It’s been a busy old month, what with listening to pretty much everything Metallica have ever recorded for a piece I wrote for Already Heard. Then there was the surprisingly awesome, but shamelessly nostalgic, Guns n Roses show, which meant catching up on some old favourites, plus the usual selection of stuff to review and fill the hours of endless bus journeys. Also, with the usual round of end of year lists coming up, I’ve been dedicating a bit of time to checking out some stuff I’d been meaning to listen to. As such, it’s been a metal heavy month, even so, between the big ass riffs and raging solos I have managed to squeeze in some sublime listening. Here’s the smooth grooves that have been dripping honey into my brain of late.
Although It’s been out a while, only now have I got round to checking out ‘Love & Hate’ the absolutely incredible second album from Michael Kiwanuka. Damn, this is a fine record. Beautiful, heartbreaking, emotional and uplifting in equal measure. It makes for a superb take on human nature, echoing with vibes from the sixties and seventies, yet succeeding in sounding contemporary and topical, this is a sublime record that will be very close to the top of my end of year lists.
The cool groove of Warpaint‘s Heads Up has also been on pretty heavy rotation of late. There’s something wonderfully understated about the subtle mix of textures on these laid back deep cuts that keeps me coming back for more. There is a lot of experimentation with beats to compliment the hypnotic qualities of the vocals and instrumentation, all of which kinda defies classification and gives it a refreshing air of individuality. It’s well worth giving this a few plays and immersing yourself in its subtleties.
Another cracking recent release that I had the pleasure of reviewing, is the totally old school thrash of Testament and ‘Brotherhood of the Snake’. Honestly, this is as good as, if not better than, anything they released back in their heyday. It’s by far their most frantically thrashy record and includes some serious hooks that make it instantly catchy. Chuck Billy delivers an absolutely killer vocal performance throughout on track upon track of raging metal. Killer record.