1) Puzzle – The Rotten Opera – Jan 7, 2023
Fletcher Shears, known best as half of the twin-punk duo The Garden, has released his 5th LP this week titled The Rotten Opera, and it’s exactly what fans expected. Another short, fun, fast paced record recalling elements of hyper-pop and experimental hip-hop with that Vada Vada twist that the twins are known for. Like much of his past material, there doesn’t seem to be any noticeable overarching theme across the record, with each song featuring different motifs and sentiments. This is likely Puzzle’s poppiest release so far, but he is no stranger to accessible songwriting. Solid album from one of mainstream punk’s biggest faces.
Favorite Tracks: “Tip My Hat” ; “Taller than a Smokestack” ; “love is a place to hide”
- Will Lewis
2) Ropes Inside A Hole – A Man And His Nature – Jan 10, 2023
Post-rock, if you believe it exists, is a genre that has risen from the ashes over the past 5 or so years, with many bands that grew up on Mogwai and Godspeed You! Black Emperor feeling inspired to resurrect the longer, complex songs and emotional climaxes native to the genre. Many younger music listeners like myself has bands like Black Country, New Road and Radiohead to thank for taking elements of this genre and making it more accessible, better preparing us for the true groundbreaking acts like Slint, late Talk Talk, etc. Ropes Inside A Hole is a newer band that thrives on the border of post-rock like many great acts of the past, with the band choosing to lean in more of a melodic-metal direction as opposed to an ambient one. A Man And His Nature is their second record, and it is absolutely glorious. Six gargantuan movements laid out into a 46 minute amalgamation of all things metal, emo, chamber-rock, with hardly any singing, so as not to distract the listener from the intense crescendos and the revolving door of time signatures. Not to mention the beautiful string sections throughout. Complex but far from overly technical, and this is certainly a record that could help segue many metalheads into a fandom of other “post-rock” groups.
Favorite Tracks: "Distance" ; "Loss and Grief" ; "Time to Sleep"
- Will Lewis