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Led Zeppelin - IV (Classic Album Review)

Led Zeppelin

IV 

By Jac Taylor

 

A blast from the past, that still today remains a surprisingly cohesive timeless masterpiece. Therefore, there is no better time to reminisce about it than now. Led Zeppelin IV is a recollection of an enormously powerful golden era of rock. It is not clear exactly whether Zeppelin knew that it would be such a prominent album, but the music hipsters of the time certainly knew it. Even in recent years, the mystery photo on the album was recently found out of potluck to be a 19th century thatcher. (Check out the BBC article here - Original photo from Led Zeppelin IV album cover discovered - BBC News ). Cool right?

Led Zeppelin IV ranges from some of Rob, Jimmy, John, and John’s greatest hits to covers and seriously underrated projects. From start to finish, all out bangers. To this day, this album strikes us as incredibly unique and such an important moment for Zeppelin; being a massive contributor to their later, more infamous live show at Madison Square Garden.

The sheer fusion of progressive and hard rock in tracks such as ‘Stairway to Heaven’ or ‘Four Sticks’ where Bonham uses four drum sticks to play it. The songs on this album clearly seem like they have taken an extraordinarily long time to compose. I find this thing's music and emotions to be quite intense and edgy, and it is the exact thing to love about it the most. It is so easy to get attached to any one of the tracks in this album.

Furthermore, the versatility on the vocals is important for the fact that it conveys distinct stages of a moody emotion in the album. This could have been the way the band wanted to strike a newer, darker edge that most bands simply were not at the time. You are warned! This album will take your mind to another place. The darker edge of the album features a genius level of musicianship; trapping your ears in a gaze that is psychedelic but frightening. For example, cover song ‘When the Levee Breaks’ was initially a very folky track from the 1920s but has been remastered into a heavier, deep sounding melody.

The more meditative moods can be seen in songs like ‘Going to California’ or ‘The Battle of Evermore.’ These sound of a perfect stillness within its classic rock roots that previous Led Zeppelin records such as the first two self-titled albums share. The absolute best thing about the album is a consistent reference to J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit,with track ‘Misty Mountain Hop.’

On one hand (long-story short), this is 42 minutes and 37 seconds of a psychedelic, heavenly hard rock album. And however contradictory that sounds, we all know it is true. On the other hand, the layout of each song builds up for the next in a necessary but odd fashion. A perfect album for every kind of music fan. Whatever the genre, this one stands out above all.

 

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Singles That Mingle 202406708

 

Singles That Mingle

With Captain Stavros

 

Ben Brown – Blue

Counter to the song title a really upbeat ditty.

 

Blood Wizard – Babytooth

Out Now Via Sad Club Records

So-long, babyteeth.

 

Lunar Vacation - Set The Stage

Everything Matters, Everything's Fire Out September 13 Via Keeled Scales

Sonic vibrance greets you and passes through you on this fuzzy wuzzy gem.

 

Tindersticks – Nancy

Soft Tissue Out September 13 Via City Slang

The morose horn and clinical beat combo has got our attention.

 

White Hills - Killing Crimson

Beyond This Fiction Out August 23 Via Heads On Fire

Making the cut on weirdness alone.

 

Pom Pom Squad – Downhill

Out Now Via City Slang

Fun to say, fun to listen to.

 

Desire – Dangerous Drug

Games People Play Out October 2 Via Italians Do It Better

The opening sounds like the visual soundtrack to a lab that makes super sexy beats.

 

Previous Industries – Showbiz

Service Merchandise Out Now Via Merge Records

Didn’t even wait for the sample to finish before writing this out, it’s a winner.

 

Julia-Sophie – Telephone

Forgive Too Slow Out July 26 Via Ba Da Bing

Giving us Drive II vibes.

 

My Best Unbeaten Brother – Blues Fatigue

Out Now Via Kudos Records

Sometimes you gotta buck the fuck up.

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Singles That Mingle 20240621

 

Singles That Mingle

With Captain Stavros

Cassandra Jenkins – Petco

My Light, My Destroyer Out July 12 Via Dead Oceans

Aloof as it is listenable.

 

Katy Kirby – Headlights

Blue Raspberry Out July 12 Via Anti-

Find something new in this one every time you give it a listen.

 

PEM – Gut Health

Cloud Work EP Out now Via Fascination Street Records

Can’t get enough of that voice, check out PEM live currently touring.

 

Cigarettes After Sex – Baby Blue Movie

X’S Out July 12 Via Partisan Records

A restrained urgency on this tune, CAS keeping it consistent.

 

Cola – Pulling Quotes

The Gloss Out Now Via Fire Talk Records

Here’s an easy breezy one by Cola you’d have to try hard not to enjoy.

 

J.R.C.G. - 34

Grim Iconic (Sadistic Mantra) Out August 2 Via Sub Pop

Slow build that keeps you guessing.

 

Susanna – Elephant Song

Meditations on Love Out August 23 Via SussannaSonata

The quirky keys, playful sax and well-rounded vocals got us hooked.

 

Molchat Doma – Son

Belaya Polosa Out September 6 Via Sacred Bones

Fans of MD will not be disappointed at the bands ever evolving sound, if this sets the tone for the new album, we can hardly wait.

 

Common/Pete Rock – Dreamin’

The Auditorium, Vol 1 Out July 12 Via Loma Vista Recordings

Tapping into the feed that brought them the spotlight, instant classic.

 

Lou Terry – Canyon

Out Now Via State51 Conspiracy

He’s rubbed elbows with some solid musicians and it’s rubbed off.

 

Ghost Fan Club – Now and Then

A tune that begins like a guitar being slowly tuned steadily grows into a warm glowing track.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Runner (Film Review) at the Rio

When the darlings of dark wave, Boy Harsher, released their highly anticipated new cult banger ‘Tower’ around Halloween last year, we were given a rich cut, pulsing with deep and rebounding synthesized pangs from the start.  It pushed through our monitors like the flesh gun through the TV in Videodrome.  Seemingly, an unattainable high bar had been set. Then, two months later, ‘Give Me A Reason’ followed and soon no bar could be set high enough.  As The Runner OST trickled out, bits and pieces of Carpenter, Cronenburg and Lynch’s influences were omnipresent.  What then would become of the marriage between soundtrack and the ‘reckless...out of control...pure evil’ scenes splattered throughout The Runner? 

The film follows Kris Esfandiari (a tranced-out blood witch) as she flees a motel, leaving behind a mess that could double as an abattoir.  The destruction in her wake ruins the lives of everyone she crosses paths with in the backwoods of smalltown USA.  Twice she reaches out by telephone on her journey to The Desperate Man, but his pleas for her to return home ultimately go unanswered.  Literally, she doesn’t speak for her entire performance.  Through television screens (portals?) in the scenes, we’re connected to accompanying, and seemingly unrelated, content in the form of music videos.  Those, in turn, jarringly transition into Jae and Gus’ garage studio, where we get a candid peak behind the curtain to see how the sausage is made.  Between these brief life out-takes, the new music and the end credits where their actors revert back to their playful collaborative friends, are actually the only engaging content worth watching. 

In terms of a directorial debut, Jae and Gus’ The Runner is much in the same vein as Dali’s Un Chien Andalou.  It’s graphic and immaterial showcases ability but lacks enough compelling content to do much more.  Through a discombobulated 40 minutes, the film relies heavily on its strengths: locations, lighting, props, and set design.  Unfortunately, these strengths end up holding a mirror to the film's weaknesses, highlighting a stark contrast between stripped back, one dimensional characters uncertain of their place within the scene, outside of James Duval who nails his role as the host.  Transitional scenes, edited to look like VHS, loosely pull the viewer into a distorted and confusing semi-cohesive narrative, tethering us to the story via nostalgic anchor points rather than actual horror.  We’re given the store-brand when we’ve paid for the name-brand. 

The Runner tracks like the manifest content of a dream, plausible to the dreamer but a half-baked idea to the rest of us.  Themes of escape, fantasy, loss, discarded people are woven alongside semi-autobiographical tones throughout.  Ultimately, these divide the viewers' attention like someone toggling a light switch on-and-off again.  The Runner doesn't conform to a traditional storytelling structure but instead dips from nonsensical to semi-lucid, arriving then to a perceived reality repeating as directed.  Even classic horror tools, like a character disappearing off screen after meeting our protagonist, insinuating unspeakable violence, ultimately leave cerebral elements to atrophy.  In short, the film flirts but doesn’t commit to any one thing long enough to do it well enough.  A non-horror horror, lacking identity and the stamina to push through to an audience outside Boy Harsher fans, and even then, only just. 

If you, as die-hard Boy Harsher fans, decide to follow your heart into this film, the aforementioned noteworthy moments won’t let you down.  The new tunes seriously slap and the playful chemistry between Jae and Gus behind the scenes talking about their music and characters are genuine moments.  If you’re going in wanting to see a horror, or even a film, you will be let down, six feet underground.  Where The Runner unwittingly succeeds is teaching us that ultimately the heart can be a double agent. 


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