Grails: “Wake-Up Drill II”
Tied together by a mutual appreciation of psychedelia, this split record by Portland’s Grails and Finland’s Pharaoh Overlord is a fitting introduction to each obscure group.
Last month ALARM presented its 50 favorite albums of 2012, an eclectic, rock-heavy selection of discs that were in steady rotation in our downtown-Chicago premises. Now, to give some love to tunes that were left out, we have our 50 (+5) favorite songs of last year — singles, B-sides, EP standouts, soundtrack cuts, and more.
Advaitic Songs, the fifth album from drone-doom duo Om, “pushed the [band’s] material to even greater heights.” Again combining Eastern mysticism with those elements of drone and sludge, the band this time emphasized softer moments and added more string accents. The chemistry between bassist/singer Al Cisneros and drummer Emil Amos (also of Grails), on their second album together, was apparent.
Borne from the rhythm section of stoner-metal trio Sleep, Om has spent nearly 10 years combining drone and sludge with chant cadences and Eastern motifs and philosophy. Advaitic Songs is the duo’s fifth full-length and second with new drummer and coconspirator Emil Amos of Grails, whose work with bassist/singer Al Cisneros has pushed the material to even greater heights.
“Still Here”[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/B_Dolan_Still_Here1.mp3|titles=B. Dolan: “Still Here”]
In 2005, indie rapper / poet B. Dolan, with a self-released full-length under his belt, hooked up with Strange Famous Records after gaining notoriety among New York City’s slam-poetry scene. His first record, The Failure, was re-released in 2008 through his new independent home with the welcome addition of such names as Sole and label head / fellow Epic Beard Man Sage Francis. Since then, he has pushed deep into foreboding hip hop and sociopolitical commentary on another full-length as well as a mixtape titled House of Bees.