Listen-Along: Baroness – “Blue Record”

baroness

1) “Bullhead’s Psalm”



Tucker Phillips: The guitars were far away but now they’re close.

Jackson Scott: This is the album that made me shut up about how much I generally hate virtuosity in music. And learned to love the bomb.

Michael Frett: I was going to say, this sounds like formally trained guitar playing.

TP: Isn’t virtuosity usually a good thing? I could understand not liking theatricality in that sense though.

MF: Pretty technical.

JS: They are like all classically technical.

TP: I don’t like showing off, I’ll give you that.

JS: Yeah. That’s what I mean.

MF: I like technical playing, just not for the sake of technical playing.

JS: Yeah, but a lot of stuff seems that way to me.

2) “The Sweetest Curse”



TP: The nice is gone.

MF: THRASH. HEADBANGING.

TP: Where am I.

MF: \m/ >.< \m/

TP: Why is everybody’s hair so long.

JS: Why is there egg all over that lady’s boobs?

TP: It symbolizes how hard-boiled this guy’s voice is.

MF: I have puns for this. But, for the sake of maturity, I’m just going to keep those to myself.gameboy

TP: This toes that growly line without crossing over into the nether-realm for me.

JS: Natch. This is also the part where I reverse your argument and say that I don’t like virtuosity but love theatricality because theatricality frames virtuosity as having a larger meaning I think.

MF: Guys, this sounds like my Gameboy. I love that tone.

TP: You’ve got one hell of a Gameboy. Must be a Color.

JS: Because I love the way that the riffs are repeated in this song.

MF: *Generic reference to Pokemon Gold and Silver*

TP: That vocal sustain is working for me, I tell you what.

MF: One of my favorite metal tropes: when the lead guitars take over melodically.

JS: It all sounds so purposeful and not just like they’re reading sheet music.

MF: One of my other favorite metal tropes: folksy guitar outros.

JS: Gotta guiltily agree with that.

MF: I feel no guilt about that whatsoever. Pretty in love with those outros.

3) “Jake Leg”



JS: Drums. Thud Thud Thud. Those are some wicked scales.

TP: I love how twisty this guitar is getting. And tremelo-y. And now fuzzy!

MF: Those are beautiful scales. I also like that the drums aren’t falling into that in-humane thrashing/double-bassing that so much metal feels a need to use.

JS: I like me some Converge, so I won’t comment. But yeah. Tech drums ftw.

MF: I’m in love with the guitars on this track.

TP: This is what I always expect Mastodon to sound like but it never really lives up.

JS: I kind of agree. Except on “Colony of Birchmen.”

MF: Mastodon’s one of those artists I want to check out but just haven’t.

JS: You’re not missing a ton. Basically just this plus Moby Dick.

MF: I feel like I’d enjoy this plus Moby Dick.

TP: Hell yeah you would. Cuz blood and thunder.

JS: Baroness is way more varied.

TP: But yeah, this is way more interesting than any Mastodon song I’ve heard.

MF: I feel obligated to point out, again, that I love the guitars in this. That finale was perfecto!

JS: Do you like acoustic guitars?

TP: Do you have a soul?

MF: Acoustic guitars and I go way back. Love me acoustic guitars.

4) “Steel that Sleeps the Eye”



JS: #singing #harmoniez

TP: #wind. I kinda miss the rawk. Never thought I’d say it.

MF: This has old-world folksy vibes that I’m enjoying. Pretty melodies and whatnot.

JS: Yeah, this song works better as an interlude.

TP: I can hear the rawk coming.

JS: ThudThud

TP: Its thunderous footfalls echo through the halls. Hark!

MF: That’s so ominous and awesome.

TP: The music swells…and Master Chief is there.

5) “Swollen and Halo”



JS: Tremeloooo.

TP: OK I’m back on board. Both feet.

JS: Walk the plank.

TP: Aye.

MF: Tempo changes. Tempo changes for days.

JS: Surprise, it’s just the last song but rawk.

TP: And very much so!

MF: That last song led into this song so well. Built it up very nicely.

JS: Indeed. The sequencing on this album is bonkers good. It’s honestly like one of the best sequenced metal albums ever in my book.

TP: I’m just kinda rolling along with this drummer. Dude is goin’ crazy. Take me with you, crazy drummer man.

MF: The guitar player’s got me hooked on those leads.

JS: I love the harmonies on this album.

MF: I haven’t heard one thing out of place or worth disliking on this album.

TP: That one snare hit was a little dodgy. I hope someone got fired for that blunder.

JS: If it weren’t so steeped in fantasy, I’d call it angular guitar playing, but I more imagine a spirally magic whirlpool.

MF: Metal’s Charybdis grabbing hold. Not letting go.

JS: Oh no! Let go me’leg! It got me Jake Leg.

TP: Poor Me’leg, never stood a chance.

MF: JAKE! JAKE, NO!

6) “Ogeechee Hymnal”



MF: Anybody else just wikipedia Ogeechee?

TP: Too busy wikipedia’ing Charybdis.

JS: See, this is what I mean when I say theatricality. The reprisal of themes over and over is what makes this album.

MF: I’m liking their reprises, though.

TP: I’d argue that it is in fact the hella sick riffs. Or those snare hits.

JS: It’s not just one thing, goshah.

MF: Seems to be adding things thematically to the album as a whole. Those citadel guitars, though!

JS: Noise.

MF: Beautiful noise.

TP: Yeah, this is working for me right here mmhmm. It’s like some kinda crazy hymnal.

JS: Weird.

7) “A Horse Called Golgotha”



JS: Weeooo

MF: Oh damn.

TP: Someone help that….thing!

MF: Whatever the hell just happened in that intro is my favorite.

JS: They never miss a beat. Dayum.

TP: How do you come up with this many ideas for melodies and such? Gosh darned metalheadz.

MF: Ask the Metallica guys and their supposed 1200 unused riffs.

JS: I have no idea. And the thing that blows me away is that it’s clearly not just improvy like masterbatory riffing because the harmonies suggest that this is ALL composed.

TP: I’ve got 1300 unused riffs! But, uh, you’d better like atonal stuff.

MF: I’m liking the trade off between the electric and the acoustic guitar.

JS: #panning

MF: It’s making the guitar player in me geek out pretty hardcore.

JS: Suppress it!

MF: This is some of the most dynamic playing I’ve heard in ages.

TP: This is making the non-guitar player in me feel ashamed.

8) “O’er Hell and Hide”



JS: #prettymusic

MF: That’s some pretty technical playing they’ve got going on.

TP: #fingerpickingood

MF: AND CUE THE RAWK

TP: PUT DOWN THAT ACOUSTIC GUITAR WE MUST GO TO WAR

MF: Sounds like stampeding horses there.

JS: BLOO’Y ‘ELL ‘N ‘IDE. Groovy. Spoken word guys. Spoken word.

TP: #metaloging

MF: Crack that whip! Again, the leads are just so captivating. And that drum groove.

JS: Probably the only guitars I’d use as dumb of an expression as “adventurous” to describe.

MF: They’re going places, man.

JS: Make me look bad.

TP: Metal isn’t supposed to sound like this. I’m not supposed to like it.

JS: Wub wub noise.

TP: Must be the wubs.

9) “War, Wisdom and Rhyme”



JS: Why is this so good?

MF: I love when those guitars go high.

JS: You would.

TP: Nice little breather there.

MF: There are so many things going on in this song.

TP: War is hell.

JS: Wisdom is swell.

TP: Rhyme is, well…

MF: Do tell?

TP: I’m telling you guys, these drums.

JS: And scene. The fact that they keep up with the guitars is enough.

10) “Blackpowder Orchard”



MF: You got your folk musics on my metal album…

JS: We gon’ have erselves a hootenanny.

TP: JEBEDIAH, GET ME MY AXE

MF: God damn that tone is gorgeous.

TP: TONIGHT, WE REND

JS: Byooooo

11) “The Gnashing”



JS: Speechless.

MF: This is the nicest gnashing that I’ve ever stumbled in on.

JS: #classicrock

TP: #whatisthis,mydad’smetal?

JS: They breathing life into genres I’d never thought I’d ever care about.

MF: Honestly, I’m really not getting the classic rock vibe.

TP: Me either, but this is still killer.

JS: Really?

MF: This is the cheeriest bit of thrash metal I’ve ever heard though. Okay, I’m getting it a little now.

TP: I don’t know much classic rock that sounds like this, but I wish I did. Actually getting kind of a Shellac vibe.

MF: But more of specific classic rock songs rather than the genre as a whole.

JS: It sure sounds old though. Like, sepia tone n’ everything. Music videos all like old cars and everything. Denim. I think it’s because it’s so big. It embraces really moving phrases that I think aren’t embraced anymore because of irony.

12) “Bullhead’s Lament”



JS: The THEME again. #fullcircle

TP: Psh, this is totally just a Baroness rip-off. GET YOUR OWN IDEAS BARONESS!

JS: #derivative

TP: Cryin’ shame for such a talented band.

MF: This is exactly how I was hoping an album like this would go out.

JS: What a terrible album. #defensemechanismsup

MF: I mean, never mind?

JS: #whatarefeelings

MF: Those guitars just had to say goodbye

TP: #whatishappeningwiththeseguitarsandohgod

JS: Real talk: that sound.

MF: I’ll see you soon, pretty guitars.

TP: SCENE

JS: And the lament made it to heaven. Oh hey NIN.

MF: What was that, a theremin?

TP: The guitars have left this Earth to return to their better, more rawking planet.

MF: They’ll come back though. They always do.

TP: We can only hope.