For Those About to Squawk: Waldo’s Pecks of the Week

Still a little slow around here, if you know what I’m pecking about. But let’s just dive into it, shall we?
Culted release Oblique to All Paths on Relapse.  Culted are a file-sharing kind of group that never really all get into the same room. Amazingly, though, they’ve crafted an angry, nasty ambient drone/black metal/sludge amalgam that seems like they’ve been jamming this in the same candlelit space for years.  I’m pretty much digging the nastiness of this. The production here is grimy and lends to the overall feeling of despair. This album has the sound of coldness and hopelessness, to say the least, and while I doubt it’ll make my end-of-the-year list, I gotta say that they’ve definitely got something here. 6 Fucking Pecks.

The French duo Alcest are back at it with Shelter, and it’s a little different, I must say. It seems like they’ve abandoned metal. I mean, there’s not a single blast beat or growled vocal at all on this thing. It baffles me when people abandon their roots altogether and there’s not even a shadow of their former selves left. It must sound like I don’t like this; I do. This is VERY reminiscent of Jesus and Mary Chain, and a slew of 4AD acts that came out late ’80s/early ’90s. Who knows, maybe this is the ultimate troll. There are guitar lines here that could be siblings with Mazzy Star. Psychedelic dream-pop: That’s what Shelter is bringing, and I gotta say I like it. To all metal fans, caveat emptor. 7 Fucking Pecks.

Want some sludge with your doom? Indian come at us with From All Purity. I know, I know: Most bands like this tend to get some downtuned notes and play them at a snail’s pace, but Indian actually write songs. The production here by Sanford Parker is great, really getting the low end punch down, but also letting the music breathe and become its own thing.  I mean, they DO have a noise guy, and we all know those guys have big dongers. All of that being said, this is more abrasive and better written than their previous effort, Guiltless, and builds on the abrasion one layer at a time until the listener is fully punished. Don’t throw a cover over my cage; I’m rocking this pecking thing. 7 Fucking Pecks.