December Albums of the Month


Lana Coulon, Alex Metzger, and Matthew O'Toole


“GINGER” by Brockhampton 

Lana Coulon


Brockhampton’s album “GINGER,” filled with topics of mental health, drug use, violence, and struggle, is unlike any other made by the boy band. Its angsty lyrics about pain and self-discovery make it a perfect winter listen. With experiences pulled from the band members’ lives, and thrown into the lyrics of the songs, you’ll want to take a second listen to really hear the meaning. 

“Sugar,” one of the more popular songs, perfectly counteracts the message of isolation and feelings of being lost in “No Halo,” with a beautiful love song that mixes hip hop and pop genres. The melodies in “Sugar” are sweeter but still filled with introspective lyrics such as, “You can find me dancin’ in between the raindrops/ Tryna find a way to make the pain stop.”

The album’s morose feeling stays consistent throughout, showing glimpses of happiness in the dark. A perfect example is how the song “Ginger,” in the verse discussing how he is doing fine and is better without a girl, swings from contentment to desperation with the lyrics “Tell me goddamn, what God made me for? / I don’t even love no more / I don’t even trust no more.” 

 “GINGER” is full of new sounds for Brockhampton, from the heavy gospel influence in the closing of “Victor Roberts,” the brass section in “If You Pray Right,” and the acoustic guitar in “Sugar,” making this album, unlike anything you’ve heard from them before, if you haven’t already, you need to go listen to it now!!


“Martyr Parade” by Des Rocs

Alex Metzger


Another year, another gift from the New York-born vocalist and guitarist Des Rocs. “Martyr Parade” holds the same amount of soul and grit as 2018’s “Let The Vultures In.” It’s a blues-infused rocker-coaster meant for live performance. 

Rocs has spent the last two years on the road finding inspiration through partnerships with rock staples: The Struts, Grandson, Bring Me the Horizon, and the legendary Rolling Stones. He’s aspiring to bring some soul back to rock music and won’t be letting up anytime soon.

The record opens up with “SLO” and the grunge-y tone sets a great pace with its mighty hook backed up by excellent guitar work. Rocs’ stratocaster tone hasn’t changed from the last record and he’s a master of optimizing Fenders Hot Rod amp shot straight into a distortion board. His axe carries over the track and transitions perfectly into a headbanging second song, “Dead Ringer.” Here he plays with some computer-added distortion and seems addicted to it on track three, “Outta My Mind.” Everything comes together with the same infectious bravado that his discography carries. 

Overall, Rocs’ sound seems more cohesive than last year. He has run the gauntlet with some of the biggest names in rock history and emerged victorious. He’ll be at the 9:30 club on January 24th, and I highly recommend going to see the guy who’s burning a hole in the ceiling of conventional rock ‘n roll.



“Ghetto Gospel” by Rod Wave  

Matthew O’Toole


Listen to any song on emerging rapper Rod Wave’s debut album, “Ghetto Gospel,” and you’ll get straight into your feelings. Whether it’s the melodic piano, guitar-infused beats, Wave’s soulful voice, or lyrics about facing inner demons and disloyalty, “Ghetto Gospel” is sure to tug at your heartstrings. It might even make you shed a few tears.

A few years ago, Florida native Rod Wave was scared to share his deeply personal and vulnerable lyrics with a public audience. Now, just a few years later, Wave has signed a deal with Alamo Records and dropped his first full-length project, “Ghetto Gospel,” and I am glad he did.  

Each track on the album features catchy, quotable lyrics and an amazing display of vocal range. In the chorus of my favorite track, “Close Enough to Hurt,” Wave sings, “In this life I’ve been scarred/So I walk around with my guard.” In “Soldier Life,” he sings about being stigmatized: “they look at us as hooligans but they don’t understand the hand that I was dealt.”  Wave’s music is comparable to to fellow southern street-rapper Kevin Gates (who is featured twice and executive produces “Ghetto Gospel”) due to their raw voices and somber lyrics about the pain of everyday struggle.   

One drawback is that a couple of the songs on “Ghetto Gospel” are too similar and cut too short, making them pretty forgettable. Despite this, I highly recommend you give this album a listen.