Author Archives: R.J.


Band: Chelsea Wolfe and Emma Ruth RundleAlbum:AnhedoniaBest song:It’s one song. Worst song:N/A Childhood memories are weird things. I’ve noted a lot that my earliest memories are of Chicago Stadium, at ‘Hawks games. If I’m being honest, they’re more vignettes and sense memories. The smell of stale beer and piss in the bathrooms or the deafening […]

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Band: LINGUA IGNOTAAlbum:SINNER GET READYBest song: , “I WHO BEND THE TALL GRASSES” is one of the best songs of the year. Worst song:Nah I normally keep my work-life out of this space for a variety of reasons, but I do want to get something off my chest because a tweet – it’s always a […]

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Band: LiturgyAlbum:AesthethicaBest song: “Generation” is terrific Worst song:It’s legit hard to pick a worst song. It’s a terrific album that should be treated as one work, I think. I’ve written in this space about my adoration for record labels/companies and the way that these organizations themselves seemed to stoked the scenes in my formative years. […]

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Band: Nick LutskoAlbum:SwordsBest song: “Software” is my favorite song on the album. Worst song:I’m least hot on “Streets.” Because I’m a white man, I watched all of the Peter Jackson Beatles documentary miniseries (my one-line review: It’s compelling, albeit hagiography) this week and it reminded me of the wonder of the Beatles’ work, including their […]

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Carrie & Lowell Live

Band: Sufjan StevensAlbum: Carrie & Lowell LiveBest song: “Fourth of July” is perfect, but “Should Have Known Better” is a close second. Worst song:I guess I originally said “Drawn to the Blood” is the least strong song on the record, but I know think it to be “No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross” […]

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Electric Messiah

Band: High on FireAlbum: Electric MessiahBest song: The title track totally rips.Worst song:“Drowning Dog” isn’t great. I broadly don’t believe in the idea of “cancelling” someone, but for the thought experiment that bad faith arguers believe it to be, I’ll bite and take another shot at explaining my own thinking when it comes to delineating […]

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Band: Ioanna GikaAlbum: ThalassaBest song: “Messenger” is one of my favorite songs of the last few years..Worst song:The final three tracks kind of run together. I don’t read much music criticism at all. I’ll read the odd Quietus feature or might hit a Pitchfork link if someone sends it to me. I read year-end lists […]

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May Our Chambers Be Full

Band: Emma Ruth Rundle and ThouAlbum: May Our Chambers Be FullBest song: “The Valley” is one of the best songs in recent memory.Worst song:”Monolith” is the only track without Rundle. One of my worst impulses that I continuously follow – even though I know it’s bad – is to know as much information about a […]

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Ordinary Corrupt Human Love

Band: DeafheavenAlbum: Ordinary Corrupt Human LoveBest song: “Canary Yellow”Worst song:“Near,” but that’s still a good song. The pandemic is nearly an end, of sorts. The vaccine rollout is becoming more real and people are getting vaccinated, including me. The world of quarantine is slowing peeling itself back and we, in theory, will be back to […]

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Didn’t It Rain

Band: Songs:OhiaAlbum: Didn’t It RainBest song: “Blue Factory Flame”Worst song: “Cross the Road, Molina” I am hardly the first – and I will not be the last – to note that the last year of the pandemic has felt like a wheel spinning in place. Time has both flattened out and felt extended. For kids […]

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