Music Theory #7: Assemblage 23

This is not a podcast! I know this is probably obvious to most of you upon reading this, but I’ve had to rearrange a few things in my schedule this week. Due to a busy weekend and also having a slightly larger than normal podcast for this week, I’m not quite done with the editing process yet. I’m aiming to have the podcast uploaded and available for listening on Thursday of this week instead of Tuesday. Sorry for the delay, but it’ll be worth the wait I promise!

That being said, I’ve gone ahead and moved my Music Theory recommendation for this week into the podcast slot so there’s something for you all to listen to in its place. Apologies again, but there’s only so much one TMan can do at a time. Hope you enjoy this week’s music!

Band: Assemblage 23

Latest Album: Endure (2016)

Genre: Electronic/Synthpop

Favorite Track: Infinite (see above)

Other Recommended Tracks: Disappoint, I Am The Rain, Ground, Regret, 30KFT, Greed, Crosstalk, Automaton

Why I Enjoy Them: Assemblage 23 is one of the first electronic bands that I really got into. Storm is probably one of my top electronic albums ever and up there in my list of all-time favorites since I can pretty much listen to it from start to finish without skipping anything. They feel like a gateway band to electronic music because while they have a lot of synth and typical electronic stylings, they also usually stick to the typical format of verse-chorus-verse-chorus that most pop songs use and shy away from the repetitive vocals/samples of other electronic bands. I really enjoy their style and they remain a staple in my rotation of favorite musicians.

Music Theory #6: Electric Six

In case you didn’t notice, there wasn’t a blog post this past Monday because even though I wanted to keep up my 5 days a week posting, I was a little busy over Super Bowl weekend and wasn’t able to write anything up for Monday. Hopefully going forward I’ll still be able to stick to the schedule, but don’t be surprised if there are a few days here and there where I take a break just for my own breathing room.

With that said, let’s go ahead and get into the next Music Theory – this week it’s one of my favorite bands ever!

Band: Electric Six

Latest Album: Bride of the Devil (2018)

Genre: Alternative rock/Dance-punk

Favorite Track: After Hours (see above)

Other Recommended Tracks: Danger! High Voltage, Gay Bar, Boy or Girl, Down at McDonnelzzz, The Newark Airport Boogie, Clusterfuck!, Late Night Obama Food, When Cowboys File For Divorce

Why I Enjoy Them: Electric Six snuck up on me as one of my favorite bands after I realized I had all their albums (and enjoyed most of them) and had seen them live every year for seven or eight years running. They’re one of my favorite bands to see in concert live (obviously) and their unique style of rock is hardly replicated with any other band. They have a weird sense of humor and often times the lyrics to their songs are catchy but don’t make much sense. They have a special place in my heart even though their last album or two have been more miss than hit. That being said, they release a new album every year which means they have a huge catalogue to go through and I’m sure there’s something for everybody within their songs.

 

Music Theory #4: The Offspring

Welp, it’s time for another Music Theory and I guess it’s about time to get this band out of the way. They go way back to my high school years and I consider them to be one of my favorite bands of all-time. You’ve probably heard of them already…although I guess since they were popular in the 90s there’s a possibility you haven’t!

Band: The Offspring

Latest Album: Days Go By

Genre: Pop Punk/Alternative Rock

Favorite Track: Special Delivery (see above)

Other Recommended Tracks: Bad Habit, The Kids Aren’t Alright, Americana, Lightning Rod, Spare Me The Details, Nothingtown, Let’s Hear It For Rock Bottom

Why I Enjoy Them: They were part of my formative teenage years in terms of music. They were the first band I went to see live in concert, I listened to all their albums non-stop in high school and college. While my music tastes have changed, evolved, and expanded over the years I’ve continued to enjoy their music as they released new albums (although they haven’t released a new album since 2012) even though the general opinion was their quality declined soon after Americana. They’ll always have a special place in my heart.

Music Theory #3: Turmion Kätilöt

So this is a slight departure from the schedule I had planned. We’ve been recording podcasts on Tuesday nights and it so happened that after the recording session I was a little too exhausted to put what I considered a worthwhile amount of effort into a full writing article. So for this week (and future weeks until our podcast scheduling changes) I’m moving the Music Theory posts to Wednesdays since they require less work overall.

This week’s band is one I’ve listened to for a long time and is a departure into a different genre than previous weeks!

Band: Turmion Kätilöt

Latest Album: Universal Satan

Genre: Industrial metal

Favorite Track: Grand Ball (See above)

Other Recommended Tracks: Verta ja Lihaa, Tirehtööri, U.S.C.H!, Sinä saatana, Dance Panique, Sikiö

Why I Enjoy Them: I first learned about Turmion Kätilöt from the very old flash video “Bunnykill“* – a take on the popular Madness Combat Flash video style from back in the early-to-mid 2000s. The video used Verta ja Lihaa as its backing track and I really enjoyed the hard metal beat and how well it paired with the action of the video. Over time I continued to follow the band and every album they released always had a few songs that really got me pumped up and excited. I consider them one of my favorite “action scene imagination” bands – a lot of their songs sync up well in my mind with hardcore action, and I have planned many story beats and action sequences in my head to Turmion Kätilöt’s music. Despite them being a Finnish band, I have always considered them one of my low-key guilty pleasure bands, especially since they have helped me with my creative processes numerous times.

*While the first Bunnykill does not hold up as much, the last sequence of Bunnykill 5 is something I still watch from time to time because of how ridiculously awesome it is.

Music Theory #2: Dance With The Dead

We’re back with another Music Theory! This week’s band is Dance With The Dead!

Band: Dance With The Dead

Latest Album: Loved to Death

Genre: Synthwave

Favorite Track: From Hell (see above)

Other Recommended Tracks: Graveyard Shift, Poison, Riot, Diabolic, The Man who Made a Monster, Snap, Into the Shadows

Why I Enjoy Them: I don’t remember how I ended up listening to them – I think their album The Shape popped up as a recommended YouTube video at some point and I just fell into a hole of listening to all of their discography. Dance With The Dead just excels at that retro 80s techno sound with awesome beats and great synth. They’re a good pair to Infected Mushroom for me in terms of the spectrum of techno that I enjoy. Their tracks are also some of my favorite to Audiosurf to as the constant drums and their usual fast beats per second make a great challenge. They’re one of my top “listen to while driving” bands.

 

Music Theory #1: Infected Mushroom

We’re on a resolution roll here at TMan Writes, and so today’s post is about another change in habit that I’m enacting in 2019. As you’ve probably picked up by now, music is important to me. But what shocked me as 2018 ended was that I’d barely listened to any new music. I’d picked up a few new bands, but a lot of albums released this year from bands that I like and I hadn’t given most of them even a cursory listen.

I was a bit surprised at myself, but I also realized that I’d strayed away from music in general in 2018 while I focused on other things. My podcast intake increased while my music intake decreased. So in order to get myself back into the habit of keeping myself up to date with new music, I’m introducing Music Theory as a weekly endeavor.

These posts aren’t going to be long-form; instead they’ll likely be focused around a specific artist or album and have very limited actual writing involved. But I love music and want to spread music I enjoy, and hopefully having a weekly motivation will help keep me in the loop music-wise this year.

Anyway, for the first Music Theory I present to you Infected Mushroom.

Band: Infected Mushroom

Latest Album: Head of NASA and the 2 Amish Boys (2018)

Genre: Psytrance/Electronica

Favorite Track: Spitfire (see above)

Other Recommended Tracks: Guitarmass, Head of NASA, Vicious Delicious, Suliman, Herbert The Pervert

Why I Enjoy Them: I follow Monstercat on YouTube and through them I first heard Spitfire, which then led me to listening to the rest of Infected Mushroom’s discography. They were a slow burn, but once I warmed up to their music I really dug it. They are the exact type of electronic music that I like: good beats, enough variation to keep me engaged, but also repetitive enough for me to be able to listen to their tracks while I’m doing other things. I prefer their instrumental tracks to the ones that use vocals, but they have standout tracks of both. Techno/trance is a genre that’s always been one of my favorite and Infected Mushroom just nails the sound that I want from the style.