Records of the Week With Jon and Ted Week #17
Each Friday, Editors Ted Nubel and Jon Rosenthal will share their picks for Records of the Week — not necessarily what's out this week, just whatever's on our mind or on our record players.
Canterbury is Diamond Head's third album, if you count the extremely influential but poorly promoted Lightning to the Nations as number one, and unfortunately it didn't build on the success of the interceding Borrowed Time to take their career to new heights: it instead effectively sank their career for a good ten years, or, arguably, forever.
That said, like many albums that arose under difficult circumstances and transitioned a band's sound, it gets more hate than it should. Canterbury departs from the heavier side of Diamond Head's material, but it steps into their uniquely gloomy fantasy instead. The opening single tracks here are just okay ("Making Music," "Out of Phase"), but as the album gets weirder and, uh, synthier, we start to see a doomy, grandiose side of Diamond Head that's fully in line with the undertones of Borrowed Time. "Ishmael" is one of my favorite Diamond Head songs, in fact: the dark and jangly guitar on this album, combined with Sean Harris' unmistakable and soulful vocals, make for a mood that's hard to find anywhere else.
All This Sorrow, All These Knives
One time I took a nine hour bus ride to see Dreamless play an increasingly rare show. This Minnesota-based heavy shoegaze band's sole release to date, 2011's All This Sorrow, All These Knives, answers the question Hum once answered: what if shoegaze wasn't delicate and wispy? The intensely dense and noisy All This Sorrow, All These Knives is layered to near incoherence, a cacophony of guitar pedals and noise guided by softspoken vocals and powerful drums. Album opener "Dreams of Chloe" really sealed the deal when I first heard this ten years ago when it was released on the sadly defunct Handmade Birds label -- a complete deconstruction of pop tenets and rock intensity into a miasma of swirling, driving sound.