Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Top 50 albums of 2014: 40-31

Best 2014 albums
That's Harakiri
40) SD Laika- That’s Harakiri

If you liked the Owne McLean release I just mentioned, but wish it was completely dissonant and sounded like a slowed down Nero’s Day at Disneyland then you may want to try this.  At its most coherent, artists like EPROM come to mind; at its most chaotic, it is a bass filled nightmare which could easily ruin the mood of a party…Ironic, given the albums obvious influences of the electronic dance music scene.
This is best listened to loud through headphones. 

Check out the track “You Were Wrong” Here

39) John Lake- Carcosa

Carcosa is a great album that focuses on pulsing drones.  If when you listen to ambient and drone music you really wish delay pedals were constantly present, than this is probably for you. 

The majority of the tracks are over 6 minutes long, with each one starting out slow and building up over time.  Additionally though, John Lake proves his attention to detail in these songs, burying humming and other sounds deep into the mix; making each listen sound fresh as you catch a new detail hidden in the sound.

Listen to the album and pick up a CD Here

The Physical World
38) Death From Above 1979- The Physical World

I had been waiting a long time for this album.  I was excited for another noisy, dance-punk album from a band who produced the fantastic You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine.  Some would say that is what they gave us (and I guess I agree), but overall the album felt completely uninspired.

Still, uninspired does not necessarily make the album bad.  On the contrary, if I had never heard Death From Above I would have been quite impressed.  Here though, I waited ten years for an album that feels like a quickly made follow-up album.

For having this much negative to say about the album, it is still a great release.  The majority of the tracks continue to carry that signature bass-driven dance room punk sound that made the duo so famous.  If you like the band, then you should probably get this album, because it will probably be another ten years before they make another.

Watch the video to the track "Trainwreck 1979" Here.

2014 bluegrass
37) Whiskey Shivers- Whiskey Shivers

After falling in love with .357 string band, I try to keep an eye out for modern sounding bluegrass.  That said, this album is no way perfect. Still, it is one of the better bluegrass albums I heard this year, and the album feels very modest in its production; as though made only for friends and people who take the time to see them play shows.  If you like Fast Food Junkies, these guys are leagues better than them.  

My main complaint is I wish they had a little more of an outlaw sound or at least more intensity to their music (like the track “hot party dads” or “Swarm” does).  Still, it is a fun album that gets the job done in the bluegrass department.

Stream the album and purchase it Here

Lessons in Fuck you
36) Big Black Cloud-Lessons in Fuck You 2

I already reviewed this album in my Top 10 Noise Rock Albums of 2014 post.  Don't really have too much to add except that I'm surprised I didn't make a single reference to the band Big Black or how this group's album was better than Shellac's 2014 effort.

You can still stream this album Here.

Isolation Distorts
35) Luca Lozano- Isolation Distorts

Isolation Distorts doesn’t start out like a traditional house album.  Than again, I don’t traditionally think of house music being album length, or released on cassette.  I really don’t know anything about Luca Lozano: I hadn’t heard of him before picking this up on Tomentosa, and I haven’t really looked him up since.  But, if tracks like “Extra Telest” and “The Fox“ are any proof, he deserves me looking into his backlog as well as at any future releases.

Stream Luca's Soundcloud Here.

34) Posture and the Grizzly-Busch Hymns

This is a nice short pop-punk/Midwest emo album.  Really no part of it stands out as unique to the genre, but the album remains catchy and consistent and that is good enough given the genre.  Also, ‘Jordan Michael’s Space Jam’ is probably my favorite track on this album.  Since the album is so short, it looks like my review will be too.

Stream and purchase it on their Bandcamp.

37 Minute Workout
33) Russell Haswell- 37 Minute Workout
I think this is the last ‘experimental electronic’ release on the list.  If you liked SD Laika and Owen McLean, this is probably going to be up your alley, especially if you have a soft spot for glitch or footwork.  I feel like every time I listen to this album I switch on whether I love or hate how the tracks almost collapse in on themselves.  In the end, I decided that any album that can cause me to constantly switch back and forth is probably one that I just hate to love.  
I really need to hear some Russell Haswell collaborations now, because if this album is any indication, I imagine he would work great as a collaborating artist.

Listen to some of it on Soundcloud.
Teeth for Sinking In
32) High Aura’d- Teeth for Sinking In

Teeth is a blackened ambient album by artist John Kolodji.  Reminds me of if a group like The Body attempted to make ambient, which I guess makes sense.  Both 12 minute tracks do a good job at juxtaposing the dark, guttural drones with natural background noises such as the bird chirps and what sounds like snapping branches found in the title track. 

I missed the chance to purchase the “Dynasty at Ghost Town” 11 cassette compilation from Bathetic Records.  It’s a real shame too, because I have purchased two cassettes from that collection and both are on my top 50 for the year.   

Take a listen by streaming it Here.
31) Tar Halos-Pinched
Pinched is a Tame Impala meets Spoon soaked full of reverb and distortion.  Oh, and each track has its own art, which is something I absolutely love about digital files.  It’s almost hard to say more about this, so I think I’ll just leave you with a link.  Listen Here.

No comments:

Post a Comment