IN ROTATION: Our most played albums in July 2020

8 min read


Hmm so what’s been happening this month? Globally for sure plenty; in my own day to day, nothing so special. However (and this will go towards explaining some of my In Rotion list this month) I did get a biography of Michael Gira/ Swans (‘Sacrifice and Transcendance’) as a birthday present, so my July listening was pretty heavily weighted in that direction.

Engine Kid – Angel Wings
Revelation Records – 1995

When this album happened to pop up on a bandcamp notification I was immediately a fan of the style, but I was also confused at how a band in 2020 could sound so very much like they were making music in the 90s. Well, turned out is was a reissue and this was very much from the 90s. Featuring Greg Anderson (later of Sun O)))) this album reminds me at times of lots of different things, but never quite sounds like anything else. A bit of Slint a bit of early Neurosis. It’s emotive, sometimes very heavy, a bit Hardcore, a bit jazzy. Well worth checking out if you’ve never heard it. They had another album too, but this one is definitely my favourite.

Swans – Holy Money
PVC Records – 1986

I could write about Swans all day. One important thing to keep in mind about the band is they’ve gone through many stylistic changes. Back in 1986 they’d just recruited Jarboe on keyboards and vocals and shifted from becoming more and more horrifically, brutally, crushingly slow and heavy, to being still sometimes brutally heavy, but now with a major gothic element. Don’t expect The Sisters of Mercy though. More recent reissues combine this album with Greed, but personally I think “Holy Money” is vastly superior. However when you get the two combined you also tend to get two singles of around that time “Time is Money (Bastard)” and “A Screw” where the band for a moment had a kind of Industrial/ Dance thing going on. And by the way Swans releases are designed to be listened to at life endangering volume. Just so you know…

Swans – Cop
K.422 – 1984

So as mentioned above, for a time Swans went with each successful release into a more bleak and slow and punishing delivery of hypnotically pounding drums, seismic bass with churning guitars and Michael Gira scaring your neighbours on top. The follow up EP “Young God” is probably even more grim than this one, but “Cop” has more memorable tunes. Remember, it’s meant to be played loud. And by the way, if you’re wondering about the creepy cover, the picture is apparently of an obese woman (not exactly sure of the angle).

Aerosmith – Night in the Ruts
Columbia Records – 1979

As much as they had some enjoyable singles in the 80s and 90s I want to be very clear that when I say I’m a fan of Aerosmith I mean the 70s Aerosmith. “Night In The Ruts” is the point where the wheels are really coming off. Guitarist Joe Perry quit the band (he’d be back of course), and the band members’ drug habits were spiralling out of control, but damn it they still made awesome music. This might even be my favourite album by the band. “Three Mile Smile” and “Bone to Bone (Coney Island White Fish Boy)” are two of my favourite unashamed rockin’ stomps by the band and the album is full of other memorable tracks. Well worth giving some time to if you don’t know this era of the band. It’s a hundred times better than “Get a Grip” and that’s for sure.

Bible Basher – Loud Wailing
Sludgelord Records – 2020

Sludgelord Records are always reliable for dirty, heavy, grinding metal, often at the slower and sludgier end of the spectrum (as the name might imply). “Loud Wailing” by Bible Basher was a happy discovery for me when it was released back in June. This four track EP is a tasty dose of churning Sludge Metal.

Tom Boatman