Album Review

Episode 435: King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard's "Infest The Rat's Nest"

Episode 435: King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard's "Infest The Rat's Nest"

For their 15th album (and 2nd this year), Australia’s King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard take yet another musical turn, this time into THRASH METAL. Infest The Rat’s Nest has everything: HUGE CRUSHING RIFFS! THUNDERING DRUMS! SCI-FI ECO-DIMENSIONAL HORROR! It even has SATAN!

But it’s that second-to-last point that’s so important. Somehow, impossibly, King Gizzard has made a metal album that not only sounds timeless but speaks to the horrors we’re all going to face as man-made climate change runs its course. Metal enthusiast Casey Rae (William Burroughs and The Cult Of Rock ‘N’ Roll, Dead To Me) joins us as we follow King Gizzard down the highway towards oblivion on an all-new episode of Discologist!


Episode 434: The Hold Steady's 'Thrashing Thru The Passion'

Episode 434: The Hold Steady's 'Thrashing Thru The Passion'

On their seventh album (and first in five years) The Hold Steady isn’t so much “We’re BACK mother****ers!” as they are “Alright. Alright. Alllllright”-ing their way back into our hearts.

Thrashing Thru The Passion finds the band sporting a slightly looser and expanded sound (horns!) and songwriter Craig Finn’s druggy, party-filled universe, a little older, a little beat down, but no less full of life. Join us as we dig into all of the good, bad, and magical highs found on the “return” of one of America’s most celebrated bands.


Episode 433: Sleepwalkers' 'Ages'

Episode 433: Sleepwalkers' 'Ages'

Sleepwalkers 2014 LP Greenwood Shade was, and remains, one of our favorites of the past few years. Finally five years later their follow up, Ages, is here and it was well worth the wait. While Shade wore its shagginess on its sleeve, Ages sees brothers Michael and Austin York and co-conspirator Alex DeJong polishing up the edges and delivering the power-pop masterpiece we deserve just when we need it the most. Get ready to experience a record that surprises at every turn as Kevin and Eduardo go IN on this instant classic.

 

PLUS! LA supergroup Grand Canyon has a new EP out, and fans of Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac, and [checks notes] Guns N’ Roses (?) are going to want to check them out. We’ve got their latest single “Yesterday’s News” to get you acquainted.


Episode 432: Rosenau and Sanborn's 'Bluebird'

Episode 432: Rosenau and Sanborn's 'Bluebird'

Chris Rosenau (Collections of Colonies Of Bees, Volcano Choir) and Nick Sanborn (Sylvan Esso, Made Of Oak) have traveled in the same creative circles for years now, but it was an off-the-cuff improv set at the inaugural Eaux Claires fest that has led to one of the most powerful releases of 2019, Bluebird. The open window and doors of the small North Carolina studio that Bluebird was recorded in gives the EP a sense of place in the world, but it is the magic weaved between Rosenau’s guitar and Sanborn’s electronic wizardry that pulls the listener wholly out of time and space into a moment of creation that is unlike anything you’re likely to experience this year.


Episode 431: Ryan Porter's 'Force For Good'

Episode 431: Ryan Porter's 'Force For Good'

On his follow up to 2018’s The Optimist, Ryan Porter and his friends the West Coast Get Down are once again swinging for the fences and bring jazz into the spotlight for a whole new generation. Rehearsed and recorded in five-hour bursts in multiple locations, Force For Good is a fearless step forward into the future of American jazz that celebrates America’s greatest art form even as it challenges what came before it. Join us as we discuss Porter’s seemingly limitless talent, the normalization of jazz in the popular culture, and much more. 


Episode 430: Fruit Bats' 'Gold Past Life'

 Episode 430: Fruit Bats' 'Gold Past Life'

On his latest album as Fruit Bats, Eric Johnson is looking back at dark times almost fondness, taking joy in the even the smallest of steps towards a brighter future that awaits.

Gold Past Life — his first LP on Merge Records — signifies the start of a new era for the lauded singer/songwriter. The end of the road he started out on with 2014’s EDJ, it’s songs are overflowing with harmonies, hooks, and, most importantly, heart. A life-affirming slice of pure pop perfection, it is Johnson’s finest work to date and one of the few albums you NEED to hear in 2019.


Episode 429: Rose City Band And The Resurgence of Jam

Episode 429: Rose City Band And The Resurgence of Jam

In the modern music era, most new releases come saddled with histories we’re supposed to believe in, recycled narratives, and increasingly thirsty marketing “hooks.” Which is what makes Rose City Band’s self-titled debut such a unicorn of an album.

There are only two things that we know for sure about this band:

1) Ripley Johnson (Moon Duo, Wooden Shjips) produced it.

2) It jams.

Refreshing AF, right?

Special guest Jonathan Hart (Brokedown Pod) joins us to discuss why Rose City Band is destined to be the soundtrack of your Summer, the resurgence of “jam band” music in the mainstream, and more.


Episode 428: Bruce Springsteen's 'Western Stars'

Episode 428: Bruce Springsteen's 'Western Stars'

On his nineteenth album (and first in five years) rock and roll legend / Broadway star Bruce Springsteen is turning his gaze to the “West,” and the results are a totally unique, if not polarizing, new entry into his lauded body of work. Western Stars utilizes the sounds of late 60’s Capitol Records (Glen Campbell, The Wrecking Crew, Phil Spector) to color the stories of men on the frontier, not just of America, but the edges of their lives.

Is Western Stars a fine return to form for the Boss or a stylistic bridge too far? Tune in to an all-new episode of Discologist as we tackle these questions and much, much more.


Episode 427: Bruce Springsteen's 'Born In The U.S.A.' at 35

Episode 427: Bruce Springsteen's 'Born In The U.S.A.' at 35

Whether you see Born In The U.S.A. as Springsteen’s most significant achievement as an artist or just a strange, 80’s sounding outlier in an otherwise muscular catalog, it remains to this day one of the most potent statements about the down-and-out in America ever made.

Despite its rock ‘n’ roll sheen, misunderstood rallying cries, and anthems to nostalgia, Born In The U.S.A. was a hopelessly bleak look at what it meant to be an American in the wake of the Vietnam War that, thirty-five years later, still resonates across generations, class, and race. A monument to the ‘everyman,’ it marked the end of an era for Springsteen that, despite its darkness, finally launched him into the pop stratosphere that he and the E Street Band had been chasing for more than a decade.

On an all-new Discologist, we’re dissecting this classic to get to the heart of its persistent relevance today, how it shapes the long-view of Springsteen’s career and a particularly “moist” song that also happens to be particularly great.


Episode 426: Carly Rae Jepsen's 'Dedicated'

Episode 426: Carly Rae Jepsen's 'Dedicated'

Is Dedication, Carly Rae Jepsen’s follow up to her critically lauded 2015 LP E•MO•TION the realization of the pristine pop future that we were all promised or is it something…else. We’re digging in to one of 2019’s most anticipated releases to find the answers to this question and many more on an all new and {{{extremely}}} danceable episode of Discologist!


Episode 425: The Cure's 'Disintegration' at 30

Episode 425: The Cure's 'Disintegration' at 30

Thirty years ago Robert Smith and The Cure taught an entire generation how to experience the beauty of misery, and in the process made the best albums of their career. On the latest episode of Discologist, special guests Casey Rae and Wes Covey join us to talk about teenage feelings, commiseration through sound, and growing older with one of the biggest, most beautiful downers in music history.


Episode 424: Black Mountain's 'Destroyer' PLUS New Music From MOTORCADE!

Episode 424: Black Mountain's 'Destroyer' PLUS New Music From MOTORCADE!

On their new album Destroyer, Stephen McBean tempered their already ferocious sound in the forge of Valhalla and crafted one of the most thrilling releases of the year. Moog synth blasts, lakes of fire, and riffage for days make this rock-n’-roll fantasy essential listening for headbangers everywhere whether you’ve got a sweet 8-Track player in your van or not!

PLUS! Motorcade is unleashing ‘Oblivion’ upon the world and we’ve got one of your first listens to this killer new single!


Episode 423: Jamila Woods' 'Legacy! Legacy!'

Episode 423: Jamila Woods' 'Legacy! Legacy!'

On her new album Legacy! Legacy! Jamila Woods is channeling the voices of the artists and activists that have shaped her life and in the process claiming her place alongside them. A powerful meditation on the importance of self-love and the power each of us has to change the world, Legacy! Legacy! isn’t just one of the best albums of 2019, it is a cultural milepost that will continue to enrich and inspire for years to come.