You are here: Kaedrin > Stuff > Music

Yes, the music that "made me do it". Be careful, or you'll find yourself in my position.

AEnima by Tool : Ok, so this album didn't impress me much the first time I listened to it, but at least they were putting out some good hard rock music. However, I began to listen to it more and more and I began to realize how subtlely textured and raw it really was. In time it has become one of my favorite albums (up there with The Downward Spiral). Its sort of like Pink Floyd meets Metallica (and why not throw some crack into the mix). From the haunting strains of Maynard's vocals to the metal bass and guitar to the awesome drum work underlying it all, this album makes for some of the most interesting and inventive metal music in years. The drum work in particular, incorporating various Eastern disciplines with traditional rock drums (and there is also a refreshing lack of rap or hip-hop influence here), raises the level of the music. Many of the songs evolve from a low key beginning to a kickin chorus that is very involved, such as in 46 & 2 or Pushit. The only thing that detracts from the album are the many and sometimes annoying interludes between songs. Otherwise, this is a fantastically dark rock album that is an absolute must for fans of rock or metal.

Ende Neu by Einstürzende Neubauten : About a year ago, I went through a German Industrial Music phase and this was one of the albums I was constantly listening to. The band is known for its untraditional instrumentation and this album is no exception. Songs are performed with amplified wires, air compressor pistols, and plastic canister percussion; all of which lend a unique industrial sound to the album. Despite these deeply industrial themes, the real strength of the album is its humanistic touches, such as the female celestial choir in "Die Explosion im Festspeilhaus", the mantric chant in "NNNAAAMMM" or the orchestration in "The Garden". With the exception of "The Garden" all of the songs are sung in German which makes the songs a bit less accessible, but the translated lyrics (and the original German lyrics) are thoughtfully contained in the booklet. A work of complex and challenging music that never ceases to interest me. If you are feeling particularly adventurous and you don't mind the language barrier, check this one out.

The Fragile by Nine Inch Nails : The first new Nine Inch Nails album in five years has finally arrived, and I must say, I'm impressed. Though I don't believe it to be as brilliant or innovative as The Downward Spiral, it has certainly come close. I still find it difficult to compare the two, as the musical styles are very different (plus I've only had a few weeks to listen to The Fragile whereas I've had 5 years to analyze TDS). Mr Reznor seems to have mellowed out a bit, creating a much more balanced musical experience (though there is something to be said for the abrasive style of TDS). As a friend observed "I'm glad no trends of the past five years in music appear on it. He may as well have been living on the moon while making this." Indeed the album does have a unique sound and I'm interested to see how the music industry responds. "Somewhat Damaged" starts things off with a slowly building bang which is followed by a mixture of mellow ("The Frail", "The Wretched") and not so mellow ("We're in This Together", "No, You Don't") songs. Trent also seems to be taking a more instrumental approach to his music, as evidenced by the many impressive instrumentals such as the absolutely kick-ass "Just Like You Imagined" or the sinister march anthem "Pilgrimage". There are even times when the music begins to take on a funky edge, such as "La Mer" or "Into the Void". And of course there is also the standard techno/industrial type songs like "Complication" and "The Big Come Down" which prove that Trent is still on top. All in all, this is one of the best musical offerings I've heard in recent years and definitely have not been let down (even with the long wait!)

California by Mr Bungle : A very bizarre offering from a very strange band. It's really quite hard to describe the album. It's sort of like swing/surfer music on crack. This is certainly not for everyone, but it is one of the most interesting albums I have bought recently. The songs range in style from swing to surfer to Doo-Wop to downright mayhem. I liken it to a musical representation of schizophrenia (and this is downright peachy compared to their last album, Disco Volante). A must for those suffering from Faith No More withdrawal like myself (Mike Patton is his usual self). Check it out if you're in the mood for something different (real different).

Angel Dust by Faith No More : A truly amazing feat, Angel Dust is one of the oddest, yet most fascinating, albums I have ever experienced. This offbeat follow up to the commercial success of The Real Thing (which contained the hit Epic) is anything but commercial, which is what makes it so engaging (though it does leave the album with somewhat of a limited appeal, which is not such a bad thing). The music on this album consistently defies any sort of label or classification. Every song has its own unique feel, and in my opinion, each song represents a different character or type of person. Whether it's the suicidal fast-food worker of Land of Sunshine, the man at the end of his rope of Caffeine, the middle aged loser of Mid Life Crisis, or the white trash monologue of a man who lives in a trailer in RV, you are never left with a dull moment. It doesn't end there either. Faith No More is simply one of the most diverse bands ever, and songs like Everything's Ruined, Kindergarten, and A Small Victory show just how diverse they can make a single song. Then there are the songs that just can't be accurately described like the discoesque/metal Crack Hitler or the organ driven Be Aggressive, which has a chorus sung by high school cheerleaders. Funk Punk Metal Rock does not even begin to describe this album. One of my favorite albums of all time!

In Association with Amazon.com

Copyright © 1999 - 2008 by Mark Ciocco.