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It is now time for Part 2 of my round up. Hopefully you found something nice in the last post, and without further ado:
Larry and His Flask – All That We Know – I reviewed one of Larry’s albums earlier, but their new album blows that one out of the water. It’s got this bluegrass/folk-punk feel to it, and still conveys the band’s raw energy even without the heavier vocals that the earlier albums kind of carried.
Apparently Larry and His Flask absolutely killed it at Warped Tour this year, and I’d believe it. These guys are incredibly talented, and are finally starting to properly establish themselves. Also, a fun bit of trivia: The accordion solo on “Beggars Will Ride” is actually played by the accordion player for Dropkick Murphys.
And So I Watch You From Afar – Gangs – You know, I would throw in a little review of this album, but I kind of feel like Jeph Jacques, from webcomic Questionable Content, summed this up the best with his post on this album: http://jephjacques.com/post/14436851577/my-favorite-albums-of-2011 . Suffice it to say that you want one of those albums that can always put a smile on your face, this is that album. Also, the breakdown on “Think:Breath:Destroy” is one of the best breakdowns ever, hands down.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – I’m With You – Help! It’s in my brain, and I can’t stop listening to this album! But seriously, since this album came out, I’ve probably listened to it at least every other day or two. It’s obvious that the musicians grew between albums, and even though Kiedis’ lyrics are as or more nonsensical than they have been in the past, this album is just solid all around. Flea’s playing continually blows me away, driving all the tracks forward, and the subdued guitar work that Josh Klinghoffer brings to the table adds a really cool dynamic to the album.
This Will Destroy You – Tunnel Blanket – This is one of those recommendations I have to recommend with a caveat. I didn’t like this album the first time I heard it. I was listening at work, through my laptop speakers, and I wasn’t impressed. It wasn’t until the band actually tweeted me and told me to give it another shot that I realized how incredible this album was. It’s a textural masterpiece, as layers of sound build upon each other and eventually reach their crushing conclusion. Good headphones or a wicked sound system are an absolute must for this album, but it’s dark and atmospheric and wonderful if you can get into it.
I’m going back and forth on whether or not to do a “wall of shame” for the next post, because there were a few bands that put out some really disappointing stuff this year, we’ll see. As a whole, I found a ton of great new music this year, and these two posts have only scratched the surface of all the great music out there.
Well, we’re reaching the end of the year, and there were a few album reviews that I didn’t get to but would have liked to, since they were some of my favorite albums this year. As a result, I’m gonna whip together a couple of posts over the next few weeks highlighting some of my top albums of the year. Some of them will be released this year, some of it will be stuff I just happened to find this year, and none of it will be in any sort of order. Enough yammering! Time for musics!
Maybeshewill – I Was Here for a While, Then I Was Gone – Such a good post rock album! I gotta say, I’m not usually one for intro tracks, but Maybeshewill rocks it.
Piano-driven awesomeness abounds on this album, and it’s one of those albums that I can (and have!) listened to on constant repeat.The way that they go from all out, heavy riffage to gentle piano parts and back and forth creates an album that is always an engaging listen. This one comes very highly recommended by me.
Russian Circles – Empros – I believe my comment on twitter about this one was “Do you have ear-holes? Put good things in them and listen to this album!” or something along those lines. If I had to pick a top album for the year, this one would probably be it. Crushing distortion, fantastic drumming, and crazy skilled guitar playing abound on this album. Also, if you ever get the chance, see these guys live, because that was probably one of the best shows I have ever seen, hands down.
Cymbals Eat Guitars – Lenses Alien – Probably the best indie rock album I heard all year, straight up. Fantastic musicianship all around, and catch tunes, led in by the killer “Rifle Eyesight (Proper Name)”. If you only listen to one album to get your indie fix this year, make it this one. Also, Brian (the keyboardist) is super good people, and makes incredibly awesome pedals that I would totally like to purchase someday.
Crotchthrottle – Everything Odder than Everything Else – I have no idea what category to put this album in. It’s not post rock, it’s not electronica, but it has those elements.
It’s…awesome. That’s what it is.It’s even more awesome because it was put together by the talented jrmy from the I <3 Fuzz forums. Fuzzy, filtery goodness oozes from this album, and it’s dirt cheap to boot. Check it.
And this only starts to scratch the surface of the great stuff I came across this year. I’m gonna see what I can do about getting a couple of posts out this week to keep recommending stuff.