#333 happens to be some of the finest Post-Metal sounds I’ve ever heard out of New Zealand, Solace by Jakob. The vinyl is a lovely little package with some nice touches, like red and black platters for Sides A and B, respectively. The artwork is subtly unassuming and almost undermines the album title. A harsh red background with black relief drawings of treetops and limbs, bare as winter. Hard to believe this album is already 5 years old! Sure, 2006 was probably the height of my Metal, Post-Metal and Ambient Metal phase(s), but it doesn’t sound that old. In fact, its lack of vocals may preserve the album from some aging that has touched some of, say, ISIS’s material from around the same time (exception: Panopticon). The dynamics of the band’s playing is great. The swell up and down from mellow to full-on rockin’. I really dig the drummer’s style, with all those roll-fills and slow-down-time soft rim shots. The guitars seem to range in sound and effect from My Bloody Valentine to all their Post-Metal contemporaries, notably ISIS and Cult of Luna. It is a perfect record for this afternoon. It’s rainy and windy as a fart from Hell. It’s brooding outside and I’m keeping warm with Solace and some Japanese noodles.
Meanwhile, as our hero jumps into the Wayback Machine, The Beatnuts come rising out of the echoes of this Post-Metal meditation. I’m talkin’ Street Level here folks! The mostly unknown peripheral members of Native Tongues Family (Big up to Black Sheep!!!), Juju and Psycho Les bring an East Coast flavor to what always reminds me of Cypress Hill. And not just cuz they all Latinos and shit. Somehow they share a strand or two of aesthetic DNA. Always get hooked on the bassline for “Are You Ready?” What great shit. Fuckin hoes like I’m supposed to be in a flick!