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02.16.24 G L I T C H genre tag02.01.24 FEBRUARY of ambi2ent (REC me)
01.01.24 well_2023: "YES" albums (2/2) 12.31.23 well_2023: "NO" albums (1/2)
12.27.23 (be)rate my LP 'collection'12.03.23 2023 BNM: cringedex
12.01.23 New users :: REVIEWED 11.28.23 Your 5s choices reviewed AGAIN
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Your 5s choices reviewed AGAIN

We are back. See first comment!
1John Frusciante
Niandra LaDes and Usually Just a T-Shirt


Is bighubbabuddha an apparition of spiritual discharge (the poo kind) or a real human? When did he grow from mainly the former to mainly the latter? Why is he so lewd? How the fuck did he access your shoutbox? So many questions. bighubba's 5s have some answers if you peer closely - I can see the sketch of an emerging (or deliberately concealed) personality here, with choice artists that no-one is ever going to actively *ask* you to bat for but will respect all the more for this (Japan, Thou, Mark Hollis, Bauhaus, David Sylvian, Vladislav Delay (okay I did literally ask for this one, but)), original takes on familiar acts (Bad Moon Rising and Murray Street as the twin peaks of Sonic Youth? Challenge for a Civilized Society for the one true Unwound? Every Kingdom for the Ben Howard to rule us all?), and the kind of admittedly obvious classics that demand a reason beyond mere cool cred for this kind of elevation (Black Celebration, Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Axis: Bold as Love and I guess even Music for Airports).

You'll have to stare pretty damn hard to find these patterns though, because they're camouflaged in a slew of Obvious Online Music albums that announce approximately fuckall about who this boi truly is. Some of these are excellent (Relationship of Command, Treasure, Clouds Taste Metallic, Pygmalion, Let Love In) and some have at least a stale fart or two propping them up (Harmony in Ultraviolet, RDJ Album, (especially) Halcyon Digest) -- but more than their quality is their bloody multitude. You have too many 5s from too many conversations' worth of bands. You either get a lot more out of more strands of music than the majority of us, or you are compensating for this messily! Other than a distinct bias towards the creep-harvesting goth ladies over at Sargent House and, I guess, the likes of Deftones and Thrice, there's not that much of a specific Sputnik presence here, but he doesn't clash with out landscape either. How helpful is that?

Shit. The real buddhahubba is hiding in plain sight -- the fuck does he want with us?

VERDICT: 3/5 your true colours are almost interesting enough to be worth sifting through this much online music loyalty card faff for

DROP: At least 10 albums that have more than 1000 votes on this site - I am more interested which you choose than which I think are most misplaced here.

BUMP: songs, The Idiot, False Lankum, Charlie, Avalon: these start to give me a firmer read on who you are, but also I have no idea who tf you are and am deliberately leaning away from certain other preconceived character patterns I'd apply to other users with the same chart here, so I am probably botching this horribly
2Johann Pachelbel
Canon and Gigue in D


Well, this one is easier: where once we had the conceit that Pachelbel's Canon was the sole apex of recorded music (a pretence as hilariously slim as it was heartbreakingly basic), now it is flanked by not one or two or even three, but *four* records of basement-dwelling sword-happy metal for the kind of metalhead who hasn't been to a show in years and refuses to admit to themselves that a new DnD group really would solve 95% of the failings in their social life. This a supremely deja vu plot twist that only compounds my theory that you were forced to drop out of whatever how-to-be-a-real-life-goblin academy you were originally enrolled in and have been subsequently venting your free time on the rest of with these min effort garbage soundoffs. Only silver linking is Nordland II: I know almost fuckall about Bathory's career, but even I am thrown by that as the fourth metal record in a string of otherwise uncontroversial picks. Finally a faint glimmer of an explanation I'd care to hear from you

VERDICT: 1.5/5. No less dumb than it was when Pachelbel was holding the fort da solo , but a bit less funny

DROP: either all of it or none of it

BUMP: one or both of Hate Crew Deathroll or Heroes of Mighty Magic -- you've staked enough of your identity of these already. Also Vivaldi, if only to make the Pachelbel gimmick less cringe. Otherwise, drop the rest of these 4.5s too.
3Cult of Luna


Well shit damn, this is a different flavour from your old list. Looks like you did cut everything I listed in DROP last time around, and I don't know whether to feel glad or guilty about this? Your crusty metal picks have been pared down to the bare minimum and the survivors are mostly assets to the list. Solid range of indie-adjacent electronic picks here too - don't think I'd knock any individual choice (maybe Gospel; Persephone and Orchid already have you covered for dorky prog, but are much more striking individual choices, whereas Fear Before is far superior as a screwball hardcore option).

The list as a whole is still stuffy though - it's a cohesive and mostly excellent set of records from someone trying a little too hard to take their jams seriously. Get a couple of louche picks in here, or tbqh anything more likely to make me break into a shiteating grin than to frown in concentration, and you'll be cooking.

VERDICT: 3.7/5. Early candidate for most improved 5s of *this* list - it has been refined very well, but now its horizons must be broadened a little!

DROP: Gospel, maybe Kid A

BUMP: Oof tough one - looking exclusively for albums that would balance out your 5s as they are (and not just anything that could be a 5), I think Blue Lines and Holy Vacants would supply much needed chill and screwball flair between them. Kagayaki would also be a good look, though I'm not sure it warrants the rating.
Lula Divinia


Cmere lil Morty hehe what do we see - oh fuck, right, last time around I spent months ignoring and/or gaslighting you and then dropped a 4.3-rated summary of how this (if I'm not mistaken?) exact same list is excellent because it is an extremely Mort. list and contains mostly great albums? Well, uh, I guess that judgement still stands? HOWEVER, time has passed, you have miserably failed to grow out of Dance Gavin Dance, and your quest to transcend guitar music has yet to yield higher gains -- and we are also in No Mercy mode. Right. Between Geotic, Obsidian and the Richard D. Jank album, your electronic preferences have long since been outgunned by your new discoveries and a little housekeeping is defs in order here, as are a number of other bumps.

The problem with this list isn't that you have or even should outgrow it (with a couple of significant exceptions!), but that the being of Mort. has evolved too far to be fully represented by it. Fuck off to Thailand for a few months, work out who you are in 2023, do a couple of unspeakable things to break them barriers down, and let us know where you're at in the form of 5s when you're ready (and make it soon).

On a separate note, all the 5s you share with Demon look more fun on your list than they do on his, so props for that

VERDICT: 3.9/5 this is still a cool list, but I refuse to enable you to put off evolving into the Mort. you were born to be any longer!

DROP: gavin drop. Also American Football, Geotic, Doppelganger and maybe Starless but ignore me and keep it for the meme and bump whatever the Shiner debut is called

BUMP: Carissa's Wierd, Couch Slut, surprised you haven't 5'd Crystal Castles at some point already tbh (have you?), maybe Cosmogramma, maybe Hubardo, Mamaleek, REPORPOISED PHANTASIES!!!, Sade, The Blue Nile
5Black Midi


Hell fire, more like hell-o hi-school. Right. Last time I reviewed your list, the primary takeaway was...

"We're at the point where you have a Thank You Scientist album 5'd and I'd say it's a good idea to keep it purely because it implies the highest degree of personal choice of any of your picks. Yikes."

...and the best I can say now is that this is no longer the case, so get that Hello Kitty babydork shite the fuck out of there! You can thank your recent Cardiacs binge for cutting you loose on that - I respect that band and should give them a proper plunge sometime - but it isn't going to save you from a full bingo card's worth of things that make me wince when I glance at a 5slist: The Mantle as the first alphabetical placement, multiple Mike Patton albums, multiple Deftones 5s, multiple Opeth 5s, almost exclusively male vocalists... jfc. On that last point, your two shoegaze picks are doing some heavy, heavy work in the midst of this mooch of stagnant testosterone -- but both are good choices, from good bands. Shoegaze has saved sadder stories than you from buttprog and teenage mall metal; you need less guitar wank and more gazing into someone else's navel (yes, sexually - but don't overdo it).

Having just written that, I realise there are actually three shoegaze albums here and one of them is Infinite Granite. I know the premise of this list was to be mean, but do you have to go out of your way to make it so easy for me? I refuse to rise to this bait. I think the fucking Downward Spiral might be one of the closest things here to a "mature" choice. Christ.

VERDICT: 2/5. Am adding half a point for growth since my last appraisal, but then taking it away again because this should probably have been a 1.5 the first time round. This list has more personality to it than it did in April (or whenever) last year, so keep plugging away

DROP: Terraformer, Diamond Eyes, at least one album each from Bungle and FNM (but do keep at least one from either), Infinite Granite, about half the rest of it (but only when you've earned this)

BUMP: Candy Claws, Glassjaw, PUP and Rolo Tomassi seem good for where you're at now.

Also Colors - if you don't make any drops, you have absolutely no business pretending to be above this
6The Gathering
How to Measure a Planet?


I don't think this list has changed much since last year, and my assessment remains the same - this list is essentially a four-way between
1) a killer set of techno (and other electronic) 5s
2) a dinner party-viable set of jazz 5s I would love to spend some good time with (*hint*)
3) a mixed bag of metal picks (lingering affinity for black metal = cool look here; Rammstein and Linkin Park = fun incongruous variety; oversaturation of Opeth and Meshuggah = zzzzzzzzzzzzz), and
4) miscellaneous comfort music that largely gels with the rest of the list.
Almost all of it is at least good, a lot of it is absolutely fantastic, all of it is quintessentially Trif (except maybe Fela Kuti, but that's more a surprise than a criticism). Fuckin' A

VERDICT: This list has great personality (duh), I love that everything on it is here even if I don't love it, and now that it no longer has any Coldplay records, I can no longer hold back from giving Trif the best rating known to man. 4.9/5

DROP: Ghost Reveries, either Nothing or Nothing (Re-Release) (choose one!) and uhhhh maybe Abbey Road?

BUMP: Bowery Electric, one of the Fuck Buttons albs or World Eater, Wide Angle (how is this not a Trif 5?), Aerial, Supercar (any, but probably Futurama for this list), and maybe In This Light and On This Evening (wtf lmao)
7The Smiths
The Queen Is Dead


This list has fookin exploded since last year, and so where once it presented an ostensively thin string of pearls to clutch, here now we get the various contradictory pockets of Ryus' taste blown up and smooshed together. Where it was once a little uncomfortable seeing the stuffy hipster flatulence represented of the likes (/specific combination) of Albert Ayler/Arthur Russell/Talk Talk/TVU repped sheepishly alongside zoomer garbo and an overbearingly maudlin taste in indie, now the latter qualities are self-memed as opulently as possible through Bladee and Smiths mass 5s (an improvement, if not a particularly attractive look), and the resulting disjuncture is paved over by a mix of hip hop and techno bangers, fun noisy blowouts, the coattailing of various unobjectionable old-y world-y 'murica songwriters, and various odds and ends that provide this list with a remarkable level of contour and suggest that, done right, more really can be more. This list is still a bit stuffy for my liking, particularly in some of its more contemp electronic picks (Burial, OPN), and putting indie acts as flaccid as Belle and Sebastian and post-LCW Modest Mouse on the same shelf as Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell will never not be hilarious, but by and large Ryus makes this list work for him.

VERDICT: 3.7. Messy in a *good* and largely cogent sense, but not quite enough to disguise from the misty flatulence creeping in from under certain floorboards.

DROP: Translating the Name, The Moon and Antarctica, Into Dust purely for the soundoff

BUMP: ooo Ark (mainly because I was surprised not to see it higher), The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady, cLOUDDEAD (both the hipster psych-wank and the hip hop visionnaire vibes of this record match you well, and this is a good thing), maybe Dopesick, maybe Demanufacture (great alternative to the nu-metal 5 that you also need), something by James Ferraro, Dowsing (maybe even drop Choirs for this - it's a better fit for your other 5s), mayyybe Daughter of Darkness, RX Papi, probably an extra dm or 60s psych/folk album
8Electric Wizard
Come My Fanatics...


Short+sweet set of calling cards, none of which feel overly defining of ffs (City of Caterpillar and Demilich are ig the most 'iconic' picks for him), each of which provides a cogent and distinct view of his taste. Enjoy how these mostly come in pairs (2 blues, 2 hip hop, 2 dm/trash, 2 sludge/stoner) - feels specific in its taste and very balanced in its choices. Enjoy seeing a 50% metal 5slist where the non-metal picks don't mirror the preferences of the metal picks at all; well-rounded palate here, serious without being *too* self-serious. Main nitpick, Fun House is the only album here that doesn't fall within the 1986-2002 window - lack of any more recent or older choices is easily the most brittle part of this chart's confidence.

VERDICT: 4.4/5. Brief digest -style chart done excellently.

DROP: Terrorizer is the easiest to replace here

BUMP: Something corrosive with obvious personality. Botch or Brainbombs would fit
All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us


This one is a hot mess. Like 33% of this is dad rock (from a *boring* combination of dad rock classics at that), 20% is practically a mini-manifesto for the maladjusted poptimism depressed US doomers seem to cling to, 25% is a frankly alarming choice of core picks (+ underwhelming phxc complements, courtesy of Kaonashi and (especially) Turnstile), and the rest is a disparate toss-up of cold takes so fresh out of the freezer that my hands are number and I struggle to find any reaction whatsoever to them (Superunknown, Grace, Eminem, etc.). None of these strands are a remotely good look alongside one another, and the interplay between them is unflattering more often than not (like, I do not need another reminder of the Damnation -> LDR/Ethel Cain pipeline for sulky kids with foggy windows who don't breathe often enough).

Bjork feels overrepresented too - she's obviously great, but a guy gets sick of seeing her championed by guys whose tastes in unorthodox female artists are otherwise paper-thin (and no, Florence and the Machine cannot save you here). I dunno, it doesn't *have* to be a unilateral disaster story - between Springsteen, Nick Cave, PJ Harvey and ig Jeff Buckley, you have a foothold on some strong songwriters, and Nina Simone probably provides the get-out-of-jail-free card you need here. It gets lost in the tangle here. The fact that you clearly look for such a disparate range of things in music could and probs should be the basis for an engaging set of 5s, but none of your preferences have any real edge to them and seeing them together gives me a dull headache.

VERDICT: 1.5. Scrap the whole thing, work out what's truly essential here, and try again.

DROP: So much of this, but especially the new Lana, Glow On and probably Bob Marley (just too glaring an outlier on the list is - could be refurnished)

BUMP: Assuming no drops are made, Asking Alexandra, Bob Dylan, Cave In, ERRA, Kate Bush, Mercyful Fate, Nightwish, Propagndhi, Pupil Slicer, R.E.M., Stevie Wonder, fucking Taylor Swift, The Mountain Goats, The Police and Wormrot are all viable ways to add a little meat to the half-baked patterns you already have. I had to hold my nose while typing most of these.
10The Tallest Man on Earth
Shallow Grave


5.0 classic
Bon Iver For Emma, Forever Ago
Neutral Milk Hotel In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
Radiohead In Rainbows
The Hotelier Home, Like NoPlace Is There
The Tallest Man on Earth Shallow Grave

Last time around, I pissed on this for the embarrassing pallid sadboi caricature that it is but gave it a 3/5 out of pity, or whatever. Not so this time - you may have been too busy pushing the boundaries of your taste to fuss over what's at the very top, and this may have been the right thing to prioritise, but you know as well as anyone by now that there's more to both music and you than fixating on brittle catharsis. Maybe none of these records are outright bad (and two or three are very good!), but this list is a horrible calling card

VERDICT: 2/5. Not indulging this pathos flop any longer.

DROP: Bon Iver, The Tallest Man on Earth

BUMP: you fucking tell me lol - take January off, retreat to a cabin in Dordogne, take the time to process what you've realised about yourself from your mammoth trawling this year, see which of those new finds have stuck with you deeply, rediscover some old favourites, and sort this shit out
Blush Music


This list is a GOOD example of what we're going to call the happy collector archetype: lots to dig into here, real joie de vivre on show, spread fairly evenly between a *very* healthy range of genres. Not all of it smells good: Butkuiss' metal taste is more than a tad greasy (much as I enjoy how comparatively well that Dragonforce 5 owns this), there's definitely a high corn quotient in those 21th century indie+post-rock picks, and Stars of the Lid and The Disintegration Loops are a pretty drab showing for ambient 5s. However, this is balanced by a solid grounding in electronic, jazz, funk, hip hop and (perhaps the overall winner here for me) folk. I think pretty much anyone could dig into this and find more to like than complain about, and being able to furnish that in an extensive list that doesn't overrepresent individual artists or even genres and scans as personally curated is no mean feat.

VERDICT: 4.0/5, excellent and memorable balance of quality and quantity, plus broad enough that the dodgy picks rarely exist at the expense of the good ones.

DROP: Pang, Sunbather, Immunity, You Are There, Lateralus and The Disintegration Loops I are all either trite or have aged both badly and blandly. Time (The Revelator) is also a drab step down from your other singer/songwriter choices

BUMP: The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, Flood, potentially Kill for Love, potentially Coloring Book, F♯ A♯ ∞ to replace Mono, Giant Steps, Touched, At Action Park, Texas Flood, maybe Roots lmfao
Showtime, Storytime


For someone who ekes out his entire existence from bingeing quantities of cheese that would be instantly fucking fatal to most healthy metabolisms, only to shit them out in graceless saltpiles that he immediately denies, Flug's 5s are, uh, largely unsurprising - dorky prog bullshit and cornball metal all over this shit. I expected (and was prepared to generously rate) a total atrocity, to which end I was disappointed and somewhat bored by the skeleton of various overlapping yesterday-canons, whether from crusty metalheads (Rust in Peace/Master of Puppets/Reign in Blood) and urSput tastemakers (Shape of Punk to Come/Oceanic/Jane Doe). Bad taste is better than no taste at all for this list - take the time to join a few dots here, and there's a little more to ogle (OK Computer, Like Clockwork and Origin Symmetry as the 3 pillars of alt rock? how much do the labels splash for that kind of stooge take?), but less vanilla smokescreening and more butt metal, Disney prog and token anime/V-tuber/gaming nostalgiacore would raise this to a fairer representation of Sputnik's 2nd or 3rd worst bird user

VERDICT: 2.5/5. Bland list that isn't half as nauseating as it deserves to be.

DROP: OK Computer, Mezzanine, Spiderland, The Shape of Punk to Come

BUMP: Red Yellow Blue, Kill la Kill OST, Reroute to Remain, Come Clarity, Crack the Skye, maybe Lain OST, Perturbator, Roots lmao, Suisei Hoshimachi x2, at least one Tool album, Terminal Redux - now we're looking appropriately irredeemable. Also Killing Joke (2003) - some of your industrial [metal] 5s aren't bad, use this to spotlight that pattern
13Doc Watson
Doc Watson


Aight, what have we here - a wet dream for anyone who likes their classical, country, folk and jazz, is what! Dad likes his personalities strong, his voices distinctive, his grit and depth mandatory, his polish optional, his attention span firmly engaged, and his vision of America distant but fondly remembered at almost all times. There are a few takes I disagree with (choice of Mingus, This Heat, mwY and Sakamoto albums), but this is packed with records I either love, highly respect or mean to check in the near-mid future, and there's a sense of substantive genre engagement throughout: Doc Watson, George Jones, Emmylou Harris, Bartok and Messiaen are no genre-tourist picks (says he, having dallied with three fifths of that list in a strictly touristic capacity).

The main thing holding this back from a higher grade is that Dad's generosity towards those four primary genres leaves literally everything else feels more than a little cramped - there are no unwelcome guests per se (Brother, Sister and London Calling were slight double-takes, but both worthy records), but I can't shake the feeling of a solid genre connoisseur's living room cabinet merged directly into what would have been a rock fan's ultra-preciously curated set of calling cards. Either list would score highly on its own; together, they feel just a little at odds with one another. Upvote more noise, noise rock and punk to bridge the gap, and then we'll be talking.

VERDICT: 4/5. Slight internal imbalance does little to shake a very solid list. -0.1 for meme 5ing pizzamachine, +0.1 for meme 5ing Molecular Corporation

DROP: Cull a little Bach and maybe Beethoven for the sake of feng shui - your whole B-section is practically haemorrhaging

BUMP: Sackcloth 'n' Ashes, Atomizer, one of Worship and Tribute or The Second Stage Turbine Blade to keep poor ol' Aaron company, any Bowie album, Yank Crime, Metempiric (you know you want to), Kuroi Jukai, Lysol, either Nadja record (probably Bungled), either Orchid record, An Evil Heat, Goat, maybe Konoyo. Definitely not all of these! But lots of good options!
14Dark Tranquillity
The Gallery


I know Kusangii as one of the site's most unrestrained haters on underwhelming bullshit metal, to which end this short-but-sweet list made me split a grin. 50% of it is corrosive meme picks, and most of the other half is either a middle-finger shaped gaming OST or happy eating turbocharged cheese metal (Sacramentum, Dissection, Dark Tranquillity, Persefone). The guy likes what he likes and doesn't give two shits about taking this game seriously -- fair play, and very well-telegraphed here. Extra points for repping the Appassionata over the Moonlight Sonata (or any other classical piece that notes-per-minute metal fans traditionally simp for)

VERDICT: 4.7/5 for what it goes for. Deducting a few small points because there's either one meme pick too many and/or Angelic 2 The Core at the top of the list gives the game away too early.

DROP: Spawn of Possession (unless this is also a meme pick and I have been played), Angelic 2 The Core (unless you bump something that displaces it at the top of the list)

BUMP: The Red in the Sky Is Ours (good fit for your other serious choices and solves the Corey Feldman issue straight away), Imperial Circus Dead Decadence. Blood Incantation - Timewave Zero would also be a masterstroke here, but you have yet to rate it.
15Seiko Oomori

JohnnyoftheWell (x Komp)

When I skimmed the _Well last I was pretty taken by its shrewd and utterly distinct constellation of tough, stylish hipster-oriented rock 5s, but I dunno, i'm not totally convinced it either hangs together as seamlessly as I first thought, or has quite as much going on without it. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a livewire core of mood and skronk and, hey, disarming warmth that still absolutely shines (Anathema / Stereolab / Flaming Lips / HoLV / Melt-Banana / Souvlaki paints a far cuddlier alt-rockist picture than you’ll get from the boi’s cattiest snipes), and the smattering of j-pop firebrands has been a feather in the site’s cap for a while now, but look a little closer and a few thin patches are visible: Dead Can Dance is an awkward swipe of eyeliner that I have seen him bring up maybe once ever, and Boris and Kayo Dot both make strong, undeniably personal statements as much as they gesture at vacancies left by an embittered relationship with heavyshit that has yet to be fully reckoned with (and on SPUTNIK of all places). Talking Heads and Bowie are solid picks to hold down the uncle-friendly fort without yourself becoming excessively uncle, but they can’t do it themselves— think a proper hard bop / cool jazz / maybe 70s fusion phase is the move here, quite frankly. The list is a slim volume, too, just 10 pre-y2k picks and 13 post, so the pallid, faintly evasive essence of especially some of those ‘90s post-punk babies colors more of the thing than it should for a taste this laudably open-minded.

VERDICT: 3.5/5. Props for building it yourself, but this ain’t quite the sturdiest throne from which to dominate music as a concept, or at the very least it isn't yet.

DROP: spiderland lol believe me we can tell you’re a slint fan without it

BUMP: Charles Mingus. Either the Jesus Lizard or Hum. Something to slam dunk your many feints towards *actual* fun and *actual* lowbrow, maybe idk Ging Nang Boyz?
16Frank Zappa
Hot Rats


Ars' list is a surprisingly inoffensive read for someone with such notoriously thorny preferences, especially in the top half. There's a golden bedrock of funk and soul here, but this are ultimately overshadowed by Ars' enduring love affair with psychedelic music and a pan-genre collateral effect thereof: he's just as drawn strong personalities as he is easily seduced by mawkish gimmickry, and for all the Zappas of the former camp and the Weens of the latter are easily distinguished, it's much harder to draw a clear line on this within the likes of Cerulean, Odelay, of Montreal (though I've not heard this particular record), Smiley Smile and McLusky Do Dallas -- this tendency comes as a buyer-beware tag. On other fronts, Ars' taste in electronic may be yet to make substantial progress outside a handful of downtempo classics beloved to all ye hipster brethren, but the albums he reps do sit nicely alongside the rest of the list. I cannot say the same for many of his 90s-present alternative picks (Smashing Pumpkins and NIN especially), which seem to run directly against the grain of his professed love for noise and grit (both comparatively underrepresented here!) over polish and whinge.

Amnesiac and In Rainbows side-by-side as Radiohead 5s pretty much summarises the whole thing: the former (iirc his true favourite) is a perfect inclusion, representative of the fidgety approach we know and love by now, capable of rapt fixation on unlikely charms while turning an adamantly blind eye to the faff and disjuncture that all but outnumber them; the latter is a well-placed reminder that Ars is ultimately more basic than he can easily appear, and that it's ultimately the comfort value of the Stereolabs, Goldfrapps, Julee Cruises, Melody's Echo Chambers and Cocteau Twinseses of this list that are most likely make this a v viable port of call for lurkers in need of orientation. The likes of Parliament/Funkadelic and Stevie Wonder deserve to define it more - why don't they?

VERDICT: 3/5. Many worthwhile choices here, and certainly distinctive in the Sput landscape, but also the ostensively the product of a taste more than a little at odds with itself

DROP: Odelay, Cerulean, Year Zero, California (is a great record but lands in perhaps the worst possible light here)

BUMP: Songs About Fucking, Master of Reality, Psychic... Powerless..., Love's Secret Domain, Superfly, Black Messiah, one MxBX record, Helium, one Olivia Tremor Control record, White Light/White Heat, Strangers From the Universe
17The Pax Cecilia
Blessed Are The Bonds


Lol I have very little to add to my original take for this: "Fuck me sideways, what year is this? This looks like every 2012 sputlist ever preserved through the ages, but hesp makes it their thing because they were the one to preserve it. They get extra credit from me, because this kind of skramzy post-rock/metal was exactly what got me into Sput to begin with, and I appreciate someone making such a coherent greatest hits for it and implying that it's aged well. Every time I'm tempted to disagree, I'll look at this list and be transported. Aah"

This is a slightly leaner list than I remember though? Unfortunately the original entry doesn't have DROP or BUMP data, so I can't cross-reference how it's changed :/ I will say that the shorter format draws excess attention to:
1) the unwieldy length of those GY!BE titles
2) the blandness of Stars of the Lid as a token ambient pick
3) the clash between the palette of that Kashiwa Daisuke record and everything else here (for all it does makes sense as post-rock -adjacent) - this is a cool pick, but it knocks on the fourth wall and is the only pick here that suggests the field of these inclusions might have been broader than it is
4) gawd De-Loused in the Comatorium really has aged dramatically badly

VERDICT: 3.8/5. Excellent distillation of this strain of oldskool sputtaste, but it's refined enough that its minor hiccups get an instant spotlight

DROPS: The Mars Volta, one Godspeed album, Sunbather (implying that album is a halfway worthy heir to the shared vision the bulk of this list represents is an instant neg I'm afraid)

BUMPS: Kodama (is an acceptable raise on Sunbather), Feedbacker (is as good as it gets for climactic oomph and doesn't need a heavy-handed string section to provide it), Deathconsciousness (comes with the territory for this list), The Bungled and the Botched or another Nadja, Chaos is Me, Ravedeath 1972 (is a neat fit and redeems your SOTL exceptionalism instantly)
Double Nickels on the Dime


"See I can volunteer myself because Johnny will never actually get through all the fives blurbs and have nothing to fear from his cheeky balderdash and snark"

Aight nice reverse psych, this seems as good an excuse as any to reboot this list. Most of the choices here are so familiar that I would probably have been harsh if I were still mid-burnout, but I actually quite like the combination in question - as a product-of-the-90s-who-knows-what's-good-for-them statement, you've made (mostly) the right calls here and avoided some obvious pitfalls. Maybe a little too much emphasis on older classics (as in 2+ decades) though - no room at all for new blood? I refuse to believe that Batushka and Behemoth are the sole hopes for new(ish) music in a post-Jane Doe world. Pos for Unwound, Boards of Canada and OutKast being the only artists with multiple appearances - dunno what this tells me about you specifically, but it does give me confidence in your taste (oh whoops, and Death too ig). BIG pos for ABBA Gold, which is exactly the kind of bold-but-basic opening gesture a solid-but-safe list like this needs. Got a sprinkling of Sputcore with Off Minor and mwY, but nothing overkill. Overall, lack of spice is definitely the main point of detraction here, but the quality level is high enough that I'm not overly down on it. This stretch in particular

The Jimi Hendrix Experience Electric Ladyland
The Lounge Lizards The Lounge Lizards
The Stooges Fun House

gives the sense that the list is going to be a little less Online Music and go a touch deeper than it does - you've got a solid foundation, but there's definitely room

VERDICT: 3.5/5. FowlKrietzsche knows what's good, but so do the rest of us.

DROP: Ween and Tool (you never needed those chumps), also not convinced that Led Zep IV is more than a token inclusion (but willing to extend benefit of the doubt here)

BUMP: Mirror Reaper, ...Burn, Piano Island, Burn, and much as it pains me to say it, one of Glow On or Diaspora Problems
19Invent Animate


Earnest face on, it's been a pleasure to get to know onionbubs better over the last couple of years, to the point that his profile is no longer a) the same profile as oisincoleman64's (I am so fucking sorry okay), or more seriously, 2) a basic cipher for all the most obnoxious qualities of the insufferable progcore bug that continues to make Sputnik's improbable lease on life something of a walking joke to anyone with a functional set of ears. bubs is a good user - hence why I have been making a concerted effort not to so much as peep at this 5spage for a good while now. The results aren't as awful as I feared: *yes*, the most obvious presence here is very much that of the kind of metalcore uniquely catered for the (apparently vast) demographic of men who wax their balls and shave their armpits to reduce the chances of accidentally blocking their mum's showers, and *yes*, the constant sprinklings of washed-up 2nd-wave phxc and dated turn-of-the-century pop-punk/rock radio cringes paint this in an extra unflattering light, but heyyyy we've got R.E.M. fandom, Cure fandom, Peter Gabriel fandom, and (fuck) ...U2 fandom to indicate that bubs could in fact pass as a good adjusted-ish bloke in any given pub, like, 10-20 years ago and probably today too. Good stuff - still a bit narrow genre-wise, but there's hope for this one yet.

VERDICT: 2.5/5. Both the kindest and absolute fucking cruellest thing I can say here is "Strong Rowan energy"- but will concede that it improves slightly the longer you look at it.

DROP: Owing to the nature of this chart, I'm not gonna be a mug and request an ERRA or Invent Animate drop or w/e, but if we're going to pick out some weak links, Circa Survive, Gang of Youths and Copeland are all chuck

BUMP: Career Suicide, any Crystal Lake, O (feels weirdly onion-coded), Downtown Battle Mountain II or any King Gizzard (what harm is one more glaring red flag), any Four Year Strong (lol I forgot this band existed and am now disappointed that your list did not remind me earlier), And The Glass Handed Kites, either Pinback, Shpongle, one or two more Cures(s), and then Slime Season 3 just to prove decisively that you're not Rowan's sunnydays, chipper-spirited clone
20Gareth Liddiard
Strange Tourist


It is only appropriate that porc is the SPUTNIK CHAMPION given that within all 10 months of his tenure, he has already flaked on the site and each of its poxy institutions enough times to give mx himself a run for his doubtless neglectfully-directed money. This list is an important reminder that porc's sex appeal and affinity with Morbid Messy Humane Shit (not sure if there's much of a distinction to be made there tbh) are both off the charts, and that we should soak up his reign for other reasons than the unattainable attraction of him ever posting a fuckin comment. This list scuzzes, bawls, ascends, critiques, trembles, claws, roars through the entire human condition with every ounce of its quite palpable being - almost these albums face life head-on, and they bring such a range of voices replete with enough contour and nuance that the notion of "facing life" takes on an uncommonly rich meaning in their company. This is an excellent list of albums, but unlike other technically excellent lists of albums that sit adjacent-ish (DadKungFu's springs to mind), it doesn't feel like a dry archive.

I think this is helped by the fact that it isn't overly precious about either its numbers or high-noised about its contents. We have the kind of corny-but-vitalising kult klassics that give zero fucks about good taste but still make a profound impact through sheer force of intention (Trophy Scars, Agalloch, Modest Mouse, Coheed), which are perfectly complemented by the kind of picks that suggests that porc does in fact understand 'good' 'taste' inside out, to the point that he perverts it into something more salient (Oxbow, Xiu Xiu, Flipper, hell maybe even Abner Jay in his own ragtag, earthy fashion). Besides that, the range and quality here is just good good good. We have country, but it fucks; we have drone, but it buries you; we have jazz, and it (mostly) resonates like thunder; we have a host of avant-garde -type beats, but you'd be slandering any of them if you took that as their primary descriptions; behind it all, we have the blues. They are real and they only evoke grit and depth in the hands of real once. Nice.

VERDICT: 4.9/5. Behind every LIFE AFFIRMING burst of cringe, there's a burgeoning death instinct. porc pisses on your infantile need for catharsis and sucks up all the best bits of your unconsummated highs because fuck it, might as well live for something. Maybe today *will* be our last day?

DROP: Have You In My Wilderness (sticks out like a sore thumb here for its tepid affect and limp pandering to art pop mores), Emma Ruth Rundle (most of your maudlin heart-on-sleeve picks have the spark they need to sit proudly here, but she ain't it), Anna von Hausswolff (is trying a little too hard to warrant a place in such a self-assured collection), Steven Wilson (probably ditto), one Mingus album (I'll accept one of the two as your preference over Black Saint, but to claim both is just silly)

BUMP: Transgender Dysphoria Blues, People Who Can Eat People are the Luckiest People (you are maybe the only person on the site who could wear this awful album without me immediately scoffing), (Listen for) the Rag and Bone Man, tbqh both the Mingus albums in your 4.5s, Transcendence into the Peripheral, Kristallnacht, '77 Live, Blacklisted (yknow you want to), The Witch's Dagger
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