Accidentally discovered an obscure record label in the US is re-issuing an album from one of my favourite bands; eX-Girl. They were a quite unusual three piece from Tokyo who began in the late 1990's and lasted about a decade. They were this odd mix of punk, noise and psychedelia with weird vocal arrangements thrown in. The other odd thing about them was their drummer had a simple set up and stood throughout their gigs. They were later championed by Mike Patton and Jello Biafra, but pretty much are unknown in the west, even though they were clearly aiming for western ears. Anyway, decided to give their second LP, "Kero! Kero! Kero!" another listen.
So the radio was on today and I was hit with this blast from the past
I totally forgot this song existed, but it's actually pretty great. Makes me yearn for a time when something like this could get airplay on a pop-centric station. This song reached number three on the UK charts, something you would *never* see now. I just hope there's a time in the future where you can tune into a top 40 station and hear music that isn't just endless EDM/house trash that all sounds identical, with the occasional abysmal Ed Sheeran song in between. How I despise what pop music has become.
I went on a mini CD spending spree just before Xmas. Discovered the band School of Seven Bells thanks to a pal of mine over on facebook, and learned that their last album in 2016 would properly be their last after their guitarist died.
It's been a bit of a revelation. At first, when I heard their stuff, I was thinking 'what is thi splinky-plonk plastic pop Pet Shop Boys crap?' But then I listened to it a bit more and realised the songs are a lot more musical and actually have meat on the bone. They're a really great band if you're into vocalists - Alejandra Deheza's voice is amazing, and her phrasing is very inventive at times.
I've since nabbed all four of their albums and listened to them pretty much exclusively since the start of the year. It's a real case of 'I don't usually like this kind of thing, but... daaaaamn!'
For me, it's ALL about Exodus From the Underground Fortress. That piece has got so much energy and motion, it's unreal. There's some awesome drumming in there as well. And the harp! You'll believe a harp can rock!
One of the best main menu themes from any game IMO, I played Soul Calibur V a hell of a lot back in the 360 days as well so the nostalgia makes it even sweeter. Although I think Soul Calibur IV is the better game in terms of story and character roster, V undoubtedly has the better character creation system - I spent hours upon hours Google-imaging characters I know from games, anime etc, making them in-game and going online with them. Plus, with Soul Calibur VI finally out this year I’m hyping myself up by listening to all the OST tracks.
Pretty sure I've posted this before but goddamn, this song is my obsession recently. I love it!
As an aside, I know no one will really care but hey ho, I went ahead and made a playlist that I'd recommend for getting into Dream Theater. Mostly it was just a fun thing for me to see if I could cull their entire discography down using a 2 song per album rule (4 for double albums) to see if I could distill my favourite tracks. Tracks are in chronological order, and you can find the playlist here. For you non-Spotify users, the tracklist and order is as follows:
Pull Me Under (Images and Words, 1992)
Metropolis Part 1: The Miracle and the Sleeper (Images and Words, 1992)
A Fortune in Lies (Live at The Marquee, 1993)
Another Hand/The Killing Hand (Live at The Marquee, 1993)
The Mirror (Awake, 1994)
Lie (Awake, 1994)
A Change of Seasons (A Change of Seasons, 1995)
Lines in the Sand (Falling into Infinity, 1997)
Trial of Tears (Falling into Infinity, 1997)
Beyond This Life (Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory, 1999)
Home (Metropolis Part 2: Scene From A Memory, 1999)
The Glass Prison (Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, 2001)
Misunderstood (Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, 2001)
About To Crash (Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, 2001)
The Test That Stumped Them All (Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, 2001)
This Dying Soul (Train of Thought, 2003)
In The Name Of God (Train of Thought, 2003)
Hollow Years (Live At Budokan, 2004)
The Root of All Evil (Octavarium, 2005)
Octavarium (Octavarium, 2005)
In The Presence of Enemies Part 1 (Systematic Chaos, 2007)
In The Presence of Enemies Part 2 (Systematic Chaos, 2007)
Take The Time (Chaos in Motion, 2008)
A Nightmare to Remember (Black Clouds and Silver Linings, 2009)
Wither (Black Clouds and Silver Linings, 2009)
On The Backs of Angels (A Dramatic Turn of Events, 2011)
Outcry (A Dramatic Turn of Events, 2011)
The Enemy Inside (Dream Theater, 2013)
Illumination Theory (Dream Theater, 2013)
The Gift of Music (The Astonishing, 2016)
A Better Life (The Astonishing, 2016)
Moment of Betrayal (The Astonishing, 2016)
Our New World (The Astonishing, 2016)
At almost 6 hours worth of music, you likely won't make it through in one sitting, but if anyone were wanting to get into the band, these are what I would consider the must listens. Of course, they have a ton of other amazing songs, but the playlist is already long as it is!