|Listening to the entire 2018 staff list #2|
Continuation of what I was doing here: https://www.sputnikmusic.com/list.php?memberid=199353
From the Gallery of Sleep
I wasn't sure what to expect here. I have certain ideas of what I hear when the term "post-rock" gets thrown around. So maybe that contributed to how utterly captivated I was by this album. Music like this is like candy for me; I can listen to Cloudkicker and Animals as Leaders and Gruszka all day long without getting fatigued. This album is right in that vein: technical, melodic, and rhythmically obtuse. That's an itch that I'm always down to scratch. Impression: loved it.
Queen of Time
I'm a little bit embarrassed as a metal fan to say that I've never heard a complete Amorphis album before now. And idk... this is all right I guess? I have a problem with melodic metal that is going over the top to be FUCKING EPIC like this is. I subsist on a steady diet of metal, so I'll be giving this another few listens in the hopes that it will click with me, but I have the same problem with this that I did with that Ne Obliviscarus album a few years ago. It's just too rich and artificial-sounding. Impression: will be returning, but very "meh".
Another band that is right up my alley that I've weirdly never listened to. This struck me as a distillation of everything I love about the genre in a neat package format. Great hooks, weird melodies, fuzzy instrumentation, and an experimental aesthetic are all wins for me. Impression: liked it.
Joy as an Act of Resistance
For the first several tracks, I kept thinking "this was made for a demographic other than my own". Then something clicked and the lyrics and the vocalist's carefree rage and the band's casual irreverence just starting working for me. This is about a million miles away from anything else that I currently listen to, but I want more of this album. Impression: liked it.
I had never listened to these guys before doing this, but this really took me by surprise. This album is enigmatic and absorbing and beautiful. I can't wait to get back to it. Impression: loved it.
This statement is not going to make me any friends on sputnik: this band have never done anything that rises above the stupid gimmick that drives their entire appeal, in my opinion. This album did nothing to change that opinion. A few tracks stand out, "Tortoises" and "Michael", in particular. But sorry, sputnik. I seem to be missing a gene that allows me to enjoy these guys' schtick. Impression: won't be returning.
|15||Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever|
On the surface, this is pretty run of the mill indie rock, but there's a personality to it that I found appealing. It failed to make much of a lasting impression on me, but I will keep it around for roadtrips and beach days. Impression: liked it.
Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed
Now this is my kind of metal. The way the lead guitar melodies kind of wander around between keys is so hypnotic and evil-sounding. It's everything I love about European-style doom/death. Impression: loved it.
They Are the Shield
I am a fanatic for all things Toby Driver, so of course I've had this since release. I don't like ranking or rating music anymore, but if I did I might name this my AOTY. This album carries me away to the astral plane every time. The strings in "Glyph" are one of my favorite musical moments of the year. Impression: loved it.
|12||Tropical Fuck Storm|
A Laughing Death in Meatspace
My favorite part about this album was how accurately the band name and album cover gives you an impression of what to expect from it. This one will require a few more listens from me before I decide whether I will keep it around, but I think I like this weird mishmash of fuzzy punk and stoner rock. Impression: liked it.
Nearer My God
I generally agree with the Sputnik consensus on this album, and listen to this album frequently. Fun fact: these dudes are from my hometown. "Crown Candy" is a local landmark (they have amazing shakes and malts) and "Lambert" is the name of our airport. Impression: liked it.
|10||Spanish Love Songs|
I don't have much time for pop-punk these days, so it takes a special emotional resonance to get me invested. Schmaltz delivered that in spades. This shit hit me right in the feels, repeatedly, and the hooks are quite excellent. Impression: liked it.
I love lists like these, because never in a million years would I have listened to an album with a fucking cover like this. Who knew that this delicious electropop shake would be one of my favorite records on this list? Impression: loved it.
The Scars of Man on the Once Nameless Wilderness
As a slavering Panopticon fanboy, I have been listening to this since it dropped, but it was great to have an excuse to spin the whole thing at once. This album is another win in Austin's streak since "Roads to the North", and the folk side, while not quite groundbreaking considering the genre, is a nice addition to Panopticon's amazing back catalog. "The Itch" is an absolutely savage Trump burn. Impression: loved it.
Honestly I expected to enjoy this a whole lot more than I did. I'll be giving it more chances, since I'm always looking for a good grower of an electronic album, and there were enough good bits to convince me to do that. For now it doesn't strike me as anything more than good background music. Impression: liked it.
My hip hop library is limited to low-key material like Flying Lotus and Nujabes, so this is relatively outside of my comfort zone. I found myself enjoying this once I was able to get past the aesthetic of tracks like "Sumo", and I liked it enough to save it in my library to have a solid hip hop album in my back pocket. Impression: liked it.
|5||Nine Inch Nails|
I've never been a huge fan of NIN's signature sound, but I respect Reznor as an artist, and it's good to hear him coming out of a funk with this album. I liked the succinctness and intensity of this album, and I can see myself returning to it when the mood strikes me. Impression: liked it.
Ordinary Corrupt Human Love
Fuck the haters; this album is beautiful. I've been jamming this since release, and as cliche as it is, I'm glad to see it in the top 20. Deafheaven have crafted a gorgeous, poignant statement with this album, and they deserve all of the love they get. Impression: liked it.
By the Way, I Forgive You
This is the first album on the staff list that I truly failed to enjoy. Set aside the fact that the vocals and the lyrics are both excellent; the music underneath them is so completely uninteresting and flat that I struggled to focus on the good bits. As someone who doesn't typically go for indie singer-songwriters, it takes a special ingredient to get me into something like this, and Brandi failed to deliver that to me. Everything about this album is exactly what you'd expect it to sound like if you knew the genre tags. I understand how you could be into that, but I'm definitely not. Impression: won't be returning.
Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides
Now this is more what I'm looking for in a pop album. Every song on this is a refreshing, incoherent mess, in a way that I found completely captivating. This has been a great year for avant garde pop, and this album is the cherry on top of that statement. Impression: liked it.
Time Will Die And Love Will Bury It
I have been meaning to get to this for quite a while now, and this project gave me a good excuse to do so. I had a feeling I would enjoy this, and I was very right. This stuff is smooth as silk; equal parts shoegazy metal and progressive ferocity. This feels as revelatory as when I discovered that experimental screamo that was all the rage around here about 10 years or so ago. I have to agree with the Sputnik consensus here. Impression: loved it.