The Songs We Can't Escape

High Places

"Piano Man"

Given all of the turmoil and turnover brewing in this crew over the last couple of years, it's a wonder that 50, Yayo, and Banks were able to put a triumphant face on their less-than-auspicious return. Also, somewhere, Billy Joel's throwing up in his mouth a little bit—or maybe a lot, depending on what was behind the hotel mini-bar.


I don't think it's heresy to slot this Brooklyn duo into the twee wing of whatever genre the Atlas Sound/WZT Hearts/etc. axis represents; you know, that sort of undersea primordial tinkle that either swells into a deluge or just flirts prettily with the idea. Anywho, the Places—who flirt prettily, if you're keeping score at home—deal Mary Pearson's upbeat, baby-duckling-cute chirp into the mix.

"Skeleton's Shrink"

Every year I stumble upon a few dynamite noise compilations. So far, 2008's coughed up just one, but it's a doozy; Corrosive Fumes collects shots of sonic Drano from a ton of bat-shit twisted Eastern European unknowns. This standout from Idlness Distribution simulates sustained electrocution a bit too well, with two startling minutes of lacerating power electronics and masticated vocals that'll take hair off your chest.

"I Am a Girlfriend"

Naw, dude, you're not. You seem to have some deep-rooted issues with the fairer sex (among others); might wanna talk to a therapist about that, 'kay?

"Part 2.B"

Ambient psych, or psychedelic ambient? Either way, this track is more or less like getting lost in a rainbow-hued incense cloud, surrounded peripherally by a cadre of humming angels you can't see—they sound so near that you'd just swear you could reach out and ruffle those gigantoid wings, but you can't.

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