New at Southwest Sound: Jan. 27

by Cooper Stapleton

Jan. 27 POS, “Chill Dummy”Just in time for him to grace our strange little mountain town with his presence, Minneapolis rapper POS is releasing his fifth solo album, “Chill Dummy,” on Rhymesayers Entertainment. This is the type of hip-hop that our town loves: A little weird, a little too honest at times, and with beats that both surprise and inspire sporadic dancing. But don’t slide off POS as another EDM rapper. The man has bars. Check out “Sleepdrone/Superposition” off the new record. It has him spitting over a constant droning note and is legitimately amazing. POS has the ability to pull from all elements of the current hip-hop scene, to make something that fans of Atmosphere will dig. At the same time, fans of clipping will feel right at home.

Cloud Nothings, “Life Without Sound”Indie rock has been in a strange state for the past few years, where it has occupied a place of popularity often surpassing traditional “rock” music, and often transcends its own genre trappings by employing songwriting techniques of other pop styles. The Cloud Nothings do not strike me as being guilty of this. The single “Internal World” feels so genuine I almost can’t stand it. It brings to mind elements of early Weezer on top of some of the weirder bands in the rock spectrum like Lift To Experience or The Residents, albeit with less blatant experimentation. I found myself enjoying “Life Without Sound” a lot more than expected, and found its sarcastic but genuine tone to be heartwarming during this cold winter.

Japandroids, “Near To The Wild Heart of Life”The brilliant blenders of arena rock and the fuzzy basement punk of the early ’90s return. After nearly four years of inactivity, Japandroids proclaim on the title track of the album, “I used to be good but now I’m bad!” And we are all happier for it. If you want hooks, you got ’em. You want choruses that’ll get stuck in your head? Stick your head in here! You want surprisingly good musicianship buried in just enough fuzz to make you think you’re being subversive? I have just the record for you.

Kreator, “Gods of Violence”You may know about the concept of the Big Four in thrash metal, which often consists of Slayer, Megadeth, Metallica, and Anthrax. If there was a Big Four of thrash bands that are actually good, Kreator would definitely be one of the acts in there. These guys have been making music since 1982, existing in the periphery of popularity since then. But man. There are some riffs in here. Some real effing riffs. Honestly, this record feels so steeped in “thrash culture” that if you told me it came out in 1985, I would’ve believed you. And the oft-neglected whammy bar gets a real workout on “Gods of Violence.” So if you’re about that life, check it out.

Ty Segall, “Ty Segall” So you say you want a record that sounds like it was recorded in a locker? Say no more fam, I got you. Ty Segall is so prolific I just expect a new album from him every five months or so. The man has played on 23 albums since 2008! Toeing the line between fuzz rock and stoner rock, Segall brings in enough noise to give it character without everything drowning in the mix, which is always an accomplishment. And underneath the fuzz there are some killer riffs to discover that will make your neck hurt from inadvertently bobbing your head. It’s a good thing.

Cooper Stapleton

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