The Weekly Jive

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Posted February 14, 2008 in Music

Sabbat—History of a Time to Come/Dreamweaver (Noise Records reissues)

While the rise of Stateside thrash metal—Metallica, Anthrax, etc—is well documented, similar speedy ‘n sinister happenings on the other side of the pond have been lost in the (marijuana) haze. Central to the ’80s Brit thrash scene was Sabbat, who crafted an accomplished, pagan-tinted take on the genre in a two-album (three if you count the wretched final fling, Mourning Has Broken) spasm of a career in the latter half of that decade. Sabbat had all the early-thrash credentials—possessed six-string shredding; omnipresent snare drum; and vocals that alternate between a demi-demon with his tail trapped and a Tolkein-esque doom gurgle—plus the charming Old World earthiness of unlikely acoustic interludes, pseudo-Mediaeval attire, lost lore lyrics, and (seriously) cover art featuring the band posing at Stonehenge. Recognizing Sabbat’s enduring influence, Noise Records has re-released their two genre-classics—1987’s History of a Time to Come and 1989’s Dreamweaver—and they hold up rather well. No more ludicrous in concept than most metal, and utterly sincere, if you like Cradle of Filth or modern metalcore, this’ll get your fingers fake-riffin’ too. Sabbat’s reunion (including a show at Hollywood’s Whisky A Go-Go on April 17) is apparently casual, but their influence continues—both directly and with axeman Andy Sneap having produced everyone from Megadeth to Arch Enemy. (Paul Rogers)

 

Hot Chip—Made In The Dark (DFA Records/Astralwerks Records)

British electropop five-piece Hot Chip has been cranking out dance floor-ready tunes for the last couple of years and churning out remixes of everything worth listening to for almost as long. The band’s repertoire is made up of so many different styles that it’s not uncommon for them to drop R&B rhythms, hip-hop beats and synth-pop sensibilities in the same tune. Their last album, The Warning, received tons of critical acclaim, and was chock full of club-banging tracks—all of which was a huge break from their soul-inspired first album, Coming On Strong. Similarly, Made In The Dark is a departure from the previous album, as these cats threw out the anthems and focused on writing amazingly diverse, engrossing, engaging music that runs the spectrum of their catalog. And all without losing its pop goodness or coming off as pretentious music-snobbery, the usual traps. Dark isn’t without its flaws, but it’s as close to perfection as those Brit boys could get it, which is prettydamnclose. (Phil Fuller)    

 

HorrorPops—Kiss Kiss Kill Kill (Hellcat)

While they dispute their psychobilly pigeonhole with slamming fists, the better description for this group of Danish vampophiles would be something closer to buffoonery anyway. Patricia Day’s voice is No Doubt femme-iliar, but the shit that’s coming out her mouth is nothing more than bratty hoke. She’s just a Copenhagen refugee in “Refugee,” a damsel with a cigarette and a yearn for freedom in “Thelma in Louise,” and from the wrong side of town who happens to be of all things female in “Missfit,” where her and the backing HorrorPops break into a refrain of  “my fist, in the middle of your face” to the beat of Madness’s “Our House.” Yeah, that kind of cartoonish angst. Sure they’re fun to look at with Betty Blowtorch-type sleeves of ink and skeleton outfits, Devil’s Tower hair-dos and a beaten-up upright bass getting thumped by Day with equal parts sass and seduction, but regardless if it’s this zanier-side-of-bland third album or 2004’s more cracked-up Hell Yeah!, there’s something unfun about witnessing people play at cult statuses. (Braxton Leeds)

 


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