Friday, December 18, 2009

Year in Review 2009 - Top 10 Albums Part 2

In retrospect this year produced some killer music and a few really great full length offerings.  Lots of established artists and virgins newbies put out valiant efforts, so like everyone and their grandmother I came up with a Top Ten List from the past 12 months.  No live albums, box-sets or re-releases were harmed, or even considered for this list, Feel free to voice your opinions vigorously.
 A lot of these albums I have already reviewed for Glide or other sites, so when that is the case I will link to my full review and try to say something else about the album here, because over the course of the year feelings can/do change on things.  Oh and give the groups some love by grabbing their albums, or even better, get up off your ass and see them live when they come around.

10-6 After the jump..

10. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
The Pains of Being Pure At Heart

This album just eeked out a spot over Girls and I did go back and fourth, but for what the album tries to convey, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart succeeds.  Power/Pop/inde with a bit of bite, sounding straight out of 1984 doesn’t normally do it for me, and their Smith/Jesus and Mary Chain obsession is obvious, but there is a sense of eager love here as opposed to jumping on the new wave revival train and riding it for bucks.  The low end really saves it and I will admit I am curious to see where they go next.
(Full Review Here)



9. Power Move
Screaming Females
While TPOBPAH sneak attacked me and won my admiration, Screaming Females are right in my wheelhouse and really captured my ear in 2009; I will eagerly be following their moves in 2010.  A rip roaring combo of Sleater-Kinney, The Meat Puppets and Dinosaur Jr. the trio can be gutturally raw one moment before rocking the arena the next.  Marissa Paternoster is a force of nature on guitar and vocals slicing screeching solos like a hot needle through the iris.  A friend of mine Jenn Pelly did a bang up job with a Screaming Females profile for Rolling Stone, give it a read.


8. Humbug
Arctic Monkey’s
Humbug is the album on this list I have spent the least time with admittedly, but it kicked me in the nuts right away.  If Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not is their going out partying record and Favourite Worst Nightmare is their after hours club late night get down joint, Humbug plays as the hangover/come down “just what the hell am I doing?!” effort.  There is a bit of growing up here, but you got the sense from when they started they couldn’t wait to have some experience under their belts.  “Cornerstone” is a great song and shows Alex Turner's amazing writing style, at this moment it is my favorite song of the year, and not just because we boozed it up with the boys after their NYC show...


7. Love and Curses
Reigning Sound
Worlds rejoice; Greg Cartwright has graced us with another Reigning Sound album.  I think this group is criminally underrated and loved this new offering.  Solid 50’s style power/garage/pop with a heavy focus on the organ this go around produces another winner.  While I jones for Greg and the gang to get a bit louder and messier I will take the precision of “The Bells”, “Polly Anne” and “Debris” any day of the week and twice on a drunk Friday.
(Full Review Here)



6.  Monoliths & Dimensions
Sun 0)))
This is completely engaging drone, and yes, I know that is an oxymoron to some people.  Sun 0))) has produced such an amazing record with Monoliths & Dimensions that it is hard to verbally describe; you need to feel this one.  When I first heard it (not being familiar with anything more then the groups Warlock shtick on stage, and I'm in no rush to see them live by the way) I almost giggled at the death priest vocals in the first track “Aghartha”.  I still think it is the weakest of the 4 tracks, but it sets a tone and as the album progresses (culminating in the astonishingly fantastic “Alice”) the aurora, simplicity and power overwhelm.  It produces an insane effect on the brain; something darkly beautiful on a visceral level.  One of the hardest albums released this year to explain and one most people either instantly get or can’t understand its appeal.  That’s OK, because music is vibrations and feeling at its fundamental root and Monoliths & Dimensions understands this.

5-1 coming soon....


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