New at Southwest Sound: March 24

by Cooper Stapleton

March 24Slugdge, “Cosmic Cornucopia”This band first caught my attention some years ago when I saw they were, in fact, not just a hard to pronounce name, but a band with a gimmick that was actually good. Slugdge tell a story of interdimensional cosmic space slugs that secretly run the world from behind a slimy curtain. Musically, it’s actually really technically-proficient doom/death metal. With all the best parts of both genres, Slugdge put together exhilarating and genuinely great metal music that any fan of the genre will appreciate.

Jesus and Mary Chain, “Damage and Joy”Right out the gate, I’ll say that for as much personal anticipation for this release, I was pretty disappointed with what we got. Overall, for a band that was inactive for the better part of 19 years, the album is OK. It’s OK. A lot of the songs are redone versions of one of the Reids’ solo ventures, and, in general, the record felt like an afterthought. I’m glad that they are playing shows again, but I almost wish this record didn’t exist.

Me and That Man, “Songs of Love and Hate”This was another one that I was looking forward to for it being kind of “out of the ordinary.” Me and That Man is the solo country/folk album from Adam Darski aka Nergal, the singer and lead guitarist for one of the biggest black metal bands in the world, Behemoth. At first thought, these seem disparate genres, but really they have a lot in common with each other thematically. Disillusion – with the world and the answers it provides; anger – at the small things and the big things of the world; and even the storytelling aspects of both genres lend the transition more gravitas than it initially had when I first heard about the project. Overall, the album sounds good and dusty, and Darski’s vocals are appropriately croaked. Some tracks are a bit too steeped in genre conventions, and sticking to the “dark folk” sound would’ve lent the album more staying power than some cheesy harmonicas that add nothing to the sound besides checking off “harmonicas” on the country music checklist.

Diamanda Galas, “All The Way” The title track of Diamanda Galas’ “All The Way” is indeed a cover of the song made famous by Mr. Frank Sinatra. It starts with a cacophonous cascade of piano before forming into a sparse and spooky reimagining of a classic build-you-up love song. And that is part of what make Galas so special. For the past 40 years, she has operated from the shadows, making avant garde opera about AIDS, mental illness, Lucifer, and any number of other taboo subjects. A family friend first exposed me to her 1991 live album “Plague Mass,” and it changed me for the better. If you want to hear something genuinely terrifying, you should check it out. The new album, “All The Way,” is an intense and hard listen to those not versed in avant-garde genre stylings, but if you want to challenge yourself and grow, I highly recommend it.

Cooper Stapleton


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