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Hatchie - Keepsake Music Album Reviews

Hatchie's platonic ideal of dream pop goes down a bit too easy, like another rewatch of a John Hughes film.
Shoegaze offers the perfect place to bury bad feelings; there is a storied legacy of groups like Slowdive and Mazzy Star sinking Tory conservatism and post-breakup remorse into hazy swirls of distortion. Harriette Pilbeam uses Hatchie as an outlet for more quotidian concerns — friendships, romances, nostalgia. On her EP Sugar & Spice, Pilbeam offered glassy guitars, long sighs, and some bright choruses, but there was nothing darker beneath the surface to reward your close, ongoing attention. She promised a broader palette for her debut, but Keepsake feels hemmed in by the same lack of depth. Pillbeam's platonic ideal of dream pop goes down a bit too easy, like another rewatch of a John Hughes film.





Full of Hell - Weeping Choir Music Album Reviews

On their Relapse debut, the infernal Full of Hell crack apart metal genres like oracle bones.

Full of Hell can be hard to parse, even for those well-versed in grindcore or for connoisseurs of harsh noise. The East Coast outfit—with its members split between Maryland and Pennsylvania—have made their name by cracking apart genre conventions like oracle bones. Grindcore, hardcore, and death metal meet within their music to produce something feral and unknowable, doubly so when they team up with other like-minded oddballs like The Body or Merzbow. There’s just something about them, a reason that they’ve been met with such acclaim and fervent fandom. The nihilistic vibe helps—when Samuel DiGristine gurgles, “All goes onward and outward/All collapses” on “Silmaril,” it’s hard not to shudder.

Recorded by the legendary Kurt Ballou at God City, the band’s third album (and Relapse Records debut) is intended as a companion piece to the band’s innovative 2017 LP, Trumpeting Ecstasy, but even a passing listen shows that the band’s interests have shifted a bit. The band’s affinity for the most bestial side of grind is on full display, and on Weeping Choir, only death is real.

“Burning Myrrh” blasts the record wide open with two minutes of pummeling grind, dual vocalists Dylan Walker and Samuel DiGristine frantically trading off registers like they’re pulling a double shift in hell’s biggest department store. “Haunted Arches” abruptly ends with a few seconds of warped, ghostly audio reminiscent of The Caretaker’s bastardized 1930s parlor recordings, before “Thundering Hammers”—an apt title if there ever was one—comes crashing down, its destructive grooves redolent of classic Morbid Angel.

They veer between the swampy, old-school stomp of death metal and cerebral, choppy swaths of experimental brutality, keeping the tone and pace unpredictable. “Downward” veers away from the bludgeoning pace of the album’s first half into more complex territory, while “Silmaril” is distinguished by its inhuman howls and gleefully ignorant goregrind stomp. The track that separates the two, “Armory of Obsidian Glass,” is an album highlight—a measured dollop of thoroughly haunted death/doom that stretches to nearly seven minutes, periodically collapsing into puddles of sometimes-wretched, often-lovely ambient noise and featuring guest vocals from Lingua Ignota’s Kristin Hayter. The profane marriage of old and new, big ugly riffs and shrieking noise, beauty and brutality seems like the clearest marker indicating where Full of Hell may intend to head next.

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