Yamantaka//Sonic Titan UZU album review


Everything about this band is yin and yang, even the name. Two art students in Montreal with Anglo-Asian heritage created a unique new style they dubbed “Noh-wave” that blended progrock with elements of asian theatre and opera, sometimes even performing in kabuki face paint. Their sophomore UZU comes out on October 28th, and it’s a unbelievably odd and pleasant and easy to listen to from start to finish. “Atalanta” opens the album with classical piano and operatic soprano vocals, bombastic drums crashing in for the next song “Whalesong”, straight progrock with fantasy style lyrics and a very epic feel. Throughout listening to this album, I kept picturing it as the soundtrack to some massive video game, Lord of the Rings meets the Last Samurai. Eastern melodies weave in and out in “Windflower” while massive walls of high frequency sounds build up into chaos in “Hall of Mirrors”. The production is super clean on this, making me really want to see what they sound like live. The highlight of the album is the new single “One”, starting out with a traditional Iroquois tribal song, building up into a massive pile of percussion, chanting and twangy guitar that would fit in on a Quentin Tarantino soundtrack. Listen to “One” here:

No Joy – Band to Watch


Montreal’s No Joy has a new album coming out next Tuesday, and wow is it good. We got twelve inches of snow at my house. I think that’s unnecessary on April 17th, and this album made me feel like I was being pulled out of a sleepy cold state into a colorful spring. They pack layer upon layer of fuzz beautifully, all with pretty vocals dreamily floating on top. Man, this snow makes me want ice cream. They are supporting the album release with a North American tour, and they are opening for Metz at Hi Dive in Denver, May 7th. (Hey Houston they are playing at Fitz next week!!) Tour dates and new single in the link below:

new single “Lunar Phobia”

stream the album at Pitchfork