Author Archives: Andrew Halverson

Andrew and “Purpose” by Justin Bieber

justin-bieber-purpose-cover-2_rume6g

I grew up with positive messages left and right. I ate that shit up. Good stuff—fuck the bad guy! I do not know if this is universal, but the children I went to elementary school with did not agree with this. We tended to butt heads, as kids with newly-found constructions of rivalry are wont to do. It is worth saying that I was self-righteous and I liked telling people what to do a lot and hated when people tried that nonsense on me, so when Mark recommended me Limp Bizkit’s Significant Other, I stared, asking both him and myself “why?” Seven years old and here I was confronting the idea of confronting language, disrespect, and hooliganism on a scale that would most definitely change the course of my life. I still have not heard that Limp Bizkit record in full, but it was the first thing that came to mind around hitting the fifth song of Purpose.

Who is the bad guy? Continue reading

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Best Rock Album

This is the genre most of us on FOWR live for. It is the backdrop of the music we listen to and make and typically the thing we have the most authority in talking about, so naturally we save this one for last. 2012 was the year where we all felt rock regaining purpose and that prospect became one of the most exciting and uplifting things about this year. Cloud Nothings turned into something bigger than anyone could have seen coming, The Men created their resolution to the world of music, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Fiona Apple returned with reminders of their ingenuity, Swans fashioned everything Michael Gira wanted to achieve, and Mount Eerie invented a strong two-part narrative filled with relentless progression and scope. All of these records were amazing. Like, fucking all of them. Continue reading

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Best Rap Album

Rap is always tricky to decide. The results of each year since 2010 have been pretty odd, especially with Das Racist winning best rap album over Kanye West’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”. The way we look at things in the rap category tends to vary in strange ways, but in the end it’s what turned the genre on its head or changed the way we listen to hip hop. The nominees this year range from the west coast titanic Kendrick Lamar, to Killer Mike’s claim to legitimacy with “R.A.P. Music”, to Death Grips’ societally-involved aural assaults. These were our heavy hitters this year and each of them had something to say about the genre in its own way. Killer Mike created astoundingly hard southern rap that serves as a solid traditional record and Kendrick Lamar perfected the rap narrative and turns it out as a great success story. Continue reading

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Best Metal of 2012

This is a brand new category for the Fowries — brand new for several reasons. In years’ past, John and I weren’t the best at seeing the ins and outs of metal and there wasn’t enough interest in listening to enough of it anyway. Our current worlds were Mastodon, Opeth, the little gem, and that was it. 2012 was also the year Metal Dan was in full swing of writing reviews, more than John or I ever wrote, but his presence wasn’t even the huge assistance in having a metal category. It just so turned out that metal was great in 2012 — great and various, from the traditional yet rugged doom offering from Pallbearer, Converge’s true assertion of metalcore, Black Breath’s and Horrendous’s takes on modern and classic death metal, and the melting black metal riffage of Mgla. There was, however, one band in particular that grabbed all of us with a fucking chokehold. Continue reading

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Best Breakthrough of 2012

This category has undergone some facelifting this time around. Formerly existing for Best Debut, we found it too restrictive for what we wanted to emphasize most: a band/artist coming out and giving us the craziest impression. This year seemed abnormally easy when it came to the end of it all, but that doesn’t mean that there weren’t deserving artists, we could have picked any of these and we would have felt comfortable with the choice. Grimes was most obvious on a macro level and Joey Bada$$ made total sense, but all of our discussion went down to one act in particular. Continue reading

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Andrew Vs. “Wild Love” by Smog

TAG: Great
Released: March 1995

I’ve gone through more drafts of this review than I have of anything I’ve done, maybe even more than my professional calibers of editing. It’s not really because this album is super hard to talk about — it’s because there’s a lot to say and interpret. I’ve had many listening sessions of this record to the point of having several different and tiny memories for what the album feels like. It’s an actual diary by an emotionally disturbed and incomplete human being. It is the finality of Bill Callahan’s weirdness, its peak, his shaping into musical appropriation. Wild Love is just a bunch of things. Continue reading

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Andrew Vs. “Julius Caesar” by Smog

TAG: Standard
Period: 1993, First Studio Recorded, Self Produced

I was born the year Julius Caesar released. I find this appropriate because this is where you can see him evolve. That probably means nothing, but it makes it easy to remember when the album came out. Anyway, it’s 1993, his Smog project has made it to the big-time. He has a studio now, more instruments and recording devices that aren’t consumer-grade 80s tape recorders. He must have changed everything! No. He actually still goes out of his way for experimentalism. Bill even made sure he was the one touching the boards and the album still has a fucking chair on it. Julius Caesar is very much his album. Continue reading

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