Yob - Atma
Eugene Oregon's Yob are part of two trends I am enjoying very much. First,the Pacific Northwest seems to currently have a rather high ratio of quality heavy metal bands. Second,the large amount of excellent doom metal has never been better. Yob is a big part of both those trends. Around since 1996,they split up in 2006 and reformed in 2009 with the release of "The Great Cessation".With Atma,they confirm their status as one of the best metal bands around. Yob has one of my favorite features for a metal band,an utter disregard for any kind of commercially consideration. Songs take however long they take and if that means clocking in at well over the ten or fifteen minute mark,so be it. Radio edit? What's that?
They are also masters of wringing tones and textures out of a genre that can be a bit one dimensional in lesser hands. There is a depth of color here that will reveal itself after repeat listening. The production and mix play a part here in a far more interactive way than the formulaic mixes heard in much of today music. Aside from some textural effects,the mix borders on mono,with only the most subtle of stereo panning. This makes for a heaviness and focus,blended with an articulate clarity one usually doesn't associate with a genre that usually inspires adjectives like "sludgy" and "dark". Hardcore Yob fans must already know that this album also features guest vocals from Scott Kelly of Neurosis. His singing here is one of the most seamlessly integrated guest appearances I've heard,just fitting right in without screaming "tacked on guest spot". Kudos as well to label Profound Lore,who are doing an excellent job of getting plenty of this less commercial heavy metal out into the world. Extra bonus kudos to 20 Buck Spin,who will be releasing the vinyl version on 2xLP in September! Yeah!
Deep Blue Organ Trio - Wonderful!
Wonderful is right! Straight up organ trio jazz featuring guitarist Bobby Broom. I very much prefer Broom in this context,as he tends towards the "smooth" on his solo outings. Here,he sounds great,showing of his formidable jazz chops. Please,Bobby,more of this!
Guy Clark - Songs and Stories
Just like the title implies,this is Clark and his band sitting down playing songs and telling the stories behind them in between. It doesn't hurt that Clark wrights some of the best songs in the business.
Ron Hacker and the Hacksaws - Filthy Animal
Rocking blues with fantastical dirty slide guitar.This is George Thorogood for people who think (know?)Thorogood went commercial. The always fantastic Debbie Davies guests.
Jazz at the Hollywood Bowl
This two disc set of a night of allstars is notable to guitar fans for both Barney Kessel in Ella Fitzgerald's band and Herb Ellis with the Oscar Peterson Trio. Great stuff.
Great news for Deep Purple and Rory Gallagher fans: loads of high quality archival/reissue stuff this week.