Sonic Reducer: Dios Muerto, Leehoward And Crushed!?

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Black metal came from Norway. Some rock critics, notably my adorable predecessor, Michael Henningsen, were captivated by its transgressive nature. I first heard that music through a student of mine who was wont to jam out to tunes by Emperor while he shoulda been working on his assignments. Though those experiences leave me underwhelmed with the whole idea of black metal, the debut album by Burqueños Dios Muerto is decent. The opening track, “Dying Faith,” has a rambling, roaring PoMo intro followed by deep desolation described by dire playing and snatches of melody borne on the backs of a scary and tremulous rhythm section. The sixth track, “Sledgehammer Skullfuck” begins with basic rock guitar sounds morphing into a deadly, detuned discourse replete with chopped out effects and rabid, go-nowhere riffs. Somewhere in hell, some demon or other is growling. You get the idea, now go get the record.

leehoward Children of the Universe (leehoward Music)

The second work this week comes to us from a dude whose band is called Guava. If you know me at all, you know I can totes get behind that: Licking the palm for guava when you’re old and you’re not young is still very important to me. But I digress. This work comes off as subtle and mysterious, filled with all sorts of instrumental micro-treasures along the way. With Latin-influenced tuneage like “Window to the Soul,” ethereal mood-constructions such as “Zen Garden” and unassuming rockers like “Things That Matter,” this album is meant to show off a long-time artist’s cred, yet I can’t help but think that the pleasing tones encountered on this venture work best for passive listening purposes. Listening while driving up to your favorite N.M. ski resort could yield a memorable record, moreso because there’s no snow this year.

Crushed!? Sins of the Father (Empty House Studios)

Right at the beginning of Sins of the Father, Crushed!? takes control of Albuquerque’s rock and roll sound, invoking a digital countdown before cruising casually into a bruisingly beautiful, mathy keyboard intro that segues into some of the best rocanrol I’ve heard in all my damn life. The band refuses to relinquish their command through a platter of works that continously show intense craftsmanship as well as a punk rock attitude that says “fuck you” with subtle and not so subtle aplomb. If you want proof that there is a post-Leeches rock scene here in Albuquerque, well here the heck it is. From massive works like “Turnpike” to the finale, “Exodus,” Crushed!? absolutely crushes in a way that their previous release, Giant Robots and Existentialism rightly predicted. Check the band out live and in person this week at Launchpad. You won’t regret it, rockers.

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