This Week’s Best Albums: November 2, 2009

This Week's Best Albums


Lymbyc Systym: Shutter Release (Mush)

Brothers Jared and Mike Bell have kept busy since 2007, releasing their heavily layered electro-acoustic jams on two full-length albums, a remix album, a re-released debut EP, and a split EP with This Will Destroy You.

With Shutter Release, the two showcase their continued musical development, laying tape to a new set of densely packed, melodically driven creations that lean on reappearing refrains and crescendos.

The album opens with a circular, cascading beat that gives way to one of the album’s most noted additions — a clean-channel electric guitar that presents the first of innumerable melodies to follow. A glockenspiel and synthesizers join, and soon the duo’s familiar brand of post-rock is in full effect.

Shutter Release succeeds with the familiar, but it expands Lymbyc Systym’s catalog with mellow moments and does well to capture its live energy. Don’t sleep on this release.


Mr. Chop: For Pete’s Sake (Now-Again)

Coz Littler, also known as the multi-instrumentalist producer Mr. Chop, has begun making a name for himself in the States with an EP on Stones Throw and production work on MF Doom‘s Born Like This.

Littler can handle most of his albums’ instrumentation by himself, but for his newest release, he again calls upon more studio vets for funky, jazzy, effects-fueled renditions of the beats and productions of critically acclaimed producer Pete Rock.

For Pete’s Sake stands on its own as a funky good time, but for those familiar with Rock’s catalog, it should prove to be doubly enjoyable.


Nile: Those Whom the Gods Detest (Nuclear Blast)

On the heels of a haunting solo album, cultural fusionist and guitarist Karl Sanders leads a new album from Nile, his extreme metal quartet with influence from ancient Egyptian themes and imagery.

A traditional Middle Eastern vocal passage makes a strange (but effective) complement to an otherwise brutal, shredding opener, but much of Those Whom the Gods Detest consists of Nile’s relentless guitar fury, blazing double bass, vocal ferocity, and slowly churning chugs.

Beginning with more of Sanders’ worldly influence, the title track shortly transforms to a harrowing assault of lightning-fast riffs and blast beats before working to an epic chorus. Ultimately, the track vies for title of the album’s best, and it comes to typify the stylistic convergence that has separated Nile for the past 15 years.

Honorable mentions:

Bill Frisell: Good Dog, Happy Man reissue (2xLP + bonus CD, Nonesuch)
The Gift of Gab: Escape 2 Mars (Cornerstone RAS)
Lateef the Truthspeaker: Truth is Love (Dread Piper Sounds)
Nirvana: Bleach deluxe edition (Sub Pop)
Rita J: Artist Workshop (All Natural)

scott says:

check out Ghost Clock off Lymbyc Systym Shutter Release. It’s awesome.