Three Album Reviews — Quarterbacks, Dodheimsgard, Father Murphy

Quarterbacks, Quarterbacks

Quarterbacks, QuarterbacksNineteen songs. Roughly twenty-two minutes. The whole thing is over before you get out of the car. Quarterbacks really knows how to get in, get on and get out of a song.

So many of these short, punk infused tracks remind me of The Dead Milkmen. They are slightly sloppy, everything feeling improvised and raw in the mix but there isn’t the same sarcastic lyrical content. There is no acid tongued Rodney Anonymous personae here to lead you toward the lush land of absurdistan. Instead, Quarterbacks lose you in a series of brief moments. They’re either lost in love or lost to that feeling of hopeless emotional striving. Songs like the opener “Usual” “Stay In Luv” and “Not In Luv” leave one wondering what a horrible place we’d be in as music listeners if certain people got their love shit figured out.

The self-titled album by New York’s Quarterbacks has been out roughly six weeks already (released on February 10th). Still, I felt compelled to write something about this fun and mercurial band. I cannot say enough about how much I loved this album and feel as though it has already found an intractable place in my regular rotation.

If you haven’t dropped in on this yet, you’re missing out.

Don’t take my word for it though. Check out the Quarterback’s Bandcamp site for details on how to get a digital or vinyl copy of their album.

Dodheimsgard, A Umbra Omega 

Dødheimsgard-A-Umbra-Omega-coverTruly momentous records have a certain feeling underneath. They become more than a sum of their parts. From the very first drop on A Umbra Omega, the sixth album from extreme, experimental heavy metal band Dodheimsgard, there is an unsullied line, one that points straight through the morning fog at cult classic status.

The sheer quality of song craft on A Umbra Omega is something to behold, even if you’re lukewarm on metal. There is no wondering where nearly a decade has gone since their previous record, Supervillain Outcast burst forth. Beyond the short, thematic opener (“The Love Divine”) each track stands as something separate, dense and sprawling epics, rich with heavy chords, pulsating percussion and a smattering of industrial sludge for good measure.

The sixty-seven minute album may be a bit long and ambitious to digest in a single sitting (I had to go back and forth over songs, repeatedly, never listening to the whole thing at once). There are however single tracks (“Aphelon Void” “Architect of Darkness” and “The Unlocking” chief among them) that stand as a ponderous sonic adventure all their own.

Although Dodheimsgard (a contraction which translates to “mansion of death”) can sometimes find themselves lumped in with the jam experimental metal bands, they employ a speed element that shakes morbid crust loose. Although my tastes in heavy music tend more toward that cerebral, earthbound darkness, this feels like an album that is destined for top ten lists.

Not enough to convince you? Check out Dodheimsgard over at Peaceville Records.

Father Murphy, Croce

Father Murphy croceEsteemed indie music tastemaker Drowned In Sound recently called this record, “a fascinating listen.” A couple of spins through, I’m still coming around to that haughty idea. Is Croce a bona fide “fascinating listen” as reported? Perhaps. Perhaps its hyperbole. Or perhaps my taste for their chamber pop meets tempered freak out folk fusion is ever so slightly fatigued.

Ever drink a whole flight of fabulous wines? Spring afternoon. Pinots down the line. By the time you get to the last one, it’s just another fabulous wine. Most buzzy headed drinkers look back down the row at their empty glasses and clamor for the descriptors they so easily evoked at the first. It’s natural.

I won’t actually attempt to steer you away from Croce as the first lines of this review might seem to imply. I’ll steer you cautiously toward it with the proviso that this won’t feel like anything new (unless you are new to the genre). As a jumping off point? Meh. There are better. Filling out your collection of oddball bands using boy/girl vocals? You may grab hold of this and call me a fool.

Once again, if you’re not convinced or think I’m being cheeky and cruel, check out Father Murphy on Bandcamp for yourself.

For other Well-Lighted Music Reviews, check out my page. There are all kinds of cool reviews and interviews with bands you’ll love.