Review: EMA Plumbs the Depths, Hurts Listeners So Good with ‘Past Life Martyred Saints’

EMA, "Past Life Martyred Saints"

The former Gowns and Amps For Christ member spins her previous projects’ art-damaged electric folk into a spare vehicle for the blues. It’s no coincidence that her first single, “The Grey Ship”—a Viking-inspired dirge about being carried away in a funeral boat—was backed by a 16-minute Robert Johnson cover. Buzz-building move that it was, her extended take on “Kind Hearted Woman Blues” readied listeners for this impossibly bleak, physically taxing, depths-plumbing experience …

But it’s the right kind of pain. Find out why — read on at The A.V. Club.

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MP3, Shred Edition: Hydra Head Records, Random Patterns, Slim Barton, Badgers!

Torche, Hydra Head thrash kings

We’re getting caught up on two weeks of intense blogging for West Coast Sound, and we now present to you some tasty MP3 and/or streaming works. This is the Shred Edition (with some twang thrown in too).

  1. FEATURED: 22 Songs of Shred and Doom from Hydra Head*
  2. Free Album from Psychedelic Random Patterns
  3. Slim Barton and James Moore’s ‘Poor Convict Blues’
  4. ‘Los Angeles’ by Leslie & the Badgers, on Thirty Tigers
  5. Saddam, Barack, Hillary Cameo in Henry Clay People Clip
  6. ‘Claws’ By Local Gaze-Pop Outfit Luna Is Honey
  7. (all stories via West Coast Sound, via LA Weekly)

* “As far as gift-giving goes, this one may be arriving out of season, but L.A. metal-of-many-stripes institution Hydra Head Records has just dropped the free 22-song digital sampler, Phoning It In.”

Review: Blakroc, ‘Blakroc’

Blakroc, Blakroc (Blakroc / V2)

Blakroc, 'Blakroc'

On paper, the idea of a star-studded project helmed by Roc-A-Fella co-founder Damon Dash and Akron’s indie-blues duo The Black Keys seems like something forged in the fires of late-’90s rap-rock hell…

Grade: A (via The Onion / A.V. Club)