In Depth, Other

Late Listens: My Morning Jacket – Evil Urges (2008)

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                                            Touch Me I’m Going to Scream Part.1

It was hard for me to pick where to begin with My Morning Jacket. Logically you start at the first release then work through chronologically, or if you know someone who their favourite band is My Morning Jacket (MMJ) you can always ask them.

So I did Will is a huge MMJ fan but as the chill and free spirit he is his answer was ‘Just start where you want’. So I went with the album that had the song I had heard first. That being Touch Me I’m Going to Scream Pt. 2 The track is one of their most well known and so I jumped in and have eventually got to listening to the MMJ album Evil Urges (It Still Moves, 2003 was a close second as I love Run Thru, then again I have heard great things about Z, 2005 as well which I can now verify)

Any-who there is a 1960’s aura around parts (i.e. Evil Urges) of this record as the vocals at least for me fit into the psychedelic hippie space, high pitched and without constraint on the first song on the first song which is also shares its name with the title of the album. It is slightly askew but sets up well for the feel of what is to come as throughout the tracks their are similar psychedelic, experimental and progy spots.

 As I wrote in the the earlier paragraph the most well known track off this album and possibly in their entire discography is Touch Me I’m Going to Scream Pt. 2 but as you can expect there is a Pt 1. The nae is one of the only things that they have in common along with a few of the lyrics and the contrasting sentiments. Pt 1 is wanting that connection with another ‘Touch me I’m going to scream if you don’t’ and Pt 2 is experiencing the connection ‘Oh, this feeling it is wonderful, don’t you ever turn it off!’. Sonically they differ the most, both are tremendous, Pt 1’s drumming is a particular draw with what I describe as stuttery feel mixed into the classic rock-esc beats, whilst on Pt 2 they are more robotic to fit into the slower, tripy vibes created by the the reverbed vocals and electronic synths that begin kick off the song ad come back in various forms in the chorus. Pt 1 is more traditional as it is more compact and shorter, it feels more intimate and emotional and Pt 2 is more celebratory.         

Perhaps the sweetest moment on the recording is Librarian a love song to someone who’s occupation is that of the songs name. It is a softly picked acoustic guitar driven piece with romantic strings and tender lyrics. It also struck me as it reminds me of the times I went to the library as a kid and more recent times Uni living in the library doing all nightmers frantically working to get them done for the looming deadlines. I guess I am realising my fondness for Libraries (though there wasn’t a Librarian that I took a fancy too).

Remnants straight up rocks with the killer lead lines and punching rhythms. Sec Walkin is a country song so there are a number of genres explored on Evil Urges but don’t worry as MMJ are stellar musicians they pull them all off with ease.

Evil Urges is just easy to listen to as it is consistent in its quality songwriting, intriguing expressions of sound, progressive movements and diversity in styles.

 

 

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Unlucky Morpheus – Black Pentagram (EP, 2017)

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                                               Black Pentagram (Official Video)

Stemming from the number of anime shows I have watched over the years (DBZ, Bleach, (both) Naruto series and a few of the Gundam series (It isn’t that obscure a list  and would be categorised as basic by most Otaku’s) you find some belting opening and closing themes e.g. Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood’s Again performed by Yui is a contagious wonder, or the whole soundtrack to Attack On Titan is a masterpiece and most recently for me the absurd but extremely fitting Glam Metal opening to One Punch Man – The Hero!! Set Fire to the Furious Fist.

It has lead to YouTube suggesting some more Japanese music and one such suggestion was Unlucky Morpheus a band that I did not realise is fronted by the singer Fuki. She is the singer for another band called Doll$boxx a combination of the band Gacharic Spin (who has the Coolest Drummer in the world in Hana <3) and Fuki who is also in Light Bringer. A big reason why I didn’t notice is due to the different look she has, going from a ‘cuter’ look with long blonde hair to a sharper, edgy brunette for fronting Unlucky Morpheus.

Black Pentagram was the suggested track as it is the lead and title of the three track release lasting 12:34 (whether or not you count that as an actual extended play is debatable). Musically it is a mixture of melodic, power, thrash and traditional metal with a slither of brutal screeching. Though that really is only a slither with the screaming only appearing in Black Pentagram to great effect and it is a shame for it not to be utilised more. What drew me in was Fuki’s voice being distinct and different from Doll$boxx’s output. With it being in a lower register it really stands out from the majority of metal I personally listen to.

Dead Leaves Rising is rather straight forward as a metal song with all the elements expected its solid. But it is the other bookend Violet (Live) that rivals the opener for which song is strongest. It leans more on the classical characteristics within the music supplied by the violin playing member as she has a pivotal role, plus the piano introduction. Believe it or not it adds even more drama to the theatrical sounding release.

Black Pentagram, Dead Leaves Rising and Violet are all extremely well executed in both their franticness and precision. Vocally outstanding, technically accurate and a joy to listen to, with this type of music the more grand it is the better luckily enough Unlucky Morpheus are extremely grand and spectacular this EP a wonderful surprise to add to the ever growing list of good music released in 2017.

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A Black Day Indeed. Thank You for the Soundtrack to my Formative Years and Beyond Chris Cornell.

                                               Soundgarden – Fell On Black Days

There I was at work doing the scanning and reading the mornings headlines on the BBC News website, when the Breaking News Banner popped up informing me that a legend had past.  That legend was Chris Cornell.

Frontman for Soundgarden, Audioslave, Temple of the Dog as well as his solo career. I distinctly remember the man first from hearing and seeing the video for Cochise. The weird rattle and the blast of drums slowly building into this epic rock track, then it all came together with that riff and of course Cornell’s unmistakable voice. It is safe to say I was hooked and they became a staple on my iPod throughout school and have never left. I picked up the solid copies of Audioslave’s eponymous (2002) and Out of Exile (2005) on the schools history trip to Berlin, Krakow, Auschwitz and Birkenau. In the coolest record shop named Cover their top music always reminds me of that great time and moving experience.

Son after hearing Cochise I ventured into his other bands and kept on loving the music he was involved in. Along with the music he helped create Audioslave were a doorway into getting into the famous Seattle scene of the 1990s, Pearl Jam and Screaming Trees specifically. He was a good friend of Alain Johannes,  Natasha Shneider and  Jack Irons the three people who formed Eleven. Whom are also linked to QotSA the list goes on, the man was very connected to a lot of bands that are of high importance to me. It shows how respected and awesome Cornell is. Oh and  he did arguably the best James Bond theme ever.

Chris Cornell is not only a phenomenal singer/musician but by all accounts a great human being. This heartbreaking news is true shock to myself, other fans and the music community. Now go and breakout some Soundgarden, Audioslave, Temple of the Dog, or his solo stuff and play it loud!    

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