The 1980s. Honourable Mention 49/50.
Is there a more satisfying thrash metal album than Metallica’s Master of Puppets (1986)? Its combination of technically astute playing, razor-sharp production, classical flourishes and dynamic brutality has effectively become the genre’s platonic ideal, and even its creators themselves have struggled to top it. Hetfield and Ulrich’s description of the songwriting process used on …Puppets as ‘guitar riffs, assembled and reassembled until they start to sound like a song’ accounts for the fact that the album feels a bit like a highlights reel; no second is wasted and surprises – time signature changes, new riffs, breakneck solos, a second bridge, tempo shifts - abound around many corners. It feels a lot like their previous album, Ride the Lightning (their first great album), on steroids: everything here is somehow even bigger, stronger, stripped to its essence. As you’ve probably noticed, I’m not a huge metal guy – I probably own around 50 metal albums total – and I think its inclusion here testifies to Puppets’ crossover appeal; you don’t have to live and breathe the genre to love this. (Metal works for me as a bit of a palate cleanser; its catharsis kills a lot of the tension that exists in a lot of other music I love.) Songs like ‘Battery’, ‘Welcome Home (Sanitarium)’, ‘Orion’ and the title track have enough melodic, rhythmic and lyrical smarts to win over just about anyone.
11 hours ago
The 1980s. Honourable Mention 48/50.
Kraftwerk’s Computer World (1981) was released at a time when the rest of the world had finally caught up to the band’s pioneering use of musical and studio technology throughout the ‘70s. While most synth-pop artists attempted to humanise their synthetic backdrops with ‘regular’, or even exaggerated, vocal stylings, Kraftwerk still maintained their kitschy, unemotional and ‘automated’ voices. In the context of 1981, it sounds like they’re both poking fun at the current pop charts as well as holding a mirror up to the increasingly technology-driven culture in an overt art-imitating-life exercise. Of course, in today’s context it couldn’t be more relevant - just replace ‘Pocket Calculator’ with ‘iPhone’ and ‘Computer Love’ with ‘VR Addiction’ - but having surpassed the desktop computer age, as iconically depicted on the album’s cover, it all feels beautifully, dreamily retro. Afrika Bambaataa sampled ‘Numbers’ (and musically referenced ‘Trans-Europe Express’) in its tremendous and hugely influential ‘Planet Rock’ the following year, reflecting Kraftwerk’s influence upon the wider culture and creating a metaphorical ‘Hall of Mirrors’ (wrong album, sorry) when considering what that song achieved. Disregard all of the above cultural waffle though. Fundamentally, Computer World is just tremendously fun.
1 day ago
The 1980s. Honourable Mention 45/50.
Listening to De La Soul’s 3 Feet High and Rising (1989) is still a thrilling experience. So much of the ‘90s is foreshadowed in its disjointed beats, eclectic samples and psych-jazz aesthetic. Q-Tip’s feature on ‘Buddy’ here testifies to the group’s jazz rap commonality with A Tribe Called Quest (who released their first album the following year), and the mainstream’s embrace of jazz rap (ATCQ, Digable Planets…) throughout the following decade arguably started here. The album's deep dive into junk-culture also clearly had an impact on many in the (mostly white) indie rock community; ‘Ghetto Thang’’s combination of sampledelic beats and analogue synths and ‘Potholes on My Lawn’’s harmonica and yodelling samples clearly blueprints Beck’s Odelay (1996), for example. The group’s willingness to draw on ‘white' music (Johnny Cash, Steely Dan, The Turtles) in their samples is partially responsible for the album’s psychedelic sound; it’s funky as hell, but there’s something odd about hearing these familiar sounds in such a context. The TV game show concept of the album is fun, and the all-round positivity of the group’s wordplay provides a blatant contrast to the largely pessimistic (and dominant) gangsta rap of the time. (The common hyperbolic evaluation of 3FHAR as having ‘saved hip hop’ surely isn’t far off.) The album’s many singles (‘Plug Tunin’, ‘Potholes…’, ‘Buddy’, ‘Eye Know’, ‘Me Myself and I’, ‘The Magic Number’…) remain hugely infectious and still feel remarkably fresh.
2 days ago
The 1980s. Honourable Mention 43/50.
The Cure’s The Head on the Door (1985) attempts to reconcile their previous swirling gloom with Robert Smith’s emerging fondness for the pop hook. It’s a fascinating thing that pushes in all sorts of directions at once: ’In Between Days’ has an almost New Order feel and an irresistible charm resulting from its classic pop progressions and childlike rhymes (‘die’/‘cry’, ‘away’/’today’, etc.), ‘Kyoto Song’ and ‘Blood’ experiment with oriental and Spanish (respectively) melodic modes, ‘Six Different Ways’ is noticeably more spacious in its textures and relaxed in its 3/4 groove that much of their material to date, and ‘Push’ anticipates Disintegration’s (1989) epic-length introductions, Smith’s voice finally emerging after almost two-and-a-half minutes of dramatic scene-setting. The band’s use of dance rhythms on ‘Screw’ and, most famously, ‘Close To Me’ is one of the most interesting developments in their sound here; for a group so associated with foetal-position-style introversion (in the popular imagination, at least) to embrace anything even slightly resembling ‘80s disco signals a big shift in confidence and ambition. The fact that they pull it off brilliantly is even more impressive. The difference between the nightmarishly insurmountable textures on Pornography (1982, see Honourable Mention 27) and the luxuriously open and streamlined sound they achieve on ‘Close To Me’ couldn’t be more apparent. I’m not saying that Robert Smith was the pinnacle of mental health in 1985, but this sounds *a lot* healthier than Pornography. Their acceptance and embrace by the mainstream from this point onwards says it all, I guess.
7 hours ago
TROY CANDY - What a menace!! Invaded Poison on the weekend and now it'll never be the same ☠️ See you for another wild ride this weekend at our official Oktoberfest After Party ✖️#PICKYOURPOISON
7 hours ago
Inspired by an “Old Town Malaysian” favourite, this succulent pork chop has been added to our new Seasonal Spring Menu. Juicy pork shoulder steak marinated in curry leaves, shallots and chilli. Our new week starts tomorrow from lunch, come visit! @lecharme_au
7 hours ago
FIND ME AT: 📍 Left Field ( @left__field )
Sautéed portobello and button mushrooms on quinoa toast 🍞 // poached eggs, kale, almonds, whipped goats cheese, basil, pesto, hummus, pomegranates and dukkah.
Middle Eastern slow cooked Lamb 🍖 // cauliflower, carrot, lentil and kale fry up with sourdough toast, hummus, pistachio, fried eggs, feta, pomegranate, tahini yoghurt, dukkah and lime.
I was feel a bit lost with what to post and to create interesting content. Finally I went out for breakfast yesterday morning and got inspired. I love going out to eat food and socialise 💚. Thank you Left Field for letting my mind get back on track and filling me up with your delicious dish. I’ll be back soon for a coffee or 10 ☕️☕️ Happy Monday 😇⚡️
A Tequila Paloma - expect this in our list of cocktails for our Bottomless Fiestas! Launching this weekend, link in the bio for more information
8 hours ago
@byrdimelb is Melbourne’s newest bar and it’s focus is on creating drinks using native produce unique to Australia. Pictured here is the Weis Bar and my favourite from there, the Mauhroom Apple made from king oyster mushroom and smoked, fermented fortified yarra valley apples 🙌🏽
Did you know every Friday & Saturday night over 100,000 fans attend live music events in Melbourne? That's two AFL Grand finals every weekend! Now is the time to get ready for summer gigging and there's no better place to start than with ONTAP! Head to the link in our bio to sign up ✌🏼️ #LIVEMUSICONTAP
Making better life choices one healthy dessert at a time... and now finally, since I’ve had to wear glasses for most of my life, I’ve made the decision to try out PRECISION1, a contact lens designed for the life I want. It was so easy booking my optometrist appointment and I cannot wait to try PRECISION1 contact lenses.
Head to my link in bio to make your appointment!
We still have a few seats left for this Thursday’s Mini Degustation & Wine Matching. To book please send us a direct message or call Jock on 0400 033 081. Cost: $65pp - 5 wines & food included!! Time: 7pm (for a 7:30 start)
9 hours ago
Libras & Scorpios, let us look after you and your crew on your big day. Slide into our DMs for booths, guest lists, drink cards & shots, shots, shots 🥃 #PICKYOURPOISON