Monday, December 11, 2017

Life Is Hard, But 2017 Was Harder: Best Of 2017 Intro

As the days have grown short, the nights crisp with winter moon's glow, and the snow blankets our idyllic hamlet in a quiet calm, we take this time to cozy up by the fire, sip on a mug of mulled cider, and contemplate the year that was.

The annual parade of judgement we dub "Best Of"!

But...what if upon reflection you determine that many of your "best of's" are actually "best was'"? You read the fine print to discover that your favorite record of 2017 should of been your favorite record of 2016, but you were just too slow to hear it in time? Well, in that case, you would be me, for I am that person. As I culled my list of favorites for this past year, I came to the shocking conclusion that a handful of them were past their due date, and while I have in the past, I could not in good conscience include them in the forthcoming, fabled and highly respected Best Of 2017.

So here are a handful of those records that I slept on last year, that I shouldn't have:

Autolux - Pussy's Dead

This band is a real mystery to me, not in any spooky way, or like, they are trying to cover up a murder, but more in a "how the fuck did I never hear of them before?". Perfectly executed warm and fuzzy, shoegaze-y psych-pop songs that hold a sinister undercurrent...the way I like. Everything should be sinister.
If you like Slowdive, Swervedriver, My Bloody Valentine, mixed with The Warlocks, with maybe Tame Impala, Radiohead and True Widow in the mix...this one is essential. All their records are really essential, actually. Get them!


Beat Drun Juel - Suppressor

From the finest forges in Chicago (although I hear a little Louisville in there), this band truly are power where you need. They swing hard with attacking, super tight instrumentation, leaving space on top for Donna Polydoros' vocals to soar/screech/roar. The distinctive voice is one thing, but the songs themselves are a propulsive lurch, and when those elements come together it creates a damaged cabaret of darkness and revenge.


Bodyfather - Heavy Rest

Atlanta underdogs, who fly perpetually under the radar, but continue to churn out wiry noise rock (sort of adjacent a to a smarter version of hardcore), that pushes and pulls like Drive Like Jehu (or, if you're an Freemasonry). Hoping this band pulls together something new in 2018...and that it gets heard outside of East Atlanta.


Cherubs - Fist In The Air

Straight up, I must be losing my step, cause I had zero idea this record came out until it popped up as a "recommendation" on Spotify. Spotify. That's how I'm getting my hot tips these fucking algorithms. Blade Runner shit.
So, this is only three songs, then two remixes (sadly no Dusseldorf House Mix), one by Shit And Shine, and one by Tim Harrington (Les Savy Fav), spread out over two 7"s. And the title track (also the subject of the remixes) picks up where '2 Ynfynyty' left off the year before, which is good and all, but when the first five seconds of "Donkey Suite" clock you across the back of your's just about fucking perfect.  Seriously perfect.


Easy Prey - Easy Prey

Only two songs, but good heavens, they get the point across. This band are positioning themselves into a long and distinguished (like my johnson) lineage of Austin, Texas noise rock that takes leans heavily on the "make the bass sound like a subterranean explosion, then turn everything up real loud and get fucked". It works. Tried and true formula that works. I'm certain their forefathers in Ed Hall and Johnboy and Cherubs are proud.


Fake Limbs - Matronly

Yeah man, you wanna take the Jesus Lizard template and pile on some nastiness? Cool. You should do that. Drive your coiling riffs straight through the back wall with a hefty gut punch...all day. It's your God given right to batter everyone within earshot into a grease stain with your dense wallop. I support it!
If you get weird with Hawks (rip), then Fake Limbs will do you right. Plus, bonus points for best song title I've heard in a good minute, "Grudge Wapner".


So Pitted - neo

When a band can come across this big, ugly, and mean, I'm in. I'll always love a good tangled squall of distorto-thud. It's as if you could play your old Nirvana record and old Distorted Pony record at the same time, but with a silver dollar laid atop the stylus to juuuuuust slow it down a hair and give it that fucked up touch.


Wrong -Wrong

Yeah, so it's Helmet's drunk there anything wrong with that (pun not intended)?! Can you think of anything negative to say about the band 16 performing the unreleased album Helmet wrote between Strap It On and Meantime? Cause I can't.



suicide of the scorpion said...

WHHHAAAAA?!?! There's a new CHERUBS album? Damn... yes please. I missed them in NYC when they played with Unsane. I'm sure my ears will thank me when I'm 70. Thanks for the list, Gray!!!

julius orange said...

damn this is awesome. i caught a few of these but the Wrong album and the Beat Drun Juel are new to me and fucking awesome. thanks for the heads up

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