Feb 27 2011, 23:14

I. End of year lists
II. Albums I listened to (plus those I deleted)
III. EPs, splits and singles I listened to
IV. Albums I didn't get to
V. EPs, splits and singles I didn't get to

Thanks to anyone who reads this. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

I. TOP 20 LPs OF 2011!

1. Radiohead – The King of Limbs
2. Touché Amoré – Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me
3. Africa Hitech – 93 Million Miles
4. Thursday – No Devolución
5. Trap Them – Darker Handcraft
6. Shabazz Palaces – Black Up
7. Battles – Gloss Drop
8. Colin Stetson – New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges
9. James Blake – James Blake
10. Bon Iver - Bon Iver
11. St. Vincent - Strange Mercy
12. Andrew Jackson Jihad - Knife Man
13. Braids - Native Speaker
14. Funeral for a Friend - Welcome Home Armageddon
15. Mogwai - Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will
16. Defeater - Empty Days & Sleepless Nights
17. Death Grips - Exmilitary
18. Zomby - Dedication
19. The Antlers - Burst Apart
20. Balam Acab - Wander / Wonder

And Honourable Mentions!

All Pigs Must Die - God Is War
Animals as Leaders - Weightless
BadBadNotGood - BBNG
La Dispute - Wildlife
Russian Circles - Empros

EPs, Splits, Singles

O Pioneers!!! / Andrew Jackson Jihad - Split
Campaign - Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice!
Burial & Four Tet & Thom Yorke - Ego / Mirror
Circle Takes the Square - Decompositions, Volume I - Chapter 1: Rites of Initiation
Between the Buried and Me - The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues

Top 5 Disappointments (based on personal interest, general hype, etc.)

Protest the Hero - Scurrilous
The Strokes - Angles
The Taxpayers - To Risk So Much for One Damn Meal
Panda Bear - Tomboy
Thrice - Major/Minor

II. Album Reviews

Ewajin - Beat Therapy (IDM, ambient, experimental)
yeah this is only here as shameless self-promotion, but I did put it out this year! download it for free at ewajin.bandcamp.com, help a nigga out

Beatnik - The 90's (electronic, instrumental hip-hop)
buddy-promotion. minimal and rhythmic, with some surprising melodic turns. he's stubborn and won't upload his music to the internet for whatever reason (laziness), but i will upload this album to mediafire at some point and link it here (assuming i get his permission).

Braids - Native Speaker (experimental, dream pop)
Great debut, hints of Animal Collective circa Feels, only maybe not as inviting (lots of weird, slightly unsettling vocal effects). Vocals are a mix of Panda Bear and Kate Bush.

Mogwai - Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will (post-rock)
At this point, they're preaching to the choir. But I am the choir. An economic and to-the-point Mogwai album. Also digging the increased krautrock influence.

Protest the Hero - Scurrilous (progressive metal)
Somewhat underwhelming considering the leaps they've made with their sound since they started (from punk/post-hardcore beginnings to progressive metal masters to cheesier prog-metal). I may need to listen to it more, but so far it hasn't grabbed my attention like Kezia did, or even like Fortress did. Also Rody's lyrical contributions kind of suck, sorry Rody I still love your vocals.

Radiohead - The King of Limbs (alternative/experimental rock)
So divisive! I happen to think it's great, one of their best actually. At least as good as Kid A.

Radiohead - TKOL RMX 1234567 (IDM, post-dubstep, remix of Radiohead's The King of Limbs)
Some great tracks (from Caribou, Jacques Greene, Lone, Pearson Sound) and some forgettable ones (Mark Pritchard's two takes on "Bloom" are especially disappointing given his outstanding work with Africa Hitech this year). Overall I'd say this is worth checking out if you dig The King of Limbs' peculiar artstep vibes and wanted to get into some of the better artists the scene has to offer.

The Taxpayers - To Risk So Much for One Damn Meal (ska/folk punk)
Less scuzz/noise and more horns than their last album. I prefer their last album, it stuck out more in the somewhat bloated folk punk genre. They've lost that gritty lo-fi production that made them sound like a punk band trapped at the US-Mexico border at the turn of the 20th century, opting instead for a cleaner sound this time.

Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie xx - We're New Here (dubstep, remix of Gil Scott-Heron's 2010 album I'm New Here)
I was a little hesitant to like this at first, but that's because of the "dubstep" tag really. Now that I'm over that, this album is pretty good, and works well as a companion piece for the late Gil Scott-Heron's great 2010 album I'm New Here. Note that not every Gil Scott-Heron sample here comes from I'm New Here, and Jamie xx frequently makes use of samples from other artists, but the structure of the album roughly follows that of I'm New Here.

Funeral for a Friend - Welcome Home Armageddon (post-hardcore, emo)
A VERY welcome return to form. Revisiting their post-hardcore roots with a much more mature sense of songwriting. Less Snow Patrol and more Samiam, the way this band should be.

Colin Stetson - New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges (experimental/avant-garde, drone-jazz)
Never heard anything like this. It's drone-y and rhythmic (in an IDM kinda way) and really dark but that isn't even half of why I love it utterly. One of those albums that just sounds like the end of the world.

James Blake - James Blake (post-dubstep, R&B)
Very soulful, melancholy stuff, amazing sense of intimacy for such an electronic-reliant sound. Dubstep for lonely nights at home. More similar to his Klavierwerke EP than any of his other ones.

Lucy - Wordplay For Working Bees (IDM, experimental)
Sounds a lot like the stuff Aphex Twin and Autechre were putting out in the early 90's (right down to the song titles), with more focus on driving rhythm than melody. Works well as cooking music.

Frank Ocean - nostalgia, ULTRA (R&B, soul)
Imagine Drake, but better.

This Will Destroy You - Tunnel Blanket (post-rock, drone)
Really seems like the logical conclusion to the kind of crescendo-core post-rock that bands like Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky and Godspeed You! Black Emperor have made their names with. As with all drone music, it demands your full attention, but I can handle drone if it's bathed in glorious, gorgeous melody like on this album. Hopefully, bands will learn from This Will Destroy You's example and tweak with the post-rock formula (even just a smidgen) instead of attempting to write The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place Pt. 2.

The Strokes - Angles (garage rock/new wave revival)
I don't really like this band in "new wave" mode, and sadly they seem stuck in it on this latest offering. Definitely not as endearing and likable as they were on Is This It or even Room on Fire. They are at least still fun and catchy, and Albert Hammond, Jr. continues to rock dat axe.

Nicolas Jaar - Space Is Only Noise (minimal, deep house)
I'm having trouble reconciling the fact that I really like this album a LOT, when Matthew Dear's album from last year, Black City, which Space Is Only Noise has drawn some comparisons to, failed to impress me in any way. Maybe I should revisit it. In any case, there are a lot of tracks here that just fucking blow me away ("Être", "Space Is Only Noise If You Can See").

Thursday - No Devolución (alternative rock, post-hardcore)
Thursday have finally made their indie/post-rock/post-hardcore hybrid work where recent efforts failed. I really like the emphasis on the keyboards this time around, and the rhythm section is really strong too. It's honestly a tough call between this and Full Collapse for their best album.

Panda Bear - Tomboy (experimental/electronic)
A few standout tracks ("You Can Count on Me", "Alsatian Darn"), but overall this really isn't up to the standard Panda Bear set for himself with the fantastic Person Pitch. Something about the mix, it's too muddy and thick. No space for the songs to breathe at all, and they're gasping for air.

Yuck - Yuck (alternative rock, shoegaze)
There's no denying Yuck's ability to make catchy, well-written tunes that evoke the lo-fi slackadaisical stylings of obvious influences Pavement and Guided by Voices. This debut reminds me of a similarly backward-looking debut from last year, Surfer Blood's fantastic Astro Coast. But that album has a certain giddiness that hooks you in and doesn't let go until the last track, where Yuck's debut runs out of steam about halfway through.

Trap Them - Darker Handcraft (chaotic hardcore, crust/grindcore)
Pretty similar in tone to Converge's latest two albums, No Heroes and Axe to Fall. Like, really similar. But this isn't just mimicry; Darker Handcraft has a punkier, crustier edge to it, making it a refreshing reinterpretation of Converge's recent direction (it also helps that Kurt Ballou produced this).

The Antlers - Burst Apart (slowcore, alternative rock)
A terrific follow-up to the cult smash 2009 release Hospice, which can be a bit of a slog to get through if you are not in the mood for it. Not so with this new one, which sometimes reminds me a little of OK Computer (especially "Parentheses", which really does sound like "Climbing Up the Walls"). Thankfully they infuse enough of their own personality into it (via Peter Silberman's vocals mostly) to keep it from sounding like a rehash.

Battles - Gloss Drop (experimental rock)
In my opinion, losing Tyondai Braxton was the best thing that could have happened to this band. While his vocal manipulations helped characterize Mirrored, they also made it needlessly strange, an exercise in weirdness for its own sake. With him out of the way, I can focus on the instrumentals, and they're as tight and ballsy as ever. Really digging the bright, punchy production on this too.

Death Grips - Exmilitary (hip-hop, experimental)
The loudest, most obnoxious and most off-putting album of the year. luv it

Tyler, the Creator - Goblin (hip-hop, swag)
The backlash for this album kind of surprised me, and I can't help but feel like (as always) it has more to do with the hype (and a misunderstanding of Tyler's personality) than the music itself. Goblin was never going to be some genre-defining album of the century, and that expectation has really undermined just how unique this album really is. For all its flaws (one-gear sound, general immaturity in the lyrics), this is brave and uncompromising stuff.

Shabazz Palaces - Black Up (hip-hop, experimental)
Very strange, kind of reminds me of Gonjasufi's LP from last year. Dark and paranoid-sounding. Find myself coming back to this a lot as I become more familiar with it.

The Joy Formidable - The Big Roar (alternative rock, shoegaze)
A fine debut from this Welsh neo-shoegaze trio. Upon initial listens I couldn't shake the idea that this band was just a hipster-friendly version of Paramore, and while that is (somewhat) the case, I eventually came to the realization that I really don't have a big problem with Paramore in the first place, and neither should YOU.

Giles Corey - Giles Corey (shoegaze, folk)
The aural equivalent of creepypasta, a description that will either intrigue you or lead you to denounce this album as "try-hard". It's refreshing to hear a concept album that lets the concept serve and inform the music, instead of the other way around. If you're familiar with related act Have a Nice Life, expect a similar kind of ghostly production but with a more stripped-down approach to songwriting and instrumentation.

Touché Amoré - Parting The Sea Between Brightness And Me (post-hardcore, screamo)
FUcking phenomenal post-hardcore. Get this if you like passionate, honest music in the vein of Full Collapse-era Thursday. Features cleaner production, more direct lyrics, and stronger songwriting than their debut, ...to the Beat of a Dead Horse.

Timber Timbre - Creep On Creepin' On (experimental folk)
Kind of bluesy/glammy. Reminds me of T. Rex's Electric Warrior, but where that record's darkness was always percolating beneath the surface, Timber Timbre expose and indulge in it. This guy has a great voice too. Sometimes the strings are a little too derivative of Arcade Fire's trademark weepiness, but thankfully those moments are few and far between, with creepier passages taking precedence.

Andrew Jackson Jihad - Knife Man (folk punk)
Definitely an improvement on Can't Maintain, which was admirable for its implementation of strings and more mature songwriting, but was marked by lyrics that were high on the mope, low on the self-awareness and humour. Thankfully the sarcasm is back in full swing on Knife Man, sometimes even besting the cuts on People Who Can Eat People Are the Luckiest People in the World.

Zomby - Dedication (dubstep, post-rave)
Superb production. Not really club music; more like "outside-the-club" music. Album as a whole has great flow. But what's with Panda Bear showing up on otherwise brilliant electronic albums and just adding NOTHING to them (last year's Pantha du Prince, for example)?

Thrice - Major/Minor (post-hardcore, alternative rock)
More like Major/Disappointment har har. But yeah, to me this sounds like the boys have become too comfortable in their "let's just jam and the songs will come around themselves" phase. There's no ambition on this record, where previous efforts were characterized BY sheer ambition. I reaally hope they bounce back from this with a more focused approach, because as it stands this might as well be a Nickelback album. There are a couple of tracks worth hearing ("Words in the Water", "Anthology"), but they're nothing we haven't heard from Thrice before.

Bomb the Music Industry! - Vacation (ska punk, alternative rock)
I hate to say that I'm not as enamoured of this release as I was with Scrambles or Goodbye Cool World. I think it's the lack of hardcore punk intensity and genre-defying spastics, which is at least half of why I fell in love with this band and The Arrogant Sons of Bitches in the first place. Jeff Rosenstock's songwriting, of course, is still top-notch, and this may be his most technically sophisticated and mature collection of songs to date. But I do miss the punk side of this band.

Bon Iver - Bon Iver (folk, alternative)
Was a little slow on the uptake on this one. I only FINALLY got around to listening to it because of the Grammy nods. I wasn't all that crazy about For Emma, Forever Ago, but I actually really love this album. At the same time I'm kind of glad I waited for the appropriate weather to listen to this for the first time. Seriously, shit is perfect.

Balam Acab - Wander / Wonder (glitch-hop, ambient)
A slow jam record fed through a Sigur Rós filter. There are even hints of Aphex Twin's ambient work. Love the vocal samples on this, will make a good winter soundtrack.

Algernon Cadwallader - Parrot Flies (emo, math rock)
With Snowing, Joie De Vivre, and Grown Ups broke the fuck up as of this year, it seems this band is left more or less alone to lead the pack of Cap'n Jazz-style emo/math rock revival bands. They are more than capable, as this album shows, I just worry about their longevity at this point. This is a trend I can readily get behind, and I hope it doesn't snuff itself out before it takes off.

Africa HiTech - 93 Million Miles (post-dubstep, experimental)
Really disorienting and overwhelming, in terms of the many disparate subgenres it synthesizes and the aggressiveness of the music itself (although it lets you down gently with a couple of Four Tet sounding tracks at the end). Current frontrunner for electronic album of the year.

Defeater - Empty Days & Sleepless Nights (melodic hardcore)
This is a much sadder record than 2008's Travels. I don't mean to say that that album was a super happy fun times album, but Empty Days features a lot more downshifting into cleaner, melancholy passages where their previous material was a lot more immediate. Vocalist Derek Archambault sounds exasperated and raw here, in contrast to his angrier, punchier delivery before. Overall I wouldn't call this a stylistic improvement or even a detour, but more of a context shift; they still sound like Defeater, only fed through a different kind of filter. As for the four acoustic tracks, they range from excellent ("Brothers") to kind of schmaltzy ("I Don't Mind"). They work fine within Defeater's whole story/concept thing.

La Dispute - Wildlife (post-hardcore)
Definitely an improvement. Jordan Dreyer seems to have toned down some of the more objectionable aspects of his voice, even delving into a LITTLE bit of singing (and sounding like Geoff Rickley!), and his lyrics are still sharp and honest to a fault. Musically, I'm REALLY happy the band dropped the pseudo-prog/blues riffing from 2008's Somewhere at the Bottom of the River Between Vega and Altair, and decided instead to hone their post-hardcore style into a tight, rhythmic machine.

All Pigs Must Die - God Is War (hardcore, crust punk)
Pretty much 8 more tracks in the style of 2010 EP All Pigs Must Die. I really loved that sound though and I'm glad we got a full-length's worth of it (plus the EP itself, obviously). 8-minute jam "Sadistic Vindicator" is sweet.

BADBADNOTGOOD - BBNG (jazz, hip-hop)
I really like the attitude these guys have towards jazz, re: the interview sample that closes this album. I'm not a huge jazz fan, but this is some really cool stuff. I prefer their takes on classic hip-hop (Gang Starr) and video game soundtracks to their Tyler, the Creator and Waka Flocka Flame covers.

Russian Circles - Empros (post-metal)
Admittedly this band fell off my radar right around the time Station came out. I've always really liked Enter and enjoyed what little I'd hear off their recent releases. With Empros it seems like they've tightened up the songwriting a lot, everything's streamlined and hits the right peaks at the right times. It might be a little too calculated but there's no denying the power of some of the riffs and textures on here.

Hella - Tripper (math rock, experimental)
Hold Your Horse Is is a pretty essential math rock album in my mind, if only to witness Zach Hill's virtuoso drumming. Tripper isn't really all that stylistically different from that album, which is weird and kind of disappointing when coming off an experimental streak.

St. Vincent - Strange Mercy (experimental pop)
This album had a strange effect on me that I haven't felt in a while. Not since I first heard Unwound's Leaves Turn Inside You, or Dirty Projectors' Bitte Orca. I mean, I heard certain influences in the songs here (Kate Bush being a big one, but also Cocteau Twins and, to an extent, Björk), but the sound itself just felt so personal, like no one else could have made this music, and I love music like that.

Animals as Leaders - Weightless (progressive metal, djent)
Clearer, less compressed production, more electronics, more focused. It still sounds like Animals as Leaders, and the songwriting itself hasn't progressed all that much from the debut Animals As Leaders, but the little touches make this a noticeable improvement for them.

Smith Westerns - Dye It Blonde (indie pop with glam rock elements) (deleted)
That would be indie pop in the vein of Girls and Avi Buffalo. You'd think it would sound gimmicky, but if you're into glam rock enough, you'll probably get a slight kick out of this.

Destroyer - Kaputt (80's pop revivalism) (deleted)
Put this next to Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti in the list of nostalgiac indie pop that I don't "get" or care for.

Shlohmo - Bad Vibes (glitch-hop, ambient) (deleted)
Basically a not-as-good version of that Balam Acab record.

Deafheaven - Roads to Judah (atmospheric black metal) (deleted)
Generic black metal mixed with generic crescendocore post-rock. Nothing special really.

Thomas Giles - Pulse (progressive rock, electronic) (deleted)
If you've listened to anything Between the Buried and Me have done in the past 5 years, you can kind of picture in your head what frontman Thomas Giles Rogers, Jr.'s solo project would sound like. There's definitely a heavy Muse vibe throughout, and some really nice acoustic guitars on "Armchair Travel" and "Hamilton Anxiety Scale", but the electronic work is amateurish (check the wubstep rhythm in "Catch & Release").

2562 - Fever (dubstep, techno) (deleted)
All rhythm. All the time. Some variation in sound would have been nice, pretty much every track is built around the same combination of wobbly/skippy drums and sidechained synth leads. Also supposedly this album uses a lot of disco samples, but aside from a couple of obvious instances you'd never know it.

Wugazi - 13 Chambers (mashup, Fugazi mixed with Wu-Tang Clan) (deleted)
Admittedly I didn't listen to all of this before deleting it, but the few tracks I did listen to were nothing special. With a few exceptions, mashups, for me, tend to be neat ideas that are never more compelling than they are on the first listen. Fugazi still fucking rule though.

Toro y Moi - Underneath the Pine (chillwave) (deleted)
The soundtrack to some sort of sad porno film. He can make a solid beat but there's too much revivalist, past-fetishizing bullshit for me to appreciate this in any way.

Tennis - Cape Dory (indie pop, yacht rock) (deleted)
Like if Beach House sold their beach house and bought a yacht to live in instead. One-trick, one-gear album that would only sound good to rich white folk who can afford to live on their boats all summer.

III. EPs, Splits, Singles Reviews

Circle Takes the Square - Decompositions, Volume I - Chapter 1: Rites of Initiation (progressive screamo, Duke Nukem Forever, Chinese Democracy, etc.)
I was planning to review this project as a whole, but it looks like the full album won't be out until next year at least. As it is though, this is every bit the stylistic improvement and refinement I was expecting from this band after so long, which is to say that it doesn't disappoint at all.

The Chariot - Music of a Grateful Heart (mathcore, hardcore)
The Long Live b-side, "Music of a Grateful Heart", is great and I'm kind of curious as to why it was left off the album. I think it would have worked. The second track, "Graciously", is just "The Audience" with a new mid-section, and I can see why it was cut out of the album version. It would have killed the album's momentum completely. Nice to have it though, sounds fine outside the album's context.

Radiohead - Supercollider/The Butcher (alternative/experimental rock)
A nice little satellite to The King of Limbs. "The Butcher" > "Supercollider"

Burial & Four Tet & Thom Yorke - Ego & Mirror (experimental/electronic, dubstep)
Really great how all three of their styles mesh so seamlessly on both tracks, although "Mirror" has a noticeably more Burial-style 2-step rhythm. Can we get a full-length out of this please?

Campaign - Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! (post-hardcore, punk)
This is the shit right here. If you dig O Pioneers!!!/Bear vs. Shark, or any of that post-hardcore with gruff vocals and handclaps, this is for you.

Between the Buried and Me - The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues (progressive metal)
BTBAM have effectively evolved into a kind of contemporary, metal version of prog-kings Yes, complete with all the epic instrumentation and pretentiousness. But it feels like a natural progression, and they're more than capable of filling the role. I just hope that the second "part" of this series (the full-length album) throws in a little more variety to keep things interesting, but they've had no problem with that in the past.

O Pioneers!!! / Andrew Jackson Jihad - Split (folk punk)
O Pioneers!!! will be greatly missed, by me at least. Neon Creeps is still a great album. On this split, their last release, they show a lot of energy and it bums me out that we'll never see a full-length with this kind of songwriting from them. The Jihad's side is pretty standard Jihad stuff, but features a Spanish cover of "This Is What I Want", originally by another great band that broke up this year, This Bike Is a Pipe Bomb.

IV. Albums I Didn't Get To

Gillian Welch - The Harrow And The Harvest (folk, Americana)

Nujabes - Spiritual State (jazz-hop, electronic)

A Winged Victory for the Sullen - A Winged Victory for the Sullen (ambient)

Beastie Boys - Hot Sauce Committee Part Two (hip-hop)

Chelsea Wolfe - Ἀποκάλυψις (experimental folk)

Kode9 & The Spaceape - Black Sun (dubstep, minimal)

Walls - Coracle (ambient, IDM)

Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues (folk rock)

Emmylou Harris - Hard Bargain (Americana, folk)

Explosions in the Sky - Take Care, Take Care, Take Care (post-rock)

Master Musicians of Bukkake - Totem Three (experimental, drone)

Gang Gang Dance - Eye Contact (experimental)

tUnE-yArDs - w h o k i l l (experimental, freak folk)

TV on the Radio - Nine Types of Light (alternative rock)

Make Do and Mend - Part & Parcel (melodic hardcore, post-hardcore)

Scientist - Scientist Launches Dubstep Into Outer Space (dub, dubstep)

Vessels - Helioscope (post-rock)

Tim Hecker - Ravedeath, 1972 (drone, ambient)

mudy on the 昨晩 - mudy in squall (math rock, post-rock)

Los Campesinos! - Hello Sadness (indie pop)

Doomtree - No Kings (alternative hip-hop)

Swarms - Old Raves End (dubstep/future garage)

Polar Bear Club - Clash Battle Guilt Pride (post-hardcore, punk)

I Hate Our Freedom - Seriously (post-hardcore)

Cults - Cults (indie pop, lo-fi)

Gauntlet Hair - Gauntlet Hair (experimental pop)

August Burns Red - Leveler (metalcore)

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Belong (shoegaze, dream pop)

The Throne - Watch the Throne (hip-hop)

Giraffes? Giraffes! - Pink Magick (math rock)

Arsonists Get All The Girls - Motherland (mathcore, metalcore)

Ed Gein - Bad Luck (grindcore, mathcore)

Iceage - New Brigade (post-punk, no wave)

The Weeknd - House of Balloons (R&B, dubstep)

Girls - Father, Son, Holy Ghost (alternative rock, lo-fi/surf elements)

Gridlink - Orphan (grindcore)

Engineer - Crooked Voices (sludge, mathcore)

KEN mode - Venerable (noise rock, sludge metal)

SBTRKT - SBTRKT (dubstep, future garage)

Pianos Become the Teeth - The Lack Long After (screamo, post-hardcore)

Stray from the Path - Rising Sun (metalcore, hardcore)

Rustie - Glass Swords (dubstep, grime, vidya)

The Field - Looping State of Mind (minimal techno/house)

Laura Stevenson and the Cans - Sit Resist (indie folk)

Modeselektor - Monkeytown (IDM, experimental)

Wilco - The Whole Love (alternative rock, experimental)

Kuedo - Severant (future garage)

V. EPs, Splits, Singles I Didn't Get To

Mogwai - Earth Divisions (post-rock)

Four Tet - FABRICLIVE 59 (future/UK garage)

Wavves - Life Sux (noise punk)

Colin Stetson - Those Who Didn't Run (experimental/avant-garde, drone-jazz)

James Blake - Enough Thunder (post-dubstep, R&B)

Surfer Blood - Tarot Classics (alternative rock, surf pop)

Burial - Street Halo (2-step garage, dubstep)

Polar Bear Club - The View, The Life (post-hardcore, punk)

Funeral for a Friend - See You All In Hell (post-hardcore, emo)


  • Inuzini

    mostly agree with everything said here, nice little writeups considering how many you decided to do! shame on you for missing a winged victory for the sullen , ravedeath, 1972 and earth divisions tho. a winged victory is probably my second favorite of the year, just below lovesliescrushing's ghost colored halo ep. also, sounds like you didn't have good enough weed for bad vibes! :p

    Feb 4 2012, 7:31
  • Adrian347

    oh trust me if i had it my way i'd have listened to everything on this list. i did in fact listen to both Winged Victory (pretty good) and Ravedeath (pretty great), eventually. and yeah i keep coming across Shlohmo somehow so i might give it a second chance.

    Feb 4 2012, 20:32
  • gonzeaux

    Nice list man, with you entirely on the new Mogwai; Rano Pano and How To Be A Werewolf were among the best tracks I heard all year. Loved Bomb The Music Industry! for The Shit That You Hate in particular. Giles Corey too, so I'm guessing you watch Fantano? That moment in Spectral Bride when the vocals harmonize and it all picks up... fucking wonderful, one of my favourite love (if you can call it that) songs ever

    Feb 10 2012, 3:27
  • Adrian347

    thanks bro. i do watch Fantano but i think the only releases i checked out because of him were BBNG and Africa Hitech. most everything else here i first heard about on /mu/, but there's a lot of overlap there anyway so yeah.

    Feb 10 2012, 13:41
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