There are some records that come across my digital desk that, regardless of how invested I am with the artist personally, are just important and need to be in the spotlight. Like Today Is The Day. Who is legendary. And has persevered. And produced not only a wealth of sonic knowledge on their own but are also responsible for kickstarting a slew of bands that continually push boundaries and expand today’s musical soundscape.
But I digress.
Six years since Animal Mother and Today Is The Day mastermind Steve Austin is back with a vengeance and a renewed purpose following a tumultuous few years that saw him survive a car crash, endure after his beloved Australian Shepherd (“Callie”, who gets a beautiful tribute within the album) had to be put down as a result of Lyme Disease, but not before he also contracted the disease which he currently lives with.
It takes a strong person to come away from that intact and an even stronger person to channel that into an album but that’s exactly what Austin did and the resulting body of work, No Good To Anyone, is one of the most inspired albums in the Today Is The Day catalog.
The massive title track which opens the album serves as a bookend with monumental closer “Rockets And Dreams” and is like Henry Rollins fronting Neurosis while “Attacked By An Angel” is hypnotic to start before careening into a fuzzed out finale. “Son Of Man” is built on sludge and tribal drums and a Shellac-like aesthetic and later, “You’re All Gonna Die” is akin to a Post-Rock “Just One Fix” with drums bashing with a metronome-like precision.
“Orland” and “Agate” provide two very different kinds of breads which sandwich bluesy “Cocobolo” which quickly takes a turn with gnarly screams and a vicious bite during the chorus. Then there’s “Callie” which builds gradually, filled with shimmering guitars blanketed by soothing synthetics before “OJ Kush” dives back into the loud once again, hearkening back to AmRep-style heavy noise.
“Born In Blood” reeks of sinister intent with Austin’s layered, haunting delivery adding to the atmosphere until “Mexico” takes the album in another direction with a proper, straight up Rawk song in the vein of The Doors and Rust. The aforementioned concluding opus “Rockets And Dreams” saunters in next in a mythical dream state before fading into the ether to end a truly remarkable album with a subtle bang.
No Good To Anyone comes out through BMG on February 28th. Pre-order it now in a variety of formats by clicking here or here. For more on Today Is The Day, including info on upcoming live dates with our faves in Child Bite, head here or here.