Album Review Saturdays 2023 Episode 17

This Album Review Saturdays has a band from 1988 that’s really reminded me just how much fight they had and apparently still have in them.  Then I took an unusual, interesting and international detour in the progressive metal-rock scene to explosive ear delights.  Trying to round out the threesome, there was no question that we needed a refresher or vintage, so we head over to the legendary Village Gate in Greenwich Village, New York for a heaping portion of American jazz with two just as legendary!  So, we’ve got grunge-punk, tremendously gifted Polish progression, and a trip into 1961’s Village gate for this our 17th post of 2023 Album Review Saturdays!  Sounds like an interesting threesome.

 

MudhoneyPlastic Eternity

Okay, so it’s been a long while since I had put on a Mudhoney record. It surprises me to be honest with you because of my 90s indulgences, but there was probably a little bit too much punk in their grungy garage. Albums really never held my attention like they should have, but that was probably more on me than on them. The production was always a hint on the intentionally raw in my memory, and this one has that haze (as I call it), too, but it’s just — well there’s just something that I can’t put my ear on, but that “effectiveness,” whether it’s drums or the holding sonic rhythm (if you will), has kept this band in the music multiverse since 1988!

We’re not going to light the vocal lamp on this album, but what we are feeling is that grunge and punk attitude delivered because the lyrics fit so freakin’ well. Oh come on! Cascades of Crap is so well howled against driving sonic guitars that you realize it’s great to be in the cheap seats, and then you go through it again with Severed Dreams in the Sleeper Cell and Human Stock Capital. Dark, moderately angry garage punk lovers unite! Calling all Headstones, Screaming Trees, Tad and The Afghan Whigs followers give this a decent spin, it’s got bite!  Why?  Simple!
It’s not the dog in the fight — it’s the fight in the dog!

The Band

  • Mark Arm – Vocal, Rhythm Guitar
  • Steve Turner – Lead Guitar
  • Guy Maddison – Bassist
  • Dan Peters – Drums, Percussion

Plastic Eternity Tracklisting

  1. “Souvenir of My Trip”
  2. “Almost Everything”
  3. “Cascades of Crap”
  4. “Flush the Fascists”
  5. “Move Under”
  6. “Severed Dreams in the Sleeper Cell”
  7. “Here Comes the Flood”
  8. “Human Stock Capital”
  9. “Tom Herman’s Hermits”
  10. “One or Two”
  11. “Cry Me an Atmospheric River”
  12. “Plasticity”
  13. “Little Dogs”

 

 

AvkrvstThe Approbation

So you’re craving some Polish progressive rock?!  You should be, as the Avkrvst, while they’re lacking a vowel, they are not lacking in anything instrumentally in their rich, deep and completely complex progressive metal-rock extravaganza “The Approbation.”  The only set back here is that opening track entry, but after that they’re on fire with every instrumentalism, twist, turn, shred, and surprise they can muster.  This concept album, which you knew it had to be the minute you’re engaged into the second track is about some bleak soul who is left solely with his thoughts, isolated on a cabin deep into the dark forests, far away from civilization, struggling toward something not so good.  While the vocal is not a prominent weapon of choice here, it is less complex against the rest, so totally befitting to the overall.  There should be no question that in the progressive environment this year they are the absolute favorites of those that enjoy Procupine Tree, Opeth, Dream Theatre, Cynic, and maybe even a little Univers Zero?!

PS:  We linked to the band’s website.  Good luck getting around it, so if you figure it out hit us back!  Otherwise click here for Season of Mist Shop!

 

The Band

  • Martin Utby – composer, drums, synths
  • Simon Bergseth – composer, guitars, bass and vocals
  • Øystein Aadland – bass, keyboards
  • Edvard Seim- guitars
  • Auver Gaaren – keyboards

Approbation Tracklisting

1. “Osterdalen”
2. “The Pale Moon”
3. “Isolation”
4. “The Great White River”
5. “Arcane Clouds”
6. “Anodyne”
7. “The Approbation”

 

John Coltrane with Eric Dolphy – Evenings at the Village Gate Live 1961

What it must have been like to be at the height of the music community surrounding the legendary Village Gate in Greenwich Village in New York City?  Well, if there’s a recording that can capture that via the sound and feel, incredible improvisational depth, love, and intensity for the avant garde jazz maximists of the time, John Coltrane and Eric Dolphy certainly obliged!  This is a completely submersive collection that astoundingly converts 1961 into a you’re there in the moment!  Piss on the fact that during that time Coltrane was getting shit for being “anti-jazz” according to purists, who probably now hail him.  I’m still not sure how it’s even possible, but I don’t care, and you shouldn’t either.  Set aside all, and just revel in it, and just picture as your listening to it all else surrounding you!  While you missed out, like many of us, on the actual lifestyle and times, at least we can be transported into the reality of audio, as it makes us all crave our next trip to that intimate club, right?! The tracklisting, while common, is far from it.

 

The Band

 

Evenings at the Village Gate Live 1961 Tracklist

  1. “My Favorite Things” (Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers)
  2. “When Lights Are Low” (Benny Carter)
  3. “Impressions” (Coltrane)
  4. “Greensleeves” (traditional)
  5. “Africa” (Coltrane)
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