Gift Ideas Round 2: Soul, Psych, and Metal
A couple days ago, I posted a few gift ideas for the vinylphiles in your life. But there are more genres than jazz, indie pop, and hip hop. What about those looking for deep soul? For mind bending psych? For the heaviest riffs? Look no further! What is below are some great examples of music for those metalheads, those soul-surfers, those fuzz-minded psych wanderers.
As far as doom metal is concerned, look no further than Sleep’s Dopesmoker. The Southern Lord reissue of this seminal album is as crisply packaged as the riffs it contains are grimy. The hour long song was purportedly one of the toughest things the band did–as analog tape did not run an hour but 22 minutes. The song/album is steeped in controversy. Dopesmoker is THE album for the doom/stoner metal fan on your list. If the metalhead on your list likes music with more jitter and less drone, check out Head Wound City’s much anticipated sophomore album, A New Wave of Violence. The grinding, noise-laced album is ADHD noise at its finest. More controlled and matured than their first release, Head Wound City definitely knows how to tame the riff snakes of their songs. For black metal fans, there’s Oranssi Pazuzu’s Valonielu. Rhythmic and powerful, Valonielu is black metal gold. Through its outsider riffs and production shines a monumental and epic journey through the cosmos.
How can you list great psych albums without mentioning King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard? Their album I’m in Your Mind Fuzz is an acid trip through distortion and tin-can vocals. King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard let’s their songs unfurl with pure joy and energy, keeping no moment of pleasure from their listener. Along those same lines is Psychic Heat’s Sunshower. One of my favorite albums of the year, this record spins like Black Sabbath if Black Sabbath were a bunch of hippies. And these guys are straight outta LFK! Finally, grab anything by Nektar for those garage rockers on your list. Take a venture into the used section for these rock gods. Burning through riffs and hammond driven organ lines, Nektar is the psych band to complete even the garagiest record collection.
One of my favorite labels, Colemine has been killing the soul game recently. Released as an exclusive Black Friday record, Ikebe Shakedown’s Hard Steppin‘ is full of big breaks and woolly horns. Housed on blue marbled vinyl, this record is beautiful. Along that same vein is Orgone’s Beyond The Sun. Funky and fuzzed over soul, Beyond The Sun is a great edition to even the deepest diver into the soul game. I can’t talk about soul without mentioning the late, great Sharon Jones. This singer, in collaboration with the funk band The Dap-Kings, has put out some of the best neo-soul records this side of the century. One of my favorite of hers is 100 Days, 100 Nights. Groovy bass lines and Jones’ sultry voice collide beautifully for a record that is near perfect.