Saturday, June 15, 2019

Bandcamp Picks - Earth, Yawning Man, Pelican, Odyssey, Pinkish Black

After a few years touring and recording on his own, Dylan Carlson has reunited with Adrienne Davies for Earth's ninth album. Full Upon Her Burning Lips captures Carlson's guitar in its full twanging glory, with a growing flair that separates the band's modern era from the austere doom/drone of its early albums. Meanwhile, Davies' minimalist beats give the riffs the somber foundation they need. The last Earth album surprised fans with the addition of vocals; this time around, the duo sticks to being strictly an instrumental band, but the beauty of Earth always was their ability to tell stories without words. [$9.99]

Before there was "desert rock" there was Yawning Man. Macedonian Lines shows that the veteran band's knack for crafting spacey instrumentals is as sharp as ever, with crystalline guitars snaking over distorted bass lines, splitting the difference between space rock, desert rock, and post-rock. Feet in the valley with eyes to the sky. [€8.50]

Pelican have been carrying the flag for indie metal longer than most. Written in tribute to Jody Minnoch of Tusk (the grindcore band that included members of Pelican), Nighttime Stories brings the band back to the heaviness of their first albums, embedding speedy drums and crushing riffs amidst the melody and atmosphere that made the band so beloved by Pitchfork and the like. They may not seem as revolutionary as they did in the previous decade, but few instrumental bands have managed to be as heavy and emotive simultaneously as Pelican. [$7.99]

It's been a while since I checked in on Spokane's Odyssey - they were one of my OG Bandcamp Picks, and I'm happy to say they're still active. The Swarm, the trio's fourth full-length studio album, is ultra-heavy, hammering that double-bass drumming through thrashing riff-fests and syncopated chugging. Putting the pedal to the instrumental. [$7]

We're in the midst of a synth rock renaissance thanks to Stranger Things, and few of those bands are as heavy as Texans Pinkish Black.  Concept Unification (an album inspired by ...wait for it ...the animatronic band at Chuck E. Cheese) takes its cues from Seventies horror soundtracks - particularly the work of Goblin and John Carpenter - using eerie keyboards as the framework for the band's doomy aesthetic, as well as a backdrop for Darren Beck's doleful monotone. Neon-tinted gloom. [$10]