#22 - Wednesday - "Bull Believer"
I’m a sucker for hard rock that doesn’t just whack you with a blunt fist of aggression and noise but impishly manipulates melody and tension, making a mess out of ordinary song structures. Tease me with a long, slowly-ascending climb that gradually whirls out of control. Lull my brain into a synthy trance, then obliterate me with a sudden smack of delirious noise. I love having no idea where something is going, feeling disoriented and lost in a labyrinth of sound.
That’s how I felt when I first listened to “Bull Believer,” maybe the most shiver-inducing rock I’ve heard this year. Wednesday’s eight-minute epic has all the creeping buildups and vertiginous drops of a psychological thriller, gradually ramping up until the final act crests in a fit of tremulous rage. The vocalist Karly Hartzman is as expressive as any great actress. She grows increasingly distraught until the last desperate moments of the song, when she begins to howl and scream and cry, her voice quivering as she sobbingly slurs the words “finish him,” “finiiiissssh himmmm” in angry repetition, crashing like a wave against the pummeling guitars and drums. It’s a blaze of raw, nearly unbearable emotion: not emo music in the sense of artfully dainty and in-your-face vocals but a kind of excruciating method singing. Her entire self is hurled into that fire, her vocal cords sound like they’re about to tear as she claws out the final verse.
#24 - elusin - “Elksling”
#23 - skaiwater - “#miles”