Archive for ‘Thursdays With J.R.’

January 20, 2022

Thursdays With J.R. – selfpity

Thursdays with J.R. is our new weekly column from lifelong musician and lifelong-er music fan J.R. McIntire, drummer of Arctic Char and multi-instrumentalist on more projects than we have bandwidth to list.

Sometimes beauty can come in small, short yet noisy packages. Take “Dead Dreams” by Canada’s selfpity, my spin of the week. Guitars wash over you quickly as the music starts on a collision course towards your brain. “You are alone” cuts through the mix as the first line of lyric. I believe they are doubled with a lower octave track that creates one collective sound for most of the song, certain lines poking out at you for added effect. The drums at first seem simple and punchy, yet tight and fitting. However, when the song really opens up in the middle there are ghost notes and snare work that shines through. These are either analog or whomever programmed them has a drummer’s ear. Waves of guitars swirl around and upward while the bass dives into the tonal depths of the mix to drive everything forward. Altogether it works to create a beautiful, upbeat yet dark noise.

January 13, 2022

Thursdays With J.R.- Death Hags

Thursdays with J.R. is our new weekly column from lifelong musician and lifelong-er music fan J.R. McIntire, drummer of Arctic Char and multi-instrumentalist on more projects than we have bandwidth to list.

This week I was lucky enough to spin the new single “Spiral” from the Death Hags. It’s a dreamy yet driving song that leaves you wanting more. (Luckily there is a great deal of Death Hag content on their Bandcamp if you feel the way I do, and you will). I always go in drums first, its my curse. The drums are dry and tight with a driving four on the floor beat that never lets up or gets too busy. When you expect
large hits of treble laden cymbals they simply aren’t there, the mix gives that honor to the reverb-
soaked vocals who nail the part. The vocal mix is front-forward and pleasing to the ear (especially in
headphones). Guitar is spot on tone wise and muted when pertinent. Nothing really goes over the
edge, just gets to the ledge, and begs the ear for the next track. Leaves you wanting more. The bass
mixes well (synth or analog) and keeps the drive on the road and keeps it smooth. (Don’t worry I car tested, had to with all this driving talk. It passed). Gave me east coast shoegaze vibes yet differentiates itself with the driving drums and bluesy guitar. This was my first spin of the Death Hags and I will be back.

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