Bob Log III: My Shit is Perfect (Birdman)
For 15 years, Bob Log III has knocked out fucked-up, floor-stomping rhythms for adventurous show-goers, performing in full-body cannonball suits with a telephone-receiver mic fastened to a motorcycle helmet. His one-man-band MO consists of crazy blues riffs, drum-machine beats, solo kick-drum rhythms, and steel-stringed slide guitar. True to form, My Shit is Perfect is quintessential Bob Log with elements of stop-start timing, lighting-fast picking, and mostly incomprehensible lyrics.
Gouseion: More Friends for the Fire EP (Run Riot)
Electronic producer Cassidy DeMarco returns with another release as Gouseion, purveyor of buzz-saw synthesizers and big beats. For this EP, DeMarco stresses backing harmonies and scales back the power of his drum samples, resulting in a dancier mix whose appeal reaches beyond raves. Released less than six months after his last full album, Nijikon, this EP is a digital-only release.
Bushman’s Revenge: You Lost Me at Hello (Rune Grammofon)
Led by the down-tuned riffs of Even Helte Hermansen, the guitarist for the outstanding Norwegian prog-jazz group Shining, Bushman’s Revenge filters a heavy rock trio through the lens of an improvisational jazz outfit. The group cites inspiration as much from Black Sabbath and Jimi Hendrix as Ornette Coleman and Albert Ayler, and You Lost Me at Hello oddly sounds a bit like all of it, even if it leans on the first two. Boundless free jazz meets structured rock and roll on the album, which comes recommended for fans of both styles.
Pulling Teeth: Paradise Illusions / Paranoid Delusions (Deathwish Inc.)
Punching in at five songs and 23 minutes, this doubly themed release takes hardcore group Pulling Teeth in a crushing and despairing direction. The group’s full-throttle tempos, speed picking, push beats, and wailing solos are still present, but the final product is a more-complete, ominous concoction that adds a few melodic breakdowns.
Rahim AlHaj: Ancient Sounds (UR Music)
Iraqi political refugee Rahim AlHaj found asylum in the USA in 2000, finally free of the torture and imprisonment that he suffered at the hands of Saddam Hussein for aligning himself with anti-Hussein groups. A master of the oud, AlHaj now lives in New Mexico, where he was able to vote last November for the first time in his entire life. His beautiful Arabic style, full of microtones and complex rhythms, has taken small elements of Western structure over the years, although this duet recording with sarod master Ustad Amjad Ali Khan is rather traditional.
Stinking Lizaveta: Sacrifice and Bliss (At a Loss)
Splashing together prog rock, math rock, stoner/psych rock, and bits of Eastern flavor, Stinking Lizaveta accomplishes quite a bit for having a semi-standard rock-trio lineup. Guitarist Yanni Papadopoulos shines with his technical and diverse creations, and he adds keyboards and theremin as sonic supplements. Sacrifice and Bliss comes strongly recommended for instrumental-tech-rock geeks.