In the second part of our two part look at the French metal pioneers, Steve and Remfry reevaluate Gojira’s 6th studio album, Magma, released on the 17th of June 2016.
We look at the state of the metal scene in the build up to the release of the album, how the stock of heavy music had dropped and how important it was to see the band return, we also consider the quality of the music released in the year 2016, a year that saw some integral records from across many genres and featured a series of albums that were thematically, if not sonically, linked to Gojira’s new effort, before we delve into the record itself. Born from personal tragedy and undeniably linked to the death of the Duplantier brothers Mother, Magma saw Gojira morph into a more melodic and accessible band, without losing any of the artistic integrity that had made them such an important band. Finally we look forward to the release of the bands upcoming Fortitude album.
In the first part of our mammoth double classic album special on French tech-death lords Gojira, Remfry and Steve look specifically at the latter part of their career and the two albums that lead up to 2021’s forthcoming album Fortitude.
2012’s L’Enfant Sauvage proved to be the moment where Gojira became unstoppable. Yes the underground had been hyping them since at least 2005’s From Mars to Sirius, but the move to Roadrunner Records and four year wait between The Way of All Flesh and L’Enfant Sauvage had given the band more exposure and also allowed some people to catch up to the fact that Gojira had, slowly but surely, become one of the very best and innovative metal bands on the planet.
L’Enfant Sauvage managed to be a glorious conglomeration of everything the band had been aiming to be up until that point. Ferocious death-metal inspired riffs coalesced seamlessly with more exploratory, ambient (comparatively) progressive tendencies … Death meets Tool in effect. But Gojira somehow managed something even greater than that descriptor, holding steadfastly onto an identity that was theirs and theirs alone.
There are important updates on Broken Records, Classic Albums and Remfry’s squeaky chair this week as well as news on will.i.am‘s latest foray into the world of tech and Ronnie Wood has been granted the freedom of the city of London … lucky him!
Reviews this week include Let the Bad Times Roll by The Offspring, The Greatest Mistake of my Life by Holding Absence, Loss by Devil Sold His Soul and Norweigan Gothic by Årabrot.
Remfry’s had his first vaccination much to Steve’s chagrin. Irrefutable proof that the NHS believe Remfry is a better person than Steve (guess who’s writing this episode description).
In other far less exciting news, Daron Malakian has stated that ‘guns are essential’ in response to a frankly bizarre (and pretty crap to be honest) cover of BYOB by GunDrummer, a musician / irresponsible gun fetishising lunatic who replicates beats and drum patterns using firearms. In his defense, it’s a better use of guns than shooting people, so you carry on Mr. GunDrummer.
And a group of songwriters who collectively have writing credits for some of the biggest artists in pop music (Dua Lipa, Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, One Direction, Michael Bublé, Lorde, Shawn Mendes and Selena Gomez amongst others) have formed an advocacy group called The Pact to raise awareness and prevent pop stars from taking writing credits on songs that they didn’t write. Naughty naughty pop stars …
Albums reviewed this week are G_d’s Pee AT STATE’S END! by Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Etemen Ænka by Dvne, Stumbling Through The Walls by Hiraki and The Machine Is Burning And Now Everyone Knows It Could Happen Again by Bruit ≤
Remfry and Steve discuss the self-titled debut album released by Placebo, as suggested by Cameron Sheppard. Released on 17th June 1996, Steve and Remfry discuss how the band exploded in a cloud of glitter and dewy panda-eyed cynicism into a British culture obsessed with Britpop and lad culture as well as the relative merits of this record when put up against the rest of the band’s catalogue. Oh and Steve brings up the time that Brian Molko claimed that Caprice tried to ‘crack on to him’ (allegedly).
Steve and Remfry start proceedings this week by going into a very strange tangent inspired by the Sky Arts documentary Allen V Farrow (sorry about that). In the news, Vinyl sales look set to eclipse CD sales in the UK since 1987 and Roger ‘Man of the People’ Daltrey is releasing his own branded Champagne. New releases reviewed this week include Is 4 Lovers by Death From Above 1979, Tonic Immobility by Tomahawk, OH NO by Xiu Xiu, the self-titled album by Black Spiders and Serj Tankian’s Elasticity EP
It’s time for another Classic Album series podcast, and this week Steve and Remfry don their pork pie hats and skank back to Britain in the late 1970’s to examine the birth of Two Tone as we look at the 1979 self-titled debut album from Coventry’s ska revivalists The Specials.
We look at the genesis of ska, from its earliest incarnation in the Carribean, before the Windrush generation brought it to the nascent punk scene in Great Britain, leading to the merging of the two styles to create an entirely new genre, almost singularly based on the integration of both black and white culture working together for a united cause.
We also look at the political climate that was building at that time, as the far right National Front party and its ideological opposite, the Rock Against Racism movement, both rose to prominence, creating a tense, divisive and explosive climate in the country, all of which was keenly reflected in the music of The Specials.
We look at every track on the record, the creation of the Two Tone label that sparked the second wave of ska in the United Kingdom, the aftermath of that success leading to the dissolution of The Specials, mainly due to creative tensions between mastermind Jerry Dammers and the rest of his band, and, of course, the original lineups swansong hit Ghost Town, a song which defined a moment, a time, a place, a generation and a political climate more perfectly and succinctly than maybe any other number one hit single in chart history.
Steve and Remfry discuss the 3rd full length studio album from Helmet, Paige Hamilton’s edgy alt-metal riff lords. Suggested by Chris Schwarten and Max Ellis, the album was released June 21st 1994. Coming out during a period of transition from grunge to nu-metal, Hamilton’s razor sharp riffs would go on to influence the nu-metal movement’s groove and bounce