Showing posts with label Sleep. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sleep. Show all posts

Dec 13, 2018

Farce the Music's Top Albums of 2018 (11-25)

Our Top 25 Albums of 2018 were voted on by all contributors (including 2 new ones) again this year:  Kelcy Salisbury, Robert Dean, Kevin Broughton, Jeremy Harris, Trailer (me), and Matthew Martin 
(with friend Chad as a tiebreaker). We welcomed Kasey Anderson and Scott Colvin as first time voters. Today, we reveal numbers 11-25 of our favorites and tomorrow will count down the top 10!

24. Handsome Jack - Everything's Gonna Be Alright
The best rock ‘n’ roll album of 2018, from a power trio in Buffalo, N.Y. The Robinson bros. might have killed The Black Crowes, but the spirit of the band breathes through these guys. ~Kevin Broughton

23. (tie) Larkin Poe - Venom and Faith
Rebecca and Megan Lovell (formerly of the bluegrass band The Lovell Sisters with older sister Jessica) are mostly “known” as touring musicians for the likes of Kristian Bush and Elvis Costello…among others. On their fourth full-length album, the sisters absolutely hit the sublime with their powerful brand of roots rock and blues. Rebecca’s sultry and soulful vocals blend perfectly with Megan’s hot bluesy slide guitar licks for one of the finest albums in recent memory. ~Scott Colvin

23. (tie) Western Centuries - Songs From the Deluge
Great musicianship from the closest thing to a country super-group 2018 has seen. These guys are all heavily grounded in bluegrass, yet this album synthesizes all the best parts of American roots music. Come for the three-headed monster of vocals and songwriting, stay for the pedal steel. ~KB

22. Amanda Shires - To the Sunset
More than a decade into her solo career, Shires has established herself as one of the truly great songwriters and instrumentalists of her generation. With To the Sunset - an album that is by turns plaintive, unbridled, and fragile - Shires made what is, at least to this point, the album of her career. Calling it a "Rock" record or an "Americana" record is reductive; To the Sunset is an Amanda Shires record and, at this point, she's good enough to be her own genre.  ~Kasey Anderson

21. Lincoln Durham - And Into Heaven Came the Night

20. High on Fire - Electric Messiah
Is there any project Matt Pike is involved with that sucks? Pretty sure that’s impossible. Check out "Sanctioned Annihilation" & "Drowning Dog."  ~Kelcy Salisbury

19. Sleep - The Sciences
The Sciences is one of the year’s best records and moves beyond, “good follow up to Dopesmoker,” and places Sleep as the undisputed heirs to the throne of Black Sabbath. The Sciences is not only a neck breaking, sludgy love song to the universe, it’s a poem to the mysteries of faith, but it’s also a masterpiece. ~Robert Dean

18. Blackberry Smoke - Find a Light
These guys are working hard. Consecutive years with top-flight albums, they retain their Southern rock identity without being chained to it. This is an all-American band. ~KB

17. Great Peacock - Gran Pavo Real
I've been a fan of Great Peacock for a few years now and after their last album, I was excited to see where they would go.  As I would go to shows over the next few years, it became clear they were going to go in a more electric direction.  And, they absolutely did.  This album is a rocker full of the harmonies and introspective lyrics you've come to expect.  This is the one you reach for on Saturday night around midnight. ~Matthew Martin

16. John Prine - The Tree of Forgiveness
People are always naming "greatest living songwriters" like John Prine isn't still teaching a masterclass every time he drops new music. Admittedly, that isn't as frequent as in the past, but on The Tree of Forgiveness, Prine reminds us why he's the undisputed. Tuneful, insightful, and bright, this isn't a late-life woe-is-me dirge-fest like many elder statesmen and women give us; this is prime Prine. ~Trailer

15. Caleb Caudle - Crushed Coins
Caudle has been pumping out perfect country songs for a while now.  On Crushed Coins, Caudle hits his full stride.  These songs are the best set of songs he's put out.  The music and production are absolutely suited for his voice and his songs.  "NYC In The Rain" is a perfect song and a perfect Caleb Caudle song.  I don't think there's anyone else I can imagine singing this song other than Caudle.  If you haven't checked out his work, this album is the one to start with.  It's Caudle at his best. ~MM

14. Ashley McBryde - Girl Going Nowhere
The truth: Ashley McBryde doesn't fit the boring sonic pastiche that is mainstream country radio. Her songs are too good, her voice too unique. She deserves airplay and stardom though, and I hope she's one of the new leaders to push the door down. Girl Going Nowhere is a statement of being, filled with catchy and well-crafted songs. "Tired of Being Happy" is an absolute gem. ~Trailer

13. Brent Cobb - Providence Canyon
A great follow-up to 2016’s “Shine On Rainy Day.” The last three songs of that record were swampy and a little menacing, a thread woven through this album, particularly on “If I Don’t See Ya’” and “.30-06,” with their bad-boy Skynyrd feel. But when I hear “King of Alabama,” I’ll always remember the one time I got to see a then-fledgling musician, Wayne Mills. It was in Tuscaloosa in 2002, the night before heavy underdog Auburn beat Alabama 17-7. I was blown away then by the guy’s talent, and to this day I regret I never saw him again. No one that night or any other would ever dream of his fate: “It was a friend who took him from his family.” Cobb has done Mills fitting memorial, and made another great album. ~KB

12. Sarah Shook & The Disarmers - Years
It’s not often I can look to my hometown for musical pride. Let’s be honest, until Sarah Shook came around, Foreigner’s Lou Gramm might be Rochester, NY’s most notable artist (C’Mon, admit it, “Jukebox Hero” and “Urgent” were freaking awesome). Shook is a total badass and this album proves it. ~SC

11. Shooter Jennings - Shooter
Shooter is a portrait of a man who’s come to terms with his abilities, goals, and what he’s after. You can’t write a bunch of feel-good tunes that go hard with the beers, without a sense of purpose and humility …otherwise it comes off contrived and douchey, AKA most of the garbage pop country radio peddles. ~RD


Albums beyond the top 25 that appeared on multiple ballots: 
Janelle Monae - Dirty Computer
Hawks and Doves - From a White Hotel
Colter Wall - Songs of the Plains
Vince Staples - FM!
Eric Church - Desperate Man
JP Harris - Sometimes Dogs Bark at Nothing
Mike & the Moonpies - Steak Night at the Prairie Rose
Buffalo Gospel - On the First Bell
Pusha T - Daytona

Dec 7, 2018

What Your Favorite 2018 Album Says About You 2

Post Malone - Beerbongs & Bentleys
You never use the "hard R." Your dad pays for college, but has threatened to cut you off if you come home with a face tattoo.

American Aquarium - Things Change
You haven't written a humorous tweet since November 2016. You drive a Nissan Leaf but keep your hidden away Harley tuned up for when it's okay to have fun again.

Whitey Morgan & the .78s - Hard Times and White Lines
You wear shirts with curse words on them to family reunions. When you type "Luke Bryan, never heard of her" on Facebook, your co-workers in the maintenance department all click "like." 

Brandi Carlile - By the Way, I Forgive You
You picked an apartment to rent based on its walking proximity to a Whole Foods. You have broken up with someone based on their bad recycling habits.

Sleep - The Sciences
You aren't really patient, you just smoke a shit ton of weed. You spend more money on eye drops than you do body wash. 

Ashley Monroe - Sparrow
You are horny like 24/7.

Keith Urban - Graffiti U
You're still living pretty comfortably off the divorce settlement, but you sell LulaRoe and essential oils on Facebook for extra cash.

Ashley McBryde - Girl Going Nowhere
You are a thoughtful and passionate connoisseur of music. You have definitely punched a man in the face before.

Godsmack - When Legends Rise
You didn't know they put out an album in 2018, but it must be the best album of the year because they kick ass man! You have punched a woman before.

Father John Misty - God's Favorite Customer
You have had your feces tested, and no, it does not stink. You won't date a woman who's prettier than you. 

Jul 10, 2018

Top Albums of 2018: First Half Report

Trailer's top 25 so far. 

Usual disclaimers: The year-end list will be compiled from all FTM contributors' votes. Also, the second half looks really strong, so expect a lot of shake up to this list.

1. Dallas Moore - Mr. Honky Tonk

2. Ashley McBryde - Girl Going Nowhere
3. Blackberry Smoke - Find a Light
4. Caitlyn Smith - Starfire
5. John Prine - Tree of Forgiveness
6. Brent Cobb - Providence Canyon
7. Neko Case - Hell On
8. Fantastic Negrito - Please Don't Be Dead
9. Kacey Musgraves - Golden Hour
10. Joshua Hedley - Mr. Jukebox
11. Brandi Carlile - By the Way, I Forgive You
12. Buffalo Gospel - At the Last Bell
13. Caleb Caudle - Crushed Coins
14. Pusha T - Daytona
15. Old Crow Medicine Show - Volunteer
16. Sarah Shook & The Disarmers - Years
17. Leon III - s/t
18. First Aid Kid - Ruins
19. Courtney Patton - What It's Like to Fly Alone
20. Buffalo Tom - Quiet and Peace
21. American Aquarium - Things Change
22. Charley Crockett - Lonesome as a Shadow
23. Brothers Osborne - Port Saint Joe
24. Courtney Marie Andrews - May Your Kindness Remain
25. Ghost - Prequelle

And here are Robert Dean's five favorites:

Since we’re ½ through 2018 (weird) – here are the records I’m jamming the hardest and think are this year’s best so far: 

Joshua Hedley – Mr. Jukebox
My #1 with a bullet. It would take a miracle to unseat this record. 

Sleep – The Sciences 

Vein – Errorzone 

Charley Crockett – Lonesome As A Shadow 

At The Gates – To Drink From The Night Itself 

Honorable mention cuz it’s new to me: 

Queensway – Swift Minds of The Darkside 

Apr 27, 2018

Sleep Transcend The Holy Mountain And Enter The Sciences

by Robert Dean 

When a band releases a record that defines their career, it’s Sisyphean task to follow it up. Very few bands can write a Sgt. Peppers and come back swinging with the White Album as the Beatles did. The same goes with the Stones, who managed to write five classic records in a row, starting with Beggars Banquet and ending with Goats Head Soup. 

Bands like At The Drive In, Glassjaw, Refused, and At The Gates, all have classic records people obsess over and study to an almost scary degree. Genres and styles of play have evolved around the seminal The Shape of Punk To Come and Slaughter of The Soul. Over twenty years later, kids are discovering those records and trying their best to copy the magic caught on tape.  

When Sleep released its droning, doom-defining monolith Dopesmoker, it was met with a resounding thud thanks to the band's label refusing to release it in its original form. A secondary tracked down edition titled Jerusalem finally was released, but it was always Dopesmoker that found its way into tape trading circles and bootlegs pressings. But, the fervor for Dopesmoker bubbled up from the tar pits and over the years, has become canon for all things stoner. 

In the wake of Dopesmoker’s release and subsequent troubles, Sleep broke up, but remained brothers in smoke. Al Cisneros formed his otherworldly OM while guitar hero Matt Pike challenged Lemmy for the baddest man in rock and roll with High on Fire. Drummer Chris Hakius played in OM for a few years but ultimately hung up his sticks to focus on being a family man. 

And then in 2009, Sleep reformed out of nowhere. Capitalizing on the growing doom and stoner scene in mainstream metal circles, Sleep went from playing ½ filled bars in cowboy towns to packing bodies into rooms holding a few thousand across the globe. For almost a decade, the band toured sporadically, hitting the Blue Chip festivals or doing a nationwide run for month or two, raking in the cash. 

Stoner metal fans devoured the chance to see their heroes live, for the chance to be taken to the church of all things Weedian. 

In these past years, Cisneros, Pike, along with new drummer Jason Roeder of Neurosis fame pummeled their way through Sleep’s greatest hits and no one was one bit mad about it. They still got the cherry festival payday, while red-eyed fans gobbled up the band's merch with no fear. For the band, the promoters and the fans, this worked, and it was easy for one simple reason: writing new music could taint the legacy for the world’s greatest doom band that’s not Black Sabbath. 

Music, especially metal fans can be fickle. People care about legacy in heavy metal. Bands can go from hallowed legends to “they wrote The Ugly Organ, but the new stuff sucks” real quick. Once the band falls down the ladder a few rungs, people stop showing up to the shows, and the hype dies down. 

Sleep continually teased new music, but only released one track, “The Clarity”. Everyone figured they’d write a new record, someday, but till then, fans would enjoy hearing “Dragonaut” or “Holy Mountain” at shows, knowing they’d never be bumped out of the set list. 

But then on 4/20 Sleep surprised the world with their first record in two decades, The Sciences through Jack White’s Third Man Records. The Weedians had awoken, and they brought forth new tunes for the stoned masses, but the question that was on everyone’s mind: would Sleep cheapen their legacy or affirm it?

The band did neither. Instead, The Sciences is one of the year’s best records and moves beyond, “good follow up to Dopesmoker,” and places Sleep as the undisputed heirs to the throne of Black Sabbath. The Sciences is not only a neck breaking, sludgy love song to the universe, it’s a poem to the mysteries of faith, but it’s also a masterpiece. 

Al Cisneros taps into the wild, unearthly drones of his OM project and interjects them seamlessly into the 2018 edition of Sleep. The band capitalizes on tight, circular driving grooves that feel familiar, but not tired or a rehash of what they’d already achieved. 

The Sciences offers a narrative on what’s it’s like inside Sleep’s world of churning riffs that demand the listener join them on a quest into the deep recesses of the mind. 

Instead of mindless wandering, which many of their burned out contemporaries are guilty, tracks like “The Botanist” and “Marijaunauts Theme” are soulful explorations of what stoner metal, doom, or whatever you want to call it are capable of thanks to Sleep challenging not only themselves, but where the genre can go sonically. 

The record takes the classic riff exploration of the Sleep blueprint, but showcases the intensity of Matt Pike’s furious playing, should anyone forget he’s more than the shirtless guy with the beer gut, but a metal icon that happens to be relentless guitar hitman. 

The Sciences transcends because of two primary reasons: one being Jason Roeder utterly and undeniably changed the DNA of the band for the better with his brilliant handwork along with his in the pocket, dynamic drumming that’s more John Bonham or Bill Ward than he lets on with Neurosis. 

The second major plot point regarding the success of The Sciences is easy to spot: the band are students of the game. Cisneros, Pike and Roeder are still stoners playing metal in bands who tour most of the year. They’re involved in the evolution of the scene with Sleep, but also High on Fire, Neurosis, and OM. These dudes never lost touch with their mission but evolved as musicians, and people in the process of the band’s successes. 

The songs on the record are playful and on the nose with their love of all things Black Sabbath and the dank kush. The vocals are less hooky sing-alongs to capture an ear, but instead on “Giza Butler” or “Sonic Titan,” they’re droning absolutions to a realm we probably cannot fathom. 

Instead of a lousy cash grab, we’re lucky enough to see this trio of brilliant stoners evolve before our eyes. Who knows how long a record after this one will take to craft, it doesn’t matter, anyhow. These six new tracks on The Sciences are good enough to hold us over for a long while, or at least till the pipe needs repacking.


The Sciences is available everywhere you enjoy music. 

Apr 26, 2018

The No Sleep Roundup w/Tyler Childers, William Matheny, Yodel Boy, Sleep

by Robert Dean

Here we are, kids. April is almost kaput, and we’re in the driver's seat towards summer. And we all know what summer means for music: a bunch of wack trash will compete for the much-desired “Song of The Summer” well, what you’re about to get here ain’t none of that bullshit. Not now, not ever. 

This week in the roundup, we’re checking out a whole bunch of different stuff folks have sent over. First up, Sleep dropped a new record, “The Scientist”. I’ll have an in-depth review of that boner-inducing masterpiece by weeks end, or the weekend, we’ll see. Other reviews I have planned: New Orleans death metal band, Orifist along with Mr. Jukebox by Joshua Hedly. Aren’t I diverse? 


The yodeling kid was at Coachella, which is cool, and lame, but whatever, a whole bunch of square Googled Hank Williams, so hopefully a few of the cooler ones got into it and Ol’ Grandad found new blood. I guess he’ll be at Stagecoach over the weekend, too. Get that money, little dude. 

Some weird ass white people are getting snake massages. We’ll link it, so you don’t fall down the Google rabbit hole with that shit. Just as an aside, folks if you’re getting a “massage” by a boa constrictor, you’re gonna need to sit down with your priorities and see where your life took a turn for the worse. And believe me, I’m weird as they come.

William Matheny has a new record out, “Moon Over Kenova.” If you’re a Tom Petty or Elvis Costello kind of person, this is right in your sonic wheelhouse. Matheny’s style is Americana, but he’s got a rock and roll backbone. The songs are radio-friendly, simple tunes that work. 

There’s something to be said about a singer-songwriter who can cut out the nonsense and keep the narrative and structure tight. You could do worse than William Matheny, give em’ a listen and let us know if you like what you hear.  

Our boy Tyler Childers landed his fantastic song “Whitehouse Road” and “Nose on The Grindstone” on an upcoming episode of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown. Congrats to Tyler and his soon to be world takeover.

But, can we pause for a second, Gangstagrass’s “Hard Time To Come” aka the theme from Justified was also featured. I LOVE Justified. I’ve watched every episode and am actively collecting a copy of every Elmore Leonard book. But, that song sucks much ass it’s a long-running joke amongst my wife and me that someone owed a favor or money to get that featured. 

And that’s all she wrote. Stay creepy. 

Jan 31, 2018

Live Review: SLEEP, Moody's Theater, Austin, TX

by Robert Dean 

If there’s anything you can count on when seeing Sleep plow through their songs live, it’s that you’re going to get stoned even if you aren’t the one pulling off the joint and the wall of amplifiers will be so loud it’ll rattle the skeleton inside your meat suit.

At Sleep’s recent stop at Austin’s Moody Theater, best known as the location of Austin City Limits, the doom masters didn’t disappoint with almost two solid hours of riffing and off the cuff jamming. Wandering through classics like "Dragonaut" and "The Druid," Sleep maintained zero communication with the crowd and let their riffs do the talking.

If there was any shining star in the constant chugging Twilight Zone, it was Jason Roeder’s precision, almost mechanical drumming that sounded more like a box factory than a heavy metal drummer. Bassist Al Cisneros and everyone’s favorite Lemmy stand-in, Matt Pike ripped through off the cuff renditions off their much-lauded records Holy Mountain and Dopesmoker.

It’s easy to dismiss Sleep as the premier stoner rock band or Black Sabbath tribute act, but once seeing Sleep, it’s apparent that the group are much more groove reliant than any Sabbath tune. While Black Sabbath ventures off into the weeds, sometimes crafting riffs from the middle of nowhere, Matt Pike instead hovers around three or four sonic ideas and explores them endlessly. While a spaceman might traipse around the stage, giving the already enchanted crowd a nod to the otherworldly experience, the presence of the music relies on the ever-building sense of wholeness and the slow, muddy groove that is unrelenting.

Experimenting on moments, ideas, feelings, Sleep might have stuck to the setlist as a means to have guidelines, but once in the music, they never relied on track length or what was expected, but instead traveled down sonic back alleys, looking for new ways to stake out territory in their universe. For a setlist comprised of eight songs, it took two hours for Sleep to find their way through them. There’s more to Sleep than meets the eye and certainly more musically going on than many give them credit for. There’s a little Black Flag and Motorhead in there, despite what sludgy slowness might bubble up from the murk.

As the packed room gave every inch of themselves over to the masters of the riff, there’s one hot take that’s unavoidable: Sleep is a jam band for dudes who like Motorhead.

Not from the same show, but it'll give you a sampling of Sleep.


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