Thursday, July 5, 2018

Vinyl Review: "A Line Cook's Guide To New Satanic Empires" by Mike Nicolai

A Line Cook's Guide To New Satanic Empires
Let me start off with another genuine apology. Both to you and Mike Nicolai.

As I type this, I'm in my bedroom. It's connected to the sitting room on my second floor. My sitting room is where we listen to records, drink beer, and play old school video games.

It's still in a total state of disarray and honestly, it totally sucks. The plus side, it's kind of nice drinking IPA's in my bed and not feeling like a total creeper as I've got a legit excuse to do so.

The issue is, it's harder to do my vinyl reviews as it requires that room to do them properly. It seems unseemly to give you a great look at my sitting room all mahoobered up. There's plastic everywhere, plaster dust everywhere, and there's a goodly smattering of paint chips.

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Also, in 3 days, the air conditioner is going to be repaired as well.... So, we're getting our house right ya know? But enough of my first world problems, you're here for the vinyls.

Mike Nicolai contacted me about a month or so ago. His email was nice and it asked if I'd be interested in checking out his new album, and he'd gladly send me a vinyl copy. Well, who would say no to that?

This record, is entitled A Line Cook's Guide To New Satanic Empires. This was either going to be excruciatingly metal or strange.

Well, it would appear that Nicolai has chosen the latter path. As for left or right hand path, we'll leave that up for you to decide.

It's a lo-fi Americana record with metal influences. At no point is it really any of those things on their own, aside from the lo-fi part. Metallica is probably my all time favorite band.

They're the only band I can name who's records are either surgically clean or loose as fuck. Consider ...And Justice For All, Master of Puppets, Garage Inc, and Lulu.

My favorite releases of theirs are the dirty ones. When you can hear the bandmates yelling at each other between tracks, when there's blips in the recording. In short, Lo-Fi can kick more ass than it really deserves to. My old buddy in Anthropology was right.

 Now, it's not like this album is so loose it's dirty or sounds awful. It actually sounds quite good indeed withe a spectacular bottom end. There's a nice bass boom going on here.

Lo-Fi, to me anyway, is more of a genre than a timbre. Nicolai is an amazing songwriter. The tracks here are just spectacular, but like many other songwriters before him...he's not the best singer in the world.

He walks the tightrope between Roger Waters and Quin Galavis.

Musically, this album walks no tightropes. It's kind of like a chimpanzee throwing vegetables at a canvas and calling it a painting. There's acoustic guitars, electric leads, thundering metal bridges, and a little bit of everything else.

If I didn't know better, I'd swear there was a pedal steel guitar in there....but don't quote me either way in case I might be wrong.

I think most folks know that unpredictable music is what tickles my fancy and this one checks all the right boxes, though like most albums, it could have used some more rippin' guitar solos...because double hand tapping is the shiznyte.

In the end, it's a fun record and that's what it's all about.

The record comes with a digital download via bandcamp, thank you. There's liner notes that I'm sorry I didn't read yet. It's an immaculate pressing. There's no noise, warping, or any of the badness that can come with purchasing records.

It sounds absolutely full and lush on my system.

Out Now. Bandcamp Website 

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