Let's switch to English - and also, let's review some music!

So... let's switch to English!

Until now, if you've been reading my blog, you know that I was writing about records and concerts in German. That's because it is my native tongue because I live in Germany. And you'll have noticed that there has not been a lot of content on here during the last few months. That's because I had to prepare my trip to Winnipeg! Now I'm here in the hometown of The Weakerthans and Propaghandi - and it seems only befitting that Tinnitus Attacks goes English.

So now for some content. Even if there are no new reviews on the blog, that doesn't mean I'm not listening to new music all the time. So here are two short reviews of current albums that caught my attention - and that you definitely should listen to, too.

Murder By Death - The Other Shore 

Murder By Death are nothing short of a musical miracle in a world of disposable plastic pop cluttering radio airwaves, record shelves and streaming services. Their blend of brooding Americana and stomping Folk paired with sinister stories of demons and drunkards is unnique. When I listened to their third full length album "In Bocca Al Lupo" which was released in 2006, I was in love immediately. Made first contact with the Rockabillyesque "Brother" and it's bar brawl video, but the other songs on that record were just as overwhelming. When Adam Turla sounded just like Johnny Cash in "Shiola" and "The Big Sleep" or when they made a clear nod to the Man In Black with "Sometimes The Line Walks You", I was amazed because I seldom had heard a record so dense with atmosphere. Since then, I've enjoyed every record by the five piece from Bloomington, Indiana, with "Good Morning Magpie" being my favorite one and "Big Dark Love" my least favorite one. "The Other Shore" blew me away this year, maybe because I was a bit disappointed by it's predecessor "Big Dark Love" and I didn't expect too much. Ok, now that I write this, I notice that sounds a bit negative. But that's how I am: If I don't fall in love with an album by a band, I'm surprised that a later one still will get to me. So let's talk about the songs of this record, the eighth by the way. "Alas" starts of like like a waltz that takes the listener to a dancefloor where we hide our inner darkness behind masks. The following "Chasing Ghosts" evokes grainy images of surveillance cameras and living rooms (Still can't watch "Paranormal Activity" without freaking...) while the Indierock feel of "Bloom" will leave you reminiscing the red wine induced melancholy of The National. "Stone" has a touch of Calexico to it when the trumpet sets in. "Travelin' Far" and "Only Time" deliver some of the most beautiful and delicate melodies  that MDB have ever written. The soothing cello sounds of Sarah Balliet are the center of attention in these two songs - more than ever, and it's just perfect. As to the lyrical concept of the record, you can get into the space western theme, but you also can enjoy the songs just as good without digging into it. I got to confess, my MDB-related euphoria was not as big as 2006 over the last years, but with this gem, it's revived.

Alice In Chains - Rainier Fog
Before I really got into Grunge, I was a Metalhead and I backed the theory that Grunge killed Metal in the 90ies. But as you grow older, your musical taste becomes more eclectic and you see that there's nothing wrong with rocking out to Iron Maiden AND Nirvana. So when I listened to Alice In Chains the first time, it was "We Die Young" on a Metal Show on German music television (Rest in peace, VIVA!). The Seattle band has managed to carry on the legacy of grunge, even in spite of the death of lead singer Layne Stayley in 2002. Singer William DuVall and guitar player Jerry Cantrell go very well together and now "Rainier Fog" is the third album in this constellation. It's the first record in five years and as soon as you listen to it, you know what you've been missing so dreadfully. I gotta admit that there is a certain feeling of Nostalgia to it, but if you listen to rocking guitar sounds, you're used to not being on the hip side of life. The songs with their halting groove and their twin-vocal sound are somber and melancholic, but not hopeless. When the title track comes to a clean break after the first half, it makes you appreciate the dynamics even more. In a perfect world, "Maybe" would be on the radio permanently. Somebody asked me who needed another AIC album. What a silly question.