Downloaded one, got the other free.
Blood Mountain by Mastodon
Fucking intense. A concept album about ascending some perilous mountain. A bunch of scary songs about monsters. And even crazier drumming than on Leviathan. Remember the shiver you got the first time you heard "The Thing That Should Not Be" off of Master of Puppets? Here, those goosebumps are named "Circle of the Cysquatch" and "Bladecatcher." I'd like to buy the new Mars Volta album and see how the two stack up, as the musicianship is probably equal between both bands, but I have a feeling that the ideas here are a lot more interesting. I hear Amputechture is just a bunch of noodling. With the exception of Black Flag, there is no other band more aptly named than Mastodon. Even if you don't like anything heavy, you should give this a listen. And if you get it on iTunes, you get a video with it.
No Shame by Pepper
Fucking blows. It's hard to be worse than the last one, but you guys did it. Maybe you should stop working with 311. Or if you didn't then maybe just start copying them, as even that would be an improvement on these tunes. The first track fools you into thinking that you're getting some saccharine Hawaiian reggae tunes, but then the record turns into radio-sychophantic Chili Peppers posturing minus the chops. I read an interview with Kaleo, the guitarist, and he said that on this one, they were heading back to the Police-by-way-of-Po Hana fusion found on Kona Town, but that turned into a bit of a fib. Pepper used to know what a hook is; for all the Clear Channel courting going on here, you'd think they'd have at least recycled one or two. The best song here is "Lost in America" which traipses through the speakers in the same flip flops LBDA blew out in "DJs" and "Life Goes On." It's not great, but relative to the rest, it might as well have been off of Pet Sounds. Did I mention there are annoying skits? Well, there are. I hate skits, and on No Shame, there are three of them.
I like Pepper. I really do. They are great live. I love Kona Town, and I can even find nice things to say about In With the Old. This new one, thoug--it's a bit of a steaming pile.