Words About Music
Hey, there. It’s me: Jakob. You guys have been reading up on my album reviews and you know what I like and what I don’t like in an album. But right now, we’re not here to talk about albums. See, I called the site “Jakob’s Album Reviews,” mostly because I didn’t think I’d ever review or write about anything else. But you know what they say: When opportunity knocks,… do…. something…
Anyway, without further ado, I introduce my first installment in what I am sure will be a consistent segment on this site: Track reviews. Today, I am going to review three songs by two new up-and-coming artists, and then link you to a website where you can stream the song for free! Sounds cool, huh? You’ll get to learn about some brand new artists, and they get a little bit of publicity, and everything is great.
Shriekin’ Specialist “Last” / “Evening”
First up, we have Shriekin’ Specialist, the stage name of Irish DJ/producer Jack Sheehan, who also records under the name Bobanghi. He just signed to up-and-coming online label Little League Records, an Ireland-based label which is well on its way to becoming a melting pot of creative minds, with Shriekin’ Specialist being at the vanguard. His debut single is two-tracks, the A-side being “Last,” and the B-side being “Evening.”
“Last” and “Evening” both share traits with the recent “cloud rap” movement of producers like Clams Casino. These two beats are very atmospheric, light, dreamy, and, well, cloudy. If you enjoy the instrumentals from A$AP Rocky’s debut mixtape, or anything by The Weeknd or Kitty Pryde or Yung Lean, then these two tracks should definitely be in your library.
“Last” is definitely the more atmospheric of the two, with light drums tapping away over an almost shoegazey synth line, and some dub styles thrown into the mix. It’s almost psychedelic, and goes through a very interesting progression. The drums become more and more complex as the song goes on, with some trap-influenced hi-hats and snares snaking their way in, making “Last” a very interesting take on this genre.
“Evening” is a significantly heavier track, that plays almost like one of Crystal Castles’ less noisy songs. The drums are definitely a very vital part of this song, and when paired with the wah-wah synths make this sound more like a bass song than a cloud rap song, but it still does retain that cloudy quality that makes it so relaxing. It’s not at all overbearing. It’s like someone took a TNGHT or Lex Luger instrumental, colored it pink, filtered it through some bubbles, and added some Mario music.
“Last” / “Evening” is definitely a worthwhile single, and Shriekin’ Specialist shows quite a bit of potential, as long as he doesn’t fall into the already conquered territory of Clams Casino. I’d love to see where this project goes, and I hope it continues to stretch the boundaries of this genre.
“Last” – 7.8
“Evening” – 8.2
Finite “Warhol’s Warning”
One of the best things about reviewing music, I’ve learned, is that once in a while you’ll get to hear about a group so new they’ve only recorded one song together. There’s something really special about being one of the first fans of a band, and I’m giving you guys that opportunity once again, with a brand new group called Finite, a 4-piece who hail from Birmingham, England. The four members of the band have been friends for over 15 years and have played music together before, and now they’re taking their love of 90s alternative rock and combining it with post-hardcore and math rock to craft very fun yet not at all derivative tunes together.
This first track of theirs is called “Warhol’s Warning” and it’s a very groovy hard rock song that brings to mind bands like Soundgarden, Shellac, Kyuss, Quicksand, and tons of more genre-bending hard rock groups from the 90s. It really does cover the rock and roll spectrum, from Tool’s “Lateralus” to Weezer’s “Blue Album,” and those who champion the 90s sound should be all over this song like strings on a guitar.
“Warhol’s Warning” is not only fun to listen to, but it’s one of those tracks you want to listen to over and over again. There’s nothing offensive about it, it’s not too watered down or clean or glossy; it perfectly recalls the 90s alternative sound in a way that many bands fail to do. And I only hope that Finite continue to get more aggressive and loud as they put out more music (they should hopefully have a debut studio album on its way).
SCORE – 8.6
Well, I’d say that went well! Be sure to stay tuned for my daily album review, and be on the lookout for more new songs from more brand new bands. Just remember, you heard it here first! Or second.