Song of the Week: The Abusing of The Rib by Atmosphere

*Hey guys, so a bit shorter review this week, busy with all kinds of shit. Anyways, hope you enjoy!*

 

Atmosphere is a hip-hop group consisting of Slug (rapper) and Ant (DJ/producer). Atmosphere has released eight studio albums and ten extended plays, Headshots Se7En was recorded 1998 and was released only as a cassette, it was re-released as a CD in 2005.

Headshots Se7En is one of Atmospheres most acclaimed albums, as this is the album where Ant and Slug really found their sound. The Abusing of The Rib is one of the best songs from the album, also the most unique. Slug shines lyrically and vocally in this song, his calm and soulful voice supports beautifully the emotional lyrics. In The Abusing of The Rib Slug uses traveling and love as metaphors for drug use (or abuse). Slug says: “I wanna ride a train up my lover’s arm, destination the brain“, trains run on tracks, right? So those tracks could mean veins, and veins as we know, lead to the brain. “And natural resources are unlimited, exploration only requires some desire and initiative” More hinting towards drugs again, this particular drug grows naturally and to find and use it only requires “some desire and initiative“. “I’m not dumb, I can hear that train come from miles away, I’m setting obstacles to stop the arrival” He knows he’s hooked, and knows that another relapse is coming and tries to stop it. “If I could show you, you would never leave it, and if I could show you, you would never leave it” I think in the chorus Slug tries to tell that if you understood the effects that the drug has, you would be just as hooked as him, this hypnotizing chant continues until the song fades out.

The Abusing of The Ribs beat is absolutely fantastic, definitely one of Ants best, it flows so fluently and is chillingly beautiful. The haunting piano loop is a total earmworm, and this masterfully crafted, perfectly simple song will force you to listen to it time after another. The Abusing of The Rib is one of the forgotten gems from Atmosphere.

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Song of the Week: Ride On by AC/DC

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By Franz

When I was ten years old, I saw the Simpsons Halloween special, I can’t remember what season, it wasn’t the greatest Simpsons episode ever, but it did have something that changed my life. Hearing AC/DC’s Highway to Hell for the first time. After that I became a huge fan of the band and continued calling it my favorite band of all time for some years. I bought all their records, even the Australian-exclusive early stuff I somehow found at a flee-market. I fell in love, but like any first love, it slowly faded away. While even to this day I can listen to them and feel joy, it’s just not the same. Yes, they’re a very repetitive band and all of their records are the same fucking thing, but maybe it’s the constant stream of them that I have the ability to really separate songs from their albums. Anyway, where I’m going with this is, while they’re a very repetitive band, there’s one song from their fantastic 1976 album Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap that sticks out like a beautiful sore thumb. It’s of course, Ride On.

AC/DC formed in 1973 Australia by two Scotsmen, Angus and Malcolm Young. Two years later they released their first international album High Voltage, with the members being Bon Scott on the vocals, Phil Rudd in the drums, some dude on the bass and the Young brothers in the guitars. It’s a fine album, one of their best actually. It has huge amount of energy and raw-ness to it, it feels like a watered down, more straight-forward rock version of The Stooges, but it works. Anyway, after that they kicked off the dude in the bass and replaced him with Cliff Williams, a gold haired tall fucker.

1976 came and so did their second album, one of their most famous, Dirty Deed Done Dirt Cheap. It’s again a fantastic piece, but I’ve never considered it their finest. Sure it has some amazing tracks, but also a lot of filler like Squeler and the silly dick-joke song Big Balls (which is a guilty pleasure of mine). But the second to last song on the track is one of the finest ones they made, it’s a weird song from them, because they really have never made a song before or after that. Anyway, it’s Ride On.

What is AC/DC known for? Fast, energetic power chords with the basic drum beat and lyrics about fucking, drinking and “good times”. So, Ride On is just like that? No, actually. It has a slow build up, with mellow, slow chords with a blues-y solos and lyrics about just wanting to quit the rock-cliche lifestyle. Yeah, that’s pretty weird from a band that has made the same album forty years in a row. Like I said, the song sticks out like a sore thumb, they have never been this melancholy and “deep”. While it’s a sore thumb, it’s a fantastic, brilliant thumb as well.

I absolutely love this song. Even if I’m not a huge fan of theirs anymore and can’t sit through their latest albums without yawning, I can listen to this song forever. Bon Scott’s sorrowful vocals and the lyrics about just relaxing for a bit, leaving the drinking and womanizing for a little while to realize just how hollow, lonely and miserable life can be. It’s probably Scott’s most personal song, singing about his self-destroying lifestyle that eventually killed him. AC/DC isn’t known for their lyrical masterpieces, but these are quite fantastic. He sings about how everything in his life is getting him down, which is a blues cliche, but then he starts singing about just how lonely his life is and how he doesn’t want to do it anymore and how he just wants to explode but he just keeps riding on, or keep on living.

While I love the lyrics and Scott’s vocals, where this song really shines is the music. Okay, the drums are just the same old tired beat that Phil “The convicted killer/cocaine addict” Rudd plays in every song, but the soft bass line and holy shit the guitars. The Young brothers always speak about how influenced they are by blues, but you rarely actually hear it in their songs. They’re a lot more Rolling Stones, than Robert Johnson. But here, it’s very clear, though there is a modern, more rock touch to it. The soft, lingering chords that amplify the already moody, somewhat melancholy, but ultimately simply relaxing atmosphere. And when the solo hits, it’s just perfect. So wonderfully played, balancing on the edge of a normal hard rock solo, but it has enough melody and rhythm to keep it in it’s blues roots. The giant, almost bombastic build up to the soft, chill as fuck chorus is fucking amazing.

Overall, the song is a slow, atmospheric song about being tired of the self-destructive lifestyle and wanting to change and get away the loneliness and misery of reality. And the music is perfect for it, at times sad, but mostly relaxing and optimistic. It’s a great fucking song, even if you’re not a fan of the band, you should absolutely check this gem out.

Last words on the band

My favorite album by them is their 1977 Let There Be Rock with it’s high octane, energetic sound that influenced a bunch of thrash metal bands and punk bands. It’s one of the finest rock albums ever and I was considering on reviewing Whole Lotta Rosie instead, since it’s quite possibly my favorite by them, but I decided to pick this, since it’s a lot more unique and interesting to talk about. I don’t think AC/DC is an amazing band by any means, but they have a special place in my heart. Like Dirty Harry (1971), they’re not the greatest band in the world, but they introduced me to so much more. After Dirty Harry, I saw films more than simple entertainments, as art and after AC/DC I started to really experiment with different style of music and I became a huge music buff. So, while a lot of people think AC/DC is a repetitive, boring band, I can agree to some degree, but they’re still awesome, maybe because of the nostalgia.

 

Song of the week: Sparrows by No Bird Sing

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By Patrick

Hello, and welcome to TwoSimpleWriters’ Song Of The Week, this week we review Sparrows by No Bird Sing. No Bird Sing is a hip-hop group from Minnesota, they have released three albums. Sparrows is a song from their self-titled album released in 2009.

Sparrows feels like Kristoff Krane and Joe Horton are having a dialog, exchanging feelings of empyness and sadness. Sparrows to me feels like a metaphor for somekind of a cure to these feelings of emptyness.

“There’s nothing to know, there’s no one to miss, The longer I roam the colder it gets, Alone; slowly I grow with a hole in my chest, the size of my head”

The author feels like he is missing something important in his life. “I grow with a hole in my chest, the size of my head” could mean that as the author lost his heart (or something else important from the inside), he also lost a part of his thoughts (like love).

“Take it in, breathe it out, Let the sparrows in your house, Show them where the attic is and let them be to set up shop, Watch them sing, while you dance, While you’re cooking, while you break shit, Never let them go, it’s their escape, they’re escaping”

The author suggests to let the sparrows in to your head (attic), so the sparrows can sing (heal) for you no matter what happens. So the sparrows are pretty much something like guardian angels.

Joe Horton and Kristoff Krane both have great flow and a strong balanced voice. Kristoff Krane is one of my favorite hip-hop lyricist and Sparrows is really Krane-ish, in a good way of course. Sparrows is written in a poetic and abstract style, i expecially like the dialog-ish style where Horton and Krane go back and fourth. More than ofter I find myself humming along with the chorus as it is so well crafted and catchy. The beat is also incredible, it has the perfect amount of tension and it builds up beatifully to the chorus.

Overall this is one of the best No Bird Sing songs, the beautiful beat and lyrics create a captivating atmosphere that brings you back you to this song time after another.

Listen to the song here:
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Song of the Week: Thousands are Sailing by The Pogues

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By Franz

We ain’t gonna talk about specific types of songs at this blog, it doesn’t matter is it new or old, metal or Irish traditional-folk-punk, as long as it’s a song we have something to talk about. So today, my pick for the song of the week is Thousands are Sailing by the Irish folk-punk band The Pogues.

Listen to it by clicking here!

The Pogues formed in 1982, after Shane MacGowan and some of his friends (Shane was from the punk scene) decided to mix to genres, Irish folk and this new music called punk. MacGowan was from an Irish family (though lived in England) and his musical roots came from Irish music, but also from the punk scene of the late ’70s. The name Pogues comes from the Irish term “pogue mahone” which means “kiss my ass”. Their first album, Red Roses For Me, in 1984 was somewhat of a success, at least in England and, of couse, Ireland. It got pretty good critical reviews and at least put The Pogues on the map. It’s a decent record, it’s very heavy on being Irish and most of the musical components are strictly folk, and only MacGowan’s weird, somewhat terrible vocals are punk. But it’s a fine record. The next year they released another album, Rum, Sodomy and The Lash (produced by Elvis Costello) and that became a huge hit, pretty much internationally. It’s now considered a classic and one of their best records, and yeah, it’s pretty amazing. It’s more original and mixes the genres better than the first one and it has some of MacGowan’s best songs, not only lyrically but also musically. It’s one of those records that you can’t help but tap your leg with it.

But, the song I’m gonna talk about is from their third record, which is also my favorite from them, their 1988 If I should Fall from the Grace with God. And the song surprisingly isn’t written by MacGowan (who wrote a lot of their stuff), but written by their guitarist, Phil Chevron, who proves himself as a talented song writer. Thousands are Sailing is about the Irish immigrating to America in midst of a famine, simple as that. But the words are so powerful and moving. And because of it’s subject matter, it’s pretty relevant right now, considering all the immigrants coming to Europe. It’s not only about immigrating to a new land, but also keeping your heritage. It asks the Irish-Americans “do you feel Irish and if yes, how so?”. It’s not negative about the immigration, rather it’s a sad song for those who miss their homeland. “Do the old songs makes you cry? Did you count the years and months, or did your tear drops quickly dry?”. It’s about being proud where you come from and staying Irish even when you’re not living there.

There’s a line that always gets me, it’s “Everywhere we go we celebrate, the land that makes us refugees”, it’s just so relevant. Nobody’s happy being a refugee, everybody just wants to survive, but also every single immigrant wants go to back to their country.

Musically I love this song, as well. It starts off very melancholic (which is does stay), it somehow remind me of a very misty night, sailing away. The echoing guitars, the slow build up with the flute and then it stops to hear MacGowan’s sorrowful voice. Now, MacGowan can’t sing technically, he sounds drunk (probably because he is) and mumbles most of the words, but it works most of the time and especially here you hear anger and regret in his voice. I love the drum-heavy chorus, it’s just so epic and bouncy and when the banjo hits afterwards, it’s so fucking awesome. That banjo line after MacGowan shouts “And we dance!” is so lovely. Musically it’s a powerful, melancholy song that works perfectly with the sad, haunting lyrics, creating a beautiful, tear-jerking atmosphere.

If you’re interested in The Pogues, I would recommend with If I should fall from the Grace with God for the first album you should listen to, especially the title track, it gives you a pretty good idea what the Pogues are all about.  Thousands are Sailing is one of the bands masterpieces and truly an epic song about a very relevant subject matter. It’s a great song by a great band.

Song of the week: L’Enfant Sauvage – Gojira

*Yay, a new post. I know we’ve been very in-active, but we’re trying to keep this blog alive, so Patrick decided to do these Song of the weeks every Monday and yes, I realize it’s Tuesday, but expect them to come out on Mondays. Anyway, enjoy*

By Patrick

Welcome to SHM’s song of the week. This weeks song is L’Enfant Sauvage from Gojira. Song suggestions will be greatly appreciated. – Patrick

Gojira is a metal band from Ondres, France. Gojira was started as Godzilla in 1996, but changed it’s name to Gojira in 2001 due legal issues. Gojira is known for it’s spiritual and enviromental themes. L’Enfant Sauvage was released with Roadrunner Records in 2012, it was Gojiras fifth album. L’Enfant Sauvage translates to “The Wild Child.”

Gojiras lyrics are often written in a poetic style, dealing with environmental and spiritual issues. L’Enfant Sauvage is on the surface about god, a creator, somebody who created life but forgot give life to her- or himself.

“Betrayed your child with desire, but you wont attempt to reveal yourself.”

But i think it’s too obvious, I think L’Enfant Sauvage is deeper than that. I don’t think it’s about anything specific, I feel like the song is about wasting life. The author has hurt, lost or gave up on something important, he isn’t in pain but he regrets the wasted time. The lost passion for something (faith, music?) is the reason he owns himself life.

“I’ve killed a part of me that was aching. The pain is gone, But denial runaway from institutions, I owe my self life.”

Gojira unites many different genres like melodic death metal, progressive and groove metal. The verses low-key guitar line creates a chilling atmosphere and gives vocalization the spotlight. L’Enfant Sauvage twists and turns from clean groovy guitar scheme into a hard pounding guitar riff segway and back again. The song is building up to an amazing breakdown at the end then the the track cuts into a muffled version of the verses guitar scheme, leaving us haunted and craving for more. Joseph Duplantiers vocals are a mix of death metal growling and clean vocals, he growls so you can hear the words without loosing the heavy and threatening sound. Gojira is beautifully honest, they give you the most intense kiss while also kicking you in the balls.

Eyedea & Abilities review

I’ve reviewed all of E&A album’s previously on TSW, so I decided to re-post all of them here in one post. So enjoy!

By Franz 

First Born (1999)

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I consider this to be one of the essential indie, abstract hip hop albums, combing complex and intelligent lyrics with strange, yet very simple beats, but also there are couple of “basic” hip hop tracks as well. It’s one of the finest indie rap albums of all time and in my opinion, Eyedea & Abilities’ second best

If you have never read one of my album review, it goes similar to my film review: Lyrics/Flow/Rappers performance, Beats/Production and overall.

Lyrics/Flow/Rappers performance

As some of you know, I consider Eyedea aka Michael Larsen to be one of the greatest MC’s ever, his flow is perfect in almost every song, his themes and topics are mind-blowingly beautiful and complex written and he could also make pretty solid beats. Also he was probably the best battle rapper ever, winning two major tournaments before retiring. He wrote the lyrics to these songs when he was about 16 which is absolutely ridiculous considering I’m 17 and I could never write such detailed and complex lyrics even if my life depended on it. Lyrics like “I bleed the blood of a cold stone that roams without a shadow
I’m only deep enough to realize that I’m shallow” leaves me breathless. His rhymes are always clever and well written, especially on songs like Big Shots and On This I Stand. The themes are vast from paranoia and delusion (The Dive part 1/2) to Plato’s philosophy (Color My World Mine) to the nature of music (Music Music) and even to the realization that he’s a judgemental asshole (Big Shots). He displays his vast knowledge in philosophy by telling stories and using a lot of metaphors, in his later career he abandoned the story telling, but kept using metaphors and creating very striking visual imagines. Most importantly, Eyedea showed just how great of a story teller he was, especially on heart breaking songs like A Murder of Memories (which is about a traumatized soldier, trying to live his life, trying to forget the horror) and Read Wiped In Blue (which on the surface is about a boys mother dying, but is actually a political song about America’s foreign affairs, but it’s heartbreaking nontheless). Most of the stories and surreal and full of metaphors which most are so complex I can’t even begin to understand, like Birth of a Fish, …Powdered Water Too (part 1 and 2) and Void (1 & 2).

His flow is on point like always, though his voice on some songs sounds a little dirty, like he would still be a teenager. But it doesn’t really matter, his flow is still great. Eyedea was known to rap very fast and he was excellent in doing so, but on this album his flow is slower and more calculated and it really helps building the already surreal atmosphere. The most famous song (it’s famous because it was on some Tony Hawk video game) is of course, Big Shots. A song about doucebags, each verse being about a different douchebag, the first one being about a cocktease of a girl who only uses boys to boost her own ego and probably just wants your money, the second being about a cliche football captain, who of course is a vain asshole and the last one about a self-boasting rapper, and it has a pretty funny twist at the end. The song is wonderful, it’s very old school hip hop in it’s production and Eyedea’s flow is faster than on most of the songs and he delivers the verses with a lot of confidence and personality. My favorite track on the album is probably The Dive part 2, it’s about paranoia and trying to survive in a world full of idiots who don’t understand you. The beat on the song is so beautiful and Eyedea’s story-telling is just so on point I can’t help to love the song. Also Color My World Mine is so strange, surreal and haunting.

Beats/Production

There are differing sources on who made the beats, some claiming it was Eyeadea, and it was only produced by Abilities and some that is was Abilities who made the beats. Because I don’t care who made them, I’m just going to say that it was Abilities, as he did make the beats for the rest of their albums.

The lyrics are surreal so it’s no surprise that the beats would also be strange, out-of-the-ordinary and surreal as hell. In a lot ways, they are very simple and basic, the beats being a simple drum beat, but the instrumentals are so colorful and filled with unusual sounds and effects that it creates this bizarre and wonderful atmosphere, which really help to build the stories. On the song Big Shots, the beat is probably the most simple, it’s a basic drum and bass beat which works as it is meant to be a “classical” rap anthem. On something like Color My World Mine, the production gets really strange, opening something which sounds like mixing dogs barking and banging drumsticks to a teapot. In Dive part 2, the background voices are mixed so well, it sounds like they sampled some soul songs or something, whatever it is it works. Abilities creates a world with his use of sounds, it’s a very dream-like, opened world, often surreal and haunting, even uncomfortable, but it works with the lyrics so well. The beats are simple, yet so unique.

Overall

The album is a masterpiece of abstract, indie hip hop. Even abstract rappers like Aesop Rock or Eyenine, cannot even come close with Eyedea’s level of knowledge and beauty. E&A may be more fun and entertaining, By The Throat may be more personal and beautiful, but First Born is the most intellectual of their discography. It’s their second best album in my opinion, showcasing their ability to create colorful, unique stories and worlds.

It’s 5/5 from me.