|2011 In Butkuiss|
Butkuiss' 2011 awards show!
Top 10 Albums
My favourite albums released in 2011, ranked.
Empty Days and Sleepless Nights
At first it was cool to overhype, now it's cool to claim its an overrated album. Still, Empty Days and Sleepless Nights is one of the most honest, versatile and emotional albums I've heard in a long time. What more can you expect from Defeater, anyway?
The last recorded work that features the now-deceased Michael 'Eyedea' Larsen (R.I.P.) A bit different for most of Eye's fans, the psychedelic shoegaze freakouts found on Birthday are punctuated by its most striking feature-vocals recorded purely by a seven year old girl. Unique, energetic, amazing and just a little bit saddening.
Amazing Australian band, full of soul and passion, their own unique sound, and goddamnit, they're charming too. You've all heard them.
Poignant, uplifting, frightening, spiritual, haunting. But what more can you expect from something Aaron Turner has worked on? Faith Coloccia and Aaron Turner make beautiful music.
Rounding out the top 5 is Alone. By golly, can Evan play bass. As a bassist, this album simultaneously put me to shame and made me explode with several eargasms. Dude has massive chops.
The band's best work, and a perfect sendoff for their stellar career. A great leap forward from previous works, the range, sonic texture and songwriting skills displayed by Thursday here are second to none.
Kno's back producing again, and he's at the top of his form. So too, Natti and Deacon's rhymes are beautiful. Easily beat out Hail Mary Mallon for best hip-hop release of the year.
It's like Pink Floyd had babies with Meshuggah! Forward-thinking, epic progressive metal with heapings of groove, and Dan's angelic voice. He brought something special to the band, and will be missed. Worth the wait.
Hurry Up, We're Dreaming
Okay, so it can be a bit overlong. But I'll be damned if Midnight City isn't one of the catchiest songs released in 2011. The rest of the album follows suit. Great work again from those sneaky Frenchmen.
|11|| ||Times of Grace|
Hymn of a Broken Man
Okay, so the nostalgia factor here is very high. Not a groundbreaking album, but it can't be denied that Jesse Leach and Adam D.'s reunion was one of the most awaited events in modern metal. The songwriting is more of the same, but coupled with Jesse's angelic voice and the duo's undeniable passion, Hymn of a Broken Man comes out as one of the most fun, most enjoyable, most nostalgic albums of 2011. The lack of brodowns is also appreciated.
Top 3 EPs
2011 EPs, ranked.
|13||The Empire Shall Fall|
A saxophone in a metal song!? Easily one of the best metal releases all year. TESF's forward-thinking yet still easily enjoyable brand of Meshuggah-influenced prog-metalcore-cum-jazz fusion is only getting better as the years go by.
C'mon, you all loved it. Bevan strikes again. The title track and Stolen Dog are more instant classics in his stellar catalogue.
A Damaged Machine
I reviewed this release personally here on the site. A great debut EP from a young, talented musician who is sure to make waves in the Australian music scene in the next few years.
Top 10 Most Played
My top 10 most played albums in 2011 (Outside of my overall top 10, of course).
A Determinism of Morality
Also gets the award for "Album I should have realised was awesome in 2010 but didn't get around to till 2011". A controversial change of style, but ADOM, in my opinion, is both Rosetta's finest and most original work. Can't wait for their documentary.
This one also takes said award. Their blend of hardcore punk, classic blues-influenced hard rock and black metal is the ballsiest, most rockin' thing to come out of Norway since the vikings. Psyched to see them in February. It takes guts to put the riff to Foxey Lady in one of your songs, and pull it off WELL no less.
It's not a good album. In fact, it's incredibly tacky. But that's part of its charm, and for those of us who grew up listening to Fred Durst rant about whatever crossed his pea-sized noggin while Wes Borland chugged away on the D string, it's all we need.
Intensely beautiful, and emotionally afflicting.
Maybe it's something to do with finding an engraved copy of this LP in a local record store bargain bin, but this album is impossible to stop listening to. Featuring guests such as Aaron Turner from Isis, as well as members of Cave-In and SunnO))), Tracey Wilson's odd combination of indie electronica, shoegaze, and avant-noise experimentation is as charming as it is pretty.
It took a while to click, but by god, when it does, it's a bloody amazing album. Psyched to see them in Feb.
|23||Eyedea & Abilities|
By The Throat
A little nostalgia for our fallen comrade. Not exactly his most popular album, but I absolutely adore it.
Deep Waters may be one of the best Australian songs ever written. Hard to believe only three people can make such beautiful music.
|25|| ||Godspeed You! Black Emperor|
Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven
A constant favourite, and the pinnacle of what music should be.
|26||Protest the Hero|
A surprise inclusion for me. Their best work. Arif and Rody are two of the most technically proficient musicians in modern rock.
Top 10 Discoveries
Albums that weren't released in 2011/didn't make the year's most played list, but still had a massive impact on my listening or how I view music. Ranked.
This is Where We Were
Freestyle Jazz!? Freestyle hip-hop!? LIVE?! Stellar. Another one of Eyedea's best records, and strikingly unique in atmosphere and attitude.
|29||Gang of Four|
Nevermind that they put on one of the greatest live shows I've seen. Entertainment! is a great slice of basstastic late-70s post-punk. Well thought-out political lyrics and songwriting are two of its hallmarks.
The Queen Is Dead
The only thing that needs explanation is how and why it took me so long to get into The Smiths.
See the description for The Smiths, but replace every instance of "Smiths" with "Pixies".
Rock N' Roll, as it should be.
Pretty, beautiful, majestic and dreamy. Easy to see how Cocteau Twins influenced the shoegaze movement with this album.
|34||The Stone Roses|
The Stone Roses
A hallmark of late-80s alternative rock. Crazy, British, dreamy-everything you could ever want.
|35|| ||The Who|
Rock N' Roll, as it again should be, with the added distinction of having a bassist for once perform with such technicality and grace that they become a modern legend. Unmatchable.
So I'm late to the party. Shoot me.
You know an album is a classic when you realise halfway through your first listen that you already know half the songs.
Best Local/Underground Australian Album
The title says it all.
The voice of an angel, catchy, hook-ridden alt/prog rock, and a live atmosphere matched by none.
Disappointment of the year
Title says it all!
|41||All Shall Perish|
This Is Where It Ends
The first three tracks might be solid, but everything afterwards is purely forgettable.
Albums that didn't quite make it, but still deserve a mention.
Kimya collaborating with Aesop Rock!? Who would have thunk it!?
Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me
Another great performance by the Sex Bolm, even if not up to the standard of their past works.
An ambitious attempt for a first album. It's great, but not a classic.