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New Musical Friends I Made In 2011

Posted in interesting things that caught my attention, Lists, math-rock, music, the universe will wreck you with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 01/13/2012 by alex c

Near the end of 2011, as I was ruminating about my favorite albums of the previous three hundred fifty days, my thoughts couldn’t help but gravitate toward all the new older music I had been turned on to over the course of the year. A few months back, when I wasn’t working a whole lot, I got a little obsessive with my music cataloging and tagging. Once you get into the grit of that, you start to notice patterns in listening, in collecting, in traversing histories, et cetera. So when I decided to compile my own year-end-best list, I thought I would do a full post on some of the other new material that happened to be released during a previous calendar. Sure, I wanted to have this done over a week ago, but I’ve been both extraordinarily busy of late and it was also just fun to go back and have a bunch more listens to all this stuff. (I plan on continuing this practice, as it also happens to be a great memory aide.) So what follows is basically alphabetical accounting of my favorite non-2011 music I first heard in 2011.

AnacrusisManic Impressions (1990), CoronerMental Vortex (1991)

As far as I could tell, 2011 was a major year for two already-hot metal trends. So much of what made people’s year-end lists was either “doom”-y or “black[ened]” or some combo. I can’t say I eschewed those trends in my listening habits at all, but one thing I did do was some thrash history homework. At some point in late spring I got an old Voivod album I hadn’t yet heard, Dimension Hatross, that has since become my favorite in their catalog. Not long after that I got turned on to Swiss prog-thrashers Coroner. I had always been under the mistaken impression that these guys were a hair metal band, but whoa was I way wrong. A similar mistake was made with Anacrusis, whom I believed a crust band or something (c’mon, the name totally sounds like a crust band!). One could simply say Anacrusis were the American apex of this triad, so that’s what I’ll do. Both bands wrote technically-adept, yet infectious, songs with sweet guitar riffs (and solos!) and flow-savvy rhythm sections. No, I don’t really know what “flow-savvy” means, but I’m thinking melodic basslines that are interesting in their own right (Cliff Burton style) and drummers who never overdid the flash but were some happy [triangular] medium between Lars Ulrich’s technically-limited solidity, Dave Lombardo’s davelombardosity and a generalized math-tastic choppyness. Every metalhead worth her salt probably knew these two bands inside out already, so consider me “caught up” now. So good. Continue reading