New Atlanta music reviews (Zoroaster, A Fight to the Death, Noot d’Noot)

I thought I would write a few brief thoughts on these 2010 Atlanta releases before I throw them on the list.

Zoroaster – Matador

This is comfort food for sludge metal fans. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it nails the tone. The psychedelic hippie flourishes give it some personality, but a few more memorable songs or riffs could have taken the album from very good to great.

A Fight to the Death – Gesture of a Gentleman

On their first album, A Fight to the Death might have been more notable for their unique mix of styles (Americana, jazz, gypsy, Latin) than they were for their songs. Not so much anymore. This time around, that disparate blend of influences has coalesced into some pretty amazing tracks. Personal favorites are “Echoes,” “Scissors,” and “Grant Park.” At their best, they combine the strongest qualities of Murder by Death (dusty barroom narratives) with those of Beirut (seamless combination of exotic styles). It starts to lose some steam near the end, though.

Noot d’Noot – For Ever Since

They’ve toned down the weirdness of Cash for Gold in favor of fairly straightforward funk, which would be grounds for sniping if From Ever Since wasn’t so damn fun to listen to. I hope they haven’t left the spacier stuff behind entirely, but if they have, there are certainly worse directions to go in than this.

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