Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Vinyl Vednesday 9/14/2011

[Vinyl Vednesday is a weekly feature about three favorite vinyl finds. It’s not meant to be a dick-measuring contest, but it usually turns out that way. As always, e-mail with your own big finds!]

Records: Baroness’ First and Second (2008) on red, Black Tusk’s The Fallen Kingdom (2007) on mustard yellow, and Tool’s Opiate (1992) on black.

Place of Purchase:
eBay. Interpunk. Hot Topic.

Thoughts: Baroness is the band that sucked me into metal, specifically the metal coming out of Savannah, Ga. First and Second collects the band’s first two EPs, forming a makeshift full-length not unlike Fugazi’s 13 Songs in structure; that is to say, these songs rule and I don’t care when they were recorded. That said, First and Second sounds a little different from the Baroness of breakthrough Blue Record. The vocals are more abrasive, and the tunes are generally faster. Over time, Baroness evolved into something a little jammier. I don’t have a preference for either sound, as both styles are great, but there is something to be said for the unabashed aggression of the group’s early material.

Speaking of “unabashed aggression,” I love Black Tusk. Other Savannah acts like Baroness and Kylesa have been experimenting more and more with their metal, but Black Tusk just keeps kicking ass. I am so stoked for Set the Dial next month. I’m also stoked on The Fallen Kingdom. Black Tusk recently saw their discography reissued on vinyl. Thanks to Interpunk, I now know that Black Tusk was pretty much always awesome. These guys specialize in writing wicked fast metal jams that border on hardcore. Isn’t that what thrash metal was supposed to be?

Closing out this installment of Vinyl Vednesday, I’d like to talk about Tool. I like Tool. I loved them in high school, and I don’t listen to them nearly as much as I used to. That makes me sad, because for the longest time, Tool made it difficult for me to like other metal bands. They wrote angry songs about Christianity and feelings and hookers with penises! That shit mattered to me! Opiate is a taste of what Tool would go on to achieve over the course of their first three full-lengths. An EP, the band hadn’t quite developed into an artistic powerhouse, but there’s still plenty of aggression and humor to be had. Granted, the lyrics lack Maynard James Keenan’s usual sophistication (“WHY DON’T YOU JUST FUCK YOURSELF?!” goes one memorable chorus). That title track is still one of my favorite Tool tunes, though, distilling all the rage I used to hold against organized religion.

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