Best Albums: Have a Nice Life, Les Claypool’s Duo de Twang, Sunn O))) & Ulver, Bohren & Der Club of Gore, Xiu Xiu

By Scott Morrow
February 05, 2014

This week’s best albums

– The newest release from Have a Nice Life mashes dark shoegaze, industrial percussion, gothic atmosphere, and distant, elongated, harmonized vocals.

– Covering his own catalog as well as singles by Johnny Horton, Alice in Chains, and The Bee Gees, Les Claypool’s Duo de Twang turns in a stomping, whooping record with a Primus-flavored Appalachian vibe.

– The collaborative album between doom masters Sunn O))) and Norway’s folk-inspired black-metal pioneers Ulver is a perfect balance — and sounds almost nothing like either band.

– On its eighth album, German ambient-jazz quartet Bohren & Der Club of Gore is so sparing with its rhythm and phrasing that silence and space could be regarded as the music’s primary building blocks.

– Avant-garde group Xiu Xiu returns with “the sound of Xiu Xiu’s death,” a look at the violently sexual undertones of life in Los Angeles.

Honorable mentions

Broken Bells: After the Disco (Columbia)

Marissa Nadler: July (Sacred Bones / Bella Union)

By Scott Morrow February 05, 2014
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