Underground music spotlight: Guerilla Toss, Thug Entrancer command attention

By Alexander Beebe

Ethan Long/Flickr)
(Ethan Long/Flickr)

So much music is readily available that it’s just as easy to miss out on new music as it is to discover it. This regular series aims to help remedy that by recommending five superb releases in hip hop, metal, punk, indie and the avant-garde that likely flew under the radar of many. Whether feeling overwhelmed by the amount of music the Internet allows access to or simply looking for something new that has not been buzzed about, allow these lists to make choosing what to listen to an easier process.

Guerilla Toss – “Eraser Stargazer”

From the most outlandish corner of the punk underground comes noise rock freak show Guerilla Toss with another album of manic and disorienting tolerance experiments. While admittedly not as hostile as their previous efforts, “Eraser Stargazer” is no less erratic and unpredictable in the seemingly drunken song structures achieved by a wonky synthesizer and bass. The hysterical shrieking and schizophrenic ramblings of frontwoman Kassie Carlson nicely complement the aural assault. The album shows the band honing in on their dance-punk influences, sounding more like Devo on bath salts than the culmination of the no wave scene’s most perverse attributes.

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Thug Entrancer – “Arcology”

Acid-techno artist Thug Entrancer’s sophomore album, “Arcology,” is a substantial improvement from its predecessor and abandons a good portion of the minimalism found on his debut album, “Death After Life.” It showcases his talents in creating complex, layered arrangements laden with groove-centric rhythms. The atmosphere of the album is consistent with the capacious and nocturnal vibes of “Death After Life,” but these textures are enhanced by a less condensed approach to techno that explores the ambient aspect in a more fleshed-out manner.

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Inverloch – “Distance | Collapsed”

Rising from the ashes of arguably the most influential death doom metal band of all time, two of the four members of the legendary Disembowelment have released their long-awaited debut album, “Distance | Collapsed.” In a multitude of ways, the content of this album is unquestionably some of the heaviest material released so far this year. Being the original innovators of the genre, guitarist Matthew Skarajew and drummer Paul Mazziota show that they have retained their absolute mastery over the dynamics between death metal and doom metal by providing soul-crushing walls of oppressive guitars blended with absurdly technical drumming and wrapping it all together in crisp, organic mixing.

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Akrlyk – “WIND”

Describing the sound of his beats as “post-black metal” and trap, Akrlyk is a hip-hop producer from Portland, Oregon and is the latest artist to take the aesthetic of cloud rap instrumentals into new and strange experimental territory. The tracks on his fifth release this year “WIND” sonically resemble the grey and cloudy overcast and leafless trees of the release’s artwork, which recalls the winter-based themes traditional of the black metal scene. Akrlyk has a very bold and fascinating idea that is executed with surprising success, as the frigid and permeating production fittingly feels like it comes in gusts of wind, much like the majestic pacing of most black metal.

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Yndi Halda – “Under Summer”

Canterbury band Yndi Halda released one of the most gorgeous and emotional albums in the entire post-rock genre back in 2005 with “Enjoy Eternal Bliss.” Now, after an 11-year hiatus, the band’s new album, “Under Summer,” finally arrived and it’s as if no time has passed. Those familiar with the material of Mono and Mogwai are right to expect the post-rock tropes of epic crescendos and colossal song lengths, but those longing for the era when post-rock was not stagnated will find nostalgic value in this album. The sheer gorgeousness of these compositions from the swelling strings to the sentimental and lush guitars is impossible to ignore.

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Alexander Beebe can be reached at [email protected]