LIVING AFTER MIDNIGHT: New Athens metal band Kettle to Wake has entered the fray of local heavy metal with its new self-titled EP. More than ably performed and with a clear compositional aesthetic, the band adeptly blends late 1980s guitar athleticism with a 21st century stoner/doom sense of being. Pretty much all the evidence I need to back up this point of view is the instrumental section that runs from 1:13–2:06 of “An Angry Sea.” I swear it’s easy to imagine Glenn Tipton and K. K. Downing of Judas Priest overhearing this and beaming with pride. The group next plays locally at the Shadebeast-presented show at Flicker Theatre & Bar Saturday, May 7. Also on the bill this night are Shreveport, LA band WhetheR and fellow locals Parathion. Find the new EP now at kettletowake.bandcamp.com as well as all major streaming services. For more information, please see facebook.com/kettletowake.
BRIGHTEN THE CORNERS: It’s been just nearly a year since any new music arrived from electronic artist Imogen Slaughter, but a new EP named At Summit’s Ridge: First Movement just came out. Slaughter, who has also released music under the name Christee Henry, notes that this work is “the first movement of At Summit’s Ridge, a noise opera about institutionalization and incarceration.” Perhaps owing to its subject, at least on a certain level, this work is more self-conscious and inward-facing than previous releases from Slaughter. These sparse selections are small but not necessarily claustrophobic. There’s a sense of this all being less of a thing to encounter casually and more of a conscious attempt at an audial map of neural pathways. Check it out at imogenslaughter.bandcamp.com.
FINE MALT LYRICS: Athens rapper Tyler Davis (stylized as Tyl3r Davis) has a new collaborative album release with Athens’ Lo$t Boy Dior, and the thing is named Leprechaun In The Hood. It is, to the very best of my knowledge, the only album ever inspired by the Leprechaun film series. From a production standpoint, it’s as seamlessly well-made as anything else happening in this particular slice of auto-tuned, post-trap hip hop. Thing is, though, after the first bars of the first verse of the first song (“Pot of Gold”) it takes forever to find a hook, and even after multiple listens, I’m not sure I found any others. A lot of effort was put into this from a visual and thematic point of view. I mean, check the titles—“Made My Own Luck,” “Celtics”—and add them to the Leprechaun imagery, and you’ve got yourself the only Irish-oriented hip hop to ever come out of Athens. While the identity here is clear, it’s no substitute for personality and, as they say, personality goes a long way. Here’s to this being a step toward more engaging work in the future. As always, your mileage may vary, and you can find this on all major streaming services. For more information, please see facebook.com/THETYL3RDAVIS.
COSMIC TONES: The currently unstoppable Space Brother has delivered the new album Ufology a mere three months after his January release Galaxies. This new catalog entry, though, is less album-oriented and more beat-tape focused. The realm of the cerebral has never been far from Space Brother’s touch, and here he grasps it once again. Particular highlights here are “Before Dawn,” “Aliens” and “Scared To Death.” There are other depths to plumb here beyond these three, but they’re the ones that captured my attention the most. Check this out over at spacebrother.bandcamp.com, and find out more information at facebook.com/spacebrothersoundsystem.
EVERY GUN MAKES ITS OWN TUNE: Pre-orders are now open for the upcoming seven-track release A Place Called Nowhere by Athens band Rapid Channel. You can check out four songs now, though, before you lay your bucks down. Now, the band’s self-professed blend of “thrash metal, punk rock and grunge” may not always succeed in the ways intended. But, dammit, there’s a demo-tape quality to this that is just infectious to me and evidence of a band figuring out its space. That said, opening track “Scream Catcher” rocks right outta the gate, as does “Quicksand.” The Spanish-Western flavor that drapes across “Daybreak of the Serpent” is nicely fleshed out by some arpeggio-ed guitars and even some Morricone-styled whistles. The full digital EP costs $7 and is slated for release on June 3. Preview the tracks at rapidchannel.bandcamp.com, and see facebook.com/OfficialRapidChannel for more information.
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