These guys have pretty much nailed it. On each of Russian Circles' albums, they've managed to sound as though their distinctive post-metal / "instru-metal" awesomeness is the type of music that they and they alone were born to play. Their style is characterized by brutal tremolo picking, soaring arpeggios, sludge, occasional thrashy licks, and dreamy, shoegazy moments that can run the gamut from despairing to downright gorgeous. Memorial leans most heavily (pun intended) on the former and the latter as dominant styles, and although those uplifting arpeggios are in short supply here (except on the damn near perfect "Ethel"), these guys do "moody" very, very well.
Big Business - Battlefields Forever
Seriously, how hooky can an album be and still be considered "sludge?" On their first full-length since 2009, Big Business' songwriting chops reach new heights, intensified by full, rich production and a brawny guitar tone which will make the listener forget Toshi's irritating, overly-arty bleats on Mind the Drift. Too early to say yet, but this may be Big Business' finest release to date.
Pelican - Forever Becoming
You can be forgiven for feeling that each of Pelican's releases since 2007's excellent City of Echoes has seemed a little bit uninspired. In a case of addition by subtraction (and then another addition), Pelican recently switched out a band member whose interest in the project was flagging and followed that up by instituting a new "band-centric" style of songwriting. Although the end product isn't as vital as their classic work (City of Echoes, Australasia, and The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw in that order, IMHO), they've recaptured the energy and the bone-crushingly anthemic songwriting chops that made those albums so damn enjoyable.
Melvins - Tres Cabrones
This configuration of the constantly shape-shifting Melvins (Buzz on guitar and vocals, "original" Melvins drummer Mike Dillard behind the kit, and longtime Melvins drummer extraordinaire Dale Crover on bass, if you can believe it) was originally to be dubbed "Melvins 1983," signifying that this was likely as close as the band would get to playing with its "original" lineup from 30 years ago. Knowing Dale and his polyrhythmic prowess wouldn't be bashin' the skins this time around, Buzz wrote simpler songs to match the personnel, and what we have here is probably the most straightforward Melvins album (whatever the hell that means) you're likely ever to hear at this point. Well, straightforward, yeah, except for the absurd covers of "99 Bottles of Beer," "You're In the Army Now," and, I shit you not, "Tie My Pecker to a Tree."
Happy 20th Birthday to the album Houdini by the Melvins! Considering how little "Honey Bucket" has in common with thesongs thatactuallywerepopularatthetime, it's incredible that it took Atlantic a full three albums to dump the Melvins. You have to half-pity the A&R guy who was assigned with the task of determining which song should be drawn from this pile of plodding sludge as a "single," but then again you really don't have to.
The lengthiest, most comprehensive, and by far the most self-indulgent / self-congratulatory interview I've ever seen Buzz do. Interview was conducted by some French bullshits, so it's possible Buzzo just played up the douchiness a bit to better relate to his interviewers. Includes very high quality tidbits of several Melvins songs performed live (their covers of "Let Me Roll It" and "The Ballad of Dwight Fry," plus "Boris" and "It's Shoved" from Bullhead) and ends with a full version of "Revolve," all recorded on their 2011 2-night residency tour. Peep dat shit