Terminal Nation Jacob Murry

On Tuesday, popular indie music blog Stereogum published a list of their 50 favorite albums of the year so far, and two Arkansas artists got a mention. 

The pair — softhearted singer-songwriter Willi Carlisle (technically Missouri-based now, but Northwest Arkansas bred him) and Little Rock death metal outfit Terminal Nation — couldn’t be more aesthetically different from one another, but I’d like to think they see eye to eye when it comes to some of our country’s harsh political realities. 


The inventory, which includes the likes of Beyoncé, Vampire Weekend and Waxahatchee (she came out on top), should perhaps be read as “more a celebration than a competition, despite the numerical component,” but if you’re curious, Carlisle’s “Critterland” came in at No. 33 and Terminal Nation’s “Echoes Of The Devil’s Den” got the No. 42 spot. Here are the blurbs Stereogum wrote about each album:

Willi Carlisle – Critterland (Signature Sounds)

“Chickens in the backyard/ Preserves in Mason jars/ Dry county dust has got me feelin’ kinda low.” So it goes in Critterland, the world so skillfully sketched out by Fayetteville country-folk singer-songwriter Willi Carlisle. There’s a trace of Jason Molina in Carlisle’s strong, quavering voice, but his perspective is all his own as he unpacks thoughts on addiction, religion, family heritage, and queer love in the Deep South. The album is full of images that will stick with you, delivered with passionate conviction.


Terminal Nation – Echoes Of The Devil’s Den (20 Buck Spin)

“Fuck every fucking cop that’s ever fucking lived!” Political statements don’t get much more direct and visceral than that. The phrase itself has power, and it gains even more when Terminal Nation deliver it in a guttural hell-demon roar on their song “No Reform (New Age Slave Patrol).” On their second LP, the Arkansas band expands their crushing combination of death metal and hardcore, attaining thundering majesty. The gut-pummeling riffage would be plenty potent on its own, but Terminal Nation are using all that crunch to say something unmistakable.

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