As the year wraps up, December albums contemplate the future. From outraged Detroit rockers POPULAR CREEPS’ rambunctious, “All Of This Will End In Tears,” to sci-fi tribalist NINA HAGEN’s ferociously woke, “Unity,” cynical predictions and cautious prophecies abound. Meanwhile, second guesses and questionable estimates populate deep-feeling realist MICAH P. HINSON’s bittersweet bereavements, “I Lie To You,” and synth-pop enchantress CHARLOTTE SPIRAL’s luscious supple, “All This Time Asleep.” Good luck everyone.
White Lung - Premonition
Album title: Premonition
Record Label: Domino
Double-fisted triplets ambushing buzzsaw symphonics in laser-guided crossfire spirals and razor-sharp stomp-boxed harmonics, “Premonition,” tears past vast havoc into sublime sonic cauldrons calling for all to feast, electric fretwork stretched over ravenous bungee-jumping caverns crashing five-alarm banquets in victorious glory. Secret weaknesses vanquished with famished banshee surgery, White Lung’s farewell album gleams in steamy teamwork, proficient synchronicity and tireless pyrotechnics.
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Sophie Jamieson - Choosing
Album title: Choosing
Record Label: Bella Union
Destiny taunts phantom answers dancing in Jamieson’s flaming torch-songs, navigating sad ballads between simple admissions simmering in minimal beginnings and elaborate ladders bridging stirring murmurs emerging from forlorn corners into dogfight flights under open skies. Folk-rock roots weaving indie-twisted pitfalls among singer-songwriter pinnacles, “Choosing,” casts therapeutic prudence and confidential entries into vicarious prayers layered in crossroads atonements and keyhole focus.
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Terence Fixmer - Shifting Signals
Album title: Shifting Signals
Record Label: Mute
Engines fed and revved, scattered schematics reformatted into tense suspenseful purges, “Signals” slathers tabulated palpitations deploying wobbly modulations dropped among programmed animosity; predatory obstacle courses pitching gritty friction into thick gooey contusions. Electronic beat sequenced conjugator, Fixmer throws the sleek among the slime, pairing grace with grime, crossing berserk circuits caged in scrapes with industrial ambience moored to oily dancefloors.
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Brendan Benson - Low Key
Album title: Low Key
Record Label: Schnitzel Records
Multi-talented maestro, Benson’s keen pop comprehension seeks encyclopedic feats with astute grooves depicting life on the road, whether paying dues in soulful brass wrapped around country-blues or tasting freedom gleaming in power chords rigged with pithy riffs. By reconciling miles traveled in clever couplets, “Low Key,” captures biographical snapshots in rearview mirror romances, ramping three-minute anthems into taunt cautionary tales.
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Black Ox Orkestar - Everything Returns
Album title: Everything Returns
Record Label: Constellation Records
Drawn from traditions surrounding the Jewish, Slavic, Arabic, and Central Asian diaspora, “Return,” yearns and spurns, sauntering along delicate melancholy partnered with dignified whimsy, frivolous in generous pleasantries and unequivocal in facing misfortunes. A transient pantheon spicing lives with emotional poetry proudly mounting philosophical resolve, Black Ox Orkestar honors, reveres and forges ahead, lamenting then celebrating, marrying hope with closure.
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Donzii - Fishbowl
Album title: Fishbowl
Record Label: Grey Market Records
Whiplashed crackle from stutter-pop anarchists, sinister misfits Donzii launches propulsive slap-bass raves with caustic six-string time-bombs, ominous thoughts embedded in brittle prog-rock metal and showered in clattering New Wave shadows. Divine techno-funk throwbacks ransacked in brusque feline insolence, “Fishbowl,” holds cyber-punks hostage with wonderfully hallucinogenic frenzies, pouty routers hard-wired to schizophrenic detonators with threatening temptations, soft narcotics and finicky synergy.
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What does the future hold? This installment marks 15 years of Slipped Discs on-line. Time to take a breath. Cannot thank enough the publicists and labels that made it all possible. I’ll continue to write music happenings and January already promises such goodies as alt-rock bombardiers R. RING’s, “War Poems, We Rested,” LADYTRON’s phantasmagorical, “Time’s Arrow,” and BEAUTY PILL’s, iconoclastic anthology, “Blue Period.” February offers audio stylists MMEADOWS’, “Light Moves Around You,” PILE’s foggy cog-rock, “All Fiction,” and Field Music’s DAVID BREWIS’ debut, “The Soft Struggles.” Can’t stop the music.