Abel’s 4000 Albums That Matter: Part Forty-Four
I’ve been feeling ambivalent lately towards this little vanity project of mine. While it is nice to reminisce and talk some shit about music without worrying about deadlines and “clicks,” it is also a time-consuming endeavor that does nothing to pay my bills. A therapist once told me that I didn’t “follow through” with my goals and that’s true. However, given the “nature” of some of my goals, it’s probably for the best that I don’t follow through. You know, things like “world domination,” “appearing on the cover of GQ” – real things. I would also like to believe that at this point, we are all on the same page as to the fact that I’ll never complete this task.
And please refrain from telling me that my routine skirmishes with the English Language and Her Grammars and Spellings should be reward enough for my efforts. It isn’t. Quite frankly I feel a long line of professors just smiling at my lexical failure. You win academia, I lose. Now we’re even. Anybody hiring out there? I’ve never caused a problem within a nuclear facility and/or hydroelectric dam – and I’ve been inside both types of facilities – that’s gotta count for something, right?
Oh well, through the miracle of 47 carafes of unsweetened iced tea and one septuagenarian Welsh Corgi, I had a little extra time on my hands this week.
666. Cradle of Filth – The Principle of Evil Made Flesh. I’ve had a long-running love/hate relationship with this British band but thought it fit to have this album as the 666th entry to this list but now I’m not entirely sure as to why I did that, it’s not particularly Satanic enough to earn the numerical accolade. I guess I just like the album cover art. I guess I have a thing for Nigel Wingrove and his imagery. Maybe I have a thing for film stills and B&W photography but I’ll never tell. Or I won’t tell today, who knows if I’ll forget by next week and spill the beans then.
667. Destroy! – Total Fucking Chaos. I’ve long held a reverence for Felix Havoc, his bands, his record label and some of his punk rock writings. Destroy! was/is one of the few crusty bands that I can get behind without worrying that my daily requirement of two to three showers is met. Good stuff, crossover-ish, thrash, hardcore punk all rolled into one succinct package. Lady vocals from time to time too by Mandy Manduke later on in their short span. Good stuff, hard to believe this 7” is almost 24 years old.
668. Jhené Aiko – Souled Out. This relatively new hipster R&B record by the very young Jhené Aiko is nothing earth shattering but it is a promising album that hints at some future greatness if she harnesses her talent correctly. I don’t know much about alternative R&B but it seems like something I could get behind of. Nice play of words in the album title.
669. Tortoise – S/T. 20 years ago, this Chicago-based quintet showed us the possibilities of a musically geekier world with their chutzpah-driven post-rock, jazz-influenced experimental racket. It’s been a good ride since but it’s always good to start at the beginning. An enjoyable 50 minutes devoid of voices or egos.
670. LARD – The Last Temptation of Redi. Reid, not unlike Christ, was human and therefore not impervious to the temptations of the flesh or in this case, the cyber punk of robotic overlords. I’ve always enjoyed this Jello Biafra/Al Jourgensen (my favorite Cuban) rolling monster. I wish I’d remember them more frequently when I’m out hunting records, I’d like to replace the ones I lost in the Great Purge of 2006.
671. Carcass – Reek of Putrefaction. Another British outfit that has long been of interest. Though they’ve become structurally more of a death metal band over the years, you gotta love their grindcore roots. What a ton of fun! I guess that’s what I’ve always enjoyed about grindcore, it is fun. Solid debut that should be in your shelf, just saying.
672. Gin Gilette – ”Train to Satanville”. I know so little about this artist and this single that I’ve only come across it on compilations, Hell, I’m not even sure there was a B side to it. All I know is that it is some righteous lo-fi rockabilly with good intentions… provided of course, that those intentions are of selling you a ticket to ride on the most awesome Hell-bound train ever! Isn’t there a “Satanville” somewhere in Central Florida?
673. Biz Markie – The Biz Never Sleeps. There was nothing diabolical about the Biz but damn did we not all connect with his classic hit “Just a Friend” in a weirdly deep way? Oh baby you!!! That’s where the diabolicalness came in to play. The Biz might’ve been considered a “one hit wonder” because of this track but he will forever be the one hit wonder of our hearts.
674. Joy Division – Closer. With Joy Division, you either step on some toes or you don’t. I don’t care to enter that debate. I like them and I like this album, their second and last after Curtis decided it was time to check out. Funny if you think about that while repeating “The Eternal.” Oh well.
675. Torture Killer – For Maggots to Devour. Scandinavia is in no short supply of metal. Must be something about the cold. Finland is always a solid mine to explore when it comes to extremism. Newer-ish outfit Torture Killer is not shy to let us know where they stand on the human condition and that sometimes, through the clever use of album art, we humans are indeed nothing more than maggots feasting on the decaying flesh of our own “humanity.” Okay, maybe nothing as deep but you know what I mean. I think.
676. Wiz Khalifa – Flight School. This mix-tape angers me. It angers me because someone like Khalifa, who spends the majority of his day hooked to a cannabis inhaler, gets way more done than I do which makes me feel like maybe this “medical” marijuana craze has something to it or I’m just a lazy and shiftless dolt. In any case, I enjoyed this jam when he dropped it. I’m sure he’s working on an album, two or three collabs and maybe another mix-tape as I type this. My only worry, real worry that is, is that I might run out of iced tea.
677. Brian Eno – Ambient 1: Music for Airports. There’s something oddly comforting and warming about Brian Eno’s music. This work of ambient art has long intrigued and baffled me. Why do I like it so much? Why do I feel like it should be slightly more unnerving to my senses? This is soma and I’m feeling a sudden surge of Bokononism in my veins.
678. Aphex Twin – …I Care Because You Do. With its obvious anagrams for song titles and clever interpolations of frequencies with drum machines, synths and strings; this was a good departure from the pure techno he’d been at and in my opinion, the reason why Aphex Twin remains relevant today.
679. Cattle Decapitation – Human Jerky. A solid EP in the Anal Cunt/Seth Putnam vein of musical composition. Fun and cheeky death grind that relied more on funny song titles than introspective/deep lyrical work. 18 songs in roughly 16 minutes, do the math and tell me that’s not a head banging workout that will not completely interfere with the rest of your day.
680. Exhumed – Gore Metal. The sheer gusto that these guys had when putting their albums together was remarkable during this era. The year prior to this release, they had done a split 7” with Florida’s No Comply for Open Wound Records, a label I had a peripheral involvement with and I’d like to believe that due to budgetary constraints the art for that split was our only regret – it deserved a full color sleeve. See that image above? Good fun stuff if you’re into low budget, Z-grade horror schlock. What they put together for us was B-film grade, real horror gold. And we could only release it in B&W. What a shame. I’m pretty sure Open’s Julio N. lost the art when that No Name storm of 2000 (Tropical Storm Leslie I believe) wrecked his home and record collection.
681. The Loved Ones – S/T. Solid little Philly punk quartet. Nice, self-released EP. Fun tracks though if one were to examine them by label association alone, you’d never guess that they’d jump from Jade Tree to Fat Wreck. Maybe my examination goggles are too firmly rooted in the ‘90s. Oh well. Good stuff in that Americana, folk punk kind of way.
682. Tampere SS – Kuollut & Kuopattu. Before Finland became a haven for metal it was ground zero for awesome hardcore. Such was their hardcore power that it became a subgenre. You didn’t have to speak Finnish to enjoy it. If you saw anything remotely Finnish looking on a B&W sleeve at the record store, you bought it because it was going to be a righteous riot the second your needle touched it. A great return to form for these guys in the mid ‘90s after establishing the sound in the early ‘80s.
683. 1000 Homo DJs – Supernaut. Another Jello Biafra/Al Jourgensen jam that famously interpreted Black Sabbath’s classic song. It’s a shame that they didn’t work under this moniker for more releases, I have a nagging suspicion that when Al’s not humanely trapping critters around his property, he and Jello exchange postcards filled with inside jokes and cheeky observations regarding the human condition. Ah!
684. The Cramps – Ohio Demos ‘79. This ’92 release of demos recorded in Akron, Ohio is pretty good if you’re a completist. I’m not but I’d get this. It’s enjoyable and a little rawer than some of the studio versions of some tracks. Sometimes it’s better when it’s a little rawer. I always have a hard time imagining the fact that Lux was older than my dad when he passed. I don’t know why I think about that from time to time. Maybe I should stop reading old interviews but as you’ll see very soon, maybe I shouldn’t.
685. Zs – S/T. Free jazz, experimental, avant-garde, no wave, noise all at once. That’s Zs’ approach to creating an enjoyable soundtrack for your evening. A little bit much for some but not bad once you listen to it in relation to the parts that sum up to the whole. Sometimes you gotta walk out of your skin and into the skin of another. Touch their feet. Let the syllables vaporize between fleshy spots.
686. Lito Barrientos y Su Orquesta – Very, Very Well. I suspect that this Colombian orchestra was introduced to the US via a release in Mexico in the mid ‘60s to capitalize on the then burgeoning tropicalia and Latin sounds. I don’t know how successful that was but I do know that this is an enjoyable album and it is performed with the energy you’d expect from a group on a mission to get you dancing. The medley at the end, which includes a rendition of “La Mafafa” is pretty good.
687. Dwight Pullen – ”Sunglasses After Dark”/”Teen Age Bug”. This single by Dwight Pullen was the inspiration for a great version by the Cramps. I have to give the Cramps credit for covering a lot of obscure musicians through Lux and Ivy’s compulsive record collecting. Some people might say that they appropriated the music and that might be a right argument under certain lights, I’m thankful they continually (to this day) through old interviews that I come across steer me in the right direction for musical discovery. But I’m naïve that way I guess.
688.Young Marble Giants – Colossal Youth. This lone album by Welsh band the Young Marble Giants might as well be a love letter by the Moxham brothers to singer Alison Statton. This is an essential album in any collection – its minimalist and progressive sounds, a construct around her impeccable voice – were ahead of their time. If they had been British they would’ve been bigger, I’m sure of it. Maybe they should retcon all of those Torchwood shows to include their songs.
689. The Accent – ”Red Sky at Night”/”Wind of Change”. Admittedly I know very little, actually, nothing about this ‘60s psych outfit other than I like this 45. I’ve come across the A side on some psych comps but that’s all I know.
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