Rounding the Fringes - December 13


Eating the Internet- Delivery No. 2

Released: December 3


If you are familiar with the type of work the Steep Gloss puts out consistently, you make think you know what to expect. However, Delivery No. 2 is something of a wonder when it comes to lulling you in with a false sense of certainty at first listen. Opening up with "Time to Start Taking Iron Bru Seriously," gentle sounds and half-cooked melodies draw you into a world that seems to be filled with a benign wonder. It is not until the following track, "The Woods That Stalk Me," begins that this tenuous serenity is broken as it begins somewhat gently as well, only to suddenly turn into a soundscape of screaming noise that overtakes the track as the lighter sound that originally appeared attempts to keep its place in the mix despite the crushing wall that has appeared. This theme plays on throughout the remainder of the album as it moves back and forth between these extremes, often joined by warped and indiscernible pieces of speech. Expect to be torn between two distant but interrelated poles, enjoyably.



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Meth Damon - Meth Damon

Released: December 3


A new artist appearing on Bent Window Records, this self-titled EP is a collection of three absolutely brutal crushing soundscapes that mark the debut release from this midwestern noisemaker. Each ten-plus minute track is comprised solely of scathing textures that give only the slightest hint of relenting before throwing you right back into the scorching, screeching, oscillating noise. The closest it comes to letting up is the final track "Dogs Keep Using the Family Tree" when the noise begins to fade intermittently. Just as you think it may be winding down to an end, the insanity picks back up to continue punishing you to the very end. A solid debut and a punishing listen that has its own character, avoiding the generic sound of a standard noise wall. Listen closely to satisfy your craving for a bit of audible masochism.



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Playback Head - First Sounds

Released: December 2


First Sounds is a bit of an acoustic oddity, sonically speaking. On the one hand, it is an wonderous bit of acoustic ambience that contains all manner of soothing sounds from traditional instruments such as the guitar, piano, cavaquinho and even sparse field recordings of natural landscapes. What seems to really define its sound is the use of small tape recordings. Each sound has been recorded to tape and then bounced backinto the mix from that tape, giving it a unique and distinct character that shines through unmistakably. The soundscapes contained within this album are simultaneously lush and sparse, with an organic quality that seems only enhanced by the method in which it was made. A particularly intimate moment happens during "Piexe Vivo," in which a gentle piano plays as you hear the sounds of he and his sons indistinctly speaking and interacting with one another. It is absolutely beautiful and stunning.



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Kindly Spoken Thieves - Resistor

Released: December 3


Kindly Spoken Theives is always good for a sonicly diverse album, if for no other reason than it is wonderful to hear Joshua and Steven (a.k.a. Hydro Fyter) play off of one another to create something interesting. There are moments throughout the album in which the influence of each is more prominent than at other point. Tracks such as "Transformer," "Rheostat," and "Inductor" are those moments where you can prominently hear the Hydro Fyter influence when those signature prominent drums come into the mix. It's really unmistakable when he does the drums for a track- the punchiness, the impact, the rhythm - they all just seem to hit so perfectly as to solidify a track without overpowering it. Meanwhile, Wittman provides relaxed guitar licks that have been manipulated into beautiful ambeinces that fit in which the signature drums and even stand beautifully on their own in shorter pieces.



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Oberlin - Stone Valley Days

Released: December 3


Somewhere, there is a man overlooking a serene and hazy valley as he reflects under his beginnings and his present. At least, that is what I envision as I listen to this album. Much of the album is centered around guitar work this time around and the effect is spectacular. Guitars are saoked in delay and long reverbs that create the a wide sense of space in a backdrop of field recordings, fuzz, and soft crackles. So many of the tracks here have this beautiful wistful quality that Oberlin himself calls romantic, which I can definitely see. However, the sense I get goes beyond the word in the typical sense. This sounds, to me at least, a romanticiziation of life itself. I hear it in tracks such as "If Schooling Days Were Ruling Days" with a softly plucked guitar playing gently as a second, much more heavily processed guitar plays in the background and a sweeping synth rise and falls. If this is a love letter, it is one written directly to life itself.



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