You Send Me Things, I Listen to Them: Filth Wizard, Adzes, The Rope
Welcome back to another installment of You Send Me Things, I Listen to Them, in which the internet’s laziest music writer reviews random ass bands that come across his desk. This week we’ve got Filth Wizard, Adzes, and The Rope.
Filth Wizard – Thor’s Toolbox
I’m a sucker for a silly concept and Thor’s Toolbox, the debut record from New Zealand’s Filth Wizard, has just that. Every song is an instrumental interpretation of an item Thor might conceivably have in his extremely normal toolbox. He’s got “Measuring Tape”, he’s got “Pliers”, he’s got a “Phillip’s Head” and so on and so forth. So what is this record anyway? I can best describe Filth Wizard as a garage instrumental metal band. Lest the description turn you off, I assure you that Thor’s Toolbox has grooves and jams for days, all performed under the smoky, dusty haze of a well-lived in basement. It’s a little bit funky, a little bit proggy. A little bit rockin’ and a little bit thrashy. Almost every song twists and turns through unexpected progressions before resolving in an incredibly satisfying crescendo. Take “Hammer” for example, a tune that highlights the more complex tendencies of Black Sabbath and channels them into a vision that a dull army of Sabbath emulators only wish they could achieve. “Motor Oil” is a delicate little Beatles-esque ballad that, again through sheer instrumental mastery, acquits itself of the many negative associations with those old ass Liverpudlians. Be sure to also check out “The Vice”, the most sinister track in the whole toolbox and “Saw” an 11-minute prog rock odyssey that serves as the highlight of the entire record. Dig through Thor’s Toolbox and see what kinda cool shit you can find.
Adzes – Climate // Capital
Boy things seem bleak don’t they? I wonder if there’s a record that can accurately reflect the sense of hopelessness and desperation that pervades the youth of America? Hey, here’s Climate // Capital, the debut EP from one-man Seattle sludge band Adzes! “Your boss seems to be a decent guy. He doesn’t yell like the last one. Hell, he say’s he’d like to bring you on full time but corporate’s not gonna let him. So you work your 30 hours but that lump on your neck doesn’t show any signs of going away. And you can’t afford to go to the doctor without insurance. So what are you gonna do? This is the best job you can find.” So begins the extremely relatable plain-spoken introduction to this record. Among four tracks, Adzes alternates his spoken word pleas with furious harsh vocals, weaving tales of economic desperation and global capital systematically dismantling the precarious ecosystems upon which we all barely survive. Instead of spinning these yarns atop a bilge of crust punk distortion, Adzes opts for layer upon layer of lush atmosphere. With a pile of hand-guilt guitar pedals, guitars build and crash upon each other recalling both Pelican and Godflesh. The highlight tracks for me are “Precariat” and “Shocks”, the former allows itself the space to expand and contract and the later embracing more straightforward metal riffage. Give Climate // Capital a spin and then join me in eagerly awaiting Adzes next release.
The Rope – Lillian
Irony is a hell of a thing, to paraphrase David Foster Wallace. When encountering a totally sincere thing, it feels alien, almost laughable to interact with it. And of course, in processing the world with an ironic filter you only cheapen your own experiences, draining it of emotion and meaning. Which is why I was hesitant with Lillian, the latest record from The Rope, before casting aside irony and embracing it for what it is – a record that worships the same 80s dark wave bands that I too love. Despite hailing from Minnesota, The Rope burst forth with an over-the-top English accent, crooning with a straightforward narrative about the same topics that constantly rattle around my mind, rotten politicians, ecological cataclysm, and a burning desire to live while everything else is aflame. “Given to the Gun”, a song that brings to mind The Church’s “Reptile”, begins the album’s strongest run of three songs. Followed by “Gravity”, a Cure-esque melancholy love song and finished with the the bass-groove led “Bridge”, you’d be hard pressed to find a more enjoyable slice of reverb-drenched and arpeggiated post punk. Killing Joke fans would be foolish not to give a listen to “Now You Know”, an oppressive number replete with stabbing keyboards that would make Jez Coleman proud. Cast aside irony and instead dance, dance, dance to the radio.
If you’d like to be considered for a future installment of You Send Me Things, I Listen To Them, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to your Bandcamp page. I’ve got a backlog of roughly four hundred thousand records at this moment but I’ll get to everyone eventually.