Album Review: AJJ – The Bible 2

ajjAbout six months ago, Andrew Jackson Jihad changed their name. In an attempt to be less offensive, they chose to go with AJJ. Presumably the band failed to see that regardless of their protests these letters continue to stand for Andrew Jackson Jihad (if they had actually intended to remove their association with what was and is disrespectful, they shouldn’t have gone with the same acronym), but it was a decision they felt compelled to make. However, many (myself included) were worried that this change would also result in a shift in their music; this worry wasn’t alleviated by the rather lackluster song accompanying the announcement (ironically, AJJ were not at the top of their game). The band lost something in this transition; the fact that they even felt the need to change their name almost seems to indicate a loss of soul. At the very least, it’s a shift in priorities. A name change isn’t inherently bad; Viet Cong changed their name to Preoccupations, but their name wasn’t central to the kind of music they made (and if anything, they’ve gotten better since then). AJJ haven’t topped their previous output; they’ve become a band of fake pretension and weak musical ideas. Continue reading

New Music: Oathbreaker

oathbreakere

I wanted to take a second to shout out the new Oathbreaker single. I purchased a couple shirts from Deathwish Inc., and after poking around their site a bit I discovered this song. The album was produced by Jack Shirley, who also produced Loma Prieta’s I.V. and Deafheaven’s Sunbather. These are two of my favorite albums in the world of heavy music, so I’m definitely intrigued by this new album. Continue reading

Saint Pablo and the potential obsolescence of piracy

Well, there’s a new Kanye song (well, about a month old now), and it’s actually pretty good. This post isn’t really about how I’ve been bumping the new Kanye track, but I do want to say Saint Pablo is quite possibly one of the best songs he’s released since Runaway. This is yet another update to The Life of Pablo, which is quite possibly the biggest release of the year. If you don’t know, it was basically an album that had a huge hype cycle around it, caused by multiple name changes, tracklist changes, and multiple delays, leading up to an eventual release on February 14th, 2016. You can get a full, detailed list of these events on Wikipedia, or by looking through Kanye’s tweets. While this marketing strategy likely wouldn’t have worked for other artists, it did for Kanye. While this post is titled “the obsolescence of piracy,” I would like to point out that this was the most pirated album of the year thus far.  So why, then, do I believe that Kanye may be snuffing out piracy? I’ll get to that. I do find it important to note that Kanye’s album resulted in a large influx of Tidal users (including myself), and even resulted in Japanese artist TOYOMU creating his own The Life of Pablo, as Tidal is not available in Japan. Kanye’s hype cycle made this the album that everyone had to listen to in 2016, and if they couldn’t, they’d make a feasible facsimile. Continue reading