cathartic and raw music, please
April 21, 2010 8:45 AM   Subscribe

Looking for new music: ultra-intense, overly emotionally resounding music

I grew up in the 80s, preferred new wave, then progressed into punk, skate punk, hardcore, then progressed in to post-punk, industrial, then finally into 'alternative' and the like. Although my tastes are all over the place, recently I've been listening to indie and electronic, as vast as those groupings are. I like my music raw. I like my music to hit me like a brick in the gut. Music that the guitar player can't help but break every string while playing. Doesn't have to be sad or angry, just emotionally resonating. It doesn't have to be complex or clever or even well-produced. In fact, I'd prefer that it's not overly-produced.

I'm listening to Nine Inch Nails "Year Zero", as I type this. NIN fits this description somewhat. Though NIN may be classified as "industrial" (does it still?) what I'm looking for doesn't have to be in that class. I'd prefer that it not be metal or industrial, but those are quite ok.

What new music (of the past 5 years or so) should I be exploring?
posted by TheOtherSide to Media & Arts (30 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Silver Mount Zion: God Bless our Dead Marines always seems deeply-felt, though it's definitely on the angry side of their output. They put angels in the electric chair the electric chair the electric chair... and no-one knew and no-one care but burning stars lit up their hair.

This song is a little older but they're still releasing and touring.
posted by multivalent at 8:52 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

I was about to suggest ASMZ.

I'm not sure if you'd call it metal or industrial or what, but try Have A Nice Life.
posted by Jairus at 9:00 AM on April 21, 2010

Have you tried The Hold Steady? Their best album is Separation Sunday, but everything they've done so far is good. They hit all the right notes for me. The new album, Heaven is Whenever, is kind of disappointing, though. Start with their earlier stuff.
posted by dortmunder at 9:01 AM on April 21, 2010

Oh man I fucked that link up good. Thanks, Google Chrome!

Let's try this again!
posted by Jairus at 9:01 AM on April 21, 2010

Listen to Ahh Men, by Say Anything

The beginning may seem slow. But you'll see.
posted by lakerk at 9:04 AM on April 21, 2010

It's more than five years old, but if it's emotionally raw, real stuff you're looking for, try Chris Whitley's "Din of Ecstasy". Nothing like his other music, this album is from one of the darkest periods in his life.
posted by dbiedny at 9:06 AM on April 21, 2010

Paik. Start with Tinsel and Foil (listen at least to 1:45) and Dirt for Driver, and go from there.

And in a completely different and much sadder vein: Eluvium. Reciting the Airships. Prelude for Time Feelers. So beautiful and sad.
posted by googly at 9:07 AM on April 21, 2010

If you liked hardcore and punk, you will probably really like The Evens, Ian Mackaye's most recent band. It's just him singing and playing baritone guitar, and Amy Farina singing and playing drums, but it's excellent. The second album, Get Evens, is one of the most depressing albums I've ever listened to, and is full of frustration and sadness at Bush's second term.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor might also fit the description.

The first three albums from Black Heart Procession, titled 1, 2, and 3, were less produced that later stuff and were quite maudlin.

Joanna Newsom's Ys. Powerful, raw voice and long songs that build up slowly to a high level of intensity.

Depending on your level of cynicism about emo, Bright Eyes had what I thought were some powerful albums in the early 2000s, Fevers and Mirrors especially, but also Lifted, and the much earlier Collection of Songs 1995-97.
posted by jalexc at 9:10 AM on April 21, 2010

God Speed You! Black Emperor
Explosions in the Sky
Sigur Ros
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 9:35 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

Volta do Mar
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 9:39 AM on April 21, 2010

Panda Bear
posted by wondershrew with a helping of potato salad at 9:57 AM on April 21, 2010

Response by poster: I'm also listening to We were Promised Jetpacks, and I remember seeing them live and remembering how intense and powerful an experience it was. They were entranced.

I haven't gone through all the suggestions yet, but so far these seem good:
The Evans+
Black Heart Procession+
Chris Whitley+
Joanna Newsom+

I like some bright eyes also
posted by TheOtherSide at 10:10 AM on April 21, 2010

I think you would really like M83. Intense, emotional indie-electronic music that looks back on the 80's and most of the influences you grew up on.

Don't Save Us From the Flames

Lower Your Eyelids to Die With the Sun

Kim and Jessie
posted by naju at 10:37 AM on April 21, 2010

Emergency and I by The Dismemberment Plan
posted by sid at 10:47 AM on April 21, 2010

The band Sun Kil Moon was recently brought to my attention (GOW3 Trailer). My favourite tunes so far are Heron Blue (sombre, but heartfelt) and Tonight the Sky. The April album sounds like a cross between Neil Young and Days of the New.
posted by Cody's Keeper at 10:52 AM on April 21, 2010

The Jesus Lizard.

Big Black.

The late Bear Vs. Shark.
posted by Beardman at 11:12 AM on April 21, 2010

Drive Like Jehu
posted by camneely at 12:07 PM on April 21, 2010

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 12:13 PM on April 21, 2010

erg...I don't wanna digress, but... much as everyone touted NIN as the leaders of the industrial revolution, let's face facts - he's pop! Trent knows it, he just doesn't say it. If he wasn't, he wouldn't have had a bunch of catchy alterna-dance-rock hits. ; ) Now everyone who's listened to the Fragile, Ghosts, etc may disagree, but I just consider those minor deviations from what he's really good at. Making cool sounding songs that are catchy! Even a good portion of The Downward Spiral, people sing along to.

Now that that's out of the way...

The NIN "Broken" ep is about as hard as he's been, due to the influence of the band he worked with in his early touring days, that made him get kinda metally. I actually think Year Zero is kinda crappy (not that you shouldn't listen to it) - because he didn't spend enough time fleshing it out. The Year Zero Remixed cd actually beats the crap out of it, and shows that he had the content, but because he didn't spend his usual 4 years on it, imho, the songs are not all that interesting sonically. But that's imho.

I really dig Skeleton Key ("Fantastic Spikes Through Balloon") - noisy rock with an additional percussion guy who beats garbage can lids and propane tanks - & Firewater - "The Golden Hour" (ethno punk pop from Tod A, formerly of Cop Shoot Cop). Also the first full-length Tool record ("Undertow") .
posted by bitterkitten at 1:25 PM on April 21, 2010

The two that popped into my mind were The Thermals and Xiu Xiu. Since someone already said both of them, consider them seconded.
posted by statolith at 1:29 PM on April 21, 2010

much as everyone touted NIN as the leaders of the industrial revolution, let's face facts - he's pop! Trent knows it, he just doesn't say it. If he wasn't, he wouldn't have had a bunch of catchy alterna-dance-rock hits. ; )

Actually, he says it all the time. It's the 'industrial' label that he distances himself from, not pop.
posted by Jairus at 1:32 PM on April 21, 2010

I love NIN. Check out VNV Nation. Especially the song 'Standing'. They have an 80s synth pop thing going on, but the singer is Irish and very intense.
posted by andrewzipp at 2:02 PM on April 21, 2010

Check out some stuff by Devon Townsend. Maybe a little more metal than what you're used to, but give him a try; he's done a lot of diverse work.
posted by cleverevans at 2:58 PM on April 21, 2010

The Wrens -- all of their album The Meadowlands (also, for that matter, Secaucus) but a representative example is Everyone Chooses Sides.

Cursive -- many good albums but especially Domestica, about frontman Tim Kasher's marriage & divorce. A good example track is The Martyr.
posted by axiom at 3:23 PM on April 21, 2010

Since you liked Paik, you might also like some of the more recent projects by Justin Broadrick, the guy behind Godflesh, one of the most cathartic bands of the 80s/90s:

Jesu - Old Year

Greymachine - Just Breathing

Oh, and you might like many of the suggestions in this previous AskMe (which was inspired by this post).
posted by googly at 3:40 PM on April 21, 2010

2nding M83: You, Appearing
Antony and the Johnsons
Duffy Rockferry
posted by Bron at 4:01 PM on April 21, 2010

For emotionally charged music, I'd check out:

Shellac - 1000 Hurts
Babyland - The Finger
Russian Circles - Enter
Mogwai - Mr. Beast
Mesa Verde - The Old Road

Also, I like to check Sputnik Music for reviews and recommendations. The site is split up into genres and it's easy to navigate.
posted by anoirmarie at 4:39 PM on April 21, 2010

High Dependency Unit, a band from Dunedin in New Zealand, are kind of fantastic - very passionate and intense.
posted by Sebmojo at 7:15 PM on April 21, 2010

While Explosions In The Sky is generally great, I'd especially recommend the tracks The Only Moment We Were Alone and A Poor Man's Memory (it won't sound like it at first, but listen to the entire song). On a somewhat different tack, try The Exit's Let's Go To Haiti.
posted by Ash3000 at 7:33 AM on April 22, 2010

Also, When I Get The Feelin' (Back In My Hands), by Red Animal War. And, on the maybe too emotionally intense side, Sounds Like Violence's Cry! Oh Cry!, and Xiu Xiu's I Luv The Valley OH
posted by Ash3000 at 7:41 AM on April 22, 2010

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