Hey! As we continue inching ever-closer to the conclusion of yet another calendar year, let’s continue talking about some of the great music that has come out in 2022.
Today I’ve got two albums to share: one that was just a recent discovery for me, that I somehow missed when it came out over the summer but which has been getting SO much attention lately as all my writing peers have started publishing their own year-end lists, and then one that just came out this month, and based on that timing I’m afraid it may have inadvertently missed catching many other people’s attention.
Here we go…
Chat Pile – God’s Country (The Flenser, 29 July 2022)
Lebrique – Head Trap (Trepanation Recordings, 02 December 2022)
Well anyway, today I’d like to make sure you’re also acquainted with another label that just opened up over the past few months. This one started out when an individual from British Columbia, who happens to hang around a few of the same Discord servers I sometimes frequent, was tossing around the idea of creating an explicitly anti-fascist, anti-sketch, and anti-capitalist cooperative (since unfortunately, way too many of them turn out to be far in the opposite direction). He joked that the name would have to be the most stereotypically Canadian thing anyone could think of, and came up with Syrup Moose.
The record label’s online bio clearly specify that it had just started out as a joke — which is absolutely true — but within weeks the collective found itself with an ever-growing roster and quite an unfunnily busy slate of upcoming releases, including cassette versions of each, as well as unique (and highly collectible) tarot card designs exclusively painted and printed for each new release.
Out of that already-extensive-and-rapidly-expanding catalog, I’ve selected one of the first as well as one of the most recent, to share with you this afternoon. The fact that both of these artists happen to be based in Pittsburgh is purely a coincidence — honestly!
Chloe Dancer – Chloe Dancer EP (Syrup Moose Records, 02 September 2022)
Drazen – EP (Syrup Moose Records, 09 December 2022)
Hello — and Merry Christmas Eve Eve, to those who celebrate.
What a nasty, ugly day this has turned out to be: snow, rapidly plummeting temperatures, and huge wind gusts that very nearly sent our trash cans careening down into the river. Again. That is, we lost one of them to the river during a windstorm a couple years ago; this time both of them did go flying after they were emptied this morning, but I was able to rescue one from the edge of the embankment, while the other has managed to wedge itself between two trees halfway down the hillside, just out of reach of any of the long-handled implements I have readily available so I’m hoping it will stay in place long enough for me to figure out a way to retrieve it.
Anyway, enough about that, let’s listen to some nasty, ugly music befitting such a nasty, ugly day!
S.I.D. – City of Chemistry (digital 15 July 2022; vinyl 14 October 2022, Gruesome Records / SFA Records / V.A.N.G.A. Records)
Private Prisons – Extrication (Trepanation Recordings, 16 December 2022)
“Are you the guys on the beach that hate everything?”
Right around 30 years ago, as hair metal was in its final death throes along with most other remnants of the Reagan 80s, and the grunge movement was just starting to come into full swing in terms of global mainstream recognition, Californian hard rockers Ugly Kid Joe dropped their debut full-length, kind of bridging the gap between the dominant sounds of the previous decade and the one that had just begun.
This writer was in eighth grade at the time, and America’s Least Wanted may have been the very first cassette I ever bought for myself, or if not, at least one of the first two or three.
So when I heard that the band was releasing a brand-new album this fall — even working with the same producer they did three decades ago (Mark Dodson) — based on the nostalgia factor of course I had to check it out. But I ended up discovering that these guys (two who’ve been around since the founding days of the band and two others who’ve been on every major release in their history; only the drummer role has changed hands a few times over the years) have crafted a very good, very solid, rock record.
Ugly Kid Joe – Rad Wings of Destiny (Metalville Records, 21 October 2022)
For those not actively involved with (or even lurking in the fringes of) the Metal Bandcamp Gift Club community … first of all, you really should check it out! It’s a bunch of kind souls who will buy you stuff from your Bandcamp wishlist on your birthday. All they ask in return is for you to do the same for other folks on the mailing list if you’re able to do so. Club members get great new music to add to their collections, artists make some extra sales, and everyone wins.
Anyway, the social interactions within the Gift Club frequently (and understandably) revolve around sharing music recommendations, and somewhere along the way this thing called “No Metal Monday” evolved. As the title suggests, this is an opportunity to focus on music of non-metallic varieties. And in that spirit, I’d like to share a collection of metal-free tracks with you fine folks on this fine, dreary Monday afternoon.
The Human Veil – Compilation (self-released, 25 October 2022)
Happy Friday! Got something brand-new for you all today…
Although North Carolinian ecology-themed band Escaping Aghartha is more often associated with the sounds of extreme death and doom metal, they’ve just dropped an album completely consisting of mellow ambiance.
Avian is an ambient album in which each song has been crafted around the vocalization of a specific species of bird, resulting in other-worldly and deeply immersive atmospheres. The album is a celebration of the wondrous diversity of shapes, survival strategies, vocalizations, colors, behaviors of birds and their intellectual prowess.
Escaping Aghartha – Avian (Hiraeth Records, 16 December 2022)
It’s been two whole years since Pittsburghers Úzkost put out their delightfully deranged “Blood Debt.” But just a few days ago they returned with a brand-new single, and the promise of more forthcoming! Here’s “Mt’hr.”
Following Being for the Benefit of Equality, Food Desert Recordings‘ fundraiser from earlier this summer in support of the transgender community (and especially trans youth) of Texas, the Maryland (USA)-based digital label is at it again.
Once again guided by their mission statement of “supporting charities that uplift and empower maligned communities,” this month a second benefit compilation has dropped, this time in support of reproductive rights and bodily autonomy, in light of a recent plague of legislation all over the country whose sole purpose is to restrict or remove those rights.
Various Artists – Let No Man Pass Judgement: A Compilation to Support a Woman’s Right to Choose (Food Desert Recordings, 02 September 2022)
Earlier this year, an anonymous, benevolent soul from Maryland (USA) proposed the launch of a new digital record label for charitable purposes. And hence, Food Desert Records was born. Named for the concept where more impoverished communities frequently lack easy access to affordable higher-quality, higher-nutrition foods, this new entity has set out to engage in activities that will raise awareness and generate mutual aid — not only for literal food deserts, but more broadly for any underprivileged or marginalized communities.
The label has cited their mission as “supporting charities that uplift and empower maligned communities,” further explaining that “Friends and allies are welcome; racists, fascists, homophobes, and transphobes are not. Together, through love and music, we will help to build a better world.”
Various Artists – Being for the Benefit of Equality: A Blade with Which to Defend the Trans Youth of Texas (Food Desert Recordings, 04 July 2022)
Just a quick shout to let you all know about this brand-new split record that came out last Friday — half of which is by a doom troupe from Montpellier France, whose 2016 album we had written about back when it came out; the other half features a sludge trio from Seattle whose 2017 album really caught my attention at that time but somehow I never got around to writing about that one, an oversight which is being rectified right now…
Old Iron – Lupus Metallorum (Good to Die Records, 18 August 2017)
Old Iron / Verdun – Split (Satanik Royalty Records, 25 February 2022)