Well, I woke up this morning to find that my iTunes shat itself overnight somehow, so all my music was gone (I had it backed up thankfully), and I lost all my playlists and things of that nature (not backed up). I had a “Best Songs Of ’07” that I’ll have to remake, but until I do here is a non-interactive post highlighting last years greatest hits.
I take much pride and joy in creating the mandatory year-end list, so this should be fairly entertaining and hopefully not too monotonous. First, a few other awards:
Layout: Torche – In Return (John Baizley)
Bob Dylan Moment: Augie March – “Bottle Baby”
Biggest question of ’07: Why doesn’t Cave In just write a straight-up rock record? Clouds? Zozobra? Pet Genius? Doomriders? We know it’s in them, just forgot both of your pasts and let loose! Shit would rock harder than grandma’s chair.
Best “They Could’ve Done It Better” Album: Tusk – The Resisting Dreamer. Decent, but not as good as you’d hoped. Or maybe the idea of Pelican + the vocalists from Coliseum and Kayo Dot was too good to be true. Especially following up “Tree Of No Return.” This award is shared with Múm.
Top 10 Albums:
1. Logh – North
I ordered this album from their native Sweden back in April, but it didn’t hit U.S. shelves until much later (if at all, I think they are still with Hydra Head over here but do not recall their release of it). Not unlike Wilco’s “Sky Blue Sky,” Logh took a down-to-earth approach and turned it into something celestial. “North” is much more reliant on piano leads and well proven rhythms than their earlier recordings, and as much as this should be taken as an indication of growth and refinement, it should not accuse them of slacking off. Epics such as “Yellow Lights…” and “The Bones Of Generations” in their back catalogue make things tough to top, but they really did find a niche with “North” that is absolutely amazing.
2. Boris with Michio Kurihara – Rainbow
Um, yeah. The musicianship on this release is stellar, and Kurihara’s contemporary leads can blow minds. Much calmer than “Pink” but just as powerful. I’d also like to add, as mentioned before, that the tour was awesome as well. The States need more Boris STAT.
3. The New Pornographers – Challengers
I also finally got Carl Newman’s solo LP this year. These are the greatest pop songs I’ve heard in a long time, I had this on repeat for a good week or two after it’s release, and it has been in rotating since. More immediate and grabbing than the past three albums, all tracks are great as singles and it flows well. Pop/Rock on.
4. Ghostlimb – Ghostlimb
I think I’ve mentioned my will to be in the middle of a Ghostlimb orgy on here before, so this should come as no surprise. This album is over before your Costco box of Wienerschnitzel corn dogs are done microwaving, and is twice as satisfying. Graf Orlock dudes still grinding but with less vinegar and more piss, and some epic crusade imagery to boot. I heard it was in the Decibel year-end as well, these guys won’t be self-releasing stuff for long.
5. Pusher – Pusher
This means the last 22 songs don’t even make the half-hour mark. Pusher is 11 songs from Breather Resist front-dudes new band. While I have to claim my fondness of “Charmer,” both Young Widows and Pusher are (were) really settling into their respective styles and it’s clear to see why BR split company. Pusher is another beautiful Auxiliary release, and it’s got sweet screenprinted chipboard action packaging with lyrics and all, and might I add Sindoni is quite the poet.
6. Alcest – Souvenirs D’un Autre Monde
Never heard of this guy before but apparently he is stuff of Black Metal legend, now shoegazing his way through some awesome post-Black (grey?) Metal material. Absolutely fantastic. Not many French bands besides Daïtro and Microfilm have kept my attention recently, so this was a welcome surprise. I came across Alcest about the same time I came across the new Lisabö, so I was surely keepin’ it moody for a while.
7. Lisabö – Ezlekuak
One of my favorite bands ever. I think the Egun Bat Nonahi EP still stands as their best, but they haven’t had a bad release yet, and this new full length is very, very good. I don’t want to make post-rock whatever references because it will distill your first impression, just listen to them. Great tone, great structures, great vocals, and I don’t even have any idea what he’s saying (they are from the Basque country*).
8. Dear Tonight – We’re Not Men
They were almost written off as a lost effort since I hadn’t heard a word about them since their demo and EP, both of which were some of my favorite “who the hell are these guys??!?!” releases at the time(s). Well, they’ve since signed with the label that launched Strike Anywhere and have subsequently come somewhat closer into focus. This album has a child’s palm-full of weak spots, but is a very strong debut and possibly the cause of this years gushiest “OMG!” moment.
9. The Kidcrash – Jokes
A hell of a ways from “New Ruins,” but such a smart move by the band. Screamo succeeding in as close to experimentation it can get without contradicting itself. The artwork reminds me of Hugs.
10. Kings Of Leon – Because Of The Times
I can’t figure out why this rubs people the wrong way. It’s a great album, whether compared to their previous two or looked at on its own. Every song is awesome. I want to write a letter to Rock Band stating the need for “Charmer” to be in the sequel. Not that I would play it, or anything.
Top 10 EP’s:
1. Your Black Star – Beasts
2. Bloodhorse – EP
3. Tombs – Tombs
4. City Of Ships – Live Free Or Don’t
5. Lightspeed Champion – Galaxy Of The Lost
6. Aghast – Consumer
7. Prideswallower – Lifeswallower
8. Angel Eyes – …And For A Roof A Sky Full Of Stars
9. Timber – Demo
10. Sed Non Satiata – Le Ciel Denotre Entrance
Top 5 Splits:
3. Boris/Stupid Babies Go Mad
4. End Of A Year/Kids Explode
Discovered in 2007:
1. Clann Zú – Rua (2003)
2. 1000 Travels Of Jawaharlal – Owari Wa Konai (2003)
3. Marat – Demo (2006)
3. Mew – Frengers (2003)
4. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Take Them On, On Your Own (2003)
5. Kittens – Bazooka And The Hustler (1997)
6. Guided By Voices – Sunfish Holy Breakfast (1996)
7. Jello Biafra with Nomeansno – The Sky Is Falling And I Want My Mommy (1995)
8. Tera Melos – Tera Melos (2005)
9. Frank Black – Fast Man Raider Man (2006)
10. Avail/(Young) Pioneers Split (1997)
I’m in mourning, it might be a bit before I can narrow this down again.