Reformed Cynic; Practical Optimist.
Sep 13, 2019 2 min read

Whats Playing September 2019

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Tool, Inter Arma, Pyramids, and SVIIB on heavy rotation right now.

Here are the mini-reviews ahead of my maybe publishing a full review at a later date once I’ve made my mind up.

Tool - Fear Inoculum

I will post a full review of this once my opinion on it is settled. At the minute I have a variable opinion on it. First thing to say is that I’m glad it exists - whilst I can’t say I “waited 13 years” for this album, since that implies I was actively waiting in expectation - it’s always nice to have new Tool. However, I have to say that it is hard work at times - there’s undeniable genius in there, but that’s also true of Dream Theater and there’s no chance I’m going to endure any of that. I’ve found that listening to it in the car seems to be more fruitful for me than sitting down and explicitly trying to get into it though, so we’ll see how it goes.

Inter Arma - Sulphur English

Recommended by a friend. An odd record in a style that on paper matches my tastes, but in practice seems somehow to miss the mark. When I challenged him that the band’s editorial process seemed to be working very effectively to ensure no melody accidentally slips into the mix, he countered, “There are tunes there though, that emerge magic eye style from the noise.” And you know what? The more I listen to it, the more he’s bang on the money.

Pyramids - A Northern Meadow

A recommendation from Apple Music based on previous listens and all I have to say is “wow!”. A cross between post-metal, shoegaze, dreampop, ambient, industrial. Probably other things too. When it started out I was immediately hooked the sounds was amazing - but I said to myself “what this dude’s voice sounds like is going to make or break this”. And the vocals were spot on. And everyone clapped. I’m looking forward to finding more of their stuff - but from what little I’ve read so far they seem pretty secretive and my suspicion is that they’re a supergroup from the various scenes.

SVIIB - School of Seven Bells

Recommended by a friend. Based on my espousing the brilliance of Chiaroscuro by I Break Horses. Wonderful, dreamy, electronic soundscapes with a hoffific backstory that stands in stark contrast to the majestic noise these guys created. Sort of post-rock meets dreampop meets shoegaze.

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