When Bobby Krlic aka The Haxan Cloak dropped his dark, self-titled debut in 2011, fans of über-creepy noise began inking his moniker on their industrial-strength Trapper Keepers. In the intervening two years, he’s shifted his thematic focus from death to the beyond. Slated for mid-April release on Tri Angle, Krlic’s newest, Excavation, embraces electronics on nine chthonic tracks. The work builds on the cold, ambient craftsmanship that his debut hinted at and delves deeper into black hole-bass, carousel glitch and incantatory drone. Light some candles and let Excavation put a spell on you.
When Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore split—after 27 years of monogamy and art-making—many Sonic Youth fans felt like the underground power couple had dealt them a crushing blow. M. Brianna Stallings brought my attention to Moore’s new project, and thank goodness for that. If you’re a fan of his patented punk-pop chords and melodies and atonal delivery, Chelsea Light Moving is for you. It’s dissonantly melodic, and lyrics like “I come to get wasted” and “We are the third eye of rock and roll” solidify its crushworthy place in Thurston-dom. Come-hither poetry and sybaritic riffs: What’s not to like?
Smiths’ guitarist Johnny Marr’s new solo outing was several years in the making. My anticipation of singing its praises was abruptly cut short by actually hearing it. Brit rock’s triumphs and failures navigate a slender berth. This album is mostly anemic, bland and unexciting. Maybe it’s the Oasis-y vocals or the pasteurized lyrics, but I just can’t get worked up over this. If you’re a Marr super-fan, you should definitely hear it, but The Messenger won’t win him a new wave of converts. After hearing this, “I’m not happy and I’m not sad,” as The Smiths were wont to croon.