The word "best" is a positive one, unless one uses it to describe "best terrorist plot", "best oil spill" or "best dumpster stench". I have not been "up with people" lately, so I thought I would do something positive with my first post after a week burrowing out of the soul searching trenches. I'm gonna kick start my sorry ass back into the world of semi-music journalism by stealing a page from two of my favorite critics, Jim Derogatis and Greg Kot from Chicago Public Radio's Sound Opinions.
They do TWO best albums of the year lists and one falls in June to celebrate the heralded releases up to the halfway point. The December version may or may not stay the same...lots of time left in the year(hell, yes there is...I'm absolutely positive some years are longer than others...2001, 2008 and this one for example.)
Their lists went like this:
LCD Soundsystem- This Is Happening
Gorillaz- Plastic Beach
Broken Bells- self titled
V.V. Brown- Traveling Like the Light
Dessa- A Badly Broken Code
The Besnard Lakes-The Besnard Lakes are the Roaring Night
Janelle Monae-The Arch Android
I love these guys, but I think they forgot that guitars have been around for centuries. Too much chill, not enough thrill. YAWWWNNNN. At least they didn't include that horrible XX record..maybe that was the biggest overhyped mess from last year.
Hey Greg, are you finally getting in touch with your inner R and B? That Janelle Monae record is so overhyped. I'll take a pass, shake my fist instead of my ass. And Jim- you actually said on the show that the Gorillaz record became more relevant to you because of the oil spill....must be the black, thick greasy substance blocking your hearing cuz that record wakes up dead people just to put them back to sleep again.
My list has a few titles I've never even mentioned here before. What gives? I'll tell you what. Sometimes my research takes me underground to shady libraries, or my listening space(usually the car) is full of 4 year old distractions and I forget shit.
1) The Black Keys- Brothers: I didn't think they could top Attack and Release, but "Next Girl", "I'm Not the One" and "Sinister Kid" are slick greasy blues genius.
2) High On Fire- Snakes For the Divine- So beautifully, crushingly loud and Matt Pike has never sounded better...no, not his 9 string wizardry..the dude can sort of sing now. I'm feelin' his pain. "Bastard Samurai" and the immense "Fire, Flood and Plague" have taken me there. Makes me feel like grabbing my rusty mace and saying "Hey bloodthirsty demigod, you wanna take this outside?"
3)Blitzen Trapper-Destroyer of the Void. The bizarre title really belongs in the Surf/Skate/Gamer/80s metal category...but this second release from the Oregon boys really taps into the blissful laid back rhythms of a hike into the wilderness of a wandering soul.
4) Ted Leo- The Brutalist Bricks- Ted's taut set of unglossy but brainy power pop is tasty aerobics for lazy hipsters.
5) Dillinger Escape Plan- Option Paralysis : Aggressive lessons from Jersey Mathcore masters. Vocalist Greg Puciato is unstoppable in delivery and range.
6) Deftones- Diamond Eyes- blasting back from oblivion after the near death of their bass player Chi Cheng, the Sacramento quintet deliver a stunning array of dreamy beauty and a maelstrom of massive riffage to let anybody know that what didn't kill them made them stronger.
My other Favs so far:
7)Midlake- The Courage of Others: into the woods we go.
8)Howl-Full of Hell: deep dungeon breaths of brutal truths so heavy they could knock the sun down.
9)Stone Temple Pilots: These guys still make perfect radio rock songs, without the cheese covering.
10) Iwrestledabearonce- indescribable "_____core" with one of a kind vocalist Krysta Cameron channeling Bjork from the depths of hell.
So its almost July, and I'm glad these albums were introduced to me at a tough time in my life..music soothes the savage beast in all of us..I'm really looking forward to new releases from The Sword, Early Man, Danzig, Night Horse and Dead Confederate coming real soon.