Archive for April, 2021


I’m Perfect…

I’m a guy, I so happen to be white, too. I got it easy. But the opposite sex, regardless of race, though that compounds the challenges, is a different story. There is a societal expectation for women to look a certain way and act a certain way. You’re not perfect if you don’t fit that mold. It’s not right, far from even beginning to be fair. Thankfully, we have strong women standing behind the microphone armed with instruments of mass destruction. With fierce, insightful vocals, and riot-inducing instrumentation, Philadelphia’s Mannequin Pussy want to grab you by the collar and shake all misogynistic BS out of our not trying hard enough society with their latest single, “Perfect”. A blistering tsunami of a track off the forthcoming Perfect E.P. set for a May 21 release.

When you’re redlining, going forth with everything you have in the moment, you can only sustain a short duration. Why not plug in, crank the dial, and ramp up the intensity for a mesmerizing 82 seconds? Front woman Missy Dabice vehemently confronts this societal dilemma over raging, burst an ear drum instrumentation. A peaceful demonstration will only get you so far. If you want to truly stir shit up, cause a ruckus, and get someone’s attention to shift society’s mis-actions, you have to come armed with the immense power this punk trio is brandishing all over “Perfect”.

Look at my body/Tell me it’s it

Tell me I’m royal/Tell me I’m rich

Kiss all my holes/Call me a bitch

Tell me I’m perfect/Tell me I’m “It”


Crooked Machine…

When is your artistic endeavor finished? After the 102nd iteration, can you declare it ready to ship? I dunno, really you could work on something forever and not be satisfied; or not achieve the point of perfection you had envisioned upon that first spark. Something can always be moved around, said differently, played in another key, or looked at through an entirely different lens than you initially viewed it through. Last year’s triumph still holds endless potential. All it needs is to be reimagined and then rebranded.

Soulwax took their 2004 rock meets groove explosion Any Minute Now and let it spin around for a year before they reinterpreted it as Nite Versions. Where the former involved plugging guitars into amps and turning the dial to 11, the latter was meant for the club with its dirty, loud electro. Both excellent releases with their own unique sound and objectives. Roisin Murphy stepped into the laser heavy disco club last year with DJ Parrot, AKA Crooked Man, to create one of last year’s most heavily played records with Roisin Machine. Safe sounds, hypnotic grooves, a propellant for my day with its heavy house bounce. Everything about this infectious sound was what I ask of a dance record. But perhaps this album was only the beginning, the man behind the boards takes the original blueprint of this record and reimagines it as Crooked Machine.

Crooked Man takes the record opener “Simulation” and runs it through a breezy pulsating processor to create “Assimilation”. Maybe a remix of the original, maybe what was intended to begin the album. Regardless, this soon to be released record has Roisin stating about her collaborator and his latest output, “I left him and Fat Dave to their own devices on this and they have outdone themselves! I absolutely love it!! I think I prefer it to the original album, slightly less me and all the more ‘cool’ for it!”


Since I Left You…

Jesus, I can’t spin The Avalanches debut without hearing something new almost every time. With over 900 samples used to create something original, dreamy, and damn catchy, it’s no wonder each listen yields a new discovery. It’s been two decades since its release. To commemorate, they excavated their archives to provide us with a Deluxe Reissue of what might be the most creatively engineered album ever. Seriously, name another.

These audio archeologists plucked out sound after sound from dusty, unheard records. This duo masterly assembled these samples into an intricate jigsaw puzzle that became one hell of a brilliant aural tapestry. The minds of this duo are otherworldly, not many can hear a snippet of a song or spoken word track and envision blending it with other sounds to create something unique. Let alone a song worth playing over and over again that seamlessly blends into other works of art that thematically fit into Since I Left You.

The mash-up world that came at us full force owes so much to these sample-happy masterminds. Where some records from that era sound dated, or at least their novelty has worn off, there is a timeless element to this album.

“I remember very clearly a few things – “we decided to not have any of our voices on it, which made it last because it’s a kind of transmission; nothing date-stamps it to that time. “Music lovers get it, and that’s what we ultimately are. It’s almost like an exploration of our relationship with the world and with music. “Looking back, I’m proud of this record as a pure expression of joy and love, heart on its sleeve and is free from irony.”

To whet our appetite for which is inevitably the reissue of 2021, The Avalanches share the title track “Since I Left You” re-worked by none other than Prince Paul, an uncredited 4th member of De La Soul. Who was a true pioneer in his ability to push the production boundaries of what a backing track could sound like. Prince Paul helped to lay the groundwork for The Avalanches to concoct such a genre bending mindfuck that is Since I Left You.

Prince Paul’s remix sees him injecting a whole new surging pulse into the title track. Where the original eases us into this genre hopping journey, this version scratches, incorporates additional female vocals telling their ex how it is, and adds an extra punch care of Paul’s rhyming. An excellent glimpse into what this Deluxe reissue has in store for us.


I’m Ready…

Opportunity may strike at your lowest point. It seems to hunt you down when you’re least expecting it. You’re down and out at work; but oh, shit, an exciting project now has your name on it. The day was already long enough, and you’re scheduled to attend this meeting; but oh, shit, it was just canceled – a gift of time. 60 minutes ago you were psyched to step into a workout, now you’re far from your house and out of gas; but damn, look what just rolled on.

There are different states during a ride for me no matter the duration and intensity: warm-up, huff and puff, feelin’ good, beginning to lag, and the adrenaline rush of near completion. Though I know a well-timed and appropriately themed playlist would generate more ummph and tenacity, creating a synchronized set of songs isn’t my thing. Instead, it’s a few E.P.s and albums placed in my queue upon sitting on my saddle. My spontaneous choices have been working.

The energy, the nostalgia, the impeccable songwriting, and the combustible instrumentation of Triple Fast Action’s Cattlemen Don’t is what I continue to return to. A great majority of this record is fully charged and ends up exploding sonically. Albums deserve to be experienced with headphones, the brilliance shines brighter, all the expressive nuances of each song ring truer when you’re immersed within that song’s world. Headphones almost force you to be present and one with the song.

While in the huff and puff phase of my ride, after a gradual, loose climb, my energy was waning. I was capable of staying in motion but the pace was the speed where being passed was likely. On a beautiful day, in a heavily populated open space, there is always someone creeping up. I own my age and how my muscle fibers aren’t what they once were. But like electrical paddles hoping to resurrect a normal heart rhythm, an under three-minute song possesses a similar capability: let’s rip! The surge that courses through my body upon hearing “I’m Ready” gave me an instant restart. I was ready for whatever was left ahead. This jolt of opportunity hit right when I needed it.


The Offspring’s We Don’t Have Sex Anymore…

It’s not a surprise this is 2021 Offspring. Back in ’95, they were expressing similar concerns: his girl was sleeping with his friends because she pegged him as a disease. The self-reflective “Self Esteem”, off 1994’s Smash, clearly stated its protagonist wasn’t capable of communication. He was okay with being steamrolled by his ex. Speaking up is hard, not many have the confidence and tools to initiate it, let alone be effective.

Well, I guess I should stick up for myself/But I really think it’s better this way

The more you suffer, the more it shows you really care/Right? Yeah, yeah, yeah

And as desired as sex is, it’s often the most challenging topic to discuss. The Offspring don’t have sex anymore. This is according to their latest single, “We Never Have Sex Anymore”, off forthcoming record Let The Bad Times Roll. Perhaps it’s because of their inability to voice their opinion, or simply state their instinctual needs. Maybe it’s a long-term relationship and no one wants anything to do with the other anymore.

Its lively energy presents itself as the ideal walk out song. Or theme song to some slapstick comedy of a TV series. A rolling rhythm, quirky antics, and horns make this sad and dark topic sound as playful as you wish your current relationship was today.

As corny as many of their hits were, there are hooks galore, sing-along choruses, and instant nostalgia. Cringe-worthy songs seem to never truly leave our psyche. It’s not a mistake this Orange County act is over three decades old and appears to still be pumping fists, creating potential anthems, and showing up in my Release Radar. Like you, Smash was on repeat for me in the mid-90s. Those singles off that record were hard to ignore. Any rock-based station had them on regular rotation. Props, Gentlemen. The industry isn’t conducive to you putting out more than a record, let alone 10. Let this single be a reminder for you and your relationship: speak up, keep lines of communication open, and know that if alt/punk veterans The Offspring are on a dry spell, it’s okay that you are, too.

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April 2021