Bizarre Curiosities: A brief foray into unexplored genres

Sometimes it is essential to completely stray away from Metal for short periods of time. Like all passions, one must be willing to step aside and to distance the mind from it so that it does not morph into a constantly bombarding blur of tropes. This time I decided to shock my understanding of music by exploring styles that did not interest me or that I had strayed from over the years. Here are some of the more tolerable finding in what can be described as a sea of idiotic music comparable to the like of Metallica’s Lulu

Vile Assembly – “Last Century Man”:
A completely nostalgic trip to the original wave of British Post-Punk bands and taking their style mainly from the more pop like content of mid period PiL. The nasal vocals, political lyrics exposing megalomaniac tyrants in favor of worker based socialism, punk derived guitars strums all work together in creating this simple verse/chorus song that lacks the angst and the experimentation that defined bands like Killing Joke and Joy Division. A fun listen to for those who want a simple introduction to some of the basic ideas that made this genre famous but no more than a stepping stone for much more interesting projects.

Lowercase Numbers – “The Pink Sloth Attacks”
Math rock and other Post hardcore variants are notoriously known for taking many random complex ideas and forcing them together into an incoherent mess. Lowercase Numbers break the cycle by starting on Beethoven’ 5th Symphony legendary opening before spiraling into a chromatic descent accompanied by furious double pedal drums before alternating it with the song’s central motif that consists of a very bright melody full of major thirds. The song then progresses this cycle through various iterations interspersed with jazz playfulness and an impressive drum solo before taking the central motif and playing it in its perfected form and continuing the cycle. The more chromatic melody transforms into a completely chromatic descent before resolving in the most consonant form of the main melody. An excellent light hearted composition that exists in a state of child like bliss but lacking in emotional content. If the band can find a strong enough sensation or idea to convey in the music then they will surely be able to make powerful music but for now this remains good for an occasional listen.

Dinosaur Jr – “Forget the Swan”
While this band were known for their later alternative rock albums that bordered from forgettably mediocre to absolutely horrendous. Their debut while containing many of the elements that would later define the band, avoids most of its pitfalls and the best song on the album “forget the Swan” demonstrates this. The band takes one of the most standard minor chord progressions to exist and mutate it through the use of more exotic sevenths, ninths and elevenths in the more typical guitar chords that allow the band more expressiveness and the ability to build up towards a melancholic yet very infectious chorus. This song climaxes on a basic solo that shows the ingenuity of the underlying melody before returning to the chorus for a final time. There is nothing particularly difficult or too different from its peers but the band have an understanding for harmony which is ignored by lesser bands. A hidden gem in a genre where most bands strive to be mild mannered teenagers for the rest of their lives.

Anastasia Luna – “Don’t Go Away”
In a world where bands like Nightwish attempt to show themselves as being dark Gothic metal instead of the radio friendly pop that they truly are through their simple chugging riffs, emphasis on hooks and cliched piano segments. Anastasia Luna counters this by recognizing that her work is pop music and uses various Rock and Modern metal tropes to create a base for her vocals without any pretension. The vocals on the other hand follow the dramatic and over the top sensibilities of many 80s singers but without the need for a choir providing backing vocals. Anastasia prefers to harmonize with herself to accentuate certain notes during the melody. One thing that is particularly surprising is her willingness to descend towards the lower notes in her tessitura instead of the pseudo-operatic nonsense perpetuated by Tarja Turunen. This remains standard pop music and doesn’t put into value what Anastasia Luna can truly offer but the range and ability is there to take on a more serious similar to what Lisa Gerrard was doing in the 90s.

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14 thoughts on “Bizarre Curiosities: A brief foray into unexplored genres”

  1. Lance Vagina says:

    Dino Jr – You’re Living All Over Me has their best songs bro

  2. Gustavprom says:

    Dino Jr is basically mid-80s Husker Du without the songwriting talent or the energy.

    1. ahashjas says:

      hana what? Dinosaur Jr is like Husker Du if Husker Du could play their instruments, and didn’t suck cocks

      1. only aum shinrikyo is real says:

        J Mascis is the original soundcloud rapper. “Quirky” and talentless but pretending that talent is what holds successful acts back so he’s being more “sincere” or something with his ear raping voice and “intentionally” naive lyrics. He’s just an idiot turned pop star by people who found they could make money from his band because the general population are too retarded to understand anything that a magazine or MTV interview didn’t explain to them.

        Liking the band is understandable (they’re so twee and harmless) but the music is definitely shit.

  3. only aum shinrikyo is real says:

    Nick, did you just buy your first 8th?

    Dino is barely a hidden gem, they’re the essential gateway band for getting into better ’80s indie stuff (which hopefully is a gateway to the grind and hardcore that is way better than anything else happening in that era, besides the metal obviously.)

    For about 15 years I couldn’t go to a hardcore/indie-oriented show without at least one guitarist drooling all over J Mascis’ penis.

    Better to listen to his drumming in Deep Wound. Now there’s some spirited music.

    1. I grew up in London when Indie started to become the rage for some reason and I wanted nothing to do with it. I am just starting to go through the back catalogue of the genre and as much as there is a load of crap, some of it is decent.

      1. only aum shinrikyo is real says:

        There’s Wire – Pink Flag, that’s one good old album from London iirc. It’s “post punk” but that’s what indie was called back then. Also worth mentioning is My Bloody Valentine of course, and probably Mission of Burma if you have a lot of patience. Jawbreaker were alright but pretty emo. Same with Rites of Spring. There’s Fugazi as well but they appear to be a wild card; enjoyability probably depends on your own associations with post-hardcore of your age. Most of the bands are really only interesting listens as they reveal a sort of “missing link” between the underground hardcore and later radio-friendly boy bands like Jimmy Eat World and Bright Eyes etc.

        But really none of the bands were any good by the time they started self-identifying as “indie”. Sort of like the “powerviolence” meme bands from the 2010s. Nails and Iron Lumg sound nothing like Spazz and Code 13. Also how the “blackened death/war metal” of Teitanblood and Warkvlt are nowhere near the level of Blasphemy or Angelcorpse. By the time niche genres are named and those names are taken up as labels by the bands thenselves, the creative impetus of the genre has long since died.

        Better to just listen to the hardcore that the proto-indie bands were playing before they went post-everything.

        1. Post-punk had some great gems that have been written about here on DMU.
          My Bloody Valentine are truly excellent.
          Fugazi has been hit and miss but they have inspire some of the most insufferable music of all time.
          Will definitely check out Misson of Burma but most music with he post prefix is bound to be terrible most of the time.

          1. Matt Lawler says:

            My Bloody Valentine is verse/chorus indie pop dressed up as high art with delay pedals.

            A lot of the later Dinosaur Jr. stuff you trashed is much more musically interesting.
            But whatever. Keep following Brett’s incoherent weed-addled taste.

            1. A lot of the songs on loveless stray away from traditional verse/chorus arrangements but either the way the band are incredible at creating layers of simple beautiful melodies that truly soothe the listener with the use of deliberate noise. No one claimed that they were high art (whatever that means).

              Please link some of the later Dino Jr stuff that is more interesting.

            2. only aum shinrikyo is real says:

              You knock MBV for having traditionally rock structured songs, but so do Dino, who are also touted as some kind of idiot savant act just because Mascis sings like he has down syndrome and plays like a 14 year old who just watched Hendrix’ ’69 Woodstock performance and tried to imitate what he though he heard while absolutely barbequed.

              The only “dress up” you see is how you interpret other people’s interpretations. Learn to apprehend the essence of a thing and you’ll be less confused.

    2. Matt Lawler says:

      80s oi! beats that era’s “hardcore and grind” any day. fucking metal kiddies think punk is the sum of two of its subgenres…

      why would dinosaur jr be a “gateway” into hardcore? They STARTED as a hardcore band, so if anything it’s the other way around. There’s no monolithic arc anyone follows in their taste.

      1. only aum shinrikyo is real says:

        Oi was a completely separate scene occurring on a completely separate continent among people with a completely separate mindset. It’s not even hardcore, it has more to do with being confused about why the Ramones wore swastikas sometimes. In other words it was for idiots who couldn’t comprehend anything (idealogically or musically) more complex than bar songs and church hymns.

        Dino is a gateway band because they play pop and were somewhat commercially successful in the ’90s. Most people who know Dino don’t know Deep Wound. And once you get into Deep Wound you see how good the actual underground hardcore was in that era. Not the Dead Kennedys and Black Fag bullshit.

  4. bloodypulp says:

    fuck yeah deep wound

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