Good Intentions: Five New Ones, Five Old Ones

Ever hear that everything comes in threes? Well, actually, that’s true. But there’s also a Law of Fives, but that only applies to Discordians.

Either way, it doesn’t matter. I went until I hit my word count, but this edition of Good Intentions—where I plow through the CDs I’ve been meaning to listen to on my desk—has five new albums and five reissues. Neat, huh?

La Gritona, Demasiado Tonto Para Los Niños Listos. While I only have disc one of this two CD set (and no, I don’t know why), it’s clear from the start that Hydra Head is tapping into the mid-‘90s farm of underappreciation once again, this time with Boston’s La Gritona. There’s not much to argue with here, with ugly slabs of guitar in Helmet-esque rhythms, throat-wrenching screams, a Black Flag attitude and subpar recording quality. Memory lane for better days of hardcore.

Knut, Wonder. I’ve always admired Knut’s ability to play a tricky, mathcore-esque songs and never put forth the attitude that they’re outwardly trying to fool me or blow my mind (even if they are, just a tad). Imagine an At The Gates and Melvins salad, and you’re just a tad closer to what to expect from this Swedish riff factory.

Ramesses, Take The Curse. Ramesses loves Neurosis, and so do I. Ex-Electric Wizard Adam Richardson is so metal he doesn’t even talk to Electric Wizard anymore, and instead, just thinks about funeral doom and drum rolls. Awesome work if you can get it.

Peg Simone, Secrets From The Storm. Dominated by a 20-minute opening track of big building licks and debutante-esque crooning, Secrets From The Storm requires time and an appreciation for Jimmy Page tone (and some early blues themes that Zeppelin ripped off, too). Surprisingly better than that description might imply.

Dead Meadow, Three Kings. Neo-traditional psychedelic rock, this live release has a trippy movie that goes along with it. Think Psych-Out, and then strip all the actors out of it. And the plot. Still, with the “no argument here” riffs and arrangements from the trio, it’s a good way to blow an afternoon, anyway.

Sodom, Agent Orange. Thrash into the future! Or the past, whichever. The GI Joe-esque cover art hasn’t changed for this reissue of Agent Orange, perhaps the only thrash album entirely dedicated to the Vietnam War. And as the best selling album of all the German Big Four bands, I guess it’s time they trotted this one out again, this time with five live versions of various songs that had been previously released, and one version “Ausgebombt” in German. You could do worse.

My Dying Bride, The Angel and The Dark River / For Darkest Eyes. I’ve always erred on the side of Anathema as far as legendary British doom bands go, but My Dying Bride are still worth their weight in riffs, and Peaceville sure know how to reissue. With the four bonus tracks from The Angel and The Dark River as well as the live DVD For Darkest Eyes, photo galleries, and six videos, this package is like four releases in one. And it’s only half an ounce!

Godflesh, Streetcleaner. Another reissue, although I do dream at night that Justin Broadrick will release a new Godflesh record. This is the album that people started taking notice, but the reissue, while heavy on bonus tracks, doesn’t feature any remixes or dub versions that Godflesh reissues are so famous for; merely original unreleased mixes of five songs, two live cuts, three rehearsal recordings, and two demos. Interesting, but only for completists, if you’ve already Streetcleaner.

Queens Of The Stone Age, Rated R. The record everyone bought after Songs For The Deaf came out, reissued, with six bonus tracks and a live performance at the Reading Festival in 2000. The coolest thing about this is there’s more Queens Of The Stone Age to listen to (you’re hooked from 20 seconds into “Ode To Clarissa” and the live recording is pretty killer as well). The second coolest thing about this is you know Nick Oliveri and Josh Homme probably had to talk to each other to put this out, and that can only portend good things.

Neurosis, Enemy Of The Sun. An artwork-updated reissue of the out-of-print Enemy Of The Sun (sometimes the free market does fail). There’s no difference between the 1999 reissue and this 2010 reissue except the artwork, which I guess doesn’t change things much, except for the Mortal Kombat-esque imagery on the reverse. I do have to giggle a bit that resident Neurosis visual artist Josh Graham’s website is misspelled in the liner notes.