Bandcamp Picks of the Week 8/30/17

Bandcamp Picks of the Week, as large and in charge as ever

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Caroline Says – 50,000,000 ELVIS FANS CAN’T BE WRONG

Genre: Indie Folk, Singer/Songwriter

Favorite Tracks: “Winter Is Cold,” “Streetlights,” “My Fiance’s Pets,” “Gravy Dayz”

What a lovely little discovery, although I’m stealing the thunder of our esteemed team member CJ Simonson by beating him to writing the recommendation. I was at first excited to discover what was undoubtedly one of 2017’s hidden gems, but alas, 50,000,000 ELVIS FANS CAN’T BE WRONG is a rerelease of a 2014 cassette demo from Austin indie folk visionary Caroline Says. Nevertheless, it’s hard to come across music as amiable and downright pleasant as what’s presented here, but you’d be remiss to assume the artist formally known as Caroline Sallee dabbles in toothless pop reveries; the specters of friends and lovers past float endlessly about the plains that Sallee’s guitar and bedroom recording equipment conjure, hovering about in a soft piano intonation, a tinny, Alex G-conjuring synthesizer, or the haunting timbre of Sallee’s voice itself. Not to paint this as some somber western dirge through ghost towns, however—the outward sonic trappings of Sallee’s Texan home quickly reveal a rock-solid grip on songwriting that channels Girlpool, Frankie Cosmos, and Julien Baker as much as it incorporates laidback Latin grooves and sunny guitar licks of La Sera. Truly, you can’t go wrong with taking a late summer stroll down the way of Caroline Says. You can listen to it here. [Thomas Seraydarian]

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Tribulation – THE FORMULAS OF DEATH

Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal, Death Metal

Favorite Tracks: “Wanderer in the Outer Darkness,” “Spectres,” “Rånda,” “Apparitions”

From the obnoxious fans to the exhausting song lengths to the harsh sound that seeks to reach into your soul and crush it under an impossible weight, black metal is one of the most difficult genres to approach and get into. To call anything in the genre “accessible” is a stretch, but the Irish four-piece Tribulation come close. Underneath the raspy, bestial growls, there’s a lot of surprisingly melodic riffage, harmonious, liquidy lead guitar picking, and versatile drum work. The production is cavernous yet clear, and THE FORMULAS never lingers on one passage lone enough to get stale, nor vomits up so many riffs and tempo shifts to the point of overly-technical wankery. It’s certainly rooted in old-school metal like Venom that had just evolved out of thrash, but Tribulation are up to something more grand and dynamic, culminating in the 13-minute epic closer, “Apparitions.” Taking an extreme metal genre and combining it with a bunch of other influences like psychedelic rock and heavy metal to create something powerful, progressive, and somewhat catchy? Sounds like the black and death metal answer to Baroness’s PURPLE or Gojira’’s MAGMA, and 2015’s acclaimed THE CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT further proved Tribulation’s fantastic performances and songwriting. If an album with an opening track titled “Vagina Dentata” sounds like a good time, check this thing out here and be sure to give CHILDREN a listen as well. [Blake Michelle]

Crossfader Staff

The good people of Crossfader Magazine.

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