Diario de un Monstruo is a homage to the 1981 album Diary of a Madman by Ozzy Osbourne. It is another (and some might argue, inevitable, addition) to the ongoing Monster series of releases.
"To say Liles’ recording is a cover version of the original Ozzy album is far too simplistic and misleading. This recording adapts motifs and hooks from the original music but is in no way similar. It is a complex tapestry that is woven from many fine threads and at times is a confusing and incomprehensible MONSTROUS interpretation of the classic album. Anyone expecting a hard rock L.P. will be sorely disappointed.
Liles has been obsessed by the original album since its release 36 years ago and has been collecting various L.P. pressings and ephemera associated with Diary of Madman for many years.”
The followup to ‘Oh! Mighty Engine’, ex-Slowdive feller Neil Halstead is again scratching his folkie itch on ‘Palindrome Hunches’.
It would be too obvious for him to go back to his ‘Souvlaki’-era experimentation I suppose, but just for good measure the album kicks off with the Red House Painters-ish ‘Digging Shelters’, a track that might be just as melancholy as anything he’s ever penned. It’s not going to convince desperate Slowdive fans, but it’s a great start to an album that manages to blend the alt-country jangle of Mojave 3 and the whimsical qualities many thought Halstead had left behind. More than just reverberating dream pop, ‘Palindrome Hunches’ is bursting with jangling diary entries, wide reaching influences and genuine heart.
Banana Stand Sound showcase California’s 140bpm sphere with four tracks from the west side.
OH91 goes in with gut-wobbling halfstep pressure and starry lead synths on Meditation; Nights & Serotonin’s Jazz Lick gets mad on a broken, tribal tip hearkening back to original Benga and Hatcha styles; TryTryDieDown wins outright with the R&G bling of Boo; and Crix Saiz brings it back to root on the trapping halfstep lean of Warrior.
Famed Labradfordians Mark Nelson and Robert Donne exhibit an even stronger desire for freeform synthetic experimentation on this second Anjou album for Kranky.
Picking up belatedly where their celebrated eponymous debut LP left off, Mark Nelson and Robert Donne’s Anjou project sounds as sublimated and spacious as ever on Epithymía. No longer in need of Kranky percussionist Steve Hess, Donne and Nelson distil the Anjou approach of framing their synthesis into a state of constant fluctuation down to a suite of six tracks. Largely favouring the long-form approach, this allows Donne and Nelson the freedom to truly express their creative intentions with Anjou
14-minute opener Culicinae is a fine example of this. Framed of five distinct movements, the track shifts between them with a subtle mastery that reveals itself with close attention. There are still whispers of Donne and Nelson’s post-rock inclinations from their Labradford days, evident in the percussive rainstorm that briefly filters through Culicinae, the abstracted bass that cuts through the gauzy, shapeless ambience of Greater Grand Crossing and the smartly deployed guitar drones towards the solemn closing moments of An Empty Bank.
The duo does find a semblance of rhythm on the swelling Soucouyant, choosing to toy with just a few refrains rather than let their fingers wander, whilst Glamr and Georgia combine for an eerie, intangible finale.