Archive for 'Year In Review'

Best of 2015

Top Singles of 2015
1. CCTV CCTV 7″
2. Vexx Give And Take 7″
3. Galcher Lustwerk Parlay 12″
4. Beatrice Dillon Face A/B 12″
5. Lutto Lento Whips 12″
6. Nhk Yx Koyxen Hallucinogenic Doom Steppy Verbs 12″
7. Perc Gob 12″
8. Mystic Inane Eggs Onna Plate 7″
9. Shed Constant Power 12″
10. Dynamo Dreesen, SVN & A Made Up Sound Untitled 12″
11. Asda Three Tracks 10″
12. Powell Sylvester Stallone 12″
13. Golden Teacher Sauchiehall Enthrall 12″
14. Sheer Mag II 7″
15. Lime Crush Lime Crush 7″
16. Snakepiss Arson 12″
17. Frau Mira 7″
18. Chaperone Pond 12″
19. DJ Jus-Ed & Move D Brothers EP 2×12″
20. Sacred Product $ A Ride 12″

Honorable Mention:
Archie Pelago Clammy Customer EP 12″
Joey Anderson 1974 12″
Violence Creeps I’m Broke / Gridlock 7″ flexi
Zadig Kern Space Adventures Ep #2 12″
Patsy Tuley-Tude High 7″

Top Albums of 2015
1. Daughn Gibson Carnation
2. L.O.T.I.O.N. Digital Control And Man’s Obsolescence
3. Helena Hauff Discreet Desires
4. MB / OD Shplittin’ The Shtones
5. Institute Catharsis
6. Goatsnake Black Age Blues
7. Hieroglyphic Being & J.I.T.U. Ahn-Sahm-Buhl We Are Not The First
8. Egyptrixx Transfer Of Energy [Feelings Of Power]
9. Mike Cooper Fratello Mare
10. CP / BW Untitled
11. Kerridge Always Offended Never Ashamed
12. Marching Church This World Is Not Enough
13. ADMX-71 Coherent Abstractions
14. Kurt Vile b’lieve i’m goin down
15. US Girls Half Free
16. Rupert Clervaux & Beatrice Dillon Studies I-XVII For Samplers And Percussion
17. Grimes Art Angels
18. Dawn Of Humans Slurping At The Cosmos Spine
19. Royal Headache High
20. November Növelet The World In Devotion

Honorable Mention:
Richard Papiercuts If
Vainio & Vigroux Peau Froide, Léger Soleil
Greymouth Greymouth
The Coneheads L​.​P​.​1. Aka 14 Year Old High School PC​-​Fascist Hype Lords Rip Off Devo For The Sake Of Extorting $​$​$ From Helpless Impressionable Midwestern Internet Peoplepunks L​.​P​.
Cairo Pythian Touched

Holy moly, let’s flush this year down the toilet and start fresh! Thankfully there has been some great music to help us suffer through it, although everyone always says “Wow, so much great music this year!” and it’s kind of a pointless thing to say because there is great new music every year. I thought Vexx was going to be the best live band I’d see in 2015 (nothing can stop Vexx but Vexx itself), second year in a row, but then Goatsnake quietly decided to do a few East Coast dates and utterly melted my mind, as each band member’s sheer perfection at their craft added up to something beyond perfection, some sort of godly event no human deserved to witness. I’m serious! I also loved watching Marching Church’s drunken performance, although I probably enjoyed one of the Ian Mackayes in the band shushing the crowd during Norman Westberg’s opening set even more. And of course, RIP, Scott Weiland.

CCTV CCTV 7″ (Lumpy)
The NWI punk scene (that’s “Northwest Indiana”, believe it or not) has been responsible for an overflowing cornucopia of top-shelf punk music this year, mostly at the hands of one Mark Winter and his friends. The Coneheads certainly got the most recognition (the dreaded “people outside of the immediate underground punk scene taking notice and giving praise” scenario), but this 7″ by CCTV is its finest export thus far. I first heard this band from a freakin’ Tumblr MP3 link and was immediately hooked, and this four-song EP builds on that wonderfully, exhibiting ultra-speedy undistorted new-wave punk that instantly worms its way into your brain. It’s proof that a thoughtful four-track recording will forever out-do laptop recording software (or even most studios), and that no matter what the musical climate, there will always be amazing weirdos doing what they wanna do all by themselves.

Daughn Gibson Carnation (Sub Pop)
I willingly acknowledge that I am probably Daughn Gibson’s biggest fan, but even with full awareness of that fact, where was the rest of the world when Carnation came out? It’s not even that the vast majority of indie critics and radio DJs and bloggers who loved All Hell hated on Carnation, it’s that no one even seemed to acknowledge its existence at all. Fucking SPIN lists Daughn as one of their “artists to watch” or whatever and then doesn’t even review the follow-up to his Sub Pop debut! I suppose that’s a not-totally-unexpected outcome for a record as singularly-minded and fearless as this, carving out an entirely separate path from whatever people expected of Daughn Gibson and breaking into territory I can only assume the world will eventually catch up to. The whole record exists in a mist of sad longing, while each track takes on a different role, like eleven fascinatingly different movies from the same director, all rich with their own bent characters, evocative moods and all-too-real human emotion. I must’ve listened to “For Every Bite” a hundred times this year, and each time it made me feel like I was Charles Bronson, walking into a bar where ZZ Top is playing pool and George Thorogood is pouring shots, fresh from the revenge-murder of the thugs who kidnapped my daughter. What do you want music to do for you if not that?

Best of 2014

Top Singles of 2014
1. Powell Club Music 12″
2. Morgan Buckley Shout Out To All The Weirdos In Rathmines 12″
3. Sheer Mag Sheer Mag 7″
4. Demdike Stare Testpressing #005 12″
5. Priests Bodies And Control And Money And Power 12″
6. St. Julien St. Julien 12″
7. Portable Surrender 12″
8. Impalers Psychedelic Snutskallar 12″
9. Pang Young Professionals 7″
10. Oren Ambarchi Stacte Karaoke 12″
11. Lil Ugly Mane The Weeping Worm download
12. Frau Punk Is My Boyfriend 7″
13. Lumpy And The Dumpers Gnats In The Pissa 7″
14. Dan Trevitt The Missing 12″
15. Mark Pritchard Untitled 12″
16. Henrik Schwarz Masse Remixes III 12″
17. Vladislav Delay Ripatti 03 12″
18. Galcher Lustwerk Nu Day 12″
19. Karenn Sheworks 006 12″
20. Samuel Kerridge Deficit Of Wonder 12″

Honorable Mention:
Donato Dozzy Terzo Giorno 12″
DJ Richard Nailed To The Floor 12″
Helmer Sated 12″
Modus Adderf Arreug 12″
Gary Wrong Group Floods Of Fire 12″

Top Albums of 2014
1. Vessel Punish, Honey
2. Riff Raff Neon Icon
3. Iceage Plowing Into The Field Of Love
4. Total Control Typical System
5. Watery Love Decorative Feeding
6. Gazelle Twin Unflesh
7. Beau Wanzer Untitled
8. Julian Casablancas & The Voidz Tyranny
9. Steve Gunn Way Out Weather
10. Andy Stott Faith In Strangers
11. Pharmakon Bestial Burden
12. Cold World How The Gods Chill
13. Actress Ghettoville
14. Siobhan Southgate
15. Lee Gamble Koch
16. Objekt Flatland
17. Moodymann Moodymann
18. The Jazz June After The Earthquake
19. Boston Strangler Fire
20. Torn Hawk Let’s Cry And Do Pushups At The Same Time

Honorable Mention:
Predator The Complete Earth
Lucy Churches Schools And Guns
Ivy Ivy
Golden Pelicans Golden Pelicans
Hank Wook And The Hammerheads Stay Home

Another year down the drain, and while my advanced age surely has something to do with my perception of time, I swear they’re moving faster than ever. Anyway, I figured I’d take a quick moment to acknowledge some other year-end favorites that weren’t music releases, while I’m at it. The best book I read this year was Lindsay Hunter’s “Ugly Girls”, a dark and complex vision of American misery. The best live band I saw this year was Vexx, who came through with such a frenzy of passion and energy that it made me feel silly by comparison (coming to the East Coast in 2015, I can only hope!). And of course, the best live video of 2014 goes to Lumpy And The Dumpers with the poignant and touching clip known as “Boy Hit By Fireworks In NYC”.

Powell Club Music 12″ (Diagonal)
As you probably know, I listen to a ton of underground experimental techno, and while I truly enjoy it, most of the time I’m just waiting around for someone like Powell to show up and twist my head around completely with his left-field, entirely original take on electronic dance music. There’s really no place to file Powell besides “Diagonal Records”, the label he owns and operates, and while it’s great that he has created his own scene entirely, it’s even greater that the music is as zany, uninhibited, banging and severe as Club Music. Synths bubble, samples sword-fight each other, beats drop and never return, and the concept of linear music is diverted, teased and avoided entirely, much to my delight. After retroactively checking out his earlier EPs (they’re all killer too, but not as killer as Club Music), it seems like Powell is poised to take over 2015 if he wants it.

Vessel Punish, Honey (Tri Angle)
Alright, quick caveat: the decision to rank Vessel’s Punish, Honey over Riff Raff’s Neon Icon wasn’t an easy one, as Neon Icon probably provided me more musical entertainment than anything else this year, and I never reviewed it simply because once I start talking about this record, it’s nearly impossible to stop. That said, Vessel has rightly claimed the top spot, as no other album this year was as cohesive, inventive, stark, pounding, twisted and downright astonishing as Punish, Honey. Using a set of homemade electronics to create these varied-yet-consistent tracks, it’s as if Vessel was trying to clone humans and just ended up with mutated human flesh, like a foot with an ear on it scampering across the floor as a hairy belly with a face looks on from the operating table. It’s more epic than metal, more brutal than power-violence, more alien than Shackleton, and you can still shake your ass to it. Just let me hibernate with this record and come knock on my door once it’s warm out again.