Author page: Annalyse Clark

Primitive Man Delivers the Most Aptly Titled Album of 2017 with Caustic

(From Primitive Man’s Bandcamp)

Primitive Man is a band that’s always specialized in creating dense, incredibly harsh textures. 2013’s Scorn, the band’s debut full length, is about as sonically oppressive and ugly of an album as you’re likely to find in modern metal, and it introduced the heavy music world to Primitive Man’s unique blend of noise, sludge, death metal, and blackened doom. But believe it or not, Primitive Man just came through with an even uglier and more oppressive release with Caustic.

Five Metal Albums for People Who Don’t Like Metal

Deafheaven (Photo by Ben Stas)

Metal seems to be one of those things that most people either really love or really, really hate. While I definitely fall into the former camp, I get why it turns a lot of people off. Today, I want to provide a few possible starting points for people who, for whatever reason, don’t like metal or haven’t gotten into it yet but want to. So here are five metal albums you might like even if you don’t traditionally “like” metal.

Preoccupations’ Classic Post-Punk Lives On


It’s been written to death now, the story of Preoccupations (fka Viet Cong) and their name change. In short – amid a storm of cancelled shows and controversy, Viet Cong had to change their name, so they landed on Preoccupations. What’s clear, though, is that the controversy did nothing to knock them off their course of making fantastic, classically post-punk records.

Teen Suicide’s Goodbye Celebration

(Image courtesy of Consequence of Sound)

Since 2011, Teen Suicide, with Maryland singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Sam Ray at the helm, has been fairly consistently lobbing explosive blasts of genre-scattered lo-fi emo/indie pop onto the internet via Bandcamp. Even with all the activity though, and a decent following, the group (mostly the outlet for Ray’s own songs more than a traditional band) “disbanded” in January of 2013, but returned to performing in various capacities by the end of the same year.

Tacocat Returns with Lost Time

(Image Credit: BrooklynVegan)

Within a minute of Lost Time’s opener “Dana Katherine Scully,” it’s clear that Seattle-based candy-coated punk/pop/surf feminists Tacocat are doubling down on the most infectious elements of their sound. On their last full-length, 2014’s NVM, Tacocat developed their compelling craft of tackling often-unaddressed and/or feminist topics with sugary pop melodies and distorted surf guitars on cuts like the phenomenally period-positive surf rock party of “Crimson Wave.”

Life On Mars: A Reflection on Bowie, Two Months Later

As a composer, people often ask what my favorite piece of music is – the one that affected me the most, the one that made me feel things I hadn’t before, the one that when I heard it I knew what I had to do with my life. I remember one day last fall that question was posed in my Intro to Composition class, to a room of mostly composition majors. Everyone in the room called to mind immediately their first exposure to Mahler, or their first bout with Bach or Beethoven or Brahms. As a composer I know I “should” love these great composers and be deeply affected by their expertise and power – and I do, and I am. But the piece that has most deeply affected me, the one that makes me sure of exactly why I chose to study to be an artist, and the one with which I responded in class was “Life On Mars?” by David Bowie. This song is, without hesitation, my Mahler Five, my Beethoven Nine, my Rite of Spring. But its impact on me (as well as Bowie’s impact) stretches back years before I ever decided to compose.

Swans Are (Almost) Dead

Thirty-four years ago, Swans hit the underground in New York with their self-titled EP. Now (thirteen studio albums, ten live albums, a heap of EPs and compilations, dozens of members, and a thirteen year hiatus later) the band is finishing up work in the studio on what is, according to the band, going to be the final work from this incarnation of Swans. After this album and its subsequent tour, Michael Gira and the rest of this current six-piece form of the band are ending a historic reunion run the likes of which just don’t happen.