Showing posts from December, 2014

Top Records of 2014: 15-11

15. Panopticon - Roads to the North (Bindrune)Panopticon is the project of Kentucky native Austin  Lunn and combines elements of traditional folk music with Metal, yet never seems like a Black Metal retread as it relies heavily on American musical folk styles. Panopticon's songs are an atmospheric reinvention of where folk and metal might intersect. Some, such as "The Echoes of Disharmonium" are thrashy, guttural metal numbers, while "The Long Road Part 1: One Last Fire is a distortion free traditional bluegrass fiddling interlude that merges with "The Long Road Part 2: Capricious Miles," a seven plus minute melodically epic track more easily than one would suspect. Panopticon makes these transitions look simple, merging heavy music and several American folk forms, including traditional Native American flutes and even banjos with startling clarity. Roads to the North builds on their earlier records and reflects the growth of this interesting amalgamation.…

90s Nostalgia: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Coming Out Of Our Shells Cassette

A much younger version of myself got the Coming Out Of Our Shells tape as a free Pizza Hut giveaway (I always wanted to be part of Book It, but my school didn't participate) and proceeded to play it far too often even though it was arguably awful. I always used to listen to music and play video games, and I cranked that tape on many days while I played Super Nintendo, going through Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country, and innumerable game rentals listening to those ten songs over and over again. It was only later when I started listening to Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and a bit later when I discovered Punk and switched over to NOFX, Operation Ivy, and indie stalwarts such as Pavement that the tape fell by the wayside only to be revisited again in a quest for nostalgia twenty years later.

The tape is an unsung pop-cultural artifact that was released at the cusp of 90's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtlesmania when everything that was even tangentially turtles-related sold like hotcakes. Th…