Notable Releases of the Week (12/8)

The year is winding down, year-end list season is in full swing, and most of the heavy hitters are out already, but a few things are still trickling out. There are some cool records out today, and here’s a shorter-than-normal Notable Releases that highlights eight of them.

Honorable mentions: Blu and Nottz, Thomas Bartlett (Doveman), Skinhead, HitKidd, Ben Lumsdaine, James Elkington, Michael Nau, Boss Keloid, Barbara Manning, Have Mercy, Bory, Breeze, Tate McRae, Vayda, body / negative, Kind Beast (ex-Small Brown Bike), the Small Isles EP, the Carrion Spring EP, the Philip Selway & Elysian Collective live-in-studio record, the Car Seat Headrest live album, the Porcupine Tree live album, the Marianne Faithfull tribute LP, the Dais Records comp, the Wings of Desire comp, the Omar Rodríguez-López box set, the Jensen Sportag anthology, The Killers’ best-of, and Analogue Monsta (Suzi Analogue & TOKiMONSTA)’s remastered streaming release of their limited vinyl-only 2012 EP Boom.

What’s your favorite release of the week?

Loma Vista

RAT WARS is one of HEALTH’s heaviest, most overtly-metal albums yet. From the pounding Godflesh-y industrial metal songs (one of which, “Sicko,” actually samples “Like Rats”) to the full-on metal guitar riffage of “Children of Sorrow” (by Lamb of God’s Willie Adler), Rat Wars is the HEALTH album that would’ve fit perfectly on Headbangers Ball. And even at its most aggro moments, vocalist Jake Duzsik eschews the genre’s stereotypical masculinity in favor of his trademark boyish coo. Even when the ’80s/’90s influences come through loud and clear, Rat Wars sounds like a record that only HEALTH could’ve made.

Pick up our limited, exclusive coke bottle clear vinyl variant.

Neil Young Before and After

Neil Young – Before and After

Neil Young in solo acoustic form is always a treat, and Before and After is no exception. It features newly-recorded solo renditions of songs from all throughout his career (including a few Buffalo Springfield songs), and one previously-unreleased song, “If You Got Love.” Neil recorded it in such a way where each song flows directly into the next, “a music montage with no beginnings or endings,” he says.

[embedded content]

Nicki Minaj Pink Friday 2

Nicki Minaj – Pink Friday 2
Young Money/Republic

Nicki Minaj begins the sequel to her 2010 debut album Pink Friday with dramatic raps over what’s basically a cover/remix of Billie Eilish’s “when the party’s over,” letting you know right away that she’s intending this to be a Statement Album. It’s the first of many very recognizable samples/interpolations, and it’s also loaded with huge guests like Drake, Lil Wayne, J. Cole, Lil Uzi Vert, and Future. It’s 22 songs in 70 minutes and you probably don’t need to me to tell you it’s a little bloated, so check it out for yourself.

Stress Positions Harsh Reality

Stress Positions – Harsh Reality
Three One G

If you like no-frills, pedal-to-the-metal hardcore punk that will rip your fucking face off, look no further than Harsh Reality, the debut album by C.H.E.W. offshoot Stress Positions.


AKAI SOLO – Verticality​/​/​/​Singularity & Only the Strong Remain
Break All Records / self-released

AKAI SOLO is a staple of the current abstract rap underground and a frequent collaborator of artists like billy woods, Moor Mother, Pink Siifu, and more, and he brings his infectious head-trip to not one but two new albums out today. Verticality​/​/​/​Singularity (with production from Earl Sweatshirt, Black Noi$e, and more) is out on Bandcamp, and Only the Strong Remain is only available as $15 download on the Break All Records website.

Sentinel Age of Decay

Sentinel – Age of Decay

Sentinel has the hardcore supergroup-worthy lineup of vocalist Ace Stallings (Mutually Assured Destruction), guitarists Mike Shaw (Mindforce, New World Man) and Jack Xiques (Age of Apocalypse, Colossus, Pillars of Ivory), bassist Evan Schlomann (Casket Architects), and drummer Will Hirst (Restraining Order), and their debut album goes as hard as you’d expect from a lineup like that. It’s got an onslaught of crossover thrash riffs, and Ace’s evil bark is just what these songs need.

Jarhead Fertilizer

Jarhead Fertilizer – Carceral Warfare
Closed Casket Activities

Jarhead Fertilizer’s new album begins with trap beats and police sirens, but if you know anything about this band, you already know that’s a red herring. Its nine songs go on to offer a truly disgusting blend of death, grind, and powerviolence, only letting up on the attack for a few grimy noise interludes in between.

Xibalba Aztlan

Xibalba – Aztl​á​n
Closed Casket Activities

Xibalba are one of the heaviest hardcore/metal bands in the game, and Aztl​á​n is no exception. The four-song EP was recorded and mixed by Taylor Young at The Pit, and it’s out via Closed Casket Activities, following multiple releases for Southern Lord.

Looking for more recent releases? Browse the Notable Releases and Indie Basement archives.

Looking for a podcast to listen to? Check out our new episode with Wiki.

Also, BrooklynVegan launched pre-orders for its first-ever special edition 80-page magazine, which tells the career-spanning story of Alexisonfire and comes on its own or paired with our new exclusive AOF box set and/or individual reissues. Pick up yours in the BV shop.

Alexisonfire banner