Welcome to the weekend, the first of the season where snow is expected here in the Hudson Valley. The whole day has that snow feel and it's nice and seasonal and perfect for staying inside and listening to music. It's been another week of new releases that I've been looking forward to. Most were as good as expected, though there was one that was a bit of let down. You can't win them all though, so I'll take it. Hopefully there's something here you'll want to check out. Enjoy.
Electric Wizard - Wizard Bloody Wizard: The ninth album from the now legendary UK sludge metal band may just be their finest album to date, which is saying a lot considering how much I love this band. It was a bold move to name it after Sabbath's classic, but it lives up to the name. Since their early heavy days, they've embraced psych metal more and more over their past few releases. "Necromania," "Wicked Caresses," and "Mourning of the Magicians" are standouts on a fantastic record.
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - Who Built the Moon: Noel's third album since leaving Oasis doesn't stray far from the sound he's established for his new project. It's hyper-produced and filled with lots of guitars, the marked difference on here is the lowered vocals, which I actually believe to be a mistake. Noel's voice gets lost in the sound, falling into background noise. It picks up on the second half, after starting off very sub-expectations. "Black and White Sunshine," "Be Careful What You Wish For," and "Dead Man in the Water" are standouts. It sounds more like an album Ian Brown or Johnny Marr would put out than anyone associated with Oasis. It's okay, but Liam's album is better.
Langhorne Slim - Lost at Last Vol. 1: The seventh album from the NYC based singer songwriter is another gem to add to his catalog. After a slightly disappointing album two years ago, this is a return to the stellar form of 2012's The Way We Move. Though I still prefer that album, this is one of the better folk rock albums of the year. His storytelling has always been one of his strengths, along with his pickin' skills, both of which shine on this record. "Life is Confusing," "House of My Soul," "Never Break," and "Alligator Girl" are my personal favorites.
Kadavar - Rough Times: The fourth album from the German stoner metal band is their best since their 2012 debut. Though I've enjoyed all of their work, this one shows some real growth as they delve into the heavy psych genre with great success. With this album, they've cemented themselves as one of the premiere bands of the genre. "Die Baby Die," "Tribulation Nation," "The Lost Child," and the title track are among my favorites.
Phoebe Bridgers - Stranger in the Alps: The debut album from the L.A. indie singer songwriter is a truly beautiful piece of moody folk that reminds me a bit of Conor Oberst in it's honesty (who guests on this album), and a bit of Catpower in it's soft strength. A truly beautiful album that is perfect for early mornings (or late nights that turn into early mornings). "Scott Street," "Would You Rather," and "Killer" are standouts on a wonderful debut.