Features Music Year End 2016 Scene Point Blank's Favorites: Year End (2016)

Year End 2016

Music: Scene Point Blank's Favorites: Year End (2016)

16

Oranssi Pazuzu

Värähtelijä

Svart Records/20 Buck Spin

Värähtelijä marks Oranssi Pazuzu’s fourth foray into the outer reaches and the Finnish band pull no punches in creating a record that melds tripped out cosmic rhythms with the distinct aesthetics of modern black metal. Oranssi Pazuzu aren’t your typical Finnish black metal band and with their music they set out to push the boundaries of what the genre should sound like and found themselves a niche. Värähtelijä is a textured, soulful journey into the furthest realms of consciousness, leaving its unsettling imprint for a long time after the music has ended. (Cheryl)

17

Rome

The Hyperion Machine

Trisol Music Group

The prolific nature of Rome shouldn't result in stunning music with each album but somehow Jerome Reuter manages to create narratives and sounds that invoke passion, sadness, joy and despair - often all within the same record. The Hyperion Machine is no different and the stripped back atmosphere of this latest release only adds to its wonderful aura. (Cheryl)

18

Toys That Kill

Sentimental Ward

Recess

It’s nice when your favorite bands surprise you. It took six years for Fambly 42, so I wasn’t ready for Sentimental Ward yet (though apparently it’s already been another four years). Fambly 42 acted like no time had passed and the same holds true here, on Toys That Kill’s fifth full-length release. The four-piece continues playing off kilter pop punk with rhythmic chanty choruses and upbeat sunny vibes that counter the semi-bitter lyrics. It’s pogo punk, music to keep bouncing to regardless of theme or subject. (Loren)

19

Schoolboy Q

Blank Face

Top Dawg

Gangster rap with like, feelings, and stuff. (Nathan)

20

Avvenir

Natural Language

Safety Records

A constantly evolving, consistently interesting experimental soundscape which proves there is solid work being done in the electronic realm beyond the big-name, festival-friendly beatmakers. (Andy)

21

Schammasch

Triangle

Prosthetic Records

The Swiss quartet follow up Contradiction with a triple release consisting of three stunning EPs. Rather than allowing one style of music to take precedent, the band instead give each aspect of their sound time and room to breath and in doing have created an epic and expansive release that only reveals more with time. (Cheryl)

22

Shallow Cuts

Empty Beach Town

No Idea Records

Shallow Cuts is certainly at home on No Idea Records but it’s also got a cleaner focus that pulls away from coarse (read: raspy) vocals and driving beats, instead pulling the tempo back just a step while looking inward at ourselves and outward toward the Pacific Ocean, burrito in hand as the hot sun helps us sweat another hangover away. (Loren)

23

Anxiety

Anxiety

La Vida Es En Mus Discos Punk

Claustrophobic, eerie, freakout art noise from Glasgow. Don't be surprised if every punk band in 2017 sounds like this. (Nathan)

24

Mannequin Pussy

Romantic

Tiny Engines

Picking right up where 2014's Gypsy Pervert left off, the energetic Philadelphia quartet packs 11 tracks into under 18 minutes, unleashing bits of sugary pop gold in between blasts of ear-shredding and at-times downright violent noise punk. (Andy)

25

Neurosis

Fires Within Fires

Neurot Recordings

The experimental and extreme music scenes today would be completely different, probably for the worse, if it was not for the influence that Neurosis have had on numerous bands through the late '90s and early '00s. Starting off as a hardcore punk band in the late '80s, Neurosis went through a perpetual evolution, acquiring additional elements, revealing a plethora of diverse influences, embracing atmosphere and psychedelic tones, revealing an emotional depth, all aspects that were very ahead of their time. Their journey has been a mystical, agonizing path towards enlightenment. And every time you let yourself believe they have reached this goal, they prove you wrong and have another go at it. (Spyros)

26

Leonard Cohen

You Want It Darker

Columbia

With the passing of Leonard Cohen, we find ourselves assuaged with the same sadness and loss as with David Bowie, but thankfully once again a legend was kind enough - while coming to grips with his own mortality, to leave us with his epitaph to give us our own catharsis. Everything we've ever come to love about the man's music is all represented right here. The cadence, the hushed tones, the female vocals, only delivered with more...finality - even talking about his relationships - as Cohen sings on "On The Level", the only song on the album co-written with long-time collaborator Sharon Robinson, "They oughta give my heart a medal for letting go of you, when I turned my back on the devil, turned my back on the angel too." (Kevin)

27

Wedrujacy Wiatr

O turniach, jeziorach i nocnych szlakach

Werewolf Promotion

Polish duo Wedrujacy Wiatr follow up an incredible debut with a record that speaks of Poland's history and folklore and in doing so creates a record that climbs with absolute sorrow and defiant grace. (Cheryl)

28

Low Culture

Places To Hide

Dirtnap

Screens, (2013) was damn near perfect. So what does Low Culture have in store with their second LP? It’s not disappointment, that’s for sure. Places to Hide continues their run of modern garage-punk that’s run through the melody filter and cleaned up of the fuzz and distortion, letting the elemental energy and punk tempo drive the songs while the vocals are clean and, for the most part, are actually sung. The tight rhythm section, which doesn’t let up for a second over the 33-minute album, is the hero here while the dual vocal approach of Chris Mason and Joe Ayoub give that melodic touch to push it over the edge and ahead of the pack. (Loren)

29

Timeless Truth

Cold Wave

Different Worlds

This is on that '90s Polo rugby shirts and goose down jackets tip. Gear up for icy expedition through five boroughs boom-bap nostalgia. (Nathan)

30

Angel Olsen

My Woman

Jagjaguwar

Angel Olsen has been very active since the release of her debut cassette Strange Cacti, revealing a very promising work. Her dark indie folk/rock tone had a haunting effect, which peaked with Half Way Home and the excellent Burn Your Fire For No Witness. The delicate folk tones of Olsen were engulfed by a healthy dose of reverb, ample amount of distortion and a general lo-fi perspective. However, My Woman sees a slight departure from the lo-fi mode, and a more straightforward approach in terms of the production. If you think this album sees a hard turn to pop/rock, do not be alarmed. The soul of Olsen's music has remained untampered, and it proves that she does not need a more extreme production in order to appear interesting. As if we did not know... (Spyros)

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Words by the SPB team on Jan. 16, 2017, 4:53 p.m.

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Scene Point Blank's Favorites: Year End (2016)

Posted on Jan. 16, 2017, 4:53 p.m.

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Pages in this feature:

  1. Records 16-30
  2. Individual Staff Lists
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Series: Year End 2016

Our annual round-up of the best music of the year 2016.

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