update their palette, adding a guitar here, an organ there; sometimes they invert the mold, so a monolithic sound breaks down rather than building up. But listening to the best of the Necks’ 20 albums can feel like watching a favorite movie for the 10th time; you get the plot and have even memorized some of its tricks, but changes in your own perspective let you see it anew, to discover a new thread inside a pattern you thought you knew.

That said, spoiler alert: Almost halfway into Body, the trio’s engrossing and overwhelming 20th album, the Necks shoot from a slumber of pensive bass and piano into a clanging post-rock eruption, where walloped drums swing hard and heavy beneath pounded keys and shrieking electric guitar that washes everything in vivid neon streaks. The first time you hear it, you may jolt upright with surprise, as if a boogeyman has suddenly appeared from around a corner in that movie you thought you knew so well. But this is not a blip. For a quarter-hour, the Necks grind away at this theme, rending a basic rock’n’roll riff and rhythm into utter dust.

Tony Buck, who tortures his drums and tames the electric guitar here, is the anchor and the aggressor. But it’s Chris Abrahams, ducking behind the cover of Buck and bassist Lloyd Swanton, who dances inside the din with boogie-woogie piano lines. Like funhouse mirrors, his harmonies reflect and reshape foundational rock chords, offering flickers of light from inside the storm. The unexpected stretch matches the delirious heights of the reborn version of Swans, when Michael Gira’s big band would lash out at a melody for half an hour, or the dizzying swirl of Rhys Chatham’s Guitar Trio, where one chord played over and over against a swinging beat somehow produces a trance. This is ecstatic music, as engrossing and powerful as anything the Necks have ever made.

The middle of Body is so jarring and thrilling it runs the risk of overshadowing the rest of the album. Divided into four unequal movements, though, these 57 minutes include some of the Necks’ most delicate and considered playing this decade, and especially since their 2013 opus, Open. The first section is a classic Necks incantation—infinite piano glissandi scaling the sides of kinetic percussion and bulbous bass thuds. It conveys a restless and anxious feeling, the equivalent of watching a lab rat scurry inside some booby-trapped labyrinth. At one point, Buck divides the beat by shuffling brushes or perhaps a chain over his snare drum, evoking a snake’s threatening hiss.

In the brief second section, the Necks linger inside a quiet world of organ whirrs, repetitive piano chords and bass tones, and sweeps of acoustic guitar. It is ominously still, setting up the sense that something cataclysmic is going to happen, that something has got to give. The eruption that follows—those 15 minutes when the Necks become a glorious post-rock band—is an escape valve for pressure that has nowhere else to go. It cannot last, either. The Necks allow it to collapse into a reverie of bowed bass, chiming bells, granulated piano, and crackling electronics. The drums occasionally flare up into aftershocks, but the end is mostly about surveying the damage, like waking up after a party or emerging after a tornado and deciding what’s next. As it fades into a distended hum, Body offers no clues or answers—only a little light for you to see what remains.

The Necks’ iterative framework has always allowed for individual interpretation. Decorated only with minimalist art or august landscapes, their records have been like expressionist paintings, meticulously constructed but emotionally conducive to the user’s own narrative and meaning. That applies to Body, sure, but something feels different here—ominous, urgent, melancholy. All this action builds only to fall apart, leaving us in a void of silence. For a trio that has reveled in building its own little worlds for three decades, Body feels newly reflective of our space and time, a stark and jarring statement about the precipice of modern life. This is as high as the Necks have ever taken us and, as such, as low as they’ve ever left us. This time, it’s hard to listen to the Necks and hear anything but our world, sounded back.

View the original article here


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular posts from this blog

Synology Mesh Router MR2200ac Review

You probably know Synology for making NAS drives but the firm has also turned its hand to mesh networks. Here we review the MR2200ac.
Should I Buy The Synology Mesh Router MR2200ac?
Synology could do a little more to explain the many features of the MR2200ac for first-time users, but the strong performance of this mesh system, and the fine-control provided by its web browser interface make it a good option for business users or home users who have a little more experience of networking technology.

Oppo RX17 Pro Review

Though similar to the OnePlus 6T the Oppo RX17 Pro is very different thanks to the software. Here’s our full review
Should I Buy The Oppo RX17 Pro?
The RX17 Pro is a great looking phone with good performance and a lush display. But with a Snapdragon 710 rather than the better 845 it’s just impossible not to compare it to the OnePlus 6T which looks the same, has better software for the western market and, importantly, costs less.
If you like the look of Oppo’s interface though then there’s a lot to like. The two colour options are premium as is the build quality and the cameras are above average if not great.

Moto Z4 Play Release Date, Price & Spec Rumours

We investigate rumours surrounding the Moto Z4 Play, which could be announced in June 2019 with an in-display fingerprint sensor.
Announced in June 2018, the Moto Z3 Play was never joined in the UK by the standard Moto Z3. It's possible that for the Z4 series we will again see only the Play model go on sale here, with the Moto Z4 Play expected to be announced in the UK in mid-2019.

Dell XPS 13 (2019) vs Dell XPS 13 (2018)

Can Dell make its XPS 13 laptop any better? Well it's tried with a new 2019 model so we compare the two and explain what has and hasn't changed.
Should I Buy The Dell XPS 13 9370 (2018) Or Dell XPS 13 (2019)?
There’s a new XPS 13 in town but you’ll struggle to justify the upgrade from 2018’s model with namely a new webcam as a headline upgrade.
Sure, there are other upgrades to the the core specs but for most people, these will be fairly insignificant. The inclusion of a cheaper Core i3 model is particularly interesting.

2019 Lincoln Continental Review

If you’re tired of the same old luxury options, the 2019 Lincoln Continental provides a refreshingly retro-cool alternative.
The 2019 Lincoln Continental is a big, luxurious American sedan at a time when Americans are hardly buying big, luxurious American sedans anymore. Regardless, it’s a throwback ride with plenty of character, great value, lots of power, and a classic nameplate. We give it 7.5 out of 10 overall.
Among European and Japanese rivals with established models – S-Class, 7 Series, LS – this Lincoln stands out for several reasons, chief among them its nameplate. With the Continental, Lincoln has one of the most storied American car names.

Like Fan Page