Mike and the Melvins
Three Men And A Baby

Sub Pop
Street: 04.01
Mike and the Melvins = godheadSilo + Melvins circa 1999 + Melvins circa 2016

Three Men And A Baby is a collaboration between sludge rock legends the Melvins and bassist/vocalist Mike Kunka from godheadSilo. It’s a meeting of the warped and interesting minds that came together at the end of the 20th century. The Sub Pop album was originally scheduled for release in 1999. If you were to open a music time capsule from 1999 your first instinct would be to put kerosene, gasoline or napalm to it and burn it to ash, destroying all evidence. Grunge had already been taken behind the woodshed and shot, heavy metal was already dead, and what was passing for alternative music was sour and rotten like past-due milk. Boy bands, pop princesses and faux country acts ruled the airwaves. The music industry was a 9 fire—so was the world. The Senate was trying to impeach President Bill Clinton for a blow job, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace opened to big box office numbers and would go on to disappoint an entire nerd nation, and Columbine destroyed our high-school idea of innocence and youth.  Despite what Prince had been telling us, it was a horrible year. The world was in a panic. Clocks were counting down to Y2K and the end of the world. It didn’t happen, and neither did the Three Men And A Baby album.

Sixteen years later, like hardened, grizzled detectives, Kunka and the Melvins returned to Three Men and a Baby like a cold case that still needed to be solved. The beauty of it all? The Melvins had never left. The Melvins are one of the most underrated bands over the last 30 years, and quite possibly one of the most respected. They’ve survived New Wave, grunge, EDM and any name you want to put on a music movement over the last three decades. Having married hardcore punk with Black Sabbath years ago and merging their unique sense of silly and doom with a sound that explodes at you like a runaway diesel truck trying to drive through a tar pit, the Melvins are still here. They should be masters of the universe by now with all the royalty checks they should have received for pretty much inventing ’90s rock.

Buzz Osbourne aka King Buzzo (guitar/bass/vocals), Dale Crover (drums/vocals), and Kevin Rutmanis (bass/vocals) still bring the noise. Kunka proves to be a great addition to the well-oiled machine that is the Melvins. The first single, “Chicken ‘n’ Dump,” was written by Kunka’s nine-year-old daughter. The song is a grinding sludge gem that slaps you in the face. “Limited Teeth” is also a standout treat, delivering pure metal guitar bliss. It was “Bummer Conversation” that got my attention, though. It’s a little bit of a ’90s music heist—or it’s a reminder that Mike and the Melvins did it first. It’s a headbanging grunge crunch with a White Zombie monster funk and a sprinkling of sing/talk vocals that remind you of Gibby Haynes and The Butthole Surfers. All the while, Mike and the Melvins seem to be in on the joke: ”It’s too good to be true / What the hell is wrong with you?” Another track that brings up the past is “Annalisa.” The song is a bass and drum–driven burner that sounds a tad familiar. If Kim Deal wandered in and provided backing vocals, it would sound like a classic Pixies song that would comfortably exist on any Pixies album.  Whether it was written in 1999 or added in 2016, the song “Read The Label (It’s Chili)” sums up the last 16 years: ”This used to be the future / Now it’s just shit / You seen it coming / You stepped in it.” The future in all its glory—smartphones, Donald Trump, Sandy Hook and fucking ISIS! We’ve definitely stepped in it.

The album was worth the wait. I hope they plan to revive this project in another 16 years. April fools! –Russ Holsten

Leonard Cohen: You Want It Darker

Leonard Cohen
You Want It Darker

Leonard Cohen = The Angel with a Golden Voice

Leonard Cohen’s voice has always elevated to the heights of angels and descended to the depths of the devil, sometimes in the same song. In his life, Cohen understood the themes of love, light and the grace of redemption, but he also understood the quiet, unholy, looming darkness and the beasts that pull you there. Cohen once sang, “Like a bird on a wire / Like a drunk in a midnight choir / I have tried in my way to be free.” On Nov. 7, 2016, Leonard Cohen finally found that freedom—The Baffled King composing “Hallelujah” stepped into the space between the “garbage and the flowers,” and the flame flickered out.

You Want It Darker is Cohen’s 14th studio album. Like David Bowie’s Blackstar, Cohen gives us one more masterpiece before stepping into the great beyond. The album starts out by placing you immediately into the heart of darkness with the title track. Cohen sings, “Magnified and sanctified / Be thy holy name / Vilified and crucified / In the human frame / A million candles burning / For the help that never came / You want it darker / We kill the flame.” Death, darkness and sin thread through every song on this album. These themes have been staples in Cohen’s whole career, and he reminds us of how unavoidable they are. On the track “Treaty,” Cohen tells us, “I heard the snake was baffled by his sin / He shed his scales to find the snake within / But born again is born without a skin / The poison enters into everything.”

Cohen put death and dying at the heart of this record. As always, he would never leave it at just that. Cohen once famously sang, “Ring the bells that still can ring / Forget your perfect offering / There is a crack in everything / That’s how the light gets in.” That light has always been love. And on this album, he leaves that behind, too. On the track “On The Level,” Cohen thinks about staying for one more go-around: “I said I best be moving on / You said we have all day / You smiled at me like I was young / It took my breath away.” Cohen changes his mind—understanding his fate. “Leaving The Table” is the song where Leonard Cohen seems to say his goodbye: “You don’t need a lawyer / I’m not making a claim / You don’t need to surrender / I’m not taking aim / I don’t need a lover / The wretched beast is tame / I don’t need a lover / So blow out the flame.”

Leonard Cohen never shouted out into the void—he whispered, with that ghostly voice that age and experience scratched raw and clean. Leonard Cohen’s You Want It Darker is a great album, but we’ve always expected that of him. What we didn’t expect is that it would be his last. It hurts a little. “Now I bid you farewell / I don’t know when I’ll be back / But you’ll be hearing from me, baby, long after I’m gone / I’ll be speaking to you sweetly from a window in the Tower of Song.” I hope this is true. Goodnight, maestro. Hallelujah. –Russ Holsten

The Vistanauts | Apollo Down | Self-Released

The Vistanauts
Apollo Down

Street: 04.12
The Vistanauts = Julian Cope + Ziggy Stardust

Apollo Down is a fun record. It’s as if The Spiders From Mars got a ride in a yellow submarine—in space. A finely tuned rhythm section, with fuzz guitars layered over perfectly structured synth lines, allow Larsen’s beeps, whirls and sonic tidal waves of cosmic debris to flood over every track on this record. The Vistanauts are Tom Larsen (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Stephanie Selcho (drums), Kent Rytting (lead guitar) and Anton Nielsen (bass).

It is hard to filter out this influence when listening to Larsen’s band The Vistanauts, because Bowie is so much there on the surface. It’s OK to imitate your heroes, and Larsen does just that—however, this isn’t a Bowie tribute album. This is a Vistanauts record.

Whether it’s Starman, Ziggy Stardust or The Thin White Duke, Bowie is, and always will be, one of the gold standards of interpretation. It is a badge of honor to be Beatles–esque or “that guy that sounds like Bowie.” Local legend Tom Larsen does in fact “sound like Bowie”—so much so that Larsen heads a Bowie tribute band called Major Tom & The Moonboys.

Imitation is delivered in an original package with catchy sonic space freak songs that capture your attention with a glam rock, fun-house, mindfuck vibe. Larsen ties the whole album together in a pleasantly perfect, pretty pink boa.

“I’ll just be there picking up the pieces after my tumble down,” Larsen sings on the title track—The Vistanauts’ version of The Man Who Fell to Earth. The song is everything at once and at times sounds like a nervous cockpit of a lost spaceship in which the computer has taken over. “Shhh” is a chaotic space age pop song. “Got a straight jacket brain,” Larsen sings, “and a heart in the loo.” Apollo Down is a great record that we are lucky to have locally, but the album deserves to be heard nationally. Larsen and his merry pranksters deliver on all 13 tracks. Seek out this album and share with your friends. –Russ Holsten

Editorial Note: An earlier edition of this review incorrectly named the bass player of the Vistanauts as Brady Anderson, as opposed to Anton Nielsen. Changes have been made to correct this error.

Jake Burch

Street: 08.18
Jacob Burch = Maxwell + Jeff Buckley

Listening to Jake Burch’s new album I on a snowed-in, February day, I can’t help but be reminded of spring—his songs flutter out like butterflies. Burch gives you that blue-eyed soul that is easy on the ears and settles gently on the mind. He sings with a high falsetto that, at times, sounds like the tortured heart of Jeff Buckley and, at other times, leans toward the soft soul of Maxwell. I hate using comparisons, but I do get that Maxwell/Buckley vibe of love-sick folk and slow-groove soul.

Burch gives us everything but the kitchen sink on this wonderfully pleasant album. It all seems to work for him: chilly cool synth lines, well-paced drum machines: and icy, echoing guitar that move in and out of these songs—not to mention some soft piano and perfectly timed saxophone appearances. Saying this record is easy listening is unfair because easy listening can mean the barely listener pays attention—it’s noise just coming from a faraway speaker while you do other things. That’s not the case with I. When I listen to this record, I want to get absorbed in these songs—they just slowly consume me. Whether it’s the soaring slow brooding opening track “It Ain’t Love” or the emotionally “Stacked Hearts” that closes it, everything in between connects. “I want to fly so I can be free / Run away from everything / Let the dark side out of me / When she gave me everything,” Jake Burch sings on “I Want To Fly,” proving that his lyrics can hold up these wonderfully constructed songs.

Jake Burch created and recorded I in his own house. Scott Rakozy, Hannah Galliosborn, Sam Johnson, Riley Parsens, Michael Hofer, and Shaun Boulter all show up to contribute to this record. This album is a mix of sad songs, slow jams, subtle rain and sunshine. If I’m looking for a soundtrack for a Sunday morning, a lazy afternoon or winding down after a long day, Jake Burch can fill that void. Russ Holsten

Lush – Blind Spot

Blind Spot

Street: 04.15
Lush = Pale Saints + Ride + Slowdive

The ’90s turned out to be a high watermark for badass female musicians. It was riot grrrl nirvana. Icons like Kim Deal, Kim Gordon, Shirley Manson, Gwen Stefani, Bjork and Kathleen Hanna ruled the school. Female-fronted bands like Hole, Elastica, Curve, Belly, 7-Year Bitch, Lucious Jackson and L7 raged, hard and aggressive; multi-selling artists like Alanis Morissette, Tori Amos and Jewel stood for much more than what would later be defined as a pop princess; and Julianna Hatfield was the epitome of alternative slacker cool. This movement was so important that Hanna created the “Riot Grrrl Manifesto.” It was a call to arms and revolution against “beergutboyrock.”

One of the most important things that came out of this manifesto stated, “BECAUSE we don’t want to assimilate to someone else’s (boy) standards of what is or isn’t,” and what would become the foundation: “BECAUSE we know that life is much more than physical survival and are patently aware that the punk rock ‘You can do anything’ idea is crucial to the coming angry-girl rock revolution which seeks to save the psychic and cultural lives of girls and women everywhere according to their own terms, not ours.” This revolution was white-hot for a decade until the flame burned out.  Just as every revolution burns to ash, so do they again. And just as endings turn back around to the beginning, a familiar echo of the past has resurfaced to inspire a new generation.

The London-based band Lush had previously called it quits after the album Lovelife and the suicide of drummer Chris Acland. In 1996, the band disappeared into their lives. Suddenly, almost out of nowhere, on Sept. 28, 2015, the new lineup of Miki Berenyi (vocals, guitar), Emma Anderson (vocals, guitar), Phil King (bass) and Justin Welch (drums) announced their reunion on their Facebook page. They also announced the release of the new EP, Blind Spot.

Blind Spot doesn’t disappoint. Lush have quickly fallen back into their dreamscape of soft vocals and rolling, reverberating guitars that come at you in waves. Early on in their careers, Berenyi and Anderson were shy about their own voices and requested that their vocals be turned down and everything else be turned up. Lush would be one of the pioneers of shoegaze. On their four-song EP, Lush deliver that shoegaze cool. The first track, “Out Of Control,” is a song of love fading in and fading out, changing and rearranging. Berenyi sings in a voice that hasn’t changed in almost 30 years: “All that I want is the joy of your touch / Twisted together, my love is forever / Out of control and I love you so much.” The song is 100-percent, pure Lush bliss.  The remaining three songs equal the opener. Lost love haunts the song “Lost Boy,” and The Beach Boys–sounding dream pop of “Burning Beeches” invoke blossoming flowers and sunshine, right on time for spring and summer. “Rosebud” leaves us with the perfect Lush lyric: “When the fireworks end, a 100 years will pass / I will hold your happiness in my heart.”

Welcome back, Lush. The Titans have returned! Girl power now! –Russ Holsten

The Flaming Lips | Oczy Mlody | Warner Bros. Records

The Flaming Lips
Oczy Mlody

Warner Bros. Records
Street: 01.13
Flaming Lips = Sun Ra + all weirdness since

The Flaming Lips have always been a mishmash of Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa, fused together on the Dark Side of the Moon on Sgt. Pepper’s watch. The trash-compacted cosmic debris sounds that we’ve come to expect and adore surface once again on their new album, Oczy Mlody. It’s all here: the cold, clean drums, hornets’ nest bass buzz and keys straight out of an evil toy land. The mindfuck sorcerer supreme, Wayne Coyne, is still in charge. Coyne brings his lo-fi discontent and high-strung anxieties, keeping the lights on at the circus and making sure all the tents are open for business.

As usual, The Flaming Lip’s Oczy Mlody sounds like the soundtrack to the best sci-fi novel you’ve always dreamed about reading, or the background noise to your late-night, drug-filled weird thoughts. The track “There Should Be Unicorns” is the tipping point to the madness of the album. It’s a more sinister Pink Floyd–like time warp, with an ominous buildup to lyrics like: “I hope the swans don’t die … There should be unicorns / The ones with the purple eyes and not the green eyes.” The nirvana-floating purple unicorns are the high-point, heavenly mattress to a tied-together universe. The downside: “Whatever they give them, they shit everywhere.”

The standout track, “The Castle,” delivers more beautifully constructed nonsense. “Her face was a fairytale … Her skull was a mighty moat / And her brain was the castle … A castle brighter than 1,000 Christmas trees … The castle taller than the Northern Lights.” The craziness continues on “One Night While Hunting,” a song about fairies, digging up riches and shooting out wizard brains—a typical day on planet Flaming Lip. “Listening To The Frogs With Demon Eyes” is more sideways, brainwave fun: “Hiding ourselves in the trees … Have you ever seen someone die? / In the summertime / Is that what your demon eyes see?” And of course, it asks the existential question: “Have you ever gone through the hole in the night sky?”

Most bands pour gasoline everywhere and then light matches in hopes that something catches fire. The Flaming Lips have never been that subtle. They just do their Flaming Lip thing and leave the hits to the philistines. After the shitshow called 2016, Oczy Mlody is a welcome treasure to a new year where we find ourselves at the point of thinking we may still have it together before “Jesus and the spaceships come down.” For a brief amount of time—or at least the length of a Flaming Lips record—we have a sugar-sweet, marshmallow-soft, rainbow-fueled utopia where “If the police show up / We will give them so much money that they can retire from their shitty, violent jobs / And live the greatest lives that they’ve ever lived / And we will be high / And the love generator will be turned up to its maximum / And we’ll get higher / When at last, the sun comes up in the morning.” Here’s to hoping the love generator lasts all year. I want to live in this world—everyone would want to live in this world. The Flaming Lips do live in this world, and thank god for that! They give us some hope in the darkness that lately seems so all-consuming. –Russ Holsten

Tassellhoff | Turbo Hippie

Turbo Hippie

Street: 04.27
Tassellhoff = A Danielle Ash guitar + Unplugged-Era Nirvana

When you have “hippie” in your album title, there can be a certain ownership with that word and corresponding sound. It contains multitudes musically of doped out jam bands dredging up peace, love and endless guitar solos. A Woodstock Nation that turns on, tunes in, and drops out. Tassellhoff’s Turbo Hippie is none of the above. Not even close. Turbo Hippie is a psych-rock hatchet job that cuts its tone deep by hacking away at a perfect blend of dark, swampy fuzz with razor sharp-guitars that catch and release with an effective balance that allow enough space for the shape shifting vocals to breathe life into the songs.

The vocals move mysteriously, sometimes like they are coming from the other side of the room, or echoed off of tiled walls from a back-corner basement shower stall. At times, the vocals show up in an emotionless talk/sing, post-punk delivery and at other times it attacks with a scratchy, mangled murder-growl that sounds like Kurt Cobain crushing those Meat Puppets songs during Unplugged-era Nirvana.

The song tracks are a mixed bag of late night road-trip-romps “Headstone Stomp”, and stumbling through ancient, creepy graveyards shaking up skeleton bones (Mise En Abyme) “Run with me Delilah / Through the graveyard draped in nothing / Creatures of debauchery.” This must be what it’s like to be a Turbo Hippie. These songs are contagious and grow meat on the bone with every listen. I’ve been playing it loud in my car lately—vibrating the dashboard and blowing the dust out of the speakers. I believe this album spins on a broken heart—like most records. On the track “Lucid Want,” Tassellhoff sings: “Lean on me / Be my leech / Take my life into your hands and tear it apart / Lost shadows cast their shade upon the wandering self / sink your teeth into my vein and pull my frigid blood.” Heartbreak at its finest. Let’s hope heartbreak lingers in Tassellhoff’s soul because I would love another record like this one. Until that time, enjoy Turbo Hippie – it’s great summer bummed-out bliss.–Russ Holsten

The Brian Jonestown Massacre | Self-Titled | A Recordings Ltd.

The Brian Jonestown Massacre
The Brian Jonestown Massacre

‘A’ Recordings
Street: 03.15
Brian Jonestown Massacre = The Stone Roses + The Rolling Stones + The Kinks

The Brian Jonestown Massacre have been successfully delivering their unique predictability for years. Not predictable in the sense of mind-numbing, drab repetition, or rehashing a bland, vanilla product, but the predictability of their subtle way of reinventing the same wheel while continuing to sound immediate and brand new with each new release. Anton Newcombe has been the Chief Executive Officer of everything BJM since its inception. He is the primary seeker. Whatever the lineup, the business plan has remained the same—to surface up rock n’ roll in its purest form. If you put Newcombe in literary form, he would be Ahab continuing to steer his ship through treacherous waters in search of the same white whale—and we love him for it.

The Brian Jonestown Massacre is their 18th full-length studio album. The record was set for release in 2018, but was delayed until the first-quarter release cycle of 2019. The current band consists of Sara Neidorf (drums), Heike Marie Radeker (bass), Hakon Adalsteinsson (guitars) and Newcombe (guitar, vocals). The track “Cannot Be Saved” has that traditional wall of sound, and little in the instrumentation is held back, or thrust forward in production. It comes at the listener equally. Newcombe’s echoey, slightly distorted vocals equal out with simple percussion and a cutting guitar. The shaking, inside-a-tin-can sound of “We Never Had A Chance” is a track where the acoustic guitar, vocals and a haunting tambourine swirl around each other in support of Newcombe’s disenchanting lyrics. “You feel love, well you better love yourself / Be careful now because love is against the law.” This is a theme that reappears throughout the record. Newcombe continues: “You’re so high / You could give a fucking shit about the law / It’s worth your blood sweat and tears to be living at all.” With a little bit of paranoia and a whole lot of truth, Newcombe finishes: “The mother fuckers will not stop drilling holes in your head.” BJM at their best.

More love torn angst bleeds out on the track “Drained.” The song sounds like an awake and aware rattlesnake, “I can’t stand pain, but it’s happening again,” Newcombe spits out. “I want love but I can’t stand still / This love is making me ill.” Other tracks claw out to grab the listener’s attention: the slowed-down, Kinks-like sludge of “A Word” and the psychedelic, instrumental jangle of “My Mind Is Filled With Stuff.” Rike Bienert joins the band and kills in the beautifully stark “Tombes Oubliées,” which in simple translation means “forgotten graves.”

The vision of BJM has always had a soul. It is that soul that I enjoy returning to time and time again. Anton Newcombe is the kind of eccentric, controversial genius the rock world needs. The Brian Jonestown Massacre is a record that sounds brand new with old ideas and themes. Its power is in its familiarity. That’s what I want with a rock album—something I know and understand and don’t have to invest in something completely new. I adore this band—they give me rock n’ roll and not a product of an overly researched marketing plan. –Russ Holsten

LUH – Spiritual Songs For Lovers To Sing

Spiritual Songs For Lovers To Sing

Street: 05.06
LUH = WU LYF + Spiritualized + Fugazi

LUH (Lost Under Heaven) sprung from the Manchester band WU LYF—another acronym, for World Unite Lucifer Youth Foundation. Ellery James Roberts was the lead singer and heart and soul of WU LYF, and he was also the catalyst of its demise. Just as mysteriously as the band burst onto the scene, they imploded. Roberts left a letter on YouTube that simply stated, “I am gone. This is the end. This is the beginning.” WU LYF was over. Roberts would soon meet the Dutch artist Ebony Hoorn, and LUH would be the new beginning.

LUH’s album Spiritual Songs For Lovers To Sing is definitely not a pop record. It’s more of a philosopher’s stone for the modern world. The songs are straight-up anthems that are equal parts mountaintop sermons and shouts into the void. Make no mistake: These songs are not the pretentious overreaches that U2 have successfully shoved down our throats for decades, nor are they the call-to-arms Coldplay songs that sound more like shouts at the mall. Listening to Spiritual Songs For Lovers To Sing makes me feel like I’ve discovered a cult of personality at a cool political rally. It won’t take long before you are standing on your chair with raised fists—bought in.

The songs are delivered like epic poetry, fine literature or a foreign film. It’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, The Count of Monte Cristo or The Seventh Seal, with the knight playing chess with death. It’s all the same thing. The story is the same. LUH understands this and takes aim at the monomyth, the hero’s journey, the story that’s been told since the beginning of time. The story is simply: call to adventure, crisis, victory and return. The hero comes home transformed and changed.

The call to adventure starts with the first track, “I&I.” It’s the beginning of the journey. It’s not for everyone. Roberts tells us, “There’s signs in this early morning / As mindful you wake from your sleep / There’s life in this early morning / A life that you want to lead / If you’re not ready, forget it / Lay down and fall back to sleep.” Robert sings this plea for adventure with a voice that is something between a raw throat lit on fire and the sound that forces its way out after you’ve been sucker-punched in the gut. It’s heartbreakingly beautiful. The voice grabs me and doesn’t let go. That is what makes the transition to Hoon’s airy, sweet voice, so jarring when it arrives. It provides balance. Hoon’s voice brings angels to Robert’s hurricane.

Hoon shines on the track “Future Blues” she sings, “It’s just another day / Sitting around in this place / Lost in time and space.” The song is about alienation and existential crisis —it’s about an already written future that looks back and haunts us all. Roberts pulls us out of the state on the track “Lost Under Heaven,” declaring repeatedly, “And we all know that it’s bullshit / It’s just life, and we live it.” There are so many great and epic songs on this album. From the beginning piano of “I&I,” to the acoustic guitar on the final track “The Great Longing,” we come full circle. By the end of the record, you have experienced the adventure, the crisis, the victory and the return. The hero’s journey complete. You don’t just listen to this record—you experience it.

LUH’s Spiritual Songs For Lovers To Sing will get your attention, make you think and prepare you for action. It’s a recharge for the soul—what is left of it. It’s finding meaning at the bored and distracted front end of the 21st Century. Take the adventure—take the journey—buy the ticket; take the ride! If not, lay down and fall back to sleep. –Russ Holsten

Glume | Redefined Displeasures | Self-Released

Redefined Displeasures

Street: 08.17
Glume = Joy Division + a whisper of Angelo Badalamenti

Tyler Tovey gives us a little gloom to help shove us into the colder seasons. Tovey’s shoegaze-y, vocal style of turning voice into a whisper, hiss and a hush allows crisp synth lines to set the tone and drive the momentum of the record. The EP clocks in at 10:38, with its post-punk and new wave influences fully on display. The tricky part of wearing your influences on your sleeve is avoiding making your art feel like an echo of something old and instead reinterpreting it into something interesting and new. Tovey does just that—hell, he titled the album Redefined Displeasures.

Glume offers four tracks that stand alone like chapters in a book, unleashing bass/drumbeats that break perfectly over synth lines and provide a touch of mystery riding underneath all of these songs. The track “Someone” starts with a new wave kick that tilts early into a haunting breakup. “The days when it was us and nobody else / Our lives in a frame and hung up on a shelf,” Tovey sings, “To forever last throughout the days / as you and I forever fade away.” At the the beginning of “Bored of Me,” we hear Kate Winslett speak from the film Eternal Sunshine Of the Spotless Mind: “I’ll get bored with you and feel trapped / Because that’s what happens to me.” Lost love is the storm that rains over all these songs and soaks the entire record.

Tovey makes the sadness work. The final track, “Circles,” perhaps hints at the future of Glume. It begins with a menacing Nitzer Ebb–type synth line over a hint of Angelo Badalamenti. The song sounds like you could drop it in the background of any episode of Season 3 of David Lynch’s nightmarish, twisted version of Twin Peaks. It’s that unsettling calm and uncertainty that comes before someone lets the devil in. Redefined Displeasures is a small treasure of a record that deserves repeated listenings. In the future, I hope that Tovey does in fact let the devil in and shake up the mysterious lovesick themes that he does so well. I believe the devil may be Tovey himself—these songs beg and cry out to hear more of his voice. –Russ Holsten