This week’s Rock-a-Ramas were written by Fred Pessaro, Zachary Lipez, Grace Scott, Maria Sherman, and Joe Sicilio.

Chat Pile, God’s Country
That whole expression about a book and its cover, that shit is true. I judge things by their title constantly. At first, I thought that the name “Chat Pile” sounded like a direct descendent of 4Chan or an app where 14-year-old girls would meet to discuss makeup techniques. But the more I thought about it, the more it sounded like an app where grown men would go to discuss 14-year-old girls. And if that’s real, then “Chat Pile” must be the most fucked up name of all time.

Also, if Amphetamine-Reptile Records bands ACTUALLY took a note from early Swans and had modern elements like black metal, hardcore vocals, and industrial, they’d sound like this. In other wordsfucked up. Maybe snap judgements aren’t so wrong after all.—F.P.

Emily Yacina, All the Things
That was pretty...Woof. Yikes. Here’s something good: This is some "understated" and "meditative" folk-y indie-pop so gorgeous I can't even resent that Emily Yacina is "New York-based." The classic rockers reading this will likely hate the album after a five-second listen, but hey, that's fine. I'm getting paid to type this, so, joke's on you! What else do you want?—M.S.

Death Bells, Between Here & Everywhere
The first time I saw Brad Pitt, I thought to myself, “OK, I get it.” With those long locks and that pretty boy face, it’s no wonder why he makes people weak in the knees. Pitt was smart thoughhe didn’t go full on McConaughey and do a bunch of vapid, corny-ass romcoms and instead did tight shit like Twelve Monkeys, True Romance, and Se7en. (I loathe the fact that I am forced to write that movie title that way.)

Will Canning is Death Bells’ Brad Pittthis tall drink of Australian water could make a zillion dollars on the pop charts making some not-so-clandestine songs about going downtown, but instead, makes ill tracks somewhere between goth, post-punk and even… romantic ’80s John Hughes soundtracks. On second thought, maybe this is all a divine scheme into some DMs. Whatever it is, the songs rule, and I back it.—F.P.

Florist, Florist
The tulips are too excitable, it is winter here. / Look how white everything is, how quiet, how snowed-in. / I am learning peacefulness, lying by myself quietly / As the light lies on these white walls, this bed, these hands / I am nobody; I have nothing to do with explosions. Slyvia Path was on one.—M.S.

Amanda Shires, Take It Like a Man
I didn’t get the Amanda Shires album sent to me. My fault for asking on a Friday. Everybody knows that the Americana/roots music industry takes their Fridays VERY seriously. By 3 p.m. the entire shebang of cow-punklicists and rhinestone interns can usually be found belly up at the Ruby Tuesday happy hour flotilla, ordering rounds of Ruby Relaxers as a family bundle meal, and aggressively slurring medleys of Sturgill Simpson songs I’ve never heard of into “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!”

Going by the information I do have, I’ll make everyone’s jobs easier and go ahead and recommend the new Amanda Shires album. Her older albums range from better than solid to pretty dang great (I don’t have the cultural range to judge her Christmas album). The band on the Highwomen album was a bit reasonable for my tastes, but the songs themselves were bops and the singing was gorgeous enough to hurt an angel's feelings.

The available tracks on Take It Like a Man sound a bit like Vision Thing-era Sisters of Mercy. But, then again, I love bombast and switchblade violins, and I assume everyone who has ever covered “The Chain” is a secret goth. Oh yeah, also, Shires’ voice has never sounded better. I bet the angels who got promo copies already feel like shit.—Z.L.

Maggie Rogers, Surrender
Why are there specific paths for the sad boys and the sad girls? Sad boys get into rap and talk about how bummed they are while popping pills, and sad girls write introspective indie songs with acoustic guitars. You’ll never see a sad girl with a name like “Lil Ketamine” or something because, well, you know why? It is dumb. That said, not all of the sad girl stuff hits, and in fact, a good bit of it doesn’t. Like this one. Here’s a hankie, lady. Get over it.—J.S.

Little Feat, Waiting for Columbus: Super Deluxe Edition
I’m really sorry, I don't like any of the music this week, and I can't find anything to review. Sorry again.—G.S. (A Canadian)

$uicideboy$, Sing Me a Lullaby My Sweet Temptation
Horrorcore was an interesting thing, wasn’t it? Some of the greatest stuff came out of that short-lived genre, like Three 6 Mafia, Geto Boys, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and Gravediggaz. One of the many pinnacles of '90s rap was “Thug Luv,” a horrorcore-style track with the hardest beat, melodic vocals from Bone Thugs, 2Pac at his thugged-out and nihilistic best, and even fucking handgun noises instead of a normal drumloop. I used to blast that track out of my Teal 1993 Tercel, semi-paranoid that all the gunshots were going to make me look like that dude in . (It probably did).

$uicideboy$’s Sing Me a Lullaby My Sweet Temptation is basically horrorcore in the best of waysthink Gravediggaz and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony for Gen Z. It’s all melodic rhymes over much-scarier-than-Bone-Thugs scary beats and a sense of dread. Put in some white contacts and let’s mosh.—F.P.

Voivod, Synchro Anarchy
When most people think of metal bands, they think of their fans: longhairs (dudes only) with horns up who scream, not speak, at the camera and only seem to utter a single two syllable word. “Slayer.” But the heads, they think of well-read guys who can play their instruments, make wildly challenging shit that can be a bit obtuse sometimes, and listen to as much metal as they do twee. Voivod is for both of those types. They’re so sick that even a member of Metallica joined their band. They’ve never gone soft. They’re never written a bad record. They’re (probably) the main reason why Nocturno Culto screams “Canadian Metal!” on that one Darkthrone LP. This knocks.—F.P.

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