No Music, No Life...
While European countries have begun -one after the other- lifting the COVID restrictions, the first concert announcements have started appearing in my social media timelines. The hopeful signs that the we are exiting the pandemic and return to "normality" are nowadays more apparent than what they have been in the last 2 years.
Even though that the first 2 months of 2022 have been almost completed, I am still having some "open accounts" with 2021 and that is mainly with albums which for various reasons I missed listening upon their release time thus they have not been considered for my 2021 list (in those I should also include the album by Gravpel about which I have posted here).
Φορμόλη- Surrendered to Doom
Φορμόλι (Formoli, Formol) come from Greece and play a mix of Crust (music and lyrics wise) with Grindcore (Vocals wise) providing a result that it is both relentless and enjoyable. Equally great as the last album by Stheno.
Tower - Shock to the System
This is probably the traditional metal release of the year. Shock to the System, while it does not lack the exceptional guitar work and the required NWOBHM melodic references has as its stand out point the vocals of Sarabeth Linden. Even If you are not the biggest classic metal fun, this album will convince you to become one.
The Chisels - Retaliation
Another "hype case" amongst punk forums and distros but also one which is totally worthy. 77 Punk, hardcore, street-oi, all together played with energy in an "all killer, no-filler" album.
Sons of Kemet - Black to the Future
Truth is that I skipped buying this album at the time of its release due to lack of money (I was between Promises by Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders & The London Symphony Orchestra and this one, eventually purchasing the former). It took sometime till my record store brings another vinyl copy for me to purchase and finally appreciate its beautiful soulful afro jazz. Even though I am more of electric improv jazz fan, still I consider this as a masterpiece.
BLML - Maze
If it was only for the magnificent Falling to Pieces track, I would still have this album mentioned in this post. This CD was forgotten as it was one of the first albums that I have sorted out in the beginning of 2021 but now finds its place back...
When it comes to some other notable 2021 releases, I noticed that the California Takeover tour took place again having also a new commemorative live album released. Going back in time when I purchased the first part I was just out of high school ready to conquer the world. Now I am just a middle aged family man with some extra kilos and less hair who feels a bit cynical about this revival. A trip down in memory lane, a tribute, a cash-in or a farce...you name it...the cd sounds terrific though...
I watched recently in cable TV Züri brännt (Zurich Burns), a Swiss documentary about the youth protests that took place in May 1980 in Zurich and which marked the beginning of an alternative youth movement in a city (and country) not famous for its activism. While the documentary is truly exceptional and it is in general considered a landmark in Swiss film history, what was a revelation for me was the same-titled song by TNT (apparently one of the most known Swiss punk bands - not for me though) which is included in the film. 42 seconds of ferocious energy sung by the 14 year old (at that time) Sara Shär ! Despite that their releases are neither easy to be found nor cheap (of course) I managed to purchase their Complete Recordings double LP initiating my trip down the "rabbit-hole" of Swiss punk...