anything that ay-hole posts


John Carpenter Lost Themes II

tinyjunkheadv1a Windows Movie Maker used to be good. It’s terrible now. I use iSkysoft movie editor or something.
tinyayholev1a Could I get an older Windows movie Maker?
tinyjunkheadv1a I don’t think so, what Windows does he have?
tinyayholev1a Windows 7. When can you do the dialogue?
tinyjunkheadv1a Now.
tinyayholev1a Okay, lemme get ready.
tinyjunkheadv1a Hold on, I gotta do something.
tinyayholev1a I’m just going to sit here then.
tinyjunkheadv1a Alright, I’m ready.
tinyayholev1a So, featured above is the standard issue Lost Themes II “die-cut jacket with printed inner sleeve.” There is a bonus track available for download and on the CD release. It’s called “Real Xeno” and is a rockin march.
tinyjunkheadv1a Alright, let’s start this.
tinyayholev1a You there, Josh?
tinyjunkheadv1a You go ahead.
tinyayholev1a The introduction of the album is excellent, almost a four minute build
tinyjunkheadv1a So that’s how we’re starting it? We should be like…we’ve been waiting months.
tinyayholev1a I dunno. I already started with the bonus track.
tinyjunkheadv1a Or talk about your Record Store Day experience getting it.
tinyayholev1a There I was, after work. I was like, “where is the record store day stuff?” And the man behind the counter pointed straight down at the cardboard box in front of me. “That’s what’s left.”
tinyjunkheadv1a And the only thing in there was John Carpenter’s Lost Themes II.
tinyayholev1a That and one thousand copies of “Cavern of Anti-Matter.”
tinyjunkheadv1a What is that? If I made an album of rubber band noises I’d probably call it that.
tinyayholev1a It was a 12″ clear vinyl in a clear plastic bag. It looked a lot like wall art from Pier One.
tinyjunkheadv1a I’m glad you got Lost Themes II. Ay-hole had me come over the next day and listen to the whole thing. Then we had a bonfire and burned all his mail.
tinyayholev1a Honestly, the real reason I went to record store day was to get the Lush box set. I was lucky to nab Lost Themes II as well. It did officially come out on Friday, the day before, but I apparently get a bonus download track, which I assume comes with every purchase. I was super excited to listen to it, really. The whole album, that is.
tinyjunkheadv1a I thought it would be better than Lost Themes I. The sample tracks online were really rockin’, so I figured the whole album would have a new vibe.
tinyayholev1a It is slightly more rocky at times and most of the tracks seem to be more divided than the first. There are lots of little themes.
tinyjunkheadv1a A lot of the tracks are broken up into different little bits. Most borrow liberally from John Carpenter’s large body of work, but there’s definitely some fresh variations on the old motifs. One thing that I sort of liked about the album was how the first and second side had different feels.
tinyayholev1a If by “different feels,” you mean, the second side was a remix of last years album and Escape From New York, yes. I think the second side had one track that stood out, other than the guitar solo on “Dark Blues,” and that stand out track would be the final track, “Utopian Facade.”
tinyjunkheadv1a Well, the first side has a lot of rockers. The synth bubbles in “Distant Dream”, “Angels Asylum”, and “Windy Death” have all the pounding snares and stoic guitar work. Side two is a little more bland. “Bela Lugosi” has to be the most vanilla synthscape ever made.
tinyayholev1a That is the most adequate description. I think I’ve spent 15-30 minutes thinking about that track alone, trying to describe it. I think it’s quite an accomplishment, when you put it that way. Perhaps he intended the second half to be more experimental.
Let’s talk about the rockin first half some more.
“White Pulse” is the bee’s knees. It has this repetitive synth pulse melody and some excellently mixed background strings. For exploratory music, this one can be used in almost any atmosphere, and short of two minutes in we have an post industrial breakdown.
tinyjunkheadv1a It sets the tone for the whole first side. Songs are broken up into multiple movements, fluctuating from slow and brooding to mid-tempo and pounding. “Angel’s Asylum” has got to be the single though. It’s not far off from a slick electroclash except for the awesome acoustic guitar breakdown at the end.
tinyayholev1a It is one of the two available tracks on bandcamp. It does just about everything right. It’d make a good clubbin’ song, if it was acceptable to put real music on at the club.
Actually, I think now I have a new touchtones favorite.
I wonder what Cody and Daniel Davies influenced.
tinyjunkheadv1a Cody probably plays guitar. Cody’s a guitarist name.
Daniel probably wrote “Bela Lugosi”. That sounds like a Daniel thing to do.
tinyayholev1a I was not aware Daniel and John had such an intimate relationship. Apparently, John thinks of him as his godson.
tinyjunkheadv1a It’s best to do that when you share creative endeavors. I like to think of you as my son, Ay-hole.
tinyayholev1a And I think of you as my distant father from a washed up rock band.
tinyjunkheadv1a Or a washed up film career.
tinyayholev1a What do you think of the bonus track?
tinyjunkheadv1a I felt like it was left off the LP with good reason. The pieces don’t really mesh, and it doesn’t really start cooking until the third section.
tinyayholev1a … which ends approximately immediately.
tinyjunkheadv1a Yeah, I don’t get why that was thrown in. Two and a half minutes of random leftovers.
tinyayholev1a I still think the whole album is better than most, but the difference in quality between the first and second sides seems like too great a chasm to cross.
tinyjunkheadv1a The crossing isn’t so bad. The second side clicks occasionally, but the whole collective goes into cruise control. It felt like Lost Themes 17, where they totally run out of any new ideas.
If Lost Themes II is already half hackneyed, I hope they end it on the next one.
tinyayholev1a Maybe Daniel will make an entire concept album, John and Cody will steal it and an crazy chase scene will ensue.
tinyjunkheadv1a Maybe that’s already what’s happening. The kids are capitalizing off daddy’s big name with all their Escape from New York copies.
tinyayholev1a John is in a wheelchair, locked in a room with nothing except a catheter and a food tube. In an effort to break free, he uses his own excrement as a corrosive and melts the hinges off the door. Crazy chase scene ensues.
tinyjunkheadv1a I’m guessing John Carpenter’s vegetarian. I wonder how much tofu and spinach you’d have to eat for your poop to corrode solid steel. Or titanium.
tinyayholev1a Vegetarian poop is brutal. The smell alone could gas a WWI trench.
tinyjunkheadv1a So the real question is, are you going to buy the Lost Themes II remix LP.
tinyayholev1a I’m guessing it will come out for Halloween, like the last one. Probably not, unless there’s some cool demos. The first Lost Themes was better on the whole.
tinyjunkheadv1a Yeah, at least between the two of us, we have one and a half good albums.
tinyayholev1a Between the two of us, like you do not want that comment to appear in the dialogue, or the first half of LTII is good, so our combined LT interest is only the one and one half?
tinyjunkheadv1a Definitely the latter.
That bonfire was pretty sweet though.
tinyayholev1a It was. We burned all of my mail.
Polica is playing tonight, probably right now, at the Blind Pig. I’d go if Mothxr wasn’t.
tinyjunkheadv1a I wish I could afford to go to that John Carpenter concert.
I mean, I could, but then I couldn’t buy dozens of records better than LTII.
tinyayholev1a Too bad I didn’t get a free ticket with my purchase. It would have been awesome.
Wrapping it up, there are a variety of flavors to purchase the first side of Lost Theme II. You can find them for half the price of a brick and mortar store at http://www.sacredbonesrecords.com/




The white album is out and sending out the vibes. But what vibes? Let us melt those wax wings and dive into the California beech rock boys new release.

Musical style? Classic on most tracks in full emulation of every commercial success since “Say it Ain’t So.” But Cuomo says it is so in an iheartradio interview. “…it’s a straight up super sunny ‘Weezer at the beach’ album.”

Lyrical content? All the post-classic radio single themes are back: Lifting up girlz to angelic status while referring to them as being the antagonist in an abusive relationship and calling them evil; encouraging reckless-abandonment without planning into selfish indulgence and one sided fantasies; a whole song about smoking pot; pontificating on dartboard style fledgling fascination with random sciencey sounding Big Bang Theory level content. The final song, “Endless Bummer,” is a ballad about being generally upset about a relationship with a nineteen year old responsible female presumably with self-confidence and ownership of a car along with a moral deference with the song writer whom I hope is not trying to get a date with girlz less than half his age.

In comparison to the good Weezer albums, one might notice a lack of work ethic, self-realization, respect for other people’s dreams, and recognizing the female sex as an equal part of the human species to male. There also happens to be a continued fascination with Greek mythology, the type that lifts man up as the apex of beauty.

What vibes? Anything popular. I am convinced that if this album was written months later then there would be content about gravity waves, Brussels bombing, and something demeaning about Trump. Anti-misogyny is popular in part to Weezer’s past albums, but whatever the opposite to misogyny is might be the inspiration for much of the lyrics. Crippling self-doubt, anyone? It’s all the rage on Facebook.

I have listened, painstakingly, to every one of Weezer’s albums. The first four were great and that is why I keep coming back: because there is a flash of hope with every release that one might feel the embrace of bleeding heart stoicism and identifiable songwriting. 2014 brought hope, but it was a Trojan horse.

If lyrical content is important to you, avoid this album. You might end up depressed that you are not Weezer or a girlz.

Track 5 Conspiracy: A Bound Bridge is a Sound Bridge


ayholev1tmbSouthern Empire – Southern Empire

The first track is just for foreshadowing. The second is to get attention. The third track is boring. The fourth sounds like it belongs in an early 80’s feature length animation montage.

But the fifth track, “The Bridge That Binds,” is what this album is all about. It is written in with many different sections, giving it a very symphonic feel. The lyrical content is all about learning your place in the universe and stuff. Out of the 28 minutes, the introduction feels like the first 29. Eventually, classic Sonic the Hedgehog progressive jazz fusion kicks in and things are good.

There is a great build about a quarter of the way through bleeding into a smooth saxophone solo that Danny Lopresto had to sing over to keep the track under a half-hour, which is okay because the smooth saxophone comes back after some smooth guitar and some smooth drums and smooth bass which should have continued for the remainder of the bands career, but then they would just be a smooth jazz band.

Which is still okay, because after a brief vocal interlude the Aussie’s go full swing into a classic prog-rock break down. There is a hand-holding-kumbaya that adds lyrical content and 8 repeating chords. The kumbaya ends with an excerpt from a Vincent Price film and jumps into a rockin’ synth exposÉ with a capital É because that was the only accent I could figure out. Alas, it ends too soon, again, and there is something about letting a river run red screamed over a heavy metal chug.

Finally, there is the revelation and resolution, where Lopresto has decided it is all up to me, uh… him. What classic prog-rock album would be without the flute, an ostinato strings, and overall orchestral syncopation? Not this one.

Even though the lyrical content is a little bleak and open to interpretation, the ending section could be the strongest part of the whole album, which is why it was foreshadowed in the first track. There is a brief revisiting of all of the lyrical content from the last two deca minutes while the band builds to a very short cadence that is literally one eighty-fifth of the entire song length. So close to one hundred.

The final track is a very typical progressive rock song and probably designed as filler.

Honestly, the entire album should just be “The Bridge That Binds.” As one track it is long enough to stuff an entire 33 and almost as long as the entire remainder of the album. But I will tell you why Southern Empire made the other tracks. Because they wanted “The Bridge That Binds” to be contender for track five of the year. They even stuck in track six just to seal their candidacy.

If you like prog-rock, listen to conXious. If you want more, listen to track five of Southern Empire’s self titled debut.

Em-Body The Happiness No One Deserves

Tayholev1tmbhe Body – No One Deserves Happiness

This album starts out scary. I was listening to it while playing the classic hit, Ultima III: Exodus. I put it on right before I went into the Snake dungeon. The hardest part about the dungeons in Ultima games is remembering where you are. Even though I have played through other dungeons in the game, I keep forgetting to look at the compass. That’s what listening to No One Deserves Happiness feels like. One can be wondering around and looking for the Mark of the Snake when the torch blows out and all sense of direction is lost.

The entire album has distorted off in the distance youtube llama style screaming throughout. This is a very annoying sound. Eventually it will sound more like a llama and less like a deranged psychotic episode.

The first four tracks climb downwards into an increasingly unappealing mire of comforting horns and female vocals mixed with a high pitched squeal and lightly assertive pounding of samples and deep toms. Track two has a calm plateau at the end followed by grind and noise for track three. Track four is aptly named “Hallow / Hollow.”

After this, the whole feel starts to change. The next track, “Two Snakes,” is reminiscent of wondering in a dungeon, but more of an acid techno remix of one of the first tracks. “Adamah” continues down this track and sounds like the background music from an 80’s love making scene if the scene took place on a conveyor belt full of glass scraping against limestone rocks while Sinead O’Connor yells into a bottomless pit.

There is a super snoozer on track 8, which is just noise with atmosphere, but it serves as contrast. “Prescience” is mostly noise with a less interesting ending. The final track is a good ending to this atmospheric noise album. There is some lyrical content and a nice wind down.

Their bandcamp feels like it was written by someone who doesn’t really listen to noise. This certainly is not the “grossest pop album,” though I imagine someone thought that due to the textured layering of samples, singing, and instrumentation.

Like music that will never be on the radio? Give No One Deserves Happiness a shot.

The balron’s poison wicks away more life with each step and spent torches are tossed away like a trail of bread crumbs as foot prints circle in endless patterns like the white on black text of the Body’s bandcamp page.



ayholev1tmbRicky Warwick – When Patsy Cline Was Crazy (And Guy Mitchell Sang the Blues) and Hearts On Trees

Ricky Warwick is busy. He is apparently always recording and touring with multiple bands, including Thin Lizzy and Black Star Riders. Him and and Sam Robinson’s new double album is split into band rock and roll and intimate acoustic feels.

The first LP starts off real good with classic anthemic Irish rock. The title track sounds boring at first but keeps going in the same direction until the listener becomes interested. Shove enough nostalgia down someone’s ear canal and they’ll miss Hank Williams, too. “That’s Where the Story Ends,” is a good cowboy rock with some decent spring reverb on the vocals and trumpets on the hooks. However, things take a turn with “The Son of the Wind,” which attempts to take to add a hard edge. Immediately after is track nine, which is okay simply because it has dual guitar hooks and an okay song structure. “Yesteryear” takes it back to basic rock and roll and is a semi-autobiographical piece about how life is what you make it. Sans the speed bumps on track 8 and 9, this LP is great old-fogey high energy rock and roll. Have I mentioned this is rock and roll enough?

The second LP has mostly singer-songwriter material. Ricky pours his heart out, per the usual, over four chords. He maintains a decent variety of sounds, as he should being as old and skilled as he is. It’s refreshing that each song has different material to it. The title track and the tracks after are, sonically, faster and more entertaining than the first three.

Of the bonus tracks, “The Whiskey Song,” low energy Irish pub rock, is the only mildly entertaining one on the first LP, and “Love Owes” and ” I Can See My Life (From Here)” have some cool lyrical imagery. The other bonus tracks are boring and difficult to focus on. I blame the melodies.

Warwick keeps things rockin’ and real on this Northern Irish release. You can get the double CD from Amazon for less than the MP3’s.



ayholev1tmbBirdy – Beautiful Lies

Loose rhymes about longing, basic back beat with overbearing floor tom, super short verse fragments lasting half a breath, late 2000’s shoegaze ripoff delayed reverb, and Florence and the Machine ripoff singing. Putting all of these together seems like a bad idea, but it works out great for Birdy on a no-surprise, highly anticipated, among the hip community, third studio album, Beautiful Lies, by the girl with the long name. Bongaerde is associated with huge success and it’s no secret why: she knows what the people want. But she also wants to write good music.

One might not personally be into this kind of music, which is a combination of Mumford and Sons and Adele, and one might also say this sounds like the garbage that’s all over the radio, and one would be right by me on both accounts. However, this album is actually good because it is listenable and still meets the qualifications for radio airplay, most of it anyway. It’s unpacking time.

The album starts out in a positive direction with a very eastern sounding intro, but then contrived back beats take over but not in a way that would make one want to shut it off. One will also take note that the lyrical content is strong and positive in a millennial fashion. One might wonder if Birdy would support Bernie for president?

After the intro, the songwriter comes out in full force and writes some good ol’ fashioned, uh, songs. You know, the kind people write, not machines. “Lost it all” is arpeggiated soft piano with some cool not too forced singing on top and the lyrics pick up the pace on “Silhouette,” a piece about some deep symbolic relationship between her darkest and unknown dreams and the hard plastic shell surrounding all of us that hides our secret life inside it, inside the shell called skin.

There are blips of rave and electronic atmosphere, but the majority of the album sounds like real instruments, which one might listen to and say, “What are these unfiltered and unadulterated sounds? They sound real.” One can hope her voice is real as well.

Given the majority of the lyrical content is about striving and pushing through heartbreak and typical things that radio listeners let others think about for them, “Unbroken” has some great insight about time being an unavoidable obstacle but also a guide in life.

The title track is the shortest track, but has some of the best melodies and songwriting. Probably the best track and the last track.

Deluxe tracks are a snore worth avoiding.

Did I mention Birdy is freakin 19? No. Because it’s downright unbelievable. If I was back in high school, I would gladly rip down my Brittany Spears poster and replace it with a Birdy. If you can stomach music that doesn’t feature blistering guitar riffs, thumping double bass, and screaming heroin-inspired old man vocals, this Beautiful Lies is well worth a listen.



ayholev1tmbThe 1975 -I like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It

The 1975 are a popular “rock” band from Cheshire that play electropop. Their newest album, previously named and henceforth referred to by the acronym ILIWYSFYASBYSUOI, charted number one in both UK and US last month.

The majority of the album sounds early 90’s late 80’s in that layering. Although the band uses a lot of sweet effects on their guitars, the majority of the identifiable sounds are synth sounds. The majority of the beats are soul and R&B inspired. Thick and rolled-up vocals from a myriad of guest singers cover the furniture. Each side appears to be themed.

Side A features pop, funk, and dancy rhythms. Side B is very introspective. Side C is about “love” and “somebody,” at least that seems to be the two most used words. The final side starts off with a slammin smooth jazz saxophone solo and then has three mega depressing songs about life being screwed up.

Side A’s coolest part is the wobbly synth melody which occurs in “A Change of Heart.” This track feels like it sounds the way the band wanted it, a little artistic and fun. The downside is track 2 and 3 sound like the same song different chorus. Even the words are similar enough for it to feel like verse 2 and 3, which would not be an issue if the music was substantially different.

Side B starts with a gospel inspired tune, “If I Believe You,” in which Healy regrets believing some bologna Dogma (pronounced phonetically) that has scarred him. For the record, a free gift is no strings attached. Only a liar sells freedom at a price. This track features a flugelhorn.

“Lost My Head,” is a shoegaze song with four lines repeated for 5 minutes, making it an instant favorite.

Side C is back to the dance music. “Loving Someone,” embodies the theme and features very modern synth sounds over cool chord progressions. Musically it is one of the most sound tracks, lyrically it is a little annoying due to gimmicky cliche’s that I both respect and despise. The title track is a six and a half minute techno song.

The final side has that cool sax solo and three songs that make Europe sound terrifying. The final track, “She lays down,” sounds like it was recorded on a hand-held and is just guitar and voice.

As for bonus tracks, the Target deluxe edition features digital download codes for “How to Draw,” a soundscape with the strongest lyrics of all, and a demo of “A Change of Heart,” less cloudy and more dynamic. The dynamics of electropop albums are often little to non-existent, and that is another thing that the band might want to think about for the next album.

All in all, it is difficult to hate ILIWYSFYASBYSUOI. There is a lot of thought out content and the 1975 know exactly what their fans want. The instrumentation is redundant at times but never boring, though it feels like a concept album got put in a blender. I appreciate lyricists that are able to be real and still keep it artistic and Healy and the gang push the envelope a little bit in both of those areas.



ayholev1tmbKate Russell – Give Your Love to Me

According to Australian Kate Russell herself, this is barbecue music. She’s not real popular. She’s not a soft singer either. She does sing country and it is pretty powerful, powerful enough to make your speakers pop. There are three slow songs on this album, but they still feel like, at any moment, Axl Rose is going to enter stage right and knock out the audience with Russell in a duet that will live on forever, hidden as a secret track on some anti-social kid’s internet radio blog.

It is shockingly hard to find a lot of decent information on Russell, probably due to that sciency Kate Russell from UK using her terribly generic name. But she does have a website. How about the music?

As far as I can tell she wrote all of the lyrics and probably the melodies, but it looks like some old dude at the studio did all of the instrumentation. It “looks” like it is just the one dude, but there was probably more than one.

Instrumentation is great. Clean and sharp twangy guitars, usually in flaky pie crust layers, envelope most of the tracks with a dotting of overdriven hard country rock guitar solos. Consistent back beat drumming, and I mean consistent snare every upbeat, on every track except two of the slow ones. Bass seems country enough, following the hooks and kick.

Kate Russell writes some good lyrics and tunes and one can be excited to hear her future albums as well as enjoy listening to her recent album, Give Your Love To Me.

Preview to the entire album on her website.


Willie Nelson – Summertime. Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin

One can never go wrong putting on Willie Nelson. His voice is good and smooth like a reliable old bottle of bourbon at a crumby dive bar with four regulars, two of which work the kitchen. What? You’ve never had that experience?

On this release are classics like, “Someone to Watch Over Me,” “Love is Here to Stay,” “They Can’t Take that Away from Me, and others. Duets with Cyndi Lauper and Sheryl Crow offer fuzzy surprises that make the little girl inside giddily bounce about while sipping espresso lattes.

Instrumentation is classy soft swing with standup bass and stuff.

Do you like Willie Nelson? Do you like Gershwin? Do you like music? Are you American? Give this album a shot. At least it is something to unwind to, or giddily bounce about to. You might have a favorite dance night album.


Empire State – Rocket Science

I wanted to do a full write up on this album. It unfortunately officially released in the UK in 2015, but it released in the US in 2016, rather, isn’t fully released, so I stuck it in a country trio. To be fair, it has a faint blues rock feel to it so it could fit here.

onelegsteveAll of Empire State’s earlier incarnations were slick dressed rock and roll acts.

Look at this picture of Steve!


Anyway, the music is extreme. Pulsating rhythms and hard as diamonds guitar riffs and hooks played by every instrument. Andy Morris is inspiring on vocals. Confidence drips off of every part of this album, especially the out of tune guitar in the intro to “Law of the Gun,” which I think is suffering from cheap digital delay.

Guitars are shredding over all Rocket Science in a good way. High energy rock and roll. Lyrics are anti-establishment. Some tracks sound like a ho-down.

If you need something probably no one you know has heard because it is obscure and good, get Empire State’s Rocket Science.


1382138_954353864618736_8389017653905116659_nayholev1tmbValerian – Stardust Revolution

Each nation and people group has its own power metal. Indonesia has great stuff. Stardust Revolution mixes thrash with electronic metal and a heavy dose of swollen adenoids to give it a folky feel.

Huge variety of sound here, ladies and adolescents.  An orchestral interlude fortunately adds to the atmosphere in the first track and one of my favorite intros is on “In Your Hand,” featuring AM radio sound panning into a bleeding synth lead. There is some sort of weird sub-Asian ballad for the title track with what one can presume to be one of the males in the band singing in a falsetto clear enough to make a mid 18th century Italian boy jealous.

Ridwan sings in his horrific and spine chilling screech over the whole album but it blends with the other vocals into synergy during the choruses, which feel like bar tunes or sea shanties.

Ever present is a love of modern and a keen understanding of the time tested. A good example, track six might be your new favorite A-Pop song.

One must give the whole album a listen due to the massive gamut of genres and influences visited.

It is very fun to listen to the castrato voice on track four with Ridwan, but you will have to email the band for a hard copy of this knucklebuster.




Poliça – United Crushers

Ryan Olson and Channy Leaneagh are Poliça. Their new album, United Crushers, is a metabolizing, dense, nutrient shake of synth pop, piercing prose, and a deep space interstellar atmosphere. Olson, the mixer, does a killer job on everything he touches here, which is everything on the album. Leaneagh, presumably the lyricist and singer, elegantly weaves alliterate words in unbridled and ceaseless motion. Unfolding like a hip hop album played at half speed, the content is challenging and pointed.

The music poetically matches the lyrics so closely, one can daydream about the collaboration process. United Crushers is a fourty-three and a half minute fusillade of cinematic aural piercing shells.

To go in depth into this album is to toss a few handfuls of sand into a sieve from the Witwatersrand Basin. Much like mining with the lights out, the darkness of tone and mood is so rich and delicious, a hungry ear could subsist for months. Each and every track poses giant questions and remits action and energy as the listener is catapulted out from one quarry under earth and into the next without any notice.

Go and listen now. Soundcloud has a sample for the chickens, but this is a must have from 2016.