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CVLT Nation’s Top 10 POST ROCK & NOISE ROCK Records of 2023

#10 JEGONG The Complex Inbetween

I got a vibe for y’all to microdose some shrooms and blast the new JEGONG record all day long! I fucking love how this band has decoded the Dance vibe that exists within Krautrock! This band manifests the kind of Outergalactic Sonic Energy that keeps my 3rd eye wide OPEN!

#9 TIRED MINDS The Body Is A Burden

The last few years have been like the last few years and the last few years before that. What I mean is, when my eye is on the state sanctioned messengers, I have witnessed my society lurch from crisis to crisis since I was old enough to think that the candy I found lying on the sidewalk might have AIDS (it was 1986). Since then, epidemics, war, terror, financial collapse, war, epidemics, terror, financial collapse, and war have defined the zeitgeist, with each coming in with a vengeance and leaving with a whisper as the next crisis arrives. Bands like Tired Minds really speak to me through frustrated howls and heavy, plaintive melodies. They’re called “sludge-soaked serve of metallic post-hardcore” and that’s fitting; but I would call them catharsis made sonic, a warning scream rising from the void the lemmings are tumbling into. This band is a reminder to come out of the media-induced survival mode that keeps us too preoccupied to recognize just how exploitative this system of necessary and increasing poverty is. The Body is a Burden is confrontational and noisy, and also beautifully emotive and comforting to me.

#8 ZAHN Adria

Adria by ZAHN has an almost meditative quality to it. It’s gentle, sometimes ominous, always captivating. The heavy bass is like a heartbeat running through this record, slowing mine down at times, speeding it up at others, while the melodies stream throughout like blood cells rushing through even the narrowest, most distant of vessels. It’s bringing me back a few decades to the dawn of experimental electronic instruments but also forward a few decades to a depth of understanding of how music affects human consciousness. This is a deeply beautiful record.

#7 FOREIGN BODY FIXED

Too many people exist in a state of nothingness. Too many people exist on a plane where fakeness is the norm. Too many people just want to fit into a box, or should I say, a self-imposed prison. Some people have the courage to say fuck trying to fit into the stereotypes that society has laid out for us! What I love about the new FOREIGN BODY LP FIXED is that it shows that this band does not give a FUCK! Imagine if SCRATCH ACID and The BIRTHDAY PARTY decided to take some LSD together and then record a record together the outcome would sound like this band. I can’t front listening to FOREIGN BODY’s “Submission” reminds me of seeing My War-era Black Flag wreck shop. This band creates the kind of demented Noise Rock that makes me want to shower after each listen! I know I’m not alone in saying this band has manifested one of the filthiest, most fucked in the head records of 2023. 

#6 BURNT SKULL DAYLIGHT MUTILATION

The new Burnt Skull album DAYLIGHT MUTILATION is totally bonkers and I freaking love it! I’m going to put this band into any sort of box because it just won’t work. I will say this: imagine if Death in Vegas, Black Flag (My War era), Scratch Acid, NIN, and Aphex Twin came together to start a band, the outcome just might sound like DAYLIGHT MUTILATION. I love the emotional space that songs like “Knife in Your Heart” take me to. Burnt Skull has created a record that will turn you on to something new with each listen. The sonic world you enter when experiencing this collection of off-kilter anthems is truly otherworldly. I have nothing but respect for a band that writes songs that have no boundaries and are focused on their passion plus love for music.

#5 PRAYER Io

PRAYER makes drum n’ bass, house, noise, and post rock all rolled into one delicious package! Their new record Io feels like a dance record that’s being beamed in from another dimension. It’s dreamy and urgent, ethereal and mechanical.

#4 AMONG THE ROCKS AND ROOTS Pariah

The new record from AMONG THE ROCKS AND ROOTS, Pariah, takes a melodic and rhythmic approach to noise rock that makes takes the edge off of what can be a very challenging genre to listen to. That’s not to say that Pariah doesn’t explore the uncomfortable sonic places that I’m looking for in a noise rock album, just that they do so with what feels like a creative intention to draw me in rather than spit me out. I hear a complex layering of influences and sounds that all compound into a captivating listening experience.

#3 OXBOW Love’s Holiday

OXBOW is one of those bands that is so immersive that their records can almost feel like a religious experience. Like one I have to sit down to, allow myself to be hypnotized by, and internalize all of the tacit and implicit ideas on it to flow into my subconscious. Love’s Holiday dives into the abyss of rock, Americana, blues, folk, and brews a bitter, sparkling noise rock concoction out of it. This is a sonic book that must be read from cover to cover.

#2 SOLAR TEMPLE The Great Star Above Provides

When I first hit play on SOLAR TEMPLE’s The Great Star Above Provides, I thought I was wandering in an ambient sonic landscape, lulled into a trance by the softness of their sound, until the psychedelics hit my ears and suddenly everything changed. The steady beat is my lifeline to my body while my brainwaves soar high above in the cosmos. I can only imagine what witnessing this live performance at Roadburn Festival in 2021 would have been like, but thankfully the rest of us were given access to this epic of a record when they released the recording this year. What follows is one of the most stunning, immersive musical experiences I’ve had all year, even just in my home.

#1 TAKH TAKH

Reading about the ideas of personal transformation that inspired TAKH‘s new self-titled record was like a sign that I’ve embarked on one of human life’s most difficult journeys and accomplished so much while on this path. This record is like that journey — at times it’s unsettling and scary, and at others, it radiates such unimaginable beauty. TAKH is like the invisible guides who accompany us on this journey but whom most of us will never see, hear, touch, or feel. It’s loving and warm even when it’s warning us to make a different choice.

Written By

Meghan MacRae grew up in Vancouver, Canada, but spent many years living in the remote woods. Living in the shadow of grizzly bears, cougars and the other predators of the wilderness taught her about the dark side of nature, and taught her to accept her place in nature's order as their prey. She is co-founder of CVLT Nation.

“IRON
Sentient 51423

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