There could be no other album to kick off NMT this week. Sleater-Kinney is an all time rock band and even though the band members have had other great projects (The Corin Tucker Band and Wild Flag chief among them), there has been a hole in the music world since the band broke up in 2006. Thankfully, they’re back together and No Cities to Love is right there with Dig Me Out and The Woods among their best. The guitars are as precisely jagged as ever, Janet Weiss still doesn’t miss a beat on the drums, and the vocals (Corin Tucker handles most of the primary ones here) are on point for society in 2015. No Cities to Love is punk rock at its absolute best. Give it a listen and then get your popcorn, Sleater-Kinney is going to be omnipresent for the foreseeable future.
From Calgary, Alberta, Viet Cong is a four piece (half the band were in Women before the untimely death of the band’s guitarist) that plays dark, foreboding post punk. Viet Cong is the band’s debut LP, following last year’s Cassette EP, and is incredibly heavy both musically (Peter Hook’s influence can be heard on many bass lines and those were it isn’t are even heavier) and lyrically (“if we’re lucky we’ll get old and die”). The album is also tremendously good. In fact, first single “Continental Shelf”, which was released late last year, landed on several year end lists but it isn’t even the best song on the album. Instead, Viet Cong closes with the 11+ minute “Death”, which is an absolute monster and the perfect ending to a fantastic album.
Three things you need to know about Joey Bada$$: 1) He has a terrible name; 2) the White House is investigating how a picture of Malia Obama wearing a Pro Era shirt (Joey’s crew) got released; and 3) he makes throwback boom bap rap (this one is probably the most important). Initially, Joey’s reliance on such a nostalgic form of the genre paid off, his 1999 mixtape was my #15 album of 2012, but it seemed to be wearing thin already by his follow up mixtape, 2013’s Summer Knights. Accordingly, the question leading up to B4.DA.$$, his debut LP, was whether there is more meat on that particular bone. Initially, my answer is ‘yes.’ While B4.DA.$$ is a little hit and miss, there are some true gems here (“No. 99”, which samples Tribe’s “Scenario” is particularly excellent), and Joey seems to be landing more on the funky side of boom bap, with refreshing results.
An author and editor at MiG, Craig lives in Minnesota with his wife and son and is an attorney in his real life. Once upon a time Craig played the trumpet and spent four years in the Hawkeye Marching Band and pep band. These days Craig finds himself most often listening to experimental rock, hip hop, and post punk, but you can see everything he's listening to at: www.last.fm/user/cafreema Craig is not ashamed to admit the first concert he ever attended was New Kids on the Block.
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