Thursday, January 20, 2022

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Sound Check


W138Nest of Snakes



Even if you’ve never heard Nest of Snakes before, with track titles like “Wall of Tusks” and “Demon’s Chair,” you have a good idea what you’re getting into. And, while the ground the band is treading may not be new or particularly inventive, there’s enough quality in the band’s version of events to keep listeners entertained. The tracks “Contagious Rust” and “Blind Horizon” are closer to late ‘70s proto-metal than anything else; shades of Black Sabbath waft through both tracks, with the latter track probably being the best on the album. Beyond those two, the rest of the album offers a more by-the-numbers metal sound, with the opening hook on “Demon’s Chair” being particularly noteworthy. Nest of Snakes isn’t just loud for the sake of it, and the attention paid to the melodies is what really sets this album on a higher pedestal than a lot of the hard rock and metal you’ll hear around town. CV



cd MIAM.I.A.



One thing makes M.I.A great — and I mean truly, genuinely great — is the distinct possibility that she’s insane. The track “aTENTion” is example No. 1, as she has trouble coming up with words that rhyme with “tent.” What’s a girl to do in that situation? If you said “Call Julian Assange for help,” you might actually be M.I.A, because that’s exactly what she did. Plenty of pop artists in the world do crazy (some may say “stupid”) things, so the behavior is nothing new, but so few channel it as effectively and as — brace yourself — brilliantly as M.I.A. Nothing on “Matangi” will have anywhere near the commercial appeal of 2007’s “Paper Planes,” but that song was an aberration in M.I.A.’s career. “Matangi” is an unrelenting aural assault that’s confusing at times and makes you fight for every scrap of enjoyment you’ll get from it. But it’s ultimately worth the battle. CV

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