No Age fans are dividing into two separate camps: those who prefer the L.A. duo's punk-pop shoegazing (2007's Weirdo Rippers) and those who like 'em higher-fi (2008's Nouns). "Keechie," from Nouns, sidesteps this schism by toning down the feedback and going near-ambient.
"My House Is a Mouse"
All latent metalheads bow down before Lightning Bolt's turbo-noise thunder, and I'm no exception. But lately I've come to dig Black Pus—the side project of LB drummer Brian Chippendale—a good bit more. By his lonesome he's a leaky dirty bomb; while his recent work remains pleasingly sloppy, it's unusually direct. "Mouse" spews garbled contact-mic babble and the drumbeats flail, but tag-teaming keyboards conspire to keep things on the rails even as they nail a nagging hook into your cranium.
RZA AS BOBBY DIGITAL
"Put Your Guns Down"
I wish the Wu's chess-fiend mastermind were addressing trigger-happy cops and bitter, small-town voters here, but it's not like they're his automatic constituency or anything. He's speaking to the streets, naturally, but it's not like they're listening, which is probably why RZA sounds so hoarsely soul-sick while spitting gruff bars like "Welcome to the City of God/Where it's gritty and hard/And these dogs walk around at least 50 a squad."
SCHOOL OF LANGUAGE
"Rockist Part 4"
What does it say about me that the repeating "oh ee oo ah" refrain that runs in the background is, in my oh-so-humble opinion, this tune's crowning feature? Next: the elated way David Brewis draws out his "you"s. Title sucks, though; reminds me of a bygone muso argument that was never worth having.
THE THALIA ZEDEK BAND
"Do You Remember"
Come's long kaput, but Zedek keeps on keepin' on, logging searing, conflicted entries in a post-addiction personal mythology that's as arresting as it is unfathomable for those of us outside her inner circle.
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