Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Tops List of 2014

Better late than never... I guess. Not a very adventurous year for me at all - so we have a lot of returning favorites, local folks, and so on. Wouldn't call it a bad list by any means, but plenty of stuff I just never scooped up last year.

Let's get on with it!


#1 This World - Watter


"Rustic Fog" from This World (2014)
"Small Business" from This World (2014)

Full-Album Stream - Spotify
Genre - Post-Rock
Facebook - facebook.com/wattersongs
Location - Louisville, KY

Review - Treble Zine
Download - Amazon, iTunes
Purchase - Temporary Residence Ltd., Amazon

This one just kind of lands in my wheelhouse (obviously). A few people from some stuff I like - Britt Walford, drummer of The Breeders (#6, 1990) and Slint (#???, 1991), and Zak Riles, guitarist from Grails (#1, 2011). And unsurprisingly, it sounds like post-rock instrumental jams with aspects of each. Sometimes lambent and mellow, sometimes arched up more. Nice diversity, some special guest stars... Hopefully, I'll write a full post about it - but for now, here's another good tune: "Seawater."


#2 Commune - Goat


"Hide from the Sun" from Commune (2014)
"Words" from Commune (2014)

Genre - Psych-Rock
Facebook - facebook.com/goatsweden
Location - Korpilombolo, Sweden

Full-Album Stream - Rocket Recordings Bandcamp, Spotify
Review - Paste Magazine
Download - Amazon, iTunes
Purchase - Sub Pop, Amazon

Goat's debut was my #1 of 2012, but I didn't cotton to this one immediately. Although not completely gone, there's a bit less of the Afro-funk here. More regular psych, which is great too! Still very rhythmic & rockin', and once I'd adjusted my expectations, a really solid album. Hopefully they'll make it back to the states to play live. They were awesome at the 2013 Austin Psych Fest (I still need to make my live list for then).


#3 Gone - Pong


"Livin in the Future" from Gone (2014)
"Fish Sauce" from Gone (2014)

Genre - Electro-Rock
Facebook - facebook.com/pages/Pong/470512675233
Location - Austin, TX

Full-Album Stream - Pong SoundCloud, Spotify
Review - Austin Chronicle
Download - Amazon, iTunes
Purchase - Saustex Records, Amazon

One of my known fav-o-rites (#3, 2010), I am a partisan for Pong. It's a testament to how much I dig most of this one, because I'm not really down with the one single (??) they made an official video for. O well...

Read my actual review (literally the previous post).


#4 Woodsman - Woodsman
Teleseparation EP - Woodsman


"Teleseparation" from Woodsman (2014)
"Healthy Life" from Woodsman (2014)

Genre - Psych-Jam
Official - woodsmanman.tumblr.com/
Location - Brooklyn, NYC

Stream/Download/Purchase - Woodsman, Teleseparation
Review - TinyMixTapes
Full Album Stream - Spotify
Download - Amazon, iTunes
Purchase - Fire Talk Records

Jammy jams, but with one less drummer than before (#2, 2011). Formerly from Denver, but now sharing Brooklyn with almost half of America's bands. Psychedelic, instrumental, tribal, jamming?

I mean, the companion EP is described as "A long form stream of consciousness broken into 4 parts which the last track on that album was excerpted from. A glimpse into the recording process for the true zoners out there in this big world." True zoners.


#5 The Hum - Hookworms


"On Leaving" from The Hum (2014)
"Beginners" from The Hum (2014)

Genre - Post-Punk
Facebook - facebook.com/Hookworms
Location - Leeds, England

Full-Album Stream - Spotify
Review - The Line of Best Fit
Download - Amazon, iTunes
Purchase - Domino Records, Amazon

Quite a bit of growth since last year (#4, 2013) - although still keeping it real, although there might be a ballad somewhere in there. Last year, I used the term "spikey" - still spikey!


#6 "C is for Cthulhu" single - Linus Pauling Quartet
The Rendered Life - Charlie Naked
Running Up That Hill: Kate Bush Covers for Reproductive Rights benefit compilation
Knights In Satan's Service compilation


"C is for Cthulhu" from the single (2014)
Knights In Satan's Service commercial (2014)

Genre - Heavy-Rock
WordPress - worshipguitars.org/LP4/LP4_WordPress/
Location - Houston, TX

Stream/Download/Purchase - "C is for Cthulhu," The Rendered Life, R.U.T.H. comp, K.I.S.S. comp
Full 7" Stream - Spotify
Review - The Obelisk

All related to local heroes, The Linus Pauling Quartet(#2, 2012). And hey, yeah, I dig the "Cthulhu" single (with Pain Teens cover b-side), and video - it's all great! But for whatever reason, I really listened to the ambient Charlie Naked album a bunch more. Check it out.

Then there were the cover compilation covers. First Linus played "Watching You Without Me" by Kate Bush. Then later, LP4 covered "She" from KISS. Check both of those out - pretty nice...


#7 Dude Incredible - Shellac


"The People's Microphone" from Dude Incredible (2014)
"Surveyor" from Dude Incredible (2014)

Genre - Noise-Rock
Related - Electrical Audio
Location - Chicago, IL

Full-Album Stream - YouTube, Spotify
Review - The Quietus
Download - Amazon, iTunes
Purchase - Tough & Go Records, Amazon

Shellac (#3, 1993) is made up of Todd Trainer, Bob Weston, and Steve Albini (#4, 1987 and #6, 1988). I actually forgot that this was released for most of the year, then finally got it down the stretch. Not sure what I was expecting, but yep! That's a Shellac record. Unsure what trajectory this ranking will take with more exposure, but it's old-school like from my youth.


#8 Ganymede - Jonas Reinhardt


"Skeptical Seventh Sun" from Ganymede (2014)
"Lox Moon" from Ganymede (2014)

Genre - Space-Synth
Official - jonasreinhardt.com/
Location - San Francisco, CA

Full-Album/Video Stream - Vimeo, Spotify
Review - Was Ist Das?
Download/Purchase - Constellation Tatsu, Amazon

Whew... I was actually getting kind of concerned that Jonas Reinhardt (#9, 2011) was heading irretrievably into rhythm music. But this is comfortably back into space, and it came with a bonus DVD of experimental films set to the music. Or maybe scored by Jonas? Looks like the ltd. ed. (300) LP with download + DVD is still available. But after this Top 10 post, not for long!!


#9 Lost in the Dream - The War On Drugs


"Red Eyes" from Lost in the Dream (2014)
"Under the Pressure" from Lost in the Dream (2014)

Genre - Alt-Rock
Official - thewarondrugs.net/
Location - Philadelphia, PA

Full-Album Stream - YouTube, Spotify
Review - Consequence of Sound
Download/Purchase - Secretly Canadian, Amazon, iTunes

Finally a new album from the Traveling Wilburys (#9, 1988)!! What, Dire Straits?

Ahhh, this is The War on Drugs. I'm not trying to be insulting - this is a good album. But it's as retro as any '80s club night synth-pop, or whatever Kraut-flogging hippies you care to name. And kinda with a little bit of both, but mostly quality MOR from the late-'70s through mid-'80s. The "Post-Eagles" for an Alternative nation?


#10 FREEMAN - FREEMAN


"Covert Discretion" from FREEMAN (2014)
"I Couldn't Play My Guitar Like A Man" from FREEMAN (2014)

Genre - Post-Boognish
Official - freemantheband.com/
Location - Brooklyn, NYC

Full-Album Stream - YouTube, Spotify
Review - The New Yorker
Download / Purchase - Partisan Records, Amazon, iTunes

It's a new band from Gener of Ween (#3, 2003, etc.). I'd regularly forget this one, then regularly be surprised how much I liked it whenever I listened, then I'd forget it again for awhile. If that continues for another 5-10 years, that would be pretty amazing.

I have no idea what's next. Maybe some more record mini-lists? Top 10 Live Shows of 2013 and 2014? Probably something along those line. YEAH!!

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