Elle's soothing style a 'Surrender' high point
Canada, where they make music so good the government even helps subsidize creative efforts, has struck again with DIANA, a great new band out of Toronto that might help make your Saturday evenings even more chilled out with their eight-song debut.
You'll get tastes of ‘80s pop, some disco, and even some dark shoegaze on this really enjoyable record made even more so by the alluring vocal stylings of Carmen Elle, whose cool voice can soothe whatever ails you. High points are “Foreign Installation,” that feels like St. Vincent's lighter moments; jazzy “Perpetual Surrender”; and moody, tragic “New House,” where Elle wonders, “Am I wasting my love on you?”
‘The Wild Hunt'
Watain (Century Media)
Hey, black metal purists, it's hand-wringing time! What do you do when the darkest, most unholy force in metal signs with a large indie label, writes a song with clean vocals, and streamlines their punishing sound in order to bring their chaos to the masses. You panic!
“The Wild Hunt,” the fifth record from the Swedish black metal heathens, has fans in an unjustified fury with their latest opus, a pretty darn good record once you clear away all the moaning that this record it isn't “Casus Luciferi.” It isn't but there is plenty of old flames here (“De Profundis,” “Sleepless Evil”) to counter their “unforgivable” sin of making “They Rode On,” a 10-minute track with actual singing that makes “Nothing Else Matters” sound like a children's hymn.
Zola Jesus (Sacred Bones)
Zola Jesus has been one of the more fascinating, exciting artists of the last few years, slowly building her reputation and stage chops over the course of three very good studio records. Her new collection “Versions” is her most interesting to date, working with composer JG Thirwell to rework some of her old songs.
The project produces results from the get go, with a slowed, atmospheric version of “Avalanche” from “Conatus” that truly benefits from the heavy string arrangements.New takes on “Run Me Out” (the percussion really pops), “Night” (the strings really layer the drama), and “Collapse,” that is even stronger with the sweeping orchestration, make this project totally worthwhile.
‘So You All Are ... So You Will Be'
White Hills (Thrill Jockey)
It didn't take very long with the new record from White Hills to wonder if I was on drugs in space. Considering I never dabble in such substances nor ever have left the Earth, I was confused, but that's what you get journeying with this band.
The NYC-based stoner rock weirdos that comprise this awesome band will leave you confounded and guessing, that is when they aren't walloping you with psyche-washed metallic riffs and gargantuan sludge on tracks such as “In Your Room”; the fuzzed-out jamming on the title cut; and the deranged, blistering sizzling on “Rare Upon the Earth.”
Brian Krasman is a contributing writer to Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Actor Duchovny to sing at Pittsburgh’s Altar Bar
- A ukulele that rocks? Jake Shimabukuro can show you how
- Tim McGraw keeps on truckin’, no matter the musical obstacles
- Neighborhood Week sends Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra out into community
- Grateful Dead members, Mayer band up for Dead & Company
- Country singer Moore offers good, ‘Wild’ roots-rock
- Photo Gallery: Lake Street Dive play soulful, sold-out show at Mr. Smalls