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three albums you've never listened to before (#1)

i love nearly all music genres...

and i have been resisting the urge to make a massive blog post because of it.

instead i'm going to work in increments of three every so often to ensure i'm not word vomiting everywhere and actually curating good recommendations...

so this is the start.

three albums you've never listened to before...

maybe you've heard of the artist, or a song or two off the album, but my goal is to give you three full albums. they are all albums i enjoy myself and i think have genuine merit in their respective genres!

Throwing Copper - LIVE

year: 1994

genre(s): alternative, rock, grunge, post-grunge

length: 59 minutes

this album was my favourite CD to drive to once upon a time. i would hop in my tiny car, one that still had a cigarette lighter with an ash tray inside, and i'd scoot around in the middle of the night blasting this bands wailing vocals. while LIVE might not be the most obscure band, and Throwing Copper is certainly their biggest album, i think the work as a whole is often over looked in favour of it's hits. it's a crime honestly. Throwing Copper has SO MUCH to offer! not only is each song outfitted with a catchy chorus and amazing rhythms from the drum and bass, but the tone and effects of the guitars fit right into the slot. the vocals are also unique and passionate, featuring a mix of Alice Cooper and Chevelle imo. with pounding songs like Stage and Iris pushing the album forward, to emotional tracks like Lightning Crashes, there is never a lull in entertainment.

as a whole project, the album has a relatively chill, laidback second half. most the heavy hitters remain upfront, but the change in pace helps carry a nice arch to the end. my favourite track is undeniably All Over You. it's not a deep cut by any means, but the twisting vocal melody, smooth lyrics, and bridge that digs straight into a great key change, it's hard not to love.

Protozoan Battle Hymns - Rhododendron

year: 2021

genre(s): punk, post-punk, math-rock, prog, noise, hard core, acid punk, experimental

length: 67 minutes

if you asked me to point at an obscure recommendation, this is where i'd be pointing. this band is so small, they've only sold ten physical CDs and play nearly exclusively in small basements in Portland. and yet they are one of the most innovative, interesting, and genius bands i've come across in the last few years. i was introduced to Rhododendron by a friend and i fell in love after a single listen through of this album. we laid on the floor of their basement and turned it up so loud the floor shook, which is definitely how it should be listened to. from the noisy, incomprehensible vocals, to the aggressive, acidic bass, and the screeching guitars, its a cluster fuck of everything i want to hear that will make my ears bleed. to produce an album on such a low budget with this much spirit and ingenuity is fabulous. in my far search, i have yet to find anything that sounds quite like this album.

the highlight of it all is the drums. they are the shining star in my eyes. at every moment they blast over the brutal chugging and cacophony of sound to deliver cutting crashes and snappy snare hits that rattle my brain into jelly. the opening track, Technicolor Incision, is my personal favourite, and where i think all my favourite elements meet in a perfect, disturbing, harmony. Last of the Painted Hills is a close second, and definitely has everything worthy of being a favourite! if this blend of music sounds like something you can handle, i think its worth a skim at the least! personally, i'd be eating a fat plate of this band everyday if i could.

12 Stars - Melissa Aldana

year: 2022

genre(s): jazz, experimental jazz

length: 45 minutes

i really struggled with what to include as a third album that wasn't more rock-adjacent music. should it be contemporary choir? ambient drone? j-pop? i came to the conclusion that i needed to mix it up with one of my favourite genres and include jazz. i first heard this album live while she was touring last year, and though Melissa Aldana is no hidden gem, i don't see her music enjoyed by the general jazz audience. i'll be the first to say, it's a challenging listen. imo as someone who has toiled over the theory behind this project, its best enjoyed by just experiencing and feeling the music. the impressive, technical saxophone comes as no surprise, but the ensemble behind is just as fabulous. this album weaves together a pleasant musical insanity that can only be achieved by this style of jazz and it does it expertly. everyone gets a moment to shine, as piano, guitar, drum, and bass all trade the melody back and forth.

The Fool is the track i feel best showcases everything that makes this album fantastic, with a gorgeous middle section that wanders into all kinds of interesting polyrhythms and arpeggios, only to return to familiar saxophone ideas that were presented earlier in the piece, only to then be expanded on and warped. this is the album that i think really pushes the limits of what an average jazz listener might consider enjoyable, and i can't explain enough how worth it it is to just allow 12 Stars to guide you to all the places your ear has never been before.

(my apologize that i couldn't find a full album video, i included a single track instead)


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