| Sputnikmusic
 

50-31 | 30-1110-1

50. Thou – Heathen

[Official Site] // [Spotify] // [Unofficial Facebook]

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Stream: “Into the Marshlands” (6:58)

Thou have been creating some of the most soul crushing doom metal ever set upon human ears for the last several years. Heathen is no different. It’s an unholy manifestation of distorted guitars and the burliest of burly riffs. Yet, Heathen also expands the New Orleans doom-mongers’ sonic palate in new atmospheric directions, with mournfully layered chords creeping their way into even the heaviest of places. It’s an unrelenting triumph to the emotion that is able to be coaxed from extreme music. –Adam Thomas

49. Kenn Nardi – Dancing With the Past

[Official Site] // [Spotify] // [Facebook]

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Stream: “Dancing With the Past” (6:03)

You can’t keep a good man down. Renowned for fronting progressive thrash metal luminaries Anacrusis back in the early 1990s, Kenn Nardi certainly took his sweet time to release a proper solo outing, but what a thorough collection of his musical fascinations it turned out to be! Clocking in at a whopping 2 hours and 40 minutes, Dancing With the Past stylistically covers a lot of ground, combining the full-on metal assault of Anacrusis with the stylistic excursions of the material released under the Cruel April moniker in 2006. There’s a sense of vulnerability that links many of these songs together, and even though the album is marred by overly compressed production, Nardi’s singular artistic vision remains unblemished. His signature sharp riffing style and erratic tempo shifts get augmented with lush vocal harmonies and orchestral embellishments to startling effect, making for songs that are both intricately written and powerfully emotive. In essence, Dancing With the Past is a far-reaching and comfortably old-fashioned showcase of Nardi’s tremendous talent. –Greg Fisher

48. Run The Jewels – Run the Jewels 2

[Official Site] // [Spotify] // [Facebook]

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Stream: “Early” f/ Boots (3:44)

This year has seen Run the Jewels explode the critical music radar, and the zenith of this movement was the widely lauded Meow The Jewels campaign: the Kickstarter that insisted the rap duo recreate their newest album to feature cat noises. It’s a delightfully silly concept, but in light of the campaign it’d be easy to forget the struggles, the incongruities that caused hip hop musicians Killer Mike and El-P in the first place. This album exists because it’s got something to say about race in 2014, and about the way it shapes and frames everyday interactions. Run the Jewels have never sounded as aware of the tattered sociopolitical landscape of America as they do in “Early”, a ghastly glimpse into the tale of a father who’s mercilessly beaten by police in front of his son and wife.

El-P’s verse in the track paints himself as a distant spectator to the event – he heard it happen, and it confirms for him how dark and twisted city life can be. However, Run the Jewels 2 isn’t just about race – it’s about being dealt a bad hand and playing it as well as you possibly can. Gangsta Boo’s verse in “Love Again” is easily the album’s later highlight, providing some much-needed female perspective on what is otherwise a massively misogynistic rap banger. The two artists behind Run the Jewels 2 understand their own shortcomings as much as they notice the flaws of the very world in which they live – a place in which each new day sees more people treated like less because of old prejudices. Discrimination is everywhere – it’s clear El-P and Killer Mike have seen enough of it with their own eyes – but it’s starting to get noticed by the everyday people. El-P’s role in “Early” isn’t a scripted tale, but a recreation of an event that happens everyday in the moonlight of some alley, some damp and forgotten space between buildings that’s as acquainted with blood as it is to the rain. –Jacob Royal

47. Strand of Oaks – HEAL

[Official Site] // [Spotify] // [Facebook]

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Stream: “Goshen ’97” (3:00)

My favorite concert experience of 2014 took place in one of Los Angeles’ tinier, dingier venues, when Strand of Oaks came to town in support of their superb fourth record HEAL. The band put on a great show, confident and loud and rollicking, seamlessly transposing HEAL‘s brash, fuzzy roots rock to a live setting that captured the beautiful rawness of the record, all frayed edges and lived-in guitar solos. What any Strand of Oaks record or performance comes down to, though, is the man at its center. Timothy Showalter has trudged a long path to get where he is now – HEAL is his first record that pulls no punches in examining every crack and crevice that have punctuated his life and scarred his relationships – yet the joy he practically radiated while performing was undeniable. And when the last song ended, and his guitar lay on the stage floor squalling away its feedback, Showalter walked off the stage and, with a big, shit-eating grin on his face, gave each and every person in the crowd a big, sweaty hug, his filthy beard rustling up against grateful concertgoers and that amazed, happy glint in his eye speaking more volumes than a simple thanks. It was an emotional and at times abrasive performance, but at the end of it was the sweet heart of a person grateful to be where he is right now, content to let the past be the past, and thrilled to pieces for the future. –Rudy K.

46. Low Roar – 0

[Official Site] // [Spotify] // [Facebook]

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Stream: “I’m Leaving” (5:34)

Ryan Karazijah’s Icelandic project Low Roar was born out of a desire to make music inspired by his surroundings. If Iceland is one-half as beautiful as his sophomore release 0, then it’s settled: I’m uprooting my entire life and moving there tomorrow. An alt-rock album by nature, 0 manages to ebb and flow with magnificent contrast and subtle depth – all the while spanning a wide range of influences that don’t fall under the umbrella of your typical indie rock album. There’s the post-rock grandeur of “I’m Leaving”, the moody, electronically underscored “Easy Way Out”, and the sprightly acoustic folk ballad “In The Morning.” No matter what path 0 explores – and trust me, it leaves very few rocks unturned – it just seems to effortlessly succeed. The eighty-seven minute runtime may prove to be a daunting task for some, but those who allow themselves to be swept up in this diverse, genre-bending affair will find some of the most aesthetically pleasing, profoundly meaningful music that 2014 has to offer. –SowingSeason

45. Audrey Fall – Mitau

[Official Site] // [Spotify] // [Facebook]

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Stream: “1944” (7:23)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Stream: “Courland Aa” (5:44)

Finally you come out at the other end of the forest. The journey has been long and arduous, and you’re happy to see the sunrays of a breathtaking morning out in the open, as you spot familiar contours flickering from afar. You take a deep breath, one that is calm and reassuring, full of life. The treacherous night with all its dangers is behind you. Nevertheless, as you triumphantly set your gait towards home, there’s a sadness walking hand-in-hand with you, looking back over its shoulder after every twenty steps or so: a ghost you might not acknowledge right away, but one who will remind you of its presence in due time. Even though your journey was demanding, it was also exciting, inspiring, something that you wanted, neigh, needed. You can’t imagine heading back into the woods at this precise moment, for you are absolutely exhausted, but you know you’ll want to do so again someday. Someday soon, because the thrill of exploring the landscape and all its wonders, especially when light fades, that never goes away.

Enter Mitau: a dusk-till-dawn musical journey through the Latvian wild. –Magnus Altküla

44. Aphex Twin – Syro

[Official Site] // [Spotify] // [Facebook]

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Stream: “PAPAT4 (Pineal Mix)” (4:19)

Richard D. James’ legacy as Aphex Twin exists in two spheres. The first being the enigmatic Richard D. James, Cornwall eccentric and borderline sociopath whose public persona pioneered shitposting long before the internet was anything other than a retreat for socially inept white males. The second is as Aphex Twin, electronic music superstar whose appeal reached far wider than any of his brainiac, synthetic contemporaries and brought armchair electronic to the masses in a way the early ’90s rave culture was never able to do. Of the two, Aphex Twin was always the stronger voice, inviting his listeners into his own personal world without the inherent faults of the human proxy to cloud his vision (although this is an idea he seems to have enjoyed exploiting throughout his long career).

Syro, Richard’s first full-length release in 13 years since the release of the fairly conclusive Drukqs in 2001, is proof that the music of Aphex Twin is much closer to the person behind Aphex Twin than his other half would want us to believe. Syro is quite obviously the work of a grown man with a wife and two children who has been producing music for more than two decades. No longer a product of the spastic teenage mind of the mid ’90s, or the contemplative and clinical precision of the early 2000s, Syro is restrained and laid-back in ways that only come from years of retrospection and growing up. It’s the kind of release that is wholly personal without being vapid or emotionally overwrought. Syro looks back on a more than 20 year career without obscuring what is to come in the future, and after 13 years of silence, it stands as a welcome addition to the bipolar and fractured world of Aphex Twin and the man known as Richard D. James. –Matt P.

43. Cymbals Eat Guitars – LOSE

[Official Site] // [Spotify] // [Facebook]

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Stream: “Warning” (3:20)

Lineup changes and the persistent push and pull of the Internet hype engine have done little to derail Cymbals Eat Guitars, but with the kinds of stories Joseph D’Agostino is telling on LOSE, hype and influences tend to fade away under the spell of one of indie rock’s most brutally honest storytellers. LOSE could have come out at any time from the ’90s onwards – its music is interesting and its style inspired, with “Jackson” in particular the kind of timeless guitar anthem that doesn’t make its presence felt nearly so often anymore – but it’s D’Agostino’s lyrics that immediately cement LOSE in a particular time and place. Take away the music, and you have a poem of love and loss, a dead friend and a dead time. These are universal signifiers, but D’Agostino doesn’t stumble around with metaphors or platitudes. The songs here are filled with personal landmarks, freshly disinterred and as bloody and real as they remain in D’Agostino’s memory, but cut down and made lean with precise details and the sharp, unrelenting knife of memory. On “LifeNet,” D’Agostino sings, “I’m sorry / You don’t know these people, so / What could this mean to you?” The joke, of course, is that everyone has these shockingly accurate maps of past places and things in their brain; Cymbals Eat Guitars and D’Agostino are just the ones doing the heavy lifting, excavating the drunk nights, the bloodshot decisions, the stupid fights, shining a light on everything you wanted to remember and everything you wanted to forget. To me, it means everything. –Rudy K.

42. Panopticon – Roads to the North

[Official Site] // [Spotify] // [Label site]

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Stream: “Capricious Miles (The Long Road Pt II)” (7:53)

In 2012, when Panopticon released his “bluegrass”-tinged black metal record, Kentucky, it toed the line between gimmicky and profund. With its jagged edges and hackneyed elements it stood out as expressly odd amongst the artist’s impressive catalogue. What it did do, however, was elevate the band above the glut of Norwegian black metal idolizing bedroom projects that litter the scene today. With the release of Roads to the North, Austin Lunn has taken the next step and created something one of a kind. Roads to the North does not exist as a black metal record with flourishes of bluegrass, nor vice versa. Instead, Panopticon has masterfully crafted something unique and wonderful: a beautiful and seamless combination of two disparaging sounds that shouldn’t work but do.

Roads to the North was born out of a sojourn to Norway, giving rise to something special. Because of this, it seems that Lunn was able to find himself, combing the sounds of home with that of true inspiration. What was created is something uniquely American, and an album that should stand tall as one of the US black metal scene’s finest achievements. –Eli K.

41. A Sunny Day in Glasgow – Sea When Absent

[Official Site] // [Spotify] // [Facebook]

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Stream: “The Body, It Bends” (3:44)

As the heart and soul of A Sunny Day in Glasgow (ASDiG) – and indeed, its only constant member – Ben Daniels has always brought purpose and direction to the dream pop band’s famously affecting output. However, on Sea When Absent, the Philadelphia native has finally completed the transition from being the team’s chief playmaker to the type of utility player who does things that don’t necessarily appear on the scoresheet. As a result, the other members of ASDiG (drummer Adam Herndon and vocalists Jen Goma and Anne Fredrickson are the first to spring to mind) are given greater latitude to explore the limits and possibilities of their talents, and the compositions presented on ASDiG’s fourth long player are all the more potent for it. Do give this one a listen, if only to cruise for four glorious minutes on the cerebral seas of “Crushin'”, or to take a gander at the M83-meets-MBV-and-ABBA vibe of “The Body, It Bends”. –Irving Tan

40. Anberlin – Lowborn

[Official Site] // [Spotify] // [Facebook]

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Stream: “Stranger Ways” (4:42)

In order to stay relevant and not fade out like many other contemporary bands that overstay their welcome, Anberlin decided to call it a day at a creative peak. Unsurprisingly, their final record, Lowborn is their most mature and settled effort to date. Acting both as a sonic career retrospective and as a step forward into the electronic forays that started years ago, the album makes for a gorgeous final chapter. Featuring some of their most explosive tracks (“Dissenter” or “We Are Destroyer”), as well as some subdued gems (the magnificent “Stranger Ways” or “Losing It All”), Lowborn mixes some of their biggest strengths into one last collection. As always, Stephen’s inspirational lyrics talk about life experiences, social commentaries, and this time, explanations on the disbanding. All these features make Lowborn so good and yet so hard to enjoy without experiencing any disappointment regarding their decision. –Raul Stanciu

39. Objekt – Flatland

[Official Site] // [Spotify] // [Facebook]

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Stream: “Strays” (5:13)

Ever since his first release on his own label back in 2011, TJ Hertz has been evolving his sound as Objekt further from the warped overview of the dubstep and techno scenes into music more suited for headphone sessions and LCD screens. Informed by his background in sound design and a pastiche of inspiration from just about every electronic music scene from the past two decades, Hertz’ music as Objekt (a name that effortlessly mirrors the kind of music it denotes) is equal parts retrospective and forward thinking, not dwelling in dated textures and retro aesthetics all while never forgetting the legacy that informs it. Flatland, Hertz’s debut LP, can be seen as sort of the culmination of these efforts, treading in the footsteps of the many producers he takes influence from and crafting a fully-realized record that expands upon his club-oriented music and evolves it into a cohesive full-length that transcends the dancefloor far more than it ignores it.

Washed over with the kind of British wit of many of the early-’90s pioneers Flatland takes obvious influence from, Hertz’s debut LP is a synthesis of both immaculate sound design and musical structure that is far more effective in a record format not explicitly designed to be spun into a club friendly DJ set. Flatland undulates, speeds up, and slows down with a kineticism like that of an organic robotic macrostructure, ushering synapses to fire off like the twitch of muscles on the dancefloor. Hertz has done what few producers have successfully managed to do in translating his tendency for the club into a sound that finds itself right at home in the living room. Flatland stands as one of the most fully realized records of the year, and something not to be missed by fans of synthetic music both old and new. –Matt P.

38. Pianos Become the Teeth – Keep You

[Official Site] // [Spotify] // [Facebook]

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Stream: “Say Nothing” (7:03)

There’s no “right way” to go through the grieving process; it’s a deeply personal experience without restrictions on time or tempo. It’s also no secret that Pianos Become the Teeth’s discography through The Lack Long After has chronicled Kyle Durfey’s loss of his father and all the pain, anger, and despair associated with it. Knowing that Durfey watched his father slowly deteriorate helps inform the basis of the cathartic screams and intense instrumentation heard on previous albums. His sorrow is something we can vividly visualize – even if we cannot empathize with him completely – but as he says inKeep You closer “Say Nothing”: “A lack of noise isn’t a lack of life / . . . because ‘I say it all when I say nothing at all'”.

I’ve cherrypicked these lines for a reason: gone are the harsh screams, frenetic drumming, and cacophonous guitars, but not at the expense of the raw emotion, instrumental prowess, or songwriting complexity that have characterized Pianos Become The Teeth’s catalogue. Finger-picked guitars, gentle crescendos, frequent allusions to ’90s-era emo soundscapes, and Durfey’s stunning cleans with remarkable timbre and tone are strikingly soothing, with each passage and layer breathing life into the austerity. All told, Pianos’ segue from screamo to emo is flawless and one of the year’s most skillful accomplishments, and those wondering where the screams went would be doing themselves a disservice by not giving Keep You a listen. Your patience will most certainly be rewarded. Recommended: “Say Nothing”, “Enamor Me”, “Repine”. –Jom

37. The Jezabels – The Brink

[Official Site] // [Spotify] // [Facebook]

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Stream: “Look For Love” (4:02)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Stream: “No Country” (4:34)

“Sister, chains.”

This is my favorite lyric of 2014. Taken from track 5 (“No Country”), its almost conversational delivery sticks in my head hours after hearing it, and even in the context of a delightfully weird song, chock full of mismatched cinematic anecdotes and “He said ‘I won’t dirty you when I’m making love,'” it still feels so weird.

It may surprise you to see The Brink on this year’s best-of list, considering the lukewarm reception relative to 2011’s Prisoner. I am convinced that most misgivings about the new direction taken by the Brisbane four-piece on this, their sophomore LP, arise from a combination of two factors: (A) that the band’s shift away from the epic, transcendent sound channeled on their debut (and originally perfected on their phenomenal introductory EPs) is palpable; and (B) that the album’s sole lackluster entry—the title track—opens the album, and does not showcase at all why (A) is a good thing. Even assuming the truth of my track 1 theory does not make a gut-reaction any more or less genuine, but I do feel obligated to lobby for this record’s affirmation (mainly because tracks 2-10 are so fucking good).

On The Brink, the band finds a way to grow musically by simplifying their approach, which was bound to throw off some longtime fans. The songs feel a bit shorter, and more synth-heavy, sure… the synthpop ingredients play into that weird pop music fallacy where integrating new elements can somehow comes off as less ambitious. At their core, these remain the same strange, dark love songs that the band does so well. Our own Boy Davey’s characterization of this record — that it lacked the immediacy of Prisoner and Dark Storm — is apt. I couldn’t figure out for sure where this sat relative to the band’s other releases until maybe two weeks ago.

Yea, it’s better than Prisoner. –The Academy

36. Angel Olsen – Burn Your Fire For No Witness

[Official Site] // [Spotify] // [Facebook]

Angel Olsen has a voice that can move even the hardest of hearts. It’s well worn, like an old glove or dusty pair of jeans, fitting ever so snugly over every emotional nook and cranny. It’s close and familiar, but also achingly distant — like an old Roy Orbison song fighting through distant radio static, detached from the nowness of the moment in a timeless air. Burn Your Fire For No Witness is steeped in a lived in melancholia. It’s a catalog of experiences that hurt, that burn, that still linger, and the catharsis of pushing forward. To put it simply, it is a record about existing and all the pain and beauty that comes along with being a human being. –Adam Thomas

35. Ne Obliviscaris – Citadel

[Official Site] // [Spotify] // [Facebook]

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Stream: “Pyrrhic” (9:50)

Leading up to spinning Citadel for the first time, the biggest question I had was how it would compare to 2012’s spectacular Portal of I. In short, Citadel is a tighter-knit, focused record, with three distinct sections that seamlessly transition to and from one another. Although some may scoff at the cleaner production and even leveling and mixing of instruments (and yes, there are times where it’s odd that the violin, the guitar, and the bass drum all seem to be equally, horizontally balanced), it’s a legitimate delight that the album’s “Painters of the Tempest”, “Pyrrhic”, and “Devour Me, Colossus” sections are laid out as logically and admirably as they are. This cohesiveness works wonders for the listening experience, and Citadel truly offers something for every listener: “Painters of the Tempest” is the band’s most memorable magnum opus to date (“Part II: Triptych Lux” is far and away the song’s best movement), “Pyrrhic” is most reminiscent of Portal of I, and “Devour Me, Colossus”‘ diversity in sound cap off a sublime listen. To their credit, Ne Obliviscaris continue to refuse being bound by any genre classification, and “neo-classical blackened prog metal with jazz elements” is arguably more pompous-sounding than those song titles themselves. Recommended: “Painters of the Tempest (Part II): Triptych Lux”, “Pyrrhic”, “Devour Me, Colossus (Part I): Blackholes”. –Jom

34. Mastodon – Once More ‘Round the Sun

[Official Site] // [Spotify] // [Facebook]

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Stream: “The Motherload” (5:00)

The musical whereabouts of Mastodon from Atlanta, Georgia have been analyzed aplenty by musical reviews all over the world; nevertheless, it’s always amazing to go back and see how a terribly talented “tech” hardcore/sludge metal band (in Remission) gradually transformed into an ‘A’-class heavy rock/metal outfit, one that can look behemoths like Metallica right in the eyes (not in terms of commercial impact of course, but most certainly in terms of artistic output). In the previous album The Hunter, Mastodon moved away from the progressive metal galore of the preceding album, and gave way to equally engaging but substantially more introvert and “down to earth” material. Their new album Once more ‘Round The Sun further refines that previously (and grossly) described recipe. A blend of classic rock and metal and the trademark Mastodon patents, the overall sound hints at a band destined to sell out whole stadiums, whereas the excellent lyrics (“The Motherload” is by far song of the year!!) and the fantastic vocal prominence of all band members make for yet another essential addition in the band’s portfolio. –Voivod

33. Marissa Nadler – July

[Official Site] // [Spotify] // [Facebook]

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Stream: “Drive” (5:37)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Stream: “Was It a Dream” (3:46)

It’s crazy to think that it took seven (!) releases for a Marissa Nadler LP to hit 100 ratings and BNM. Remarkably consistent over the course of her eleven-year career, Nadler’s July (cleverly dubbed “The Coldest July on Record”) might be her best effort to date, and has already become a personal mainstay of long car rides and hopeless fucking batshit miserable subway commutes.

On July, Nadler’s own brand of dream folk plays out in equal parts campfire story, postindustrial dereliction, and back-roads tour of the boonies. It builds and builds, and you know it’s not going anywhere you want to end up, but you still feel the need to drown yourself in it. And while experiencing Nadler’s July is still every bit about the feeling she curates, you could argue that she actually perfected this way earlier (I would say two years ago, on The Sister, although just about all of her material post-Little Hells has been shining a pretty bright black). It is only with July, however, that you begin to truly feel a gravity in every pluck that can match up with her haunting vocals. There is no denying the sheer substance of the whole affair, or that Nadler has become a master of composition.

Oh, and “Was It a Dream” has a gnarly guitar solo lol. –The Academy

32. Clipping – CLPPNG

[Official Site] // [Spotify] // [Facebook]

clipping makes art – and not the sordid shock-rap typified by many of their contemporaries from southern California. They push the boundaries of production from the start with a harsh filter of feedback and noise that contorts a bass-heavy, electro-boom-bap. But the whole package is much more than cool effects and beats.

At its heart, CLPPNG is a study on humanity – and its inherent ugliness. From a soul-eating (but strong) woman in “Body and Blood”, to the footnote of a police bust in “Work Work”, clipping paint a vivid, dark picture. But perhaps most poignant are the sociopathic, stream of consciousness ramblings on “Story 2” amidst an accelerating midi riff. Here, they warp your perspective through a shroud of disgust, anxiety, and then toward some truly humanizing sorrow. –Sobhi Youssef

31. Thee Silver Mount Zion Memorial Orchestra – Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything

[Official Site] // [Spotify] // [Label Facebook]

Hiding in the shadows for over a decade, the continuously changing Silver Mount Zion are not a band that anyone can pin down. Releasing music sporadically while using different monikers, the band exists in a weird place, seemingly dodging the spotlight without rhyme or reason. Consider Fuck Off We Get Free We Pour Light On Everything the band’s first statement. Explosive and unhinged, the album is unrelenting and poignant; a raw and sincere letter bomb from the shaggy dogs of post-rock. Oh what a statement it has turned out to be.

A year later, Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything is no more a post-rock album than it was when everyone was exclaiming as such. At its core, the album exists as the sloppiest and most impassioned punk creation of the year. Unchained and immediate, the band’s latest is wholly of the moment. Silver Mount Zion want you to be affected and they want you to remember every crooked chord and wailed lyric. Yes, it’s a far cry from the band of yesterday, and it’s absolutely perfect. –Eli K.

Previous | Next





Crysis
12.15.14
Sweet list gj staff

Toondude10
12.15.14
Low Roar at 46? Sowing must be pissing vinegar right now. Looks good so far though. Surprised to see Anberlin on here though.

SharkTooth
12.15.14
Love the description on 32

kris.
12.15.14
dang already some curveballs being thrown
RTJ2 at 48? incoming rage

Toondude10
12.15.14
Yeah I expected RTJ2 to be WAY higher as well.

Voivod
12.15.14
This looks great, good job everyone.

Toondude10
12.15.14
Still need to listen to Kenn Nardi though

greg84
12.15.14
Amazing job as always, guys.

Cygnatti
12.15.14
39 is best thing on here. 50's great too. : )

kris.
12.15.14
i'll be happy as long as throw me in the river is on the list at some point

unaMUSEd
12.15.14
Pleasantly surprised that Anberlin made the list. Meanwhile two of my top 10 predictions are already gone (RTJ2 and Syro).

Toondude10
12.15.14
You think Chevelle might make the list?

Judio!
12.15.14
Cool to see Panopticon made the cut. Great list so far Staffers!

Relinquished
12.15.14
50's on the list, I'm content

STILL SHOULD'VE BEEN HIGHER, I'M LOOKING AT U M/STAFF

dimsim3478
12.15.14
Thou came out depressingly low but props for Panopticon, Marissa Nadler and Jezabels in acceptable rankings. Also new Pianos is surprisingly high.

indigonowhere
12.15.14
i honestly discovered Heathen the day after we made this list. if that hadn't have happened in that way it'd be a bit higher here

awesome job dudes =]

jemaiseyeti
12.15.14
Quality, nice picks!

apert
12.15.14
Surprised mastodon is on here, thought it was pretty average mostly

DikkoZinner
12.15.14
Noice

Athom
12.15.14
D'Angelo at #1

AliW1993
12.15.14
Great job guys. There are more records that I enjoy here than on the entire user's list.

Crawl
12.15.14
Cool list so far

kris.
12.15.14
where is the rage and anger, sputnik youve changed smh

Pheromone
12.15.14
31 ye woo.
why is it not 1 though

ILJ
12.15.14
"Gangsta Boo’s verse in “Love Again” is easily the album’s later highlight"

What? I don't believe I've ever disagreed with you this hard. Literally the worst part of the album for me. I skip it every time.

Hyperion1001
12.15.14
this looks awesome as usual

proud to be a part of this

RadicalEd
12.15.14
it's on.

SublimeOctopus
12.15.14
Great list! Check out my best albums of the year across the genres right here ... http://thedigitalhuman.net/2014/11/16/the-best-albums-of-2014/

AmericanFlagAsh
12.15.14
Oh.
Interesting.

Brostep
12.15.14
sweet list everybody! wish I could have been part of this but I didn't listen to nearly enough this year so I've heard maybe 2 of these albums :[

indigonowhere
12.15.14
I honestly don't know what there is to dislike about Gangsta Boo's verse. She does the same exact thing as El-P and Killer Mike in the song, yet nobody's complaining about their contributions

SamiK951
12.15.14
Cool list guys!

"You think Chevelle might make the list?"

I certainly hope so but I doubt it

RadicalEd
12.15.14
I'm a bit disappointed with Run the Jewels so low, but on the other hand I'm very happy with a lot of the choices so far. Great work overall.

MrCoffee
12.15.14
Nice to see Cymbals Eat Guitars on a list.

Sniff
12.15.14
I've missed out on Audrey Fall and Marissa Nadler. I'll make up for it I promise. Good job staff.

ILJ
12.15.14
"I honestly don't know what there is to dislike about Gangsta Boo's verse. She does the same exact thing as El-P and Killer Mike in the song, yet nobody's complaining about their contributions"

I just find her voice and flow extremely off putting. The lyricism in general on the entire song I don't like but I still find El-P and Killer Mike to be enjoyable.

TheSupernatural
12.15.14
1 is going to be Swans or The War on Drugs

IronGiant
12.15.14
if D'Angelo doesn't make the top 10 I'm losing all hope for this site

klap
12.15.14
well D'Angelo actually just came out and this was written well before that so ~hope lost~

Hyperion1001
12.15.14
the album was announced and released after we already compiled our list

since end of the year lists are published before the year is actually over some albums get snubbed like that, its just a fact of life.

IronGiant
12.15.14
exceptions should be made for it. why would we suddenly just disregard material that has been released with two and a half perfectly good weeks still left in the year. god knows if Swans released an album December 31 this site would cum on their monitors and force it in this list somehow. All I'm saying is Black Messiah is top 10 material and deserves a spotlight

IronGiant
12.15.14
fair enough, I just think it's a really good album is all and would hate to see it not get the credit it deserves on this site

Dryden
12.15.14
thou is too low

Hyperion1001
12.15.14
thats just how it works man

djunior
12.15.14
Marissa Nadler is talented, this album was boring though.

Jom
12.15.14
>> fair enough, I just think it's a really good album is all and would hate to see it not get the credit it deserves on this site

You raised a fair point yourself. Something we have done in the past is include December [insert previous year here] albums into the following year's list. We also will fracture rules as needed (e.g. a re-release) if it's worth adding something that happens once every fourteen years (not sarcastic).

We were also concerned about how genuine the list would be if the 23 of us listened to the record without properly digesting it. It's akin to the recency effect: we weren't certain that we could slot a record that was formally released last week, place it on our individual lists (if applicable), and run the calculations to see where it would fall (if at all) in the Top 50.

My educated guess is that it would not appear. No album (not even a New Year's Eve release of a Swans record, although the image of a crusty computer monitor is amusing) would be that positively sublime.

zaruyache
12.15.14
Really surprised to see Aurdrey Fall mentioned at all, given it's gotten like zero attention here. O:

SowingSeason
12.15.14
Feature looks great, nice work to everyone involved!

ChoccyPhilly
12.15.14
nice to see Sobhi taking part

Trebor.
12.15.14
new Pianos on a staff list wat

ExplosiveOranges
12.15.14
Quality list. Pleasantly surprised to see Sobhi and Eli on here.

Deviant.
12.15.14
Just a few things regarding D'angelo: you can't be surprised when the album surfaced this morning with absolutely no warning beyond the fact that the album existed. This feature has been locked in for nearly two weeks now and, fearing irrelevancy, needs to be published in a timely fashion. Are we the only site to do this? Of course not. Every online publication I frequent began posting their year-end charts weeks ago.

Also, the album hasn't been physically released yet, right? I know it's on iTunes and Spotify, but it won't probably physically come out until January. There's your loophole for its inclusion next year

Deviant.
12.15.14
Also, the feature looks great as always Trey. Good job to everyone involved, especially Jom for nailing it all down

ShadowRemains
12.16.14
i anticipate banks being higher

Ryus
12.16.14
at least 44 isn't super high on the list

Asdfp277
12.16.14
omg it's happening


2014 is ending


StKiyo
12.16.14
Hoping for Chevelle in the list too, La Gargola rocks

RoyalImperialGuard
12.16.14
"it’s an unrelenting triumph to the emotion that is able to be coaxed from extreme music"


Yeah, about that.

Pangea
12.16.14
Great write ups, as expected. Only heard 31 of these

Pangea
12.16.14
And with 31 I meant the thee zilver etc album

Artuma
12.16.14
looks pretty good so far

Artuma
12.16.14
but what's the point of doing this in reverse cuz we all know top 3 is gonna be flylo, war on drugs and sharon van etten :]

Keyblade
12.16.14
Great stuff, love these blurbs. From the looks of it, this list is gonna be way better than the user list

AliW1993
12.16.14
Pretty much.

clercqie
12.16.14
Pleasantly surprised to see Objekt on here.

Nice writeup on RTJ2 as well, good job Jacob!

greg84
12.16.14
I totally endorse 31, 34, 48 and of course 49.

aaanndyy
12.16.14
Glad to see Heathen on here but sad to see it so low. Hope Goddess is top 10, hope Are We There is top 5

Tyrael
12.16.14
Ne Obliviscaris is here. That's good enough for me.

MO
12.16.14
not bad staff not bad

Willie
12.16.14
Happy that 49, 42, 40, 37, 35., 34 and 33 made it.

I also just heard 50 and 45 and those are really cool, too.

Toondude10
12.16.14
That Kenn Nardi album is pretty sweet so far, and I'm only three songs in.

Judio!
12.16.14
So happy to see Musk Ox here.

hamid95
12.17.14
The Jezabels write-up is ridiculous. Prisoner blows their new record out of the water.

Willie
12.17.14
Says you. Fortunately, you had no part of this list.

Flugmorph
12.17.14
audrey fall really impressed me

cryptside
12.17.14
Awesome list so far. I'm surprised that Thou wasn't higher, but I also love to see Panopticon on here.

PyroKitty
12.18.14
^ what clercqie said.

jeremologyy
12.21.14
thanks for the shoutout on 33. this is a nice list. :-)

BurnedBlack606
12.23.14
Surprised to not see The Joy of Motion on here.

You need to be logged in to post a comment
Login | Register

STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy