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Niche Appeal’s Fave 2020 Records #4 Oranssi Pazuzu “Mestarin Kynsi”

Oranssi Pazuzu, Mestarin Kynsi (Nuclear Blast) In the music press’ relentlessly clinical drive to fully classify absolutely every note laid down in the history of recorded music, you really have to root hard for a unit like Oranssi Pazuzu. Shamanistic, Finnish,… Continue Reading →

Niche Appeal’s Fave 2020 Records #5: The Dream Syndicate “The Universe Inside”

The Dream Syndicate, The Universe inside (Anti-) In their original incarnation, Steve Wynn’s Dream Syndicate came on concise and uptight, sardonic and fey, all sharp angles and Nu Wave hairdos. Although this same concept would have been more than welcome with… Continue Reading →

Niche Appeal’s Fave 2020 Records #6: Rose City Band “Summerlong”

Rose City Band, Summerlong (Thrill Jockey)  Glowing like the most golden of suns, lazy and listless, sparking great vibes in every direction, Ripley Johnson (Moon Duo, Wooden Shjips) cut out the usual kraut from his rock and added a heavy dose… Continue Reading →

Niche Appeal’s Fave 2020 Records #7: Neil Young “Homegrown”

Neil Young, Homegrown (Reprise Records) Neil Young has to be fucking crazy to have not released this in 1975. “Shakey” indeed, if we’re going by his nickname. The excuses just don’t add up at all. “It was too dark, maaannn.”… Continue Reading →

Niche Appeal’s Fave 2020 Records #8: L.A. Witch “Play With Fire”

L.A. Witch, Play With Fire (Suicide Squeeze Records) With the best band name in the biz, L.A. Witch were back in 2020 with a much different sound to their serrated, feral-sounding first record. Here on Play With Fire the indie… Continue Reading →

Niche Appeal’s Fave 2020 Records #9: The Grateful Dead “June 1976”

The Grateful Dead, June 1976, (Rhino) There can be no doubt that 1974/5 were the darkest two years in The Dead’s three-decade run. As a matter of fact, they had pretty much ceased to exist, and if you look at… Continue Reading →

Niche Appeal’s Fave 2020 Records #10: Joni Mitchell “Joni Mitchell Archives Vol. 1: The Early Years 1963-1967”

Joni Mitchell, Joni Mitchell Archives Vol. 1: The Early Years 1963-1967, (Rhino) “Someone told me there’s a girl out there, with love in her eyes and flowers in her hair” – Led Zeppelin, “Going To California When dear old Robert… Continue Reading →

Niche Appeal’s Fave 2020 Records #11: The Garden “Kiss My Superbowl Ring”

The Garden, Kiss My Superbowl Ring, (Epitaph) The Sandinista! of art rock, KMSBR is a sprawling mishmash, a complete and utter mess, with The Garden twins trying on musical styles like sneakers in a shop regardless of size/color/anything, sometimes discarding… Continue Reading →

Niche Appeal’s Fave 2020 Records #12: Buju Banton “Upside Down 2020”

Buju Banton, Upside Down 2020 (Gargamel Music/Roc Nation) Gargamel Buju, aka Buju Banton, managed to pull off one of the sharpest redemption arcs of recent musical history, going from a designer-clad, gun-and-drug-referencing, murderously homophobic, firebreathing dancehall rude boi of the… Continue Reading →

Niche Appeal’s Fave 2020 Records #13: Crack Cloud “Pain Olympics”

Crack Cloud, Pain Olympics (Rough Trade) More of a “collective” than an actual “band” (some would say “commune”, others even “cult”), Crack Cloud moonlight as drug counselors in their native Canada and many are recovering addicts themselves, but this is isn’t… Continue Reading →

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