Forget the Times – Plays Out

Already Dead Tapes & Records

Kalamazoo Experimental

Somewhere hidden deep within the sounds on this record are references to genres like free-jazz, noise-rock, drone, and sludge or stoner metal.

Forget the Times ‘Plays Out’ is like intense edging session. They present you with walls of sound, vomiting this build that tries and tries to resolve itself yet, conflicted by self-awareness and the bleakness of reality, it never quite gets there.

This record is unsettling and complicated. Like eating a vanilla ice cream cone under suicide watch.

Like any good album, though, and much like literature, the story may be macabre but what matters is that you turn to the next page. I can tell you this album might turn you on to edging. You get off on waiting for something that you just can’t have.

I imagine this album is about praying to an ambivalent God. I imagine it’s about trashing your room looking for a baggie of the drugs that are ruining your life. As a listener, you can visit this territory with Forget the Times, thankfully without actually being there.

There is a type of mastery to what seems random, sporadic on this album. If the drummer hits the side of the snare on accident it adds to the story. If the guitar plucks a note that is out of tune, the plot thickens. The artistry is in the method.

Don’t cry when the music goes away. Don’t yell when it comes back. You can float in a bubble through this cacophony and come out whole on the other end.

A good one for perspective, and meditation.

– JK

The Reptilian – End Paths

Skeletal Lightening, Community Records, iCorrupt

Kalamazoo Post/Progressive Hardcore

The Reptilian have been around for closing on a decade. With a start rooted firmly in the hardcore and post-hardcore world of the late aughts, you expect certain things when you queue up one of their albums. Their newest record End Paths delivers those things.

With the technical prowess of this group never being up for debate, End Paths offers up an example of a band that only gets tighter and more refined as they grow and play together. The composition of music is robust and mature, and serves the offered lyricism near-perfectly. Couple that with a wonderful production quality, and you have yourself a haunting, hard-hitting, and beautiful piece of art.

This record is technical, heavy, and best played on a loud stereo system to be enjoyed by you and your neighbors.



Kal Marks – Life is Alright, Everybody Dies

Exploding In Sound, Midnight Wearwolf

Heavy Boston Angst

Kal Marks are from Boston, MA. Life is Alright, Everybody Dies is the 6th release listed on their bandcamp, which is where I listened to this album.

I actually saw Kal Marks at Louie’s Trophy House in Kalamazoo, MI. I really liked listening to them live so I thought I would cover them first, here.

Kal, if I can call them that, self-described as heavy, and rightly so, are meant to be listened to loudly. If you start the album at a low volume, you will soon realize your mistake. Their instruments scream at you throughout and the singer drives along, crying into the loudness.

This album carries a lot of angst with it. It a misanthropic love letter to nihilism.

They are all fresh songs. It’s not as if Kal Marks is rehashing. reinventing, or overdoing some old trope. It is a unique take on the loud, droning, sometimes caustic genre of “Heavy Rock & Roll”, fit well with plodding and sincere vocals.

This album is like the really pissed off sadness that you enjoy. Also, it has a great title.

– JK