New at Southwest Sound: Jan. 19

by Cooper Stapleton

Jan. 19Fall Out Boy, “Mania”The high-pitched wails and swooped-over hair have haunted me for what feels like 1,000 years. And now that goddamn “Centuries” song is in pretty much every sports discussion on the television, which is the most punk rock thing of all. Though Fall Out Boy may have stepped away from their more traditional pop-punk sound in favor of the bombastic rock stylings of genre contemporaries like Imagine Dragons, their distinct self-deprecating humor and weirdness is ever present on “Mania.” Musically, the record leans a bit too hard on the pop side of things, but the songs are certainly catchy. The almost reggaeton-tinged “Hold Me Tight (Or Don’t)” is a highlight, maybe just because it’s so sonically unique amongst their catalog. I never thought I would describe anything Fall Out Boy-related as reggaeton, but here we are.

Ghost, “Ceremony and Devotion”Ghost is one of the most popular modern metal bands, exploding over the course of just a few years from Swedish niche weirdness to opening for the likes of Iron Maiden and Metallica. The costumes and masks, anonymity, and very clear themes of satanism, hedonism, humor, and sex permeate every bit of their sound. This live recording is a wonderful representation of their sound, with frontman Papa Emeritus III taking center stage. The banter on this live album is worth the price of admission alone, hearing Papa make the audience promise to go home and give themselves or those they are close to orgasms after the conclusion of the concert is a highlight, as is his rant about eating flesh and drinking blood. Musically, Ghost has a classic metal sound, often compared to the neoclassical grandiosity of the likes of Blue Oyster Cult. I know the themes may make a few people a tad squeamish, but Ghost preach being bold in the face of the unknown, and if you are a fan of rock music at all, I implore you to steel yourself and take the plunge.

tUnE-yArDs, “I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life”The projects of Merrill Garbus are certainly hard to categorize. Her voice has such a strange timbre – breathy but also bassy – while her music is a collage of ukulele, drum loops, bass guitar, piano, and the aforementioned voice, coagulating into a definite and distinct take on the indie genre. There is an infectious groove to a lot of her songs, driven by what sounds like a lo-fi drum machine but could easily just be badly recorded traditional drums. Garbus has a very strong self identity, which gives each of her recordings so much soul and personality. Occasionally, it veers into the weird, mathy meanderings of bands like Fang Island and Battles, but with one foot in the traditional to keep people from feeling too out of place.

Other new releases include: First Aid Kit, Moon Taxi, Chick Corea, Black Label Society, Tommy Emmanuel, Glenn Hansard, Of Mice and Men, Screeching Weasel, They Might Be Giants, and more!

Cooper Stapleton

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