Bandcamp Picks of the Week 7/12/17

Let our Bandcamp Picks of the Week help take your mind off the heat! 

bandcamp picks of the week beastmilk

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Beastmilk – CLIMAX

Genre: Post-Punk, Death Rock

Favorite Tracks: “Death Reflects Us,” “Genocidal Crush,” “Fear Your Mind”

One of the nice things about these picks is the lack of a defined period of time from which you have to pick from; though CLIMAX came out in 2013, I only caught wind of it from a lucky Spotify recommendation. Beastmilk hail from Finland, and impressed Kurt Ballou of Converge so much he agreed to produce their entire debut album. The result is a beautiful, unsettling, and surprisingly catchy journey that provides the only context where lines like, “Overmind godforms / gargoylian law” and, “I pick the Bones clean with the light” would ever work, because only the most nonsensical phrases make sense in Beastmilk’s world of nuclear fallout. Guitars shimmer, rumble, and squeal in agony, and the vocals are a commanding yet desperate howl that become like a circle of priests overseeing a ritual when they harmonize. Ballou mostly does a great job making sure the chaos is still coherent, and the driving rhythm section and an atmosphere dripping with dread never let up. It’s post-punk at its most angry, and it’s death rock at its most polished. Internal tensions mean we likely won’t hear any more music under the Beastmilk name, but when the inevitable nuclear winter approaches, this will be a great soundtrack for the apocalypse. [Blake Michelle]

bandcamp picks of the week snail

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Snail Mail – HABIT

Genre: Indie Rock

Favorite Tracks: “Thinning,” “Habit,” “Stick”

From the first roiling guitar chords of album opener “Thinning,” HABIT makes you feel right at home. Although anyone who has been keeping up with the current renaissance of East Coast indie will certainly find a sense of familiarity over the course of Snail Mail’s debut, what separates Lindsey Jordan and company from the rest of the pack is the tangible sense of bite and barely restrained frustration steadily bubbling under the surface. Although they’ve clearly done their research into the slowcore acts of the late ‘90s and early aughts, what grabs me the most about HABIT is how they eschew the minimalism of that movement in favor of a deep, layered sound. The words “lo-fi” and “bedroom” are being thrown around willy-nilly in regards to this Baltimore act, but I think these buzzwords mostly miss the mark; if anything, HABIT is as impactful as it is due to how rich the constantly evolving drum work and jangling textures of Jordan’s guitar make it. Rounded out with an evocative sense of songwriting in the lyrical sense, Jordan’s preferred topics will instantly appeal to anyone in their late teens or early 20s feeling the inevitable crushing melancholy of moorless young adulthood. Fall in love with Snail Mail here. [Thomas Seraydarian]

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