Here it is, the best of post.
Best of albums for the year (In Alphabetical Order):
Abandoned Pools – Sublime Currency
All The Saints – Intro To Fractions
Echo Lake – Wild Peace
Frankie Rose – Interstellar
The Gaslight Anthem – Handwritten
Grizzly Bear – Shields
The Hives – Lex Hives
Hot Chip – In Our Heads
John Mayer – Born And Raised
Let Me Run – Mad/Sad
Linkin Park – Living Things
Lorelei – Enterprising Sidewalks
Nada Surf – The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy
Passion Pit – Gossamer
Sea Wolf – Old World Romance
Sigur Ros – Valtari
Silversun Pickups – Neck Of The Woods
The Soft Pack – Strapped
Violens – True
Whirr – Pipe Dreams
White Laces – MOVES
The XX – Coexist
Best of singles and EPs (In Alphabetical Order):
Atoms For Peace – Default
Beck – I Just Started Hating Some People Today
Blur – Under The Westway/Puritan
Family Force 5 – III.V EP
Family Force 5 – Junk In The Trunk
Foxes - Warrior EP
Foxes – Youth
Frankie Rose – Night Swim EP
The Gaslight Anthem – Hold You Up EP
Gorillaz Feat. Andre 3000 and James Murphy – Do Ya Thing
Lilys/Big Troubles Split Single
Man or Astro-Man? – Analog Series Vol. 1
Man or Astro-Man? – Analog Series Vol. 2
My Chemical Romance – Conventional Weapons #1
My Chemical Romance – Conventional Weapons #2
My Chemical Romance – Conventional Weapons #3
The Pains of Being Pure At Heart – Acid Reflex EP
The Pains of Being Pure At Heart – Jeremy
Rachel Crow – Rachel Crow EP
Sea Lions/Golden Grrrls Split Tour EP
SubVibe – This Is SubVibe EP
Veronica Falls – Covers EP
Veronica Falls – My Heart Beats
Violens – Fragment #1
Violens – Totally True
Whirr – Distressor
Whirr – June
Whirr - Part Time Punks Session EP (Live Cassette)
Whirr/Anne Split Double 7”
White Laces/Arches Split 7”
I want to thank Graveface records for putting out the charity series. I only picked up one of the trio sets but the music on those three 7” records is amazing. I am seriously thinking about picking up the full set if they do this again next year.
The bands on the set that I got are:
Ian McCutcheon and the Astral Rangers
Dreamend w/ The Marshmallow Ghosts
The Marshmallow Ghosts w/ Dreamend
I also want to thank The Glitch Mob for remixing The White Stripes song Seven Nation Army as a Dub Step track. That was awesome!
I have also got a bonus reviews here.
The album was officially released last August (2012). The record company, Devildance Records, was not able to put out a vinyl edition of the album right away because of complications. First it was pressing problems then it was the storm that hit the New England area. On the day that they put up the vinyl purchase I happened to be waiting to train a new employee and caught the update on Twitter on my phone. I was parked on the side of the road, luckily. I literally jumped in the drivers’ seat and gave a big fist pump. I surfed over to the page and made my purchase for the limited color variant, (79 in Light Bear with red). After making the purchase I read that there were going to be ten that would come with additional stuff (T-shirt, stickers, pins, patches, etc.). They were also giving a test pressing to someone at random. I wanted both but figured I wouldn’t get either. I start getting worried when I don’t get the package within a week so I sent an email to the folks at Devildance. They responded quickly stating that they went in the mail the previous week. The person that wrote back also informed me that I was one of the first ten to make the purchase and I would be receiving a pretty nice package soon. I was very excited to hear that. The record actually came the following day. It was filled with some very cool stuff. It also came with the bands last EP, limited and numbered. I already have a copy of the EP but don’t know if I should even give it up because it was a part of the package. The first one that I got was actually a freebie from the band so I don’t really want to give that one up either. I talked about this EP in Vol. Episode. The album did come with a download code so I have listened to the album but not the record yet.
There has not been an official single released from this album as of yet and I don’t think that there will be as it has been out since August of this year. The album is very good and comes from the New Jersey punk scene. This is also where The Gaslight Anthem came from. I think that they could do very well if they could get the right single out there on the air waves/internet. I really like the group and what they have done especially since they changed the vocal style (Right after the first album). They have become mediocre because of the vocal change but they have the potential to hit it big if they keep working at it. The songs on this album are catchy but none of them stand out on their own to be a great single. I wish them the best and will still follow them and buy the music for sure!
I have also got in a bunch of singles and here are their reviews.
I did some research on White laces and came up with this split. It is two tracks put out by the Harding Street Assembly Lab (HSAL). They are an indie record label that I had never heard of. They have some association to Speakertree Records as they have put some concerts up together. The song, Dissolve Into Color, from White Laces has some cool droning sounds lending to the shoegaze style but still has a great pop styled lead and vocal melodies. The second side of this record is by Arches. The song is called Late Last Night. The song is slower than the White laces song but the song somehow doesn’t need to be fast. The song seems to be like a lost friend. It is something I know and could listen to for hours. I have never heard of this band before this song but this song is probably something I could listen to a lot going into the future. I think they have a full length out last year or so. I may be getting it if it is still available. HSAL has a thing where they only do limited runs of records. It drives me nuts really. In my opinion, when you put out a full length album you should be pressing more than 100 units.
With the White Laces/Arches split the company also sent me, for free, this additional 7”. I actually sent them an email thanking them for sending me this 7”. I told them it was a great way to hear new music and they agreed and thanked me for the purchase. This 7” did not have a title when I looked it up. The first track on the record is called Pebble Azalea Starfish. It is a short acoustic track with out any vocals. It starts off quiet with an acoustic guitar and builds in volume until it just stops all of a sudden. It is a great opening track but hard to listen to over and over because of the sudden stop. The second track is called Golden Cypress. This track has more of a drone across it in a string section and an electric guitar with a slow echo pedal on it. This second song is a smooth slow song that I could melt into. This group also has a full length out that I want to try and get. This was also put out by HSAL so there may not be any available.
Tender Trap are the third incarnation of Heavenly. I found out that Slumberland Records had put out an album for the group so I picked up this single to check out what the difference was between the two bands. The vocals are just as clever as what is found in Heavenly I found and the vocals were there too. The same vocalist for both bands is the reason for this. This group is only a three piece where as Heavenly was a five piece group. The single, Do You Want A Boyfriend?, is a funny and clever track listing off the things that a girl would want in a boyfriend. The B side of this record is a fast punk track called The Sun And The Difference. It is so fast that I can’t pay attention to the words but the music is pop/speed punk and it is so different from the classic angry speed punk that I have heard in the past. It is refreshing, happy and unconventional.
I heard a track from the up coming GOLDEN GRRRLS album and thought it was very cool. I also did some further reading and found that Slumberland Records will be adding GOLDEN GRRRLS to their roster of bands. I then remembered that Slumberland had put up in their other stuff we sell list this split tour EP. Since I liked the track that I heard I picked this up to get a step ahead. I also did some research and found out that GOLDEN GRRRLS put out a few 7” records prior to this. I couldn’t find them for sale anywhere though. Maybe when the first full length comes out I will be able to find them.
The first two tracks are by Sea Lions. The first of those two track is called On And Off. It starts off with an out of tune guitar being strummed badly. It is just awful. The song kicks in after that and sounds right. The vocals for this song are sung by a male and sound lame and slightly out of tune through the whole, very short, song. The second song is a cover of a Black Flag song called Nervous Breakdown. The music is on point for an indie band. The vocals are just as lame as the previous song. The vocalist puts the whole song off. I will not be looking up anything from this band in the future.
The last two tracks are from GOLDEN GRRRLS. The first track is called Billy. The music starts off with a solid pop song. Then the vocals kick in. The male vocals are just out of tune from the female backing vocals. The female vocals are in tune, I know that much. I really want to love this group but if this is the way the vocals are going to be on the full length I am not sure I want to get into them. The second song is a cover of another indie group called Look Blue Go Purple called I Don’t Want You Anyway. On this track all the vocals are in tune. This gives me hope that the group can record a good album. The song is so much better than the first track, Billy. I want to hear more from them like this, not the cover but the cohesive style. I really hope that this style is going to be on the forthcoming album.
The latest 7”/Download have been released from My Chemical Romance (MCR). I have to say that I really liked the hardcore feel of the first one. The second one was OK with the Queen feel of the tracks. This one falls flat on its face. The first of these two songs is called The World Is Ugly. I am so sick of bands that project a hard face then put out these tracks that are so dang slow but still hard rock sounding. It is not a track that I would want to slow dance to but that is how slow this song is. I get that they want to show the soft side but then make it a slow song that I would want to dance to. The vocals are perfect but the hard sounding guitars ruin it for me. Maybe it is just that I haven’t listened to the song long enough but it is not my favorite of the set so far. The second track is called The Light Behind Your Eyes. This track was done right. There is an acoustic guitar paired with a clean sounding electric guitar. It helps the song that there is a string section supporting the band giving the song an elegance that is needed in this type of slow song.
That is it, until next year...