The Highdives – Sophomore
Bruce Springsteen, what have you done to us? By spinning romantic tales of heroism, betrayal, soft kisses on a Summer’s night, car races in the street, you’ve inadvertently captured the minds and spirits of a few generations of like-minded dreamers.
For generations, everyone has been looking for the next Dylan. But, here is my verdict in writing. We have our doubts about some to take over for our curly-haired prophet, but we know, for certain, that every generation will have more than a few new Springsteens. The gift of storytelling and reframing working-class values as stories of knights fighting against evil will continue to resonate.
The sound loud and pure with Canada’s terrific The Highdives, just like they did with the Gaslight Anthem or The Lawrence Arms. Blessed with a tender heart and the vocals that can instantly draw a crowd, The Highdives’ Sophomore is poetic working-class grit at its finest. I’m keeping tabs on these guys.
Gloomseeker – Same Ol’ Doom
What do you do when the Golden Standard of music recording involves crystal clear, pristine records made in studios equipped with millions of dollars worth of equipment. Why, if you’re Gloomseeker, make your record sound like someone taped a cave-dwelling artist by mistake.
The DYI, extremely lo-fi sound has been a badge of honour in metal, and somewhat less, in punk rock for decades. The story goes that Varg Vikernes once opted to record Burzum vocals through the microphone of a gaming headset out of a desire to create a performance as distinctly uncommercial as possible. Not his most controversial decision. It also helps with bad pitch, I am told.
Same Ol’ Doom is an everything but the kitchen sink attempt at sludge metal meant to decry the devastation of the world. Perhaps, the artist here is trying a bit hard, but he sure possesses a few really good ideas to get started. Whether you are looking to add some bonafide doom and gloom to your listening experience, or just want to scare your parents silly, Gloomseeker is happy to oblige. However, happy doesn’t seem quite the right word in this context.
I’d like to think that this is a tribute to the untimely passing of MF Doom. Well, you listen to this and dare tell me that I’m wrong.