Overall Scene Point Blank Top Five (So Far)
- Dinosaur Jr.
- Dear Landlord
1. Coalesce - Ox
Coalesce prove that bands do not have to go soft as they get older nor do "reunion" records always have to be terrible. Ox is everything Coalesce fans could want and shows that the band can not only crank out one nasty record, but they can create what can be considered the best record of the year, at least so far. In any case, it is going to take one hell of a record to knock this album from its current perch on my list.
2. Isis - Wavering Radiant
If Wavering Radiant turns out to be the swan song of Isis, the band has absolutely nothing to be ashamed of with it. Other than dropping off a good track on the US version of the album (The Japanese version contains "Way Through Woven Branches" as a bonus closing track), the album does little wrong. Perhaps a change in producer was completely necessary for Isis because Wavering Radiant is not only much better than its predecessor, it surely proves their deserving to be considered at or near the top of the musical mountain.
3. Nadja / A Storm Of Light - Primitive North
Primitive North is completely impressive; from the music spread of three sides of a double LP set and a CD to the pristine packaging, the split album is an example of how to make a great record. Nadja and A Storm Of Light compliment each other well and add something to their respective partner's material that sheds new light on each band. This album blissfully pummels listeners one moment, and then caustically caresses broken ear drums the next with the droning goodness of Nadja and the crushing metal of A Storm Of Light.
4. Tombs - Winter Hours
5. Supermachiner - Rust
6. Black Moth Super Rainbow - Eating Us
7. Coliseum - Last Wave/ True Quiet
8. End of a Year - End of a Year
9. SunnO))) - Monoliths & Dimensions
10. GREYMACHINE - Vultures Descend
1. Fireworks - All I Have to Offer Is My Own Confusion
I was expecting a lot from Fireworks' first full-length, and they certainly impressed me with how catchy they could really be. I imagine that All I Have to Offer might bring this band to bigger and better things, and they'll deserve it. Regardless of whether you like their style, Fireworks executes their sound to near perfection, and I dare you not to get hooked by more than one song on here.
2. The Rival Mob - Raw Life
This is probably the hardcore record I've listened to the most this year. Another solid Lockin Out release amidst an impressive current slew of Boston bands. Heavy, angry, and full of NYHC hubris, Raw Life hits like a ton of bricks even with only eight tracks for a 12".
3. Ghostlimb/Fischer - Split
Ghostlimb offers up a flawless slice of their fast and raw style, but it's the Fischer side of this split that really caught me. This elusive duo heavily hints at a 90's style that I've always loved, bringing to mind bands like Joan of Arc and Braid. Both groups are in their respective prime states on this effort, and certainly deserve our attention.
4. Cloudkicker - The Map is not the Territory
5. Pink Razors - Leave Alive
6. Diplo - Decent Work for Decent Pay
7. End of a Year ? End of a Year
8. Junior Boys - Begone Dull Care
9. The Appleseed Cast - Sagarmatha
10. Paint It Black - Amnesia
1. Propagandhi - Supporting Caste
This album will seal Propagandhi's place in punk history as one of the greatest bands within the genre. Their lyrics have never been more intelligent than they are on this album. They've also stepped it up a lot as musicians on Supporting Caste. Not to mention, they sound a lot angrier than they ever have before. A must hear for anyone who loves punk rock.
2. Dinosaur Jr. - Farm
Who knew a band that just reunited could create a release so strong? Dinosaur Jr. has always been consistent with their releases but I did not expect them to create what might rank as one of their best albums. Just everything about this album is superb; the riffs, the catchy hooks, the melodies, the vocals. Farm is as close to perfection as it gets.
3. Dear Landlord - Dream Homes
Finally, a band this year from the Midwestern punk crowd makes an album that's beyond expectations. Dream Homes is everything I love about this style of punk rock. The upbeat pop-punk sound mixed with rough vocals (trade-off style, too!) and honest lyrics all make it a fun listen that sticks around for a while. It's this year's From the Bottom.
4. Silversun Pickups - Swoon
5. Thursday - Common Existence
6. Shook Ones - The Unquotable A.M.H.
7. Gallows - Grey Britain
8. Empty Promise - Start from the Ground
9. Mastodon - Crack the Skye
10. Alexisonfire - Old Crows/Young Cardinals
1. El Michels Affair - Enter the 37th Chamber
I'm going to start by saying this came out of left field and became one of my favorites this year. It's a soul/funk instrumental cover album of the Wu-Tang Clan with a dash of Motown sound. Believe me when I say it's amazing, because I usually detest cross-genre covers (i.e. Easy Dub All-Star's Radiodread, a reggae cover of OK Computer, but I'll save that rant for later?)
2. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
If you wanted a thematic summer album for 2009, this is it. It's an incredibly balanced rock and roll album, and you'll be hard pressed to find a structurally or melodically bad song here. Throw this on at your next pool party or any other stereotypical outdoor gathering and enjoy the cool and refreshing instrumentals.
3. Comadre - A Wolf Ticket EP
Like a fine wine, Comadre just continues to get better and better with their melodies and aren't afraid of poppier ventures. However, they've never abandoned their love for chants, and recordings sometimes don't do them justice when you see the energy of the crowds at shows.
4. The Whitest Boy Alive - Rules
5. Iron & Wine - Around The Well
6. Prefuse 73 - Everything She Touched Turned Ampexian
7. The Field - Yesterday and Today
8. Andrew Bird - Noble Beast
9. Kylesa - Static Tensions
10. Hollyweerd - Candy for Kleptos
1. Marked Men - Ghosts
It's not much different from their other records, but something about their concise garage punk is hard to beat.
2. Chinese Telephones - Democracy
This is a posthumous collection from the Milwaukee band that ended too soon.
3. Valina - A Tempo! A Tempo!
So far, this year's best discovery, even if it is a European 2008 release.
4. Foundation - Chimborazo
5. P.O.S. - Never Better
6. Gateway District - Some Days You Get the Thunder
7. Dear Landlord - Dream Homes
8. Rancid - Let the Dominoes Fall
9. Paper Chase - Someday This Could All Be Yours, Vol. 1
10. Brother Ali - The Truth Is Here
1. Propagandhi - Supporting Caste
There's really nothing critical I can say about this album. It ought to go down as one of the absolute best ever, in my opinion. Everything about it is appropriate, punctual, and explosive.
2. Dinosaur Jr. - Farm
The way this band has come back so strong since ending its hiatus is really remarkable, and this album is one of their best. To state it as briefly as possible, this album is an overload of rock.
3. Khanate - Clean Hands Go Foul
I'm not sure where I'd rank this among the rest of their work, but I think it's near the top. Everything about this band's music is shocking and terrifying.
4. Matt & Kim - Grand
5. Make Do and Mend - Bodies of Water
6. Antony & the Johnsons - The Crying Light
7. Husky - The Sea King
8. This Will Destroy You & Lymbyc Systym - Field Studies
9. Agoraphobic Nosebleed - Agorapocalypse
10. The Pine Hill Haints - To Win or to Lose
1. All Teeth - I am Losing
The debut full-length from All Teeth is everything that is right about hardcore. Pure. Unbridled. Pissed-off. Sincere. Unrelenting. This is anger-fueled hardcore at its best.
2. Narrows - New Distances
I had great expectations for Narrows and they've met them with ease. New Distance proves that great songwriters can write outstanding music, no matter the genre. Now I hope their Eastcoast tour comes to my town.
3. Skin Like Iron - All Human Failings
Everything that Skin Like Iron releases is worth my time. Each release pushes the limits of what a hardcore punk record should sound like. They embrace all their influences, no matter how varied they may be, and find a way to marry them perfectly.
4. Isis - Wavering Radiant
5. Gallows - Grey Britain
6. Sonic Youth - The Eternal
7. Disappearer - The Clearing
8. Coalesce - Ox
9. Kylesa - Static Tensions
10. Morrissey - Years of Refusal