|UserSoundoffs 9Album Ratings 67Objectivity 87%Last Active 04-21-13 4:04 pmJoined 08-29-10Forum Posts 0Review Comments 11,286
|Wehrmacht Wolves In 2012: Conclusion|
Not gonna be ranking things this time around because:r1. I'm gonna put genres togetherr2. I'll give descriptions for most albumsr3. The closer it gets to top tier material the smaller the qualitative discrepancy which leads me tor4. I'm lazy
So, this project didn't turn out as it should've (as far as I've understood it should've included more Wu-Tang members) and some people say the beats on this are 'overproduced'. And while I can see the latter point I don't agree with it, I dig some of the beats (e.g. Comin For Ya Head)
But expectedly this delivers, the chemistry is good, the tracks bang and basically all of them go hard. It's especially nice to hear see Ghostface coming back to be more consistent after he's had some rather inconsistent albums.
I'm gonna be pretty straight forward with this: One of the best things about this album might actually be the beats. I was a bit skeptical about this album because Killer Mike seemed a bit overhyped (lookin at ya, Sobhi) and songs such as "Reagan" just come off as incredibly unauthentic to me. Add to that that almost all hooks annoyed me at first (some still do) but I still enjoy this album quite a bunch if just for bangers like Southern Fried, Go, Big Beast or laid-back stuff like JoJo's Chillin. His lyrical abilities aren't bad, but they're not special either. But his flow isn't that shabby and I like his voice.
Drinking From The Sun
Okay, this was a late one that actually passed me by quite a bit until I saw this in Jom's list and thought I'd check it out (thanks Jom btw)
And I kinda have to agree with him, the production on this album seems pretty (damn) good to me. (too soon to call it top notch but it might be)
And even the more accessible tracks like the one with Sia maintain a good character and the hook surprisingly doesn't throw things off. The collaborations in general seem well chosen, fit pretty good and they don't seem redundant like they often do in rap albums.
All in all this album seems sounds pretty consistent to me, the thing that could turn out to it's biggest flaw is that it's easily accessible so it might wear off faster but we'll see.
Arguments With Dreams
Oh man, this man. I instantly liked this guy when I first heard Temporary Forever, I still enjoy the majority of his albums despite his overly experimental nature which can make his discography quite a bit inconsistent at times but this is probably one of my favorite Busdriver releases. I was euphoric like a 4th grader on christmas when I saw that Busdriver put out a new EP for free in which he was actually rapping again. And (to me) it seems like he's back at his game like he was never gone or like he just needed some recovery time. His flow is consistent as always, lyrically he's spitting satirical fire and the collaboration with Open Mike Eagle and Nocando might be the best thing on here, but Nocando and Busdriver have proven to be quite a good match on their collaborative effort with Flashbang Grenada.
History Will Absolve Me
If I would have to name one gripe with this album I'd have to say that it might be too long for it's own good but it's balanced out by the sheer amazing production work and Billy's wordplay. I've been listening to this album since shortly after it came out and it doesn't get boring. Also, his voice is gripping, he actually seems like he has to say something - often he actually sounds quite furious as on tracks like Pompeii which is about war crimes, torture, extortion or the socially critical Crocodile Tears in which he criticizes a wide array of things from other rappers' attitudes to politics/law enforcement agencies ("The problem with the army is they wanna be the boss/the problem with secret police is it's like a dirty gun you can't toss")
|45||Dark Time Sunshine|
So this is some pretty experimental stuff and while some people criticize that the flow on this album can sometimes be monotonous I'd have to disagree as do see some variation. The beats are pretty nice here, although I'm a bit partial about some tracks or the collaboration with Child Actor. So this is definitely a good album but it was partly a bit inconsistent to me. Main draws are the lyricism, beats and collaborations when they work - which they fortunately do mostly.
Key To The Kuffs
So yeah, another DOOM release that came by pretty sneakily. No need to say that this is quite typical DOOM material although he seems to be more 'on' than on some of his recent collabs, some might argue even his latest solo LP.
This has got some pretty sweet beats, I actually prefer them over some of his other collabs and his latest solo effort. Unsurprisingly DOOM's flow and word play on this are top notch.
Well, what do I have to say about this? It's basically ONLY bangers and despite it's quirky moments there's not one electronica release of this year I'd say is better suited for a party. A plus would be that due to the tempo of the beats on this it's actually something people could dance to if they would wish to do so.
I totally dig this EP and wish stuff like this could replace the brostep playlists of infinite monotony or at least sneak it's way to be generally accepted partying music. (where I live)
III - MMXII
This might actually be one of my favorite dubstep releases this year apart from Burial's Kindred. They are actually somewhat similar, not sonically but in the aspect that atmosphere is a huge part of their music. This being the year that I was introduced further into electronica in general and especially dubstep I couldn't have wished for more than what I've got. I would say something else about this album but I completely agree with what Clerc said on his list.
And another dubstep release. This japanese gent does some generally rather 'dark' stuff, partly even very melodic as the album opener indicates - which almost has something of a "horror melody" going for it. But despite the very atmospheric nature of this record it even manages to produce some more 'busy' and groove oriented tracks or tracks that take on a heavier dub note such as Babylon Fall.
In general this album is despite it's focus rather varied.
Mala in Cuba
Well, granted this has a bigger draw for me because I play percussion and it wouldn't be surprising to find a lot of percussion or percussive influences on an album that has heavy Cuban influence so it was pretty obvious I was going to like this. It's not my favorite dubstep release of this year and it might not be what I imagined but I still enjoy it for what it is and it's definitely an interesting step, especially considering this is the first de facto solo album of his.
I don't think I could say anything about this album my buddy Aids hasn't already said. That being said, I don't quite get the same vibe as Jash might've intended this to be as from what I gather this was supposed to be about the feeling of fear but it goes deeper than this for me and is more varied. From chilled out tracks like Raindrops to my absolute favorite track off this that both has an awesome groove and a 'heavy hitting' atmosphere - Giant Sun. Another thing I'll have to say about this is that the production is top notch - while I know that nowadays the lines between 'professional' and 'hobby' musicians blur quite a bit - if I wouldn't have known this was done by a 'regional act' I would've thought it was someone 'professional'.
I'm actually not 100% sure what this genre is, it's something I basically stole off one of Dev's lists (thanks for that, Dev) and I kinda liked it, especially because of the seemingly percussive influences.
Bevan strikes a second time in 2012 and manifests again that he might be one of the most ambitious dubstep producers as yet again we have some further experimentation akin to the sounds on his debut. While this is considered as strong as Kindred and I'm inclined to agree with that sentiment it's still a pretty good release and the production is quite a bit different from Kindred.
And there we are at Kindred. Which apparently takes more hints from Untrue as I've read multiple times on here or at least people suspect this is the case which seems incredibly ironic to me as I could never get into Untrue, for whatever reason the exact thing that turned me down when listening to Untrue work here: the vocal samples. But it's not just the vocal samples, it's the dark atmosphere throughout this entire EP which has been a soundtrack to countless night walks of mine (and it wouldn't surprise me if this was also the case for other people)
So, amazingly this has gotten a bit of flak because Laurel seems to use her vocals in this completely unfilitered or something akin which seemed to have been quite a drag for some people. Oddly enough, it hasn't for me despite my lack of appreciation for female fronted music. But it's not like there isn't anything around her vocals. Another thing this record does or at least it seems to me like this record is chaotic on purpose. The songs seem like hazy sound collages where one sound drowns out the other and a new one emerges, and it doesn't seem like it's random, it seems like a deliberate choice.
Salty Sea (Polaroid Evening)
Just as the previous album this album is also somewhat hazy, but in a different way as this also doesn't feature any vocals. It's not as hazy as Quarantine but this record partly even reminded me of Amon Tobin's work - which is not a bad thing in this case. This record definitely works with a variety of influences and samples and different structures. The interesting thing is that it doesn't seem to get lost within itself, it doesn't lose it's coherence in the process despite the variety of different concepts explored throughout this. For example with a 'dragging' track like Seasour with it's steady beat and melody samples, the calm "Even If You Fall" that is mainly a piano track with some samples in the background or tracks that have an almost disco/dancey sound as in "It's Been A Good Friday".
|33||How To Dress Well|
Tom Krell is an awkward man. From what I gathered he studied in two places in the U.S. and studied in Cologne and Berlin here in Germany, plus he does something what seemingly takes influences from R&B and some kind of electronica.
Quite frankly, I don't even know why I like this so much. I usually hate "whiny high" vocals and I never got into anything resembling R&B. Is it the production? The atmosphere? How ironically 'happy' tracks such as "&It was U" feel despite the fact that his voice does not necessarily resemble euphoria? I don't know - I can't quite pinpoint it yet, but I definitely like this album way more than I ever would've imagined to like sth. like this.
|32||A Fine Frenzy|
This also kind of surprised me as I'm usually not a fan of fem twinkle pop or anything that closely resembles this but this goes quite a bit further with it's rather folky, mellow sound. This is a bit of a similar affair of How To Dress Well - I know that I like it because of some aspects, like the folk aspect, that this is actually a concept album telling an albeit somewhat 'quirky' story. But I haven't figured this out yet fully. And despite the fact that I usually don't care too much about the person behind the music Miss Sudol seems quite personable to me.
|31|| ||the FRIGHTNRS|
So this is some raggae rec'd to be my our Twinkle Queen aka Tyr free on bandcamp. I'd guess this has some root influences considering that the instrumentation also uses percussive instruments and horns. This record and the next definitely have a raggae "good feeling/summer" vibe going for them, which is exactly why I like them.
|30|| ||Giant Panda Guerilla Squad|
In These Times
Where the FRIGHTNRS record was quite positive lyrically this record only is only partly positive. The other part consists of mostly socially critical lyrics, some of the best examples of this polarity would be the track "Love You More" which is obviously a "feeling good" track and the immediately following track "Next Best Explosion" which is critical of capitalism or how capitalism is abused and how even with the best of intentions Western states seem to make things worth with interventions in less developed countries.
|29||A Forest of Stars|
A Shadowplay for Yesterdays
I wasn't sure what to think about this album at first, it was different. The vocals were different, the instrumentation was different. To me it almost seemed like A Forest of Stars were sitting in their rehearsal room being like "Hey, let's do something with a completely different theme!" and so they did. And this is the result. While unexpected this album came as a nice surprise, especially considering how stale Black Metal can grow and how over the top and ridiculous more melodic Black Metal can be. The production fortunately doesn't let any of the melodic elements take over and push them on the front but tries to balance everything. Talking about different themes, although this album seems like it's historically inspired to me it always evokes images of some heavily Stemapunk influenced parallel universe in which seafaring the world is still torn apart and seafaring is the way to go, exploring distant lands and unknown cultures. Especially on the track "A Prophet For A Pound Of Flesh" and "Left Behind As Static"
While metal this year didn't seem to be so swell and my taste actually steering further away from metal for a person who once listened to metal almost exclusively there are still bands that uphold the interest that started it all almost 7 years ago. This band needs no introduction, nobody here needs to be told how technically talented DSO is. But it's not just that, this band has proven to be incredibly consistent over the years and continously experiment and improve their sound. One major improvement of this EP over their latest LP is the production. This time the the production is clean again but it's more crisp, there is no loudness war being waged on our ears. Which makes this all the more enjoyable.
Also: RIFFS m/
I was almost surprised how many metal albums on my list would be Black Metal albums and it seems like it's a bunch. This record was a surprise to me because as I checked it out the first time I totally loathed the intro track and immediately turned away. But after giving Battle Lines and First Light a shot I gave this album another shot. I honestly can't compare this album to anything they did before but this album is definitely a refreshing take on melody-heavy black metal. Especially the riffs on this album come as quite varied and don't need to hide behind the more subtle melodic arrangements packed in tracks like the already mentioned ones. Overall the major draw of this album is the melodic variations which sometimes albeit subtle keep this album refreshing.
Weder Licht noch Schatten
A local one, haven't heard anything by this band for 5 years - I wasn't even sure they still existed. But when I first saw they put out a new album I knew immediately I was going to like it because I already enjoyed their debut LP for quite a time and I generally like a lot of stuff the involved members have put out over the years. Not to mention that this band is under the rooster of one of my all time favorite German metal labels called Wod-V?n or just V?n. This label has releases such as every Nagelfar album, every The Ruins of Beverast album, Kermania, Truppensturm and Graupen under it's belt so it's known as one of the most consistent and interesting labels in the local German scene. And this album doesn't disappoint, it's to tell yet whether I enjoy this album more than their debut LP since it's been a bit and digesting and judging albums such as these is not a task easily done.
I will say that they have maintained their signature style but it doesn't sound like they're rehashing themselves - the drums seem to have a bit more action on this album as it seems to be more experimental with it's pace. The clean vocals are also still there and while not really that interesting they aren't really annoying either. What I liked to hear is that the raw vocals have actually improved over the years especially noticable on the track "Die Letzte Legion".
The atmosphere on this album also seems more desperate than before which goes very well with the changing paces and the better use of the drums, best seen in the title track that changes it's pace or 'theme' at least 3 to 4 times which just attributes to the fact that these guys aren't afraid to experiment. We actually get something on that track that sounds similar to a little solo and it doesn't even seem like it's out of place.
"Vaura?s is a New York, USA quartet featuring members of Dysrhythmia, Gorguts, Kayo Dot, Secret Chiefs 3 and Religious to Damn."
As you can guess from this quote taken from last.fm you're in for something that isn't easily described. There is a definitive post-rock or post-metal vibe that I'd say almost dominates the album but it also takes quite obvious hints from Black Metal while not really willing to adhere to any stereotype of either. This record switches seemlessly from a slow track with clean vocals and a Post-Rock/Metal theme to a fast black metal influenced track that switches both vocals and pace throughout it's duration. The clean vocals are rather heavily used on this album but that doesn't really bother me as they work really well with the atmosphere and production on this. The production definitely sounds like it took hints from Post-Metal as a lot of what's going on on here just sounds "heavy" without actually being heavy (except for the acoustic bits and tracks).
|24||Twelve Foot Ninja|
While this album doesn't have tracks such as Manufacture of Consent and Clarion (which are some of my favorite TFN tracks) it still pulls of what TFN are known for, mashing all kinds of influences that shouldn't work together in a pot with metal riffs and switching heavy and melodic vocals which have been compared to Mike Patton or partly criticized as being a 'bad Patton' which I quite frankly don't apart from the fact that their voices sound rather similar but how they use their voices seems rather different to me. This album definitely doesn't seem to take itself 100% seriously as the videos of this could indicate, which are - by the way - refreshing considering a lot of metal/rock videos are boring as hell. The video for "Coming For You" for example flows extremely well with the musical influences displayed in the song and the band members wearing different costumes.
The biggest thing that annoys me sometimes about this album seems to be how loud it is. I can't help but feel like someone's waging the loudness war on my ears when I listen to this on normal volume on earplugs.
Here we go with the Sputalbums again. I'm basically going to repeat here what I've already said on my last list: Major draw on this album, especially for me after not liking their debut is how coherent this EP is. It flows well incredibly well, the production isn't too loud, it's not overproduced, every instrument is audible. Due to the Post-Rock influences on here and the lack of vocals the focus is definitely more on the guitars, but they don't necessarily steal the show. There are also some samples implemented which I haven't paid that much attention to yet but they work pretty well with the music and Tanner and his guys have a nice for melodies as there are some pretty nice riffs on this album (especially the first two tracks) and how to build tension/build-ups and then let them explode in one way or another without falling victim to the monotony/recycling syndrome like a lot of Post-Rock bands do.
So in summation this is a nice little EP that is both varied and coherent.
Open Your Heart
Well, what do you want to say about a band with such a good band name? I mean they're MEN, the make MANLY music for MEN.
Well, actually not that much but this is still a sweet album considering they mash Post-Punk and Rock'n'Roll without sounding like stupid which is something you could've thought if you heard "Post-Punk and Rock'n'Roll" as they seem to be on different ends of the spectrum as the former seems to be more dreary and emotional and the latter seems to be about more straight-forward and more about the 'happy things in life'.
I'd say this definitely relies more on the Rock'n'Roll vibe than it does on the Post-Punk, the latter seems to be more of an influence for their sound in general and their production but the song structures and the mood definitely scream Rock, nicely showcased by the title track.
There we are, another Rival Sons album. While I agree that this album isn't as good as their debut and the EP I still like this album quite a bunch, I just generally like this album. Granted, this album definitely seems to be more laid back both in production and sound but it definitely still showcases trademarks of the Sons sound with pounding bonham-like drums and oldschool high-power Rock songs like the album opener, You Want To and Three Fingers. I gotta admit I just really like this band because they manage to bring back some good oldschool (Blues) Rock without trying to hard to rehash something but still capturing that spirit. And with this album maybe even more so than their previous material I could see definitive potential for mass appeal as some songs on here are as easily accessible as Black Keys material without losing their Rock edge and becoming too 'harmless'. (tracks like Wild Animal, All The War, and Until The Sun comes and maybe even the more high power songs)
Well, so there's Jack White. Somebody I had actually forgotten about and didn't care too much since I last heard the White Stripes. I don't know why exactly but I can't be bothered to find out because I really like what I'm listening to here, interestingly his vocals which are rather high pitched don't really annoy me and work pretty well with the arrangements. Granted, I'm a bigger fan of the more rocking songs on this album like Freedom At 21, Sixteen Saltines and I'm Shakin and as already said by reviews this album seems like Jack is being more honest and intimate with his audience than ever. I also could've had this without some of the more tamed tracks as there are quite a lot in the second half but the majority of them doesn't seem redundant and I like that this takes inspiration from a lot of other areas as heard on I'm Shakin with the soul/gospel like clapping and female vocals in the background or the piano heavy "I Guess I Should Go To Sleep".
Nest of Vipers
And there we have another Stoner album, just as last year's Lo Pan and although I don't enjoy this as much as Lo Pan's Salvador this is definitely a solid and actually kinda catchy Stoner release from this Swedish band with members from Stoner juggernaut Dozer. And while catchy this album doesn't necessarily carry a "happy" mood, which might be due to the vocals which seem a bit too 'desperate' for me or as Captain put it "vox fit but need more dick and balls" - I approve of this statement. And while I would wish for more power behind the vocals (as for example when Rival Sons' vocalist Jay let's loose) the instrumentation delivers. That being said, the discrepancy between the vocals and the instrumentation is probably the biggest downfall of this album.
Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II
"Oh hi Earth, whatcha doin'?" "Y'know, chillin' out and stuff" Sometimes I would just like walking around and being able to tell people to just should the fuck up, sit their asses down and chill out listening to some Earth. I'm not even kidding but that aside this continuation of their latest LP might still not be as good as previous LPs but it's still a pretty good album in it's own right following the footsteps of it's predecessor without rehashing it. And Earth prove again that nothing sounds as much as desert or actually just chilling out in the desert (despite that that in reality might be your death which reinforces even more how chilled out this is) as Earth does.
So.. this band. Pretty sure I checked them out once and I was like "what is this shit" because I really didn't like the frontman's vocals as I have mentioned multiple times as much as I don't necessarily like female vox I like high pitch whiny vocals even less. Oddly enough I didn't really care when listening to this, and I still don't. I don't mind them too much, I mean I'm not the biggest fan of them but I still like them. But the biggest draw here for me wasn't the vocals anyway, it was the instrumentation, the dynamics of songs like the album opener, the more furious collaborative Effort with Rickly on The Lottery or the more tamed Bird Sounds. And while this album didn't do anything groundbreaking it made me reconsider my stance on a band I previously thought to be rather boring and I'm noticing I should probably check out some of their earlier material as this doesn't seem to be their best effort from what I gathered.
American Radass (this is important)
This is how I like my twinkle. It twinkles hard, and despite the 'usual' emotional twinkly 'emo' topics this record doesn't seem to take itself so incredibly serious, already being shown with the album and the first two tracks which are somewhat paradoxical. While the vocals might be something arguable (it's not like they have awesome voices or incredible technicality) the main focus for me lies on the instrumentation and the vocals fit in there quite well. They also support the mood of the album not too bad which brings me to the production which is considering this is a DIY band pretty well done. The drums are pounding, but not reigning terror on your ears, and while the guitars are at the forefront they don't overshadow everything.
And here we are at screamo, this band might actually be quite a bit reminsicent of the likes of Loma Prieta and maybe even Beau Navire with the raw "in your face" approach and Loma's approach to melodies and dynamics between these bursts of raw power. I'm not entirely sure but I think this is a DYI band which would explain why there are some little production discrepancies, fore example that the instrumentation is mostly louder than the vocals or they seem a bit "distant" from each other - that might also be a deliberate choice though, I'm not sure. Either way, this is a solid album.
Hold Onto Your Luck
Philly (DIY I believe) post-hardcore band - mind you I'm using the term 'post-hardcore' rather loosely here. This band could definitely described as experimental and 'ambitious' considering this has only one song under 4 minutes, 3 towers of songs that last ~10 minutes and the songwriting displayed here. One of the most prominent things on this record might be the riffs - that being said they're not overbearing. The bass is still audible, the drums aren't overbearingly loud and the vocals are pretty well mixed. The production on this is generally pretty well done considering this is most likely a DIY band. Considering I already called this experimental citing their bandcamp "progressive" might as well be a fitting term.
They also have some guest appearances on this album as far as I can tell which aren't necessarily bad either.
Overall this is definitely a pretty good release and this band is one to be watched. They also have quite a bunch of free stuff at their bandcamp.
And we have our Frenchies again, doing what they do do best. Filling the room with a wall of effect-laden Screamo and I believe post-rock influenced riffs. And while this is still quite similar to Montuenga it seems like this album really wants to take it's time already indicated by the longer songs. Where Montuenga hat very different song lengths this album averages around 6 minutes but has lesser songs which definitely seems like a deliberate choice. This album is going to take it's time but it's not going to overstay it's welcome so to speak. Not only in terms of the actual album length but also the pacing, songs here rely more on build-ups, slower paces, pace changes and dynamics than they do on their debut.
Not only this but the production work also seems more crisp this time around and the record in general both in production and sound comes off as more coherent and judging from the sound I was inclined to think there might actually be an underlying theme or actual concept to this album. But quite frankly, my French skills are too horrible to judge from the lyrics.
All We Love We Leave Behind
So this new Converge album was apparently reason for a bit of internal controversy on Sputnik as to their ranking which I will not go into here. I will only say that I definitely prefer this over Axe to Fall. For multiple reasons, I like the riffs on here quite a bit more but a major thing is the sound and production. While there are elements you could link together I'd say the sound on here and on AtF is quite different. And I definitely prefer this sound and this production. Plus, to me this album seems way more consistent. I mean if I had to pick my favorite track it would be title track and saying this doesn't have standout tracks might be wrong but I definitely feel it's less a collection of 'tracks with some standout tracks' than it is a coherent album. I also really like the slower songs on this and I generally think the pace of this album is managed better and with coral blue we have a track that actually doesn't feel like it implies a necessarily 'negative' emotion which is refreshing to hear from this band.
Now if this wasn't a nice thing to happen. Some people say this is Loma's best or Loma's best since Last City. I'm inclined to agree with the latter while I definitely like this album and the raw power it delivers I have a definitive problem with the production. I know that the production on this album is to enhance how raw it sounds and how it's supposed to feel but at times it actually sounds like the same problem I had with the TFN album: loudness war. I listen to a lot of music while on the road, in the train, in a bus or anything of the like and I simply cannot listen to music that is so loud/produced in a way that the drums make my ears explode or makes me hear only fractions of what's actually going on. That being said, I absolutely love the second half of this album where the songs have a really 'desperate' vibe.
|10||Birds in Row|
You, Me, and the Violence
And here we are at my Hardcore/Screamo AOTY. I don't even entirely remember how I found this band, I think I just randomly clicked on a YT video I saw and wound up with the video for the album opener of this album. And holy shit this album delivers, no surprise this band got a deal with Deathwish. While they cite Converge as a huge influence and have already toured with them (one or more members of the band actually have Converge tattoos) they're definitely not a Converge ripoff or anything of the like. I'd actually say their sound actually takes more hints from screamo as seen in the album opener Pilori and the overall sound of the album. The hint they do take from Converge is their more experimental aspect as witnessed on the 12 album closer that transitions from a stripped down slow moving 'ballad' like song to an end that's very reminiscent of Drone. One of the best things of this album is probably the coherence and consistency with which the album is executed and and the transitions that make it hard to single out songs on this album because they barely work too well on their own except for maybe Pilori. This album isn't very long either with a lot of songs that are 1-2 minutes, but that was probably a deliberate decision to enhance or actually make things as coherent as they are and allow good transitions. That's not to say that this album is monotonous, it actually changes pace a lot of times which is very good for an album like this that on first sight looks like a straight forward raw in your face hardcore album.
|9||Suis La Lune|
Some really twinkly Screamo/Emo right here. No doubt this is a worthy followup to their release from 6 years ago. Considering this is really twinkly stuff it's no surprise the vocals and guitars lean more towards emo than screamo, which is also visible in the lyrics - especially on songs like Hands are for Helping. This is a similar affair to Dads for me, except that while Dads are also rather twinkly this release is definitely taking itself more seriously than Dads'. The atmosphere on this album is also way more 'emotional' and and partly 'desperate' (while not as desperate as I.V.) than the atmosphere on Dads' album. One could consider this Emo's equivalent to Loma's release. (which doesn't mean this is a bad thing or a copycat album)
Ambitious? Pffft.. wipping up stripped down acoustic albums done in a minimal amount of session with a duration of 133 minutes is no problem! At least it doesn't seem like it is for Sputnik resident CaptainDooRight because hey, why not.
And when I say "stripped down acoustic performance" I mean it. This is just him and a guitar doing their thing, using the guitar occasionally as percussion instrument. No doubt that this isn't your average "white guy with acoustic guitar" song considering how long most of these songs are and that they take hints from various genres. Quite frankly I wouldn't be surprised if your resident Captain was completely stoned when he recorded this, if so - it might've been for the better. I will say this, this album needs concentration and it isn't without it's flaw - sometimes it sounds like he played the wrong note, there is next to no apparent mastering or production done on this - this is raw, this is honest, it's intricate. But it's an impossible task to just listen to "a song" on this album or just listen to this while doing something else, this is something lose yourself in - to be immersed in. In that aspect actually quite similar to Kindred.
And yet another sputnik album, this time by Sputnik resident potsytater aka silentpotato. This album is testimony to the fact our Mr. Potato is not actually silent but rather somewhat loud. The best way to describe this would probably be "psychedelic", "gypsy" and "sun worship". I'm not even kidding with the latter, some songs sound like folksy worship anthems to the sun, the stars or nature. I don't really know how many isntruments or rather "items" were used in the process of recording this but it must've been A LOT. At times, there's a lot going on here and while our potato doesn't have the most angelic of voices it does fit within 'gypsy' concept. To be honest I'm not sure whether this album had any mastering done either but I don't really think considering the whole "gypsy" thing. Also kudos to potsy for recruiting some femvox that actually worked well with this.
So yeah, forgot to add this one to the bunch of metal/rock acts and I was to lazy to edit the whole list just to fit this one in so it remains here. But what is there to say about this album despite what our Review machine Greg hasn't already said yet? It's fun, it's catchy. In fact, I think it's so much fun and so catchy that this could actually have a good mass appeal for itself going outside of scene audiences and 'music nerds'.
|5||Stampede to Timberline|
And here we are at the last Sputnik album by resident NorthOfHouse. Is it a general theme that quite a number of Sputnikers seem to do more folksy 'acoustic' stuff? (acoustic isn't entirely correct considering the drone influences and uses of samples here but you get the point)
Albeit seemingly rather restricted by it's very nature this album is definitely rather varied in it's execution from songs with a steady build-up like I'm gone, peaceful tracks like the followup Hands & Anchors or hazy sound collages like Our Western Oceans which uses samples of what I believe are political speeches or something akin so this track could be interpreted as socially critical especially considering parts of what is said in those samples. Of course the longest track on here was used as album closer at 16 minutes which is again a mostly acoustic performance with some hazy sounds in the introduction and throughout the track giving the listener some room to breathe after listening to a track that sounded like heavy social criticism.
Out of the Coma
Oh, hey Comus. In 2012. Wait.. what? Comus? That awkward British psychedelic folk bands from the 70s almost reminiscent of hippies? Oh hell yeah, they're back. And oddly enough, they have not changed their sound. I'd go as far as saying the singer still sounds quite similar to back then on First Utterance. This is undoubtedly the Comus trademark right here and while some old bands didn't survive the start of the digital age too well they apparently did. And the technological advance that made recording and mastering easier and cleaner also seems to fit them quite well. The instruments are clearer and crisper than ever which gives the flute used here even mor character, the bass is audible and builds the basis of this together with the acoustic guitar.
So we have Comus as psychedelic as ever with new production and new material - which is quite refreshing to hear.
|3||The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation|
It doesn't come as a surprise that this band is quite similar to The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble (for example easily heard by how their horns sound, the use of the rhythm section) but they're still different entities with seemingly different goals.
Where the TKDE seemingly aims to perform music for the sake of music this band seems to be bit more ambitious having a more cinematic vibe and feel going for them also inspired by the fact they started as a band who did free form OSTs for silent films. On this album they delve even further into this cinematic, more gloomy and 'doom-inspired' sound. Especially the song length on this album furthers supports this atmosphere and the suggestion that this band shares some aspects with atmospheric giants GY!BE.
So these dapper fellows from GB are - again - doing something jazzy, me personally? I'd just call it contemporary jazz. Except for the fact that it doesn't necessarily use a traditional approach at jazz, that has 2 reasons: For one, this band features these nice steel pans cans called Hangs which have a very harmonious sound and the other reason being that since this album the electronic influence has grown quite a bit - which is not really a bad thing IMO. What I really like about this band is that nobody is stealing the show - everybody of this band gets some time to shine. And they are consistently good musicians, the bass on this album is massive due to the use of a standup bass, the Sax is incredibly smooth (especially on songs such as Ruins) and the rhythm section works together incredibly well. This band has also proven to be able to perform hazy and fast paced songs as well as rather chilled out songs and this record with the increasing use of electronic sounds shows they are not afraid of experimentation. In fact, this might be their most experimental album to date.
Oh yes, this band. This band has two drummers, but not do they just have two drummers they actually use them effectively. I'm also not entirely sure as to what you would call what this band is doing because it's clearly something jazzy, but what exactly - I have no idea. It's quite a bit experimental without giving up jazz trademarks (such as the soothing sax or the groovy drums)
The extent of experimenation seems to differ quite a bit and also keeps things fresh and interesting, this is definitely a worthy follow up to Night Walks if not an Improvement. Definitely one of my AOTYs.
|Fuck me, prematurely pressed enter on accident. Will be working on the descriptions now.|
|2 is really good|
|OOOOOOOHHHH A Wolf list....isn't that dapper?|
|Major props on 26. Good album.|
|list is swastikaz|
|list is swastikaz |
sweet list Wolf, not one bad album on here
|List descriptions will be declared Work In Progress as of now because it's like 2:30 in the night, I'm feeling a headache comin' and I'm tired.|
|this is massive, great job|
|Update: almost done with the descriptions.|
|Trying to get this featured|
will report back
|Haha, thanks my dapper Belgian chocolate french frie waffle inventor!|
|Nice list Wolf. Definitely deserves a feature.|
Good to see 21 on here, totally agree with the description too. 1 and 19 were also among my favourite albums of the year. I enjoyed 3 and 8 as well
|That Birds In Row record is so damn good. Nice list!|
|Update²: Descriptions 100% done. I might correct existing typos and such later. |
|Verdient auf jeden Fall ein feature. :)|
|Thanks! In case you're German I'd recommend and prefer to keep talking English here.|
|2 has been on a lot of lists.....|
|Jup, I'm German.|
Actually curious how many German users we've got on Sptunik.
Anyway, is there any similar stuff to Loma Prieta with a more polished production? It kinda kills the album for me...
|pretty sweet list|
|Not a lot I think, but I don't really care. |
Try their earlier material, especially Last City. Also have a look at Suis La Lune, maybe Beau Navire & Ampere, Sed Non Satiata, Aussitot Mort, Mesa Verde. Also check out Orchid, Off Minor, Saetia & Hot Cross if you haven't already.
|Oh, duh. forgot Daitro.|
@calc: so what?
|so what nothing....|
|sweet list, major props for like half of these.|
never heard of 2 before, at all.
but there is one bad album here...circa survive, ugh.
|go away, we don't want your unauthentic pop nazi ass in here. |
thanky cyg, check 2 out if you like jazz with hangs and a more electronic touch. well that circa survive album isn't really high on the list anyway. thats my version of 'easy listening'.
|well that band is not easy listening for me, his voice was way too grating for me.|
I like jazz, well...from what I've heard. electronic albums are usually hit or miss for me. I'll check it out.
my 2012 list is pretty much finalized right now and a few albums on here are on mine.
|but I know how to correctly signal three in german. |
|While I don't agree with that or rather have developed the ability to focus even more on the instruments I can definitely get where you're coming from. As I've mentioned on this a couple of times I hate the majority of female fronted music and high pitch whiny vocals. |
Well, it's more Jazz with an electronica edge than anything that goes deeper into that. But you could still check out their earlier efforts which are without these. Definitely check out 1 if you haven't already.
|well, circa survive, however, is fronted by a guy: anthony green.|
and 1 is on my list already, if it was ranked it'd be near the top.
|I know, that's why I said "and high pitch whiny vocals." |
|You must've put lots of work in this list. It's really great, lots of cool stuff on it.|
|Great list wolfy, lots of effort and time put in here.|
Love the write up on 20 bro.
|"And while I would wish for more power behind the vocals (as for example when Rival Sons' vocalist Jay let's loose)"|
^What? No. Greanleaf > Rival Sons in every aspect...
Other than that, awesome list and especially descriptions... and Harmonicraft obviously rules :D
|Jay from Rival Sons is an awesome vocalist. He sounded better in their early days though for some reason. Still puts in a great performance on 21 though.|
|I hope this gets a feature. |
This is probably my favorite non staff 2012 list.
|I really like the blurbs. That's why it's my favorite 2012 list.|
|I hope this gets a feature. |
|Ditto, I'm not referring to the albums themselves but the effort and maybe a couple of the albums. |
|Yay, feature. |
|i got lots of that on mine so this is obviously a pretty good list|
|I thought this list was about new Wehrmacht at first|
|no Lord Mantis, disappointed bro|
|damn long descriptions, good work, good albums.|
|i like this new 3 featured lists thing|
|a fine frenzy niceee|
|Wow man, you put a lot of work in this. Terrific list, lots of my favorites are on here as well.|
Will check out some of the ones I didn't hear already.
|Haha, thanks all!|
@Klap: I actually got A Fine Frenzy and How To Dress Well from you.
@greg: Idk, but as I've said in the descprition I'm just not a fan of the vocals, they don't feel like they're having as much punch as for example Clutch or Dozer. (granted, these are rather high standard comparisons)
|Hey hey, I'm glad to see my album on an end of the year list. Gracias.|
|best end of the year list I've seen atm, many unknown and underrated gems here, wonderful job mate|
Idk man. I'm used to his vocals 'cause I'm into Trackfighters (this guy's band), still Dozer should release some new material for sure. Amen to that.
|nice list, has a good number of my top 2012s|