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Album Roundup 10/19

 

Leper- "End Progress"

Some combinations just work, like peanut butter and jelly, Laurel and Hardy and, to a lesser extent, prescription medication and the Heimlich maneuver. Others aren't as time-tested or obvious, but at some point in history, must be tried to determine their viability. Leper is one of these historical trailblazers, a group of Canadian anarchists who fuse punk to screamo to black metal to ska. Their 2010 full-length, "End Progess," is a tickle for jaded ears, but often gets lost in its own lack of direction and novelty. Everyone needs to try pickles and ice cream at least once.

RIYL: Flaming Tsunamis, Mutiny

Grade: B- 

Envy- "Recitation"

Envy hails from Japan, so if you don't speak Japanese and you're a lyrics-oriented listener, this probably won't be for you. Musically, Envy combines post-rock with screamo in a way that captures both the soaring melodies and tiresomely long passages of "God Is an Astronaut" with the raw-throated catharsis of Mohinder or Damezumari. If none of these names mean anything to you, expect the following: slow and pretty, loud and angry, repeat. The structure and production tends to make even the exciting parts somewhat hum-drum, but it's hard to deny the craft of this record.

RIYL: Explosions in the Sky, Castevet

Grade: B

Scorn- "Refuse; Start Fires"

Dark, slow and foreboding, it's hard to believe Scorn is the project of Mick Harris, original drummer of influential grindcore band, Napalm Death. A far departure from those trashy and brutally short compositions, Harris uses Scorn as an outlet for all things ambient and brooding. Industrial, trip-hop and dupstep are all palpable influences here, evidenced by stop/start drums, atonal bits of atmosphere and persistent bass, all used to produce the perfect soundtrack to a futuristic nightmare. Even more so than other off-kilter dub groups like Burial, this is late-night loner fare to be digested in solitude. 

RIYL: Burial, Whitehouse

Grade: B+

Bo Burnham- "Words, Words, Words"

Boosted through hitcounts and sheer word of mouth from a youtuber to a fresh-faced kid doing specials on Comedy Central, Bo Burnham is a 20-year-old satirist/comedy musician whose act ranges from the observational to the obscene. His talent for wordplay in a host of styles (piano rock, rap and haiku) and his rapport make him a surprising force on stage. However, the one topic he seems to revisit most, much to the chagrin of the less devout members of the audience, is himself. Despite his age, it's clear that the cutesy self-absorption of his act will not weather much longer.

RIYL: Zach Galifianakis, Ben Folds

Grade: C+

Hofstra loses to Delaware in 5 sets

'Life As We Know It' unoriginal, but amusing