|My Top 20 Of '11|
Not a bad year.
At this point, I'm pretty sure if these three guys just farted into a microphone and recorded it, I'd still give it a "5" rating. Yet another outing with enveloping, hard-hitting numbers, featuring smart drumming, engrossing guitar loops and dirty bass tones. Every time you listen, you hear something new, and I often find myself stopping songs just to listen to the last 30 seconds again. Another amazing album in what's shaping up to be one of the best bands going.
I was never huge into Glassjaw before, but this EP, showcasing their new sound, features a band who's back and better then ever. Some of the smartest song writing I've heard in a long, long while.
Johnny Foreigner vs Everything
I'm officially a fan of these guys. After immensely enjoying their last LP, I had my doubts of them repeating their success, but they've proved to me that their brand of eccentric punk is truly a refreshing addition to the genre.
House of Balloons
Usually when a Canadian artist offers up a free album online, the knee-jerk reaction is to turn tail and run. But as we all know, The Weeknd is the man of the year, and with good reason: House of Balloons is so unique with it's hauntingly beautiful vibe that every song immediately pulls you into it's atmosphere. It took a little while to grow on me, but now I can't stop listening. Easily the best of the trilogy he's released this year.
...and so we destroyed everything
Takes my "Out of Left Field" award for the year, as I never heard of these guys but was completely blown away by this album. My problem with post-rock these days is that a lot of it sounds too contrived, but Sleepmakeswaves manage to create some of the most tasteful post-rock I've heard in years.
|6||Death Cab For Cutie|
Codes and Keys
I don't think this was well-received by much, but I view this album as one of their better in years. More of the simple, straight-forward pop-indie song writing and Ben Gibbard tugging at your heart strings that we've heard for a decade now, but still a solid effort through-out.
|7||Polar Bear Club|
Clash Battle Guilt Pride
I had high, high hopes for this, and even though Polar Bear Club's newest effort is a little more poppier then I anticipated, this album still offers catchy songwriting and slick riffs. A step back from Chasing Hamburg for sure, but still plenty of great tracks to go around.
Hot Sauce Committee Part Two
Beastie beastie beastie boyyyys! Another group that can do no wrong in my eyes, but still, Hot Sauce Pt. 2 offers a lot of variety and charm that these guys have been serving up for years. Their best since Hello Nasty, and I'm looking forward to the b-sides.
Funky, groovy and silky smooth, Submotion Orchestra was one of the best albums of it's genre all year. It takes jazz to a whole other level, and I urge any music fan to check them out.
|10||Pianos Become The Teeth|
The Lack Long After
Emotional vocals combined with razor-sharp riffs, Pianos Become the Teeth continue their progression and have really hit a good stride.
The Current Will Carry Us
Very straight-forward hardcore punk, but very enjoyable none-the-less. And another Canadian group makes the list! O' Cannnaaadaaa...
Leaps and bounds better than their full-length LP this year...I've always been a fair-weather fan of Mogwai, but Earth Division displays a more interesting, developed sound, and I really hope they continue down this road.
|13||Explosions In The Sky|
Take Care, Take Care, Take Care
Another couple of years, another solid effort from these guys. More great songs from post-rock's most consistent band.
Echoes of Silence
The last in the trilogy, it doesn't quite offer up the quality of House of Balloons, but still features that one-of-a-kind sound and atmosphere.
Treading the right direction, but still VERY inconsistent. Wildlife featuring some of my favourite songs of the year, but there are just too many tracks here that fall flat.
Old Raves End
A very polished sound and a relaxing, solid front-to-back listen.
Good...good...not bad. A nice little trio romping through some jazz covers, offering some funky times and cool rhythms. And, hey, an Ocarina of Time medley? Sign me up.
|18||The Devil Wears Prada|
Still the front-runners of the metalcore genre, but a step back from their Zombie EP.
Life From Dead Limbs
One of the harder albums of the year to get into, mostly because every track is a mid-tempo 6/8 sway featuring grating, monotonous vocals, but the charm and effort really shines after a while. A couple of great tracks, and I'll be keeping an eye on these guys for sure.
Let Yourself Be Huge
Was I expecting the same old thing from this guy? Yeah, I was. Am I disappointed that this isn't that? Mostly. With a majority of this album featuring straight-forward acoustic numbers, it's not a bad effort, but I can't help but shake the feeling that it didn't live up to it's potential.