Little Thoughts is a brand-new monthly guest post series where music fans and writers cover three albums, new or old, that they think deserve to be heard. The series itself is named after a Bloc Party song. This month features Adam Reeve of Sounds Good, another music blog that I admire. I was introduced to Sounds Good via various social media groups, and Adam’s quirky, familiar writing style quickly became a favorite. Thus, he was an obvious choice for a Little Thoughts post, because I love both his writing and his music taste!
Hello there, my name is Adam, and I only got into music after hearing that it could involve such things as guitar riffs, melodies, and a bit of anger rather than the decade-long revolving door of boy bands–courtesy of my older sister. At around eighteen, I started a music blog in order to fill the hole that should’ve been a social life, and well…here we are now. Here are three albums I feel should be heard more, from artists who should be heard more.
Mini Mansions – The Great Pretenders (2015)
One of the best ways to discover new music is to willingly fall into various noodles of sound and stopping to hear what’s around. After trawling through the RekordsRekords forum at the peak of my Queens Of The Stone Age fanboy-ism I discovered that the bassist, Michael Shuman, had a band of his own and that they were releasing new music very soon.
Mini Mansions is a wonderful blend of gritty guitars, angelic pianos and wondrous harmonies all packed beneath an overall sense of slight unease. Their debut record showcases a band finding its feet but it’s the second album, The Great Pretenders, that really gets things going. Armed with collaborations with the likes of Alex Turner and Brian Wilson, this record is one that proves pop music can be interesting and doesn’t necessarily have to rely on overused tropes to be engaging.
From the swaggering charm of “Vertigo” to the two-note behemoth of “Mirror Mountain”, The Great Pretenders is an album bound to entertain in a confusing yet positive way.
Shopping – The Official Body (2018)
A basic rule I follow when it comes to liking music is whether it has a groove or not. Regardless of the artist, the genre, the fanbase, or whatever, if somebody’s making something that makes these hips wiggle, I’m gonna get into it.
Shopping’s third album, The Official Body, is a record that hits that basic rule very well. It’s a record full of political references and opinions, yet the band pairs it up with off-kilter grooves and angular riffs instead of letting it get bogged down in heaviness. For old-school post-punk fans who saw Gang of Four become one of the more unexpected heroes of peculiar funk, this is definitely something you should check out. It’s a record that gets heavy rotation in my eardrums and still gets these hips swinging all night long.
Dinosaur Jr. – You’re Living All Over Me (1986)
Dinosaur Jr. is one of my favorite bands of all time. I stumbled across these guys in younger times, when my hair was long and my desire for heaviness was hitting its peak. Puberty was telling me to yearn for heavy, fuzzy guitars and along came J Mascis and co. Their sound is an explosion of distorted guitars and J’s ridiculous shreds, yet it has a certain vulnerability to it, whether it comes from J’s vocals, the lyrics, or the many melodies that they somehow managed to carve out amongst the wall of fuzz. And it sounded awesome.
You’re Living All Over Me is the band’s second album and fights for the top spot in my favorite DJ albums alongside Bug and Farm, but there’s something about YLAOM that feels complete. In ten tracks, it takes you on a glorious journey through the strange lyrics and wailing guitars of “Little Fury Things” to the anthemic “The Lung” to the poppy sounds of “In A Jar” before dropping you off to experience a fantastic cover of The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven”. The record is loud, full of energy, full of anger, full of melody, full of harmony, full of…weird–“Poledo” especially–and it still manages to sound catchy, inviting, and interesting. It’s a powerful listen, but one that proves Dinosaur Jr. should’ve become massive during the big grunge influx of the 90’s. They paved the way for the likes of Nirvana to take the genre to the mainstream, and it also paved the way for me to insist on having long hair–which looked horrendous.
So…yea. Those are three albums I feel have stuck around in my mind and influenced my tastes and I hope you enjoy giving them a listen and gain a new favorite band or three too. Thank you, Abby, for allowing me to become part of Indientry lore, it’s an honor!