Saturday, December 31, 2005

2005 in Review (aka Another Crappy Year End List)

At this point your probably sick to death of another "Best of 2005" list. I know I am, but I'm not letting that stop me. Actually, this isn't so much a "best of" list. Rather, this is pretty much a listing of all of the new releases I picked up over the past 12 months. Not much here, and most of what I actually I do buy these days is a known commodity. Kids, house payments, etc. really cut into my ability to speculate. So this is it, in no particular order

Easy Action - I'm Waiting.mp3
I finally picked up Friends of Rock'n'Roll a couple of weeks ago, and I wasn't disappointed. 10 tracks of Easy Action's noisy Detroit rawk and John Brannon's raw, ravaged vocals. This is the lead track and sets the tone nicely.

A-Frames - Negative.mp3
After repeated listens I still can't put Black Forest above their previous LP, 2. Somehow this latest batch from the A-Frames is more abrasive sounding than previous releases. There's some excellent tracks, but there is some definite fat that could have been trimmed.

Miss Alex White and the Red Orchestra - Out of Style.mp3
Everyone recommended this In The Red LP which is why I picked it up. I'm not crazy about it, but it has moments when White's vocals push it over the top. I think I prefer White's other band the Hot Machines a bit more, but that's splitting hairs.

Bassholes - Daughter.mp3
7 years between albums almost guarantees some level disappointment for fans, which was my first reaction when hearing the album. It's not as sonically pleasing as When My Blue Moon Turns Red, but after repeated listens I could appreciate the songs and overall tone for what is - a solid roots rock album from Don Howland and Bim Thomas. This pairs nicely with Long Way Blues.

John Schooley And His One Man Band - Drive You Faster.mp3
Absolutely the best work John Schooley has done since the Revelators first LP. This album is chock fulla greasy guitar, dirty wailing harp, and a hellish drum racket. Fucking awesome. This is one of the four originals (7 covers) on the CD

Blowtops - Insected Mind.mp3
There are times on Insected Mind where the Blowtops sound like a cartoonish circus band, but overall the new album and lineup is a sonic improvement over the past couple of releases. A weird blend of garage, punk and even some industrial that manages to effectively put the creep on.

Vaz - Tri-Panic Express.mp3
The Lie That Matches The Furniture is much less immediately engaging than 2003's Dying to Meet You, which is what Vaz promised/warned their fans. I'm still digesting this one in all of its densely structured glory. It's good, but lacking in the spaced out goodness that made their previous albums so enjoyable

Unsane - Make Them Prey.mp3
Blood Run is the first Unsane record in 7 years, but you wouldn't know it - it sounds and looks like it could fit in between the bands Scattered, Smothered, and Covered and Occupational Hazard. Punishing, like all Unsane material. Listening to this straight through is an exhausting undertaking.

Lightning Bolt - Captain Caveman.mp3
Lightning Bolt makes my head spin - and hurt. Hypermagic Mountain is riff heavy distorto bass and drum overload at its finest. 'Nuff said.

Bob Mould - Surveyors and Cranes.mp3
There was much ado made about Body of Song being Mould's return to form, and there is a great deal of truth in those statements. A solid album, not his best but not his worst. This falls somewhere between Last Dog and Pony Show and Workbook. "Surveyors and Cranes"
is from the deluxe boxed version of BOS. I would personally have replaced "Missing You" with this one on the main disc, but nobody asked me

Queens of the Stoneage - Someone's In the Wolf.mp3
What can I say, I'm a sucker for Josh Homme's voice and guitar. Lullabies To Paralyze took awhile to grow on me, being sludgier and more low-key sounding than previous efforts. It's decent, but I'll still take their debut over this one any day. The track here, "Something's in the Wolf" clocks in at 7+ minutes, about 2 minutes too long, but the trippy riff is what first sold me on the album.

So, what were your top albums for 2005?

Happy New Year everyone, thanks for reading, commenting, emailing, etc. It's been a blast!