|UserReviews 9Approval 87%Soundoffs 128News Articles 40Band Edits + Tags 46Album Edits 79Album Ratings 388Objectivity 89%Last Active 12-04-13 12:40 amJoined 09-27-10Forum Posts 25Review Comments 3,512
It's been an incredible 2013. A lot has happened in my life this past year and I'm grateful to have had such an abundance of soundtracks blasting out my ears every step of the way. Biggest hugs to Sputnik for keeping me in the loop.
DIGITAL PUNK ROCK SPIRIT
Everything Goes Away
Trophy Eyes bleeds hardcore well into the territory of pop punk, but I'm proud to say that the output was much better than we could have hoped: the band may look like typical "defend pop punk" type youngsters, but their debut EP is a veritable anvil of blood pumping hardcore with enough emotion and pop sensibility to keep you screaming along as you're knocked around in the pit. Enjoy.
|28|| ||Their / They're / There|
For many, Their / They're / There's debut was one of the best EPs of 2013. So hold up with your end-of-year lists as the supergroup (fuck you, Evan, you guys are a supergroup) proceeds to put out THE BEST EP of the year in "Analog Weekend". A short collection of three precise math rock cuts, the trio yet again creates a varied, intent mix of noodly guitars, urgent drumming and powerful, distinctive vocals, this time with a much more cohesive bonding of the three members' styles. The "Analog Weekend" EP is all too short of an output for a group with such a fresh sound, but nonetheless, it's a release that's probably worth more spins than any other EP that the year has offered thus far.
What the fuck does #uncrew mean?
"Repave" sails its way into the top tier of this year's exceptional catalog with some much needed uplifting rock music. Where Bon Iver is perhaps a more subtle entity, what strikes with Volcano Choir is that the band is a little more straightforward and upfront, but equally as dreamy in their impacting and beautiful indie rock instrumentation, taking cues from indie folk in "Repave"'s acoustic guitar tendencies and post-rock in its build-up driven structuring. "Repave" is a rich endeavour for its endless succession of masterful melodies and instrumental arrangements which will surely catch you off guard, and its this songwriting skill that escalates the album's impact remarkably when it becomes apparent that Volcano Choir knows exactly what they're doing 100% of the time, and does it well. It's intent, no-bullshit music that doesn't want to prove itself as experimental or edgy, and needs only to be completely, wonderfully beautiful.
|24||The World is a Beautiful Place...|
Whenever, If Ever
Math pop has never sounded so heartfelt.
Abandon All Life
COIN COIN Chapter Two: Mississippi Moonchile
The Hands That Thieve
Maybe You, No One Else Worth It
With the debut album "Maybe You", Grand Rapids' self-proclaimed "frat-boys of emo", Brave Bird, manage to blow a hurricane of fresh air our way: it's got the vocals of a young Jesse Lacey, strained into painful screams on occasion; some of the most technically proficient twinkle riffs in recent memory (all of which seem to have been finger-picked on an SG...you heard me); and a range of exciting punk tracks without so much as a power chord ("Too Late Now", "The Worst Things..."), as well as slow burners which see Brave Bird expand their style into some of the most exciting five or six minute tracks emo has to offer ("Thick Skin", "Maybe You..."). It's a phenomenal effort in which the band demonstrates a fully formed sound--encapsulated in some of the year's most enjoyable tracks and catchiest pop choruses, no less--Brave Bird shows a degree of confidence and development in their debut that rivals that of Snowing's "Fuck Your Emotional Bullshit".
|17||Into It. Over It.|
|14|| ||Captain, We're Sinking|
The Future is Cancelled
These guys have the kind of songs that you might sing to yourself quietly in public like any old pop hook and then realise that the lyrics are actually extremely sad and you proceed to look around to see if you made anyone uncomfortable. In short, "The Future is Cancelled" is dark, angry pop punk music. Ha ha.
|13|| ||Paysage d'Hiver|
|10||Altar of Plagues|
Teethed Glory and Injury
|9||An Autumn for Crippled Children|
Try Not to Destroy Everything You Love
One of my favourite black metal fuzz walls of the year. AAFCC take hi-fi production, keep the buzzing guitar tone, back it with an exceptional rhythm section, and cover it all with melodic synths.
Is Survived By
I'd just like to start by saying that Touche Amore came in and blew a fucking hole in the wall with "Is Survived By". Previously criticised for the fairly underwhelming "Parting the Sea...", I think a lot of people missed what the band were really doing on that album: they were learning to write real albums, however subpar some of the actual songs may have been on their own. "Is Survived By" is the simultaneous application and beefing up of their short-song formula and the aforementioned compositional strengths developed on "Parting the Sea...", in addition to all of the new territory they tread across the course of the record, from female vocals on "Blue Angel" to masterful post-rock influence on "Non Fiction". The album sees Touche Amore take a completely unexpected leap forward and finally consolidate their previously questionable position at the genre's front by crafting the masterpiece that we were all waiting for.
A l'ame Enflammee, l'ame Constellee
|5||Run the Jewels|
Run the Jewels
You know this duo means business when Killer Mike goes as far as saying "I was born to be on El-P beats". And at the genesis of their partnership, we have one of the most hard-hitting, bank-counter banging hip hop records in recent memory. Holy fucking shit.
I suppose the reason I like "Sunbather" so much is that it took black metal and made it angelic and beautiful. It's really what the genre had been doing with subtlety for a long time now, but it needed to be undertaken at least once with transparency: to take the anger and fury and chaos and create something purely cathartic, without the sinister element. It's an obvious statement, but the appeal runs deeper than that: my love of extreme metal, post-rock, shoegaze, and anything angelic-sounding is encapsulated right here, in "Sunbather". It's not perfect, but it's an album that I've wanted to own for so long, and "Sunbather" is more than I could ask of it.
Senjougahara Hitagi [vol. II]
Airospace is another of the anime obsessed, enigmatic artists whose work is buried deep within the unfathomable archive that is Bandcamp, and he happens to have released the best hip hop tape of the year in the form of "Senjougahara Hitagi [vol. II]", named for the "Bakemonogatari" cover seductress. Quite simply, it's extremely unhinged (in both flow and production), and from this yields a series of dark, masterful, labyrinthine verses attached to mysterious, eclectic, and positively nuts beats. But, far from being driven by aggression or shock value like Death Grips or Tyler, the Creator, the music is unquestionably the most overpowering aspect of Airospace's insane dream in that it's so very easy to get lost in. It's complex, drifting, lush, raw, free-form, surreal, and psychologically scary; rich experimental hip hop that plays like the soundtrack to an uber-arthouse visual anime experiment from the minds of insane, psychopathic versions of Earl Sweatshirt and Flying Lotus. Needless to say, it's fresher than a barrage of my shitty similes and adjectives can describe.
|2||The Wonder Years|
The Greatest Generation
There's something about "Wheel", man. It breaks absolutely no surface ground at all, and in that its strengths become remarkably subtle. No, it doesn't grab your attention with an astounding voice, complex instrumentation or anything too unique, but when you really listen, Laura Stevenson reveals a grand structure that is unlike anything we have heard in indie folk for years. You can hear it in every climax, every croon, and every moment of this album: Wheel is born out of a passion so pure and burning and yet chooses not to scream, but to sing. And I'll be damned if Laura ain't got the voice of an angel.
|Album art, yada yada yada.|
Man, I got really into BM this year.
|whoa great list dude!|
|Great effin list. Where's Laura ya cuntin gooch? Oh there she is, at #1 :3|
|Just the 4 the same this time William. We're growing apart man... Which probably means that you're progressing & I'm regressing. LOL!|
|"Previously criticised for the fairly underwhelming "Parting the Sea...""|
What? Parting the Sea was better than Is Survived By
|^nah, I loved "PTS" but the general consensus is that it was the worst of the band's three LPs. Anyway, "Is Survived By" is definitely an improvement.|
@Davey: we still share a lot of common ground musically, bro. I could never stray too far from Yellowcard, My Chem, Rise Against and all that good stuff. :)
|Actually, did you consider including the My Chem album/compilation? |
|I rated it a 3.5, but with so many great releases this year it didn't end up very high on the list.|
|"Man, I got really into BM this year."|
no u didnt
|hell yeah 30 rules|
|"no u didnt"|
There's like 6 BM records that made this list, dude. Overall I'm not a metalhead but the genre really left its mark on me as of late.
|yea BM rulezzz|
|Is Survived By sucks but that's just my opinion.|
|nice list, have heard next to none of these. Different strokes.|
but where is Jeff?
|although dimsim how do you have 30 but no anamanaguchi? crying's pretty good but endless fantasy is almost objectively the better album by far|
|"but where is Jeff?"|
Shit, I ignored Summer Seven Club when i was making the list because I guess it's technically a compilation. I'll probably edit this list later to work him in.
"crying's pretty good but endless fantasy is almost objectively the better album by far"
Crying made it into my top EPs, but Anamanaguchi didn't make my top LPs even though they are better fo sho.