Tuesday, December 03, 2013
Recently: my year in death metal + Black Flag
Two pieces to share, along with brief postscripts:
*Via Noisey, a round-up of the death metal I loved most in 2013, all of which took the form of new music by old bands. In prior DFSBP writings—including four posts anthologized in the recently released seventh issue of Burning Ambulance, at the kind request of editor Phil Freeman—I've made no secret of my bias toward the genre's veteran acts. As I tried to make clear in the Noisey piece, I'm not suggesting that newer groups aren't currently making great death metal; I'm simply drawing attention to the fact that a weirdly large number of bands from the movement's early-’90s heyday (not coincidentally, the moment I came on board as a fan) are still at it, and have issued top-quality product this year. Some of my favorite albums of 2013, regardless of genre, are on this list.
*Via Pitchfork, a review of the new Black Flag record. I don't think it's too much of a spoiler to say that I found the album disappointing. I'm a huge Greg Ginn fan—his guitar sound/concept sums up what I love about music about as well as any other instrumental voice I could name. At the same time, as I indicate in the piece, I think that when it comes to releases, he tends to opt for quantity over quality. The man still issues a ton of music, just as he has for decades, and it bums me out to think that—in the context of this spotty yet significant trove—What The… might be the first and last Ginn-related record many listeners will hear outside of the original Black Flag discography. Considering this new LP in light of the full spectrum of Ginn's work over the last quarter century might not result in a more pleasurable listening experience, but I think it does soften the blow a little bit. I assure you: This will not be the last we hear from the man.
If you haven't yet seen Ben Greenberg's Talkhouse write-up of What The…, I highly recommend it.