Holy shit. I get to do a best of list. One that some people will actually read!
For those who may be interested, here are 2 zipped mp3 folders of my favourite tracks off of each album listed (with the obvious exception of the let-downs). We'll call this "The Year That Was So Good It Forced Me To Pursue My Lifelong Dream Of Starting A Record Label", or TYTWSGIFMTPMLDOSARL for short. hehehe.
Download Top 20 LPs Mix here.
Download Top 10 EPs, 6 splits and singles Mix here.
So let's begin with the biggest letdowns of the year. These weren't necessarily bad albums, they just were not what I was hoping for. And sometimes bad. These are not in any particular odour.
-the last cd was my favourite. this cd has only 2 tracks I've listen to again. expanding your sound doesn't necessarily make it better.
GIFTS FROM ENOLA
-a good album, but I expected this to be the best LP of year, and in my opinion their music lost much its draw. the spacey, firefox-sounding guitar trips are pretty much nonexistent. too much focus on mediocre vocals.
- the 3 discs weren't worth even $3 each, unless you need every demo/live/alternate version, none of which excited me. it's not an album, i get it - but i wish i didn't buy it.
-they finally made an album that I didn't purchase. it's not bad, but they really moved away from the style of theirs that I like best. NOT crushing. NOT catchy. NOT amazing. just mediocre.
SAVES THE DAY
-a big step-down from 'Daybreak'. much too poppy for my liking. my first kickstarter support - oops.
-boring. after my favourite release by the band, this cd was mediocre at best. i hate the 80s...generally.
single (if you missed it, download 18 tracks from EPs, splits and singles here)
CHARLIE DAY - Paddy's Pub (1 and 2) from It's 'Always Sunny In Philadelphia' linked here ("I Like Live at Paddy's Pub") and here ("Go Fuck Yourself").
-these mp3s were mixed down because the songs in the show are not only hilarious, but very well-written. the first song was written sober as a jingle for the pub and the second song was performed live during the pub competition for judging while Charlie is tripping out on . Do yourself a favour and listen to his descent into madness. The second song is one of my 5 favourite songs of the year, for sure.
1 - TEL FYR / TODOS CAERAN
-this split was the tops. TODOS CAERAN wrote tracks with a depth not heard in previous works. TEL FYR = Joshua Fit For Battle + Buried Inside.
2 - TRACHIMBROD / SORE EYELIDS
-two of Sweden's shoegaze kings. TRACHIMBROD breaks the mold of their La Quiete/Suis La Lune and establishes a niche in catchy/poppy/trippy/screamo shoegaze. SORE EYELIDS are turning heads everywhere and share a member with the country's most established screamo act, Suis La Lune.
3 - CREEPER / CANYONS
-both of these bands were catapulted from mild interests to I shit myself when I hear them mentioned. CREEPER = thrashy, dirty hardcore with Converge tendencies. CANYONS
4 - DELOS / YUSUKE
-suprise7" that I had no idea about in 2012. DELOS continues to impress as the up and coming German screamo band. YUSUKE are on a similar path but hail from the US.
5 - LOMA PRIETA / RAEIN
-Loma brings 4 tracks that take a blowtorch to anything else the band has recorded. Raein continues to mix the screamy with the downright catchy as hell. that's not a sentence.
6 - HUE / ATHELAS
-HUE steals this split. mathy/jazzy rock from Japan. sometimes has screamo vocals.
1 - ICE HOCKEY - The Way it is Now (listen to "Bugcatcher" here)
*holy shit, where did this come from? Mara'akate meets Ten Grand.
2 - VOYAGE IN COMA - Further (watch "Further" music video here)
*dropped an insanely melodic and heavy masterpiece. then broke up.
3 - CARRION SPRING - Indiscretions Vol.1 (listen to "Give Blood" here)
*a strong showing for a band that lost a core member. abrasive, chaotic and throat-shredding.
4 - MOXIEBEAT - Moxiebeat (listen to "Dead Words" here)
*2 bassists, 2 guitarists, 3 vocalists, 1 drummer (that sounds like 2). ridiculous west coast thrashy/mathy hardcore.
5 - FOR WANT OF - Smoke (listen to "Mentors" here)
*a marked improvement over their last EP, which had only 1 killer song. great artwork, live show, fellas and screamo/hardcore style that recalls the days of Yaphet Kotto and Hot Cross.
6 - TENTALCES - Cogito Mori (listen to "Mystic Furnace" here)
*on the brink of collapse, TENTACLES recorded their most destructive sounds thus far. this might kill you.
7 - ØJNE - Undici/Dodici (listen to "Milano/Ogni Primavera" here)
*phenomenal Italian screamo. this is my La Quiete while there's no new La Quiete.
8 - RAYLEIGH - Rayleigh (listen to "Drones" here)
*emo-violence influenced thrash/sludge/hardcore. members of Mahria.
9 - YOUTH FUNERAL - Symptom of Time (listen to "Lovesick" here)
*a pulverizing debut. think Loma Prieta meets Capacities.
10- FRAMEWORKS - Small Victories (watch "Old Chokes" music video here)
*extremely passionate and screamy hardcore. pumped beyond belief for an LP.
lps (download the 20-song mix here)
(((01))) - MUTOID MAN - Helium Head (listen to "Gnarcissist" here)
brodsky. way heavier than I expected. unrelenting/technical rock/metal/thrash slashslashslash with some love.
(((02))) - BIG DICK - Big Dick (listen to "Too Hot to Trot" here)
bass and drums duo not unlike DFA1979. amazing/versatile. album was way better than I could have hoped for.
(((03))) - LEER - springbreaknoparents (listen to "As Cool As An Attempted Suicide" here)
came out of nowhere. screamo meets hella melodica. new find of the year
(((04))) - SED NON SATIATA - Mappo (listen to "Extrospection" here)
their best output since 2007. sound perfected. beautiful, epic screamo/rock for europe.
(((05))) - LORD SNOW - Solitude (listen to "Dark Cloud" here)
amazing people. probably the highest ranked record on most screamy blogs. jeromes dream and louise cyphre influenced ear-fuck.
(((06))) - EDHOCHULI - Edhochuli (watch "Totally Caveman" live here)
rock/metal/screaming insanity. best show of 2013. band constantly melts my face.
(((07))) - GILLIAN CARTER - Lost Ships Sinking with the Sunset (listen to "Sinking With the Sunset" here)
this band turned a corner - to amazingness. you need to hear this 10". City Of Caterpillar meets State Faults.
(((08))) - JUNGBLUTH - Part Ache (listen to "Looks Like Freedom" here)
crushing. melodic. angry.
(((09))) - SECRET SMOKER - Terminal Architecture (listen to "Part-Time Retail" here)
wow. tickles the punk rock/screamo bone like no other. i love Billy.
(((10))) - PORTUGAL THE MAN - Evil Friends (watch "Atomic Man" music video here)
best record they've released since 'Church Mouth'. the lyrical soundtrack to my year. rock/pop genius.
(((11))) - AMBER - Lovesaken (listen to "Lovesaken" here)
final recording with Anna on vocals. beautiful/crushing post-hardcore, rock and metal. fans of Isis, Neurosis, Pelican and The Alaskan have already worn their copy of the record out, most likely.
(((12))) - CAPACITIES - There is No Neutral (listen to "Academic Flexing" here)
Schlatter is one of my 5 dieties. this record shows the band at their most caustic/epic. 8 tracks of unrelenting, blistering screamy hardcore.
(((13))) - DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN - One of Us is the Killer (watch "One of Us is the Killer" music video here)
my interest was waning, and is now peaked. this album brought the band back as one of the most interesting/talented groups in music. best album since "Miss Machine".
(((14))) - KEN MODE - Entrench (watch "Secret Vasectomy" music video here)
pisssed off yet soft spoken thrash/hardcore/metal veterans. a plethora of amazing music videos. this album is their "We Are The Romans" = masterpiece.
(((15))) - QOTSA - ...Like Clockwork (watch "If I Had a Tail" music video here)
thank fucking god. their previous album was my least favourite by a long shot, but this has 4 of the band's strongest songs ever. a matured but still kickass Homme.
(((16))) - TOTEM SKIN - Still Waters Run Deep (listen to "Kargt Landskap" here)
one of my favourite new bands. Dog Knights slapped us in the face with these Swedes, who were already around for 2 previous releases. an aural assault, plain and simple.
(((17))) - LAURA STEVENSON & THE CANS - The Wheel (listen to "The Wheel" here)
that voice, my god that voice. a much more consistent album than her last. in 5-10 years she may be an icon.
(((18))) - 12XU - On Largue Les Amarres (listen to "Terre D'inconnus" here)
the Daitro fellas easily topped their previous band Baton Rouge. almost 20 Randy meets Daitro garage/indie tracks with hints of older scream.
(((19))) - DESCUBRIENDO A MR. MIME - ...Y Ya No Me Quedan Dentes Por Arrancarme (listen to "Ʒyre" here)
massive surprise. these Spaniards blew me away with this LP and the beautiful packaging. european screamy hardcore.
(((20))) - MANSIONS - Doom Loop (listen to "Falling Down" here)
after a disappointing first listen, I warmed up to this. rock/indie/fuzz pop. "falling down" = best soft song of the year.
Albums that I've heard that you need to watch out for in 2014.
*1* CASSILIS - Quitting
-this was officially my favourite record of 2013, but it won't be released until early next year. the best thing they've ever done by a long shot. "God Hair" = My favourite track of the year.
*2* LA PARADE - Voces Del Exilio
-this debut cd/LP is so full of talent, energy and creativity that I'm still reeling. the perfect combination of anger and beauty. Check the teaser here and music video here.
*3* AMBER / LOCKTENDER - Split 7"
-this split is going to turn a lot of heads. holy shit. there is a sample of one of the tracks NOT on the 7" that WILL be appearing on the Zegema Beach Records Zampler #2 on Jan 1st here.
*4* NOUS ETIONS - LP
-I heard this last night and I shit my pants. Sed Non Satiata meets Amber/Alaskan vocals. bandcamp page here, but I must say the material is much stronger than what is posted.
*5* FOR WANT OF - Grit 7"
-if you liked 'Smoke', you'll love this. careful, it will nearly take your head off, as most melodic/softer parts have been abandoned for pure fury. bandcamp page here.