As we wind our way towards another year end (and year end list) here’s the final 2016 installment of our monthly round-up extolling the virtues of some killer non-metal releases.
Klimt1918 – Sentimentale Jugend
This is a two for the price of one, as Italy’s long-running Klimt1918 pack 19 songs into a double album (split between album Sentimentale and album Jugend). The concept of having two separate albums combined into one offering isn’t just hyperbole either. The first nine tracks are comprised of moody, ethereal, shoegaze-infused rock. While the final ten tracks tend to play more with driving rhythms and straight indie rock aesthetics. Regardless of whatever slight differences you cull from each half of this release, the overall vibe is a brooding one that often hearkens back to the the halcyon days of the 80s Euro Goth scene. Perfect music to sink into as the bright hues of Autumn fade into the darkness of Winter.
Rivener – Svengali Gaze
Experimental two-piece, Rivener, is made up of two long-time Connecticut scene veterans – Paul Belbusti (Mercy Choir) and Michael Kiefer (Myty Knokeror). While familiarity with their previous musical entities won’t fully prepare you for what Rivener has to offer, the overall experimental nature of their musical careers should at least give you some inkling as to what these three tracks have in store. Svengali Gaze is exactly what the title entails. It’s two creative minds dominated by a powerful force, one that is hell-bent on ambling experimentation. While the odds that any two Rivener performances are ever alike is extremely low, what’s captured here is a perfect representation of their trance-inducing improvisation as it’s laid to rest somewhere along the train tracks between jazz and the blues.
desiket dogs – an insane mess of disgusting poison
There must be something in the New Haven water to have birthed this album at the same time as the above release. The album opens with a 43 second blast of punk and noise before settling in to ambient, lo-fi post-punk that drifts in and out of various punk and rock offshoots like a drunk at a party looking for just the right conversation to interrupt. It’s a tangled mess of influences, woven together like a bird’s nest that houses the eggs of some sort of winged monstrosity they will eventually tell folk tales about. Well worth your time if you like your music a little weird and a little off-putting.
Sun Dagger – American Night
Speaking of New Haven and experimental, in the waning days of summer, psych rock collective Sun Dagger dropped their second release of the year. American Night is well over 50 minutes of ambient, acid-dropping eminations that rumble and roll right into your subconscious. In the tags on their Bandcamp page they use Jim Morrison as a descriptor. While The Doors may very well be a musical influence on what Sun Dagger is trying to accomplish it’s more likely Morrison’s penchant for (drug and alcohol fueled) travels to the far reaches of his own psyche that had a greater influence on this album. Regardless, the progression this band has made from their January release to this one is not only palpable but highly impressive.
Lines West – The Ghost For You
Poppy, and catchy are not usually terms freely used to describe music that falls along the Americana pantheon, but Connecticut’s Lines West aren’t your typical Americana act. While most of their contemporaries are trying to do their best Neil Young or Wilco impersonations, Lines West are busy drawing from the wells that have given us free-spirited, 70s indie folk, as well as, various indie/alt rock accoutrements. Equal parts pop, rock, and folk, The Ghost For You is a wholly accessible album for anyone who refuses to wear flannel, yet hits all the right sweet spots for anyone that considers “pop” a dirty word when it comes to their folk/rock. It’s an amazingly difficult line to walk, yet Lines West have seemingly perfected it.