Friday, December 30, 2011

Poppelganger's Best Of 2011

I selected 20 releases for my "best of" list. Not all of them were featured on SIGD but the ones that are, I posted a link.

20.) Stay Kids by ANR

Genres: Indie, Pop, Electronica

19.) Oh Land by Oh Land

Genres: Pop, Elecronica

18.) Shorts EP by Man Your Horse
SIGD Feature

Genres: Math Rock, Indie

17.) Tentale by Monogrenade
SIGD Feature
Genres: Pop, Experimental, Indie

16.) Dead Roots Stirring by Elder
Genres: Stoner Rock, Blues Rock

15.) Halloween Vacation Party Pack EP by Slowriter
SIGD Feature
Genres: Chillwave, Electronica, Pop, Indie

14.) Bury Your Roots by Kamchatka
Genres: Stoner rock, Blues Rock

13.) 12 Desperate Straight Lines by Telekinesis
SIGD Feature
Genres: Indie, Pop

12.) In The Mountain In The Cloud by Portugal. The Man
Genres: Indie, Rock, Pop

11.) The Color Spectrum by The Dear Hunter
SIGD Feature
Genres: Indie, Progressive, Alternative, Pop, Rock, Blues

10.) The Journey Is Over Now by Comity
SIGD Feature
Genres: Hardcore, Sludge, Mathcore

This band and the label, Throat Ruiner Records, appeared seemingly out of nowhere. Comity pumps out an amazing and brutal 50+ minute epic split into 4 parts. The Journey Is Over Now combines the intensity of Converge with the atmosphere of KEN Mode, and to top it off, a thick layer of sludge. Comity began in 1996 and has evolved over the years to a coherent and influential source. Like a beacon of light amidst a sea of shit, this album slays. I think 2012 is going to be a huge year for Throat Ruiner.

9.) Heavy Eyes by The Heavy Eyes
SIGD Feature
Genres: Stoner Rock, Southern Rock, Psychedelic Rock

This quote from sums this album up perfectly:
"The Heavy Eyes is psychedelic bluesy rock from the delta that sounds similar to a skeleton driving a speed boat on a flaming Mississippi River headed back to 1969."

8.) Aesthethica by Liturgy
SIGD Feature
Genres: Post-, Atmospheric, Transcendental Black Metal

This is one of the most unique releases of the year. Liturgy makes beautiful and discordant music that is awash in atmosphere and pummeling noise. This band takes the cake also for the best and most interesting live show I have been to all year. Hater's gonna hate, but this group is doing something original and doing it well.

7.) Thank You, Happy Birthday by Cage The Elephant
Genres: Indie, Rock, Alternative

For their sophomore release, Cage The Elephant hash out 12 tracks of amazing indie rock that pays homage to the early '90s alternative rock scene in the vein of The Pixies and Hüsker Dü. They manage to make this record sound both nostalgic and fresh at the same time. Extremely solid progression as a band.

6.) Naps by Kidcrash
SIGD Feature
Genres: Screamo, Post-Hardcore

Poo did a great review of this album, and I am sure most of you know who this band is and what they are about. I got to see these guys in a smelly hot basement in NE Portland a few months back and their performance floored everyone in the room. But in an amazing way, not like when someone ripped a fart during the opening set. Seriously, think next time you eat turkey chile and stand in a packed basement with no ventilation drinking your Busch lite. just squeeze it man. hold that shit in for all of our sake.

5.) Reptilian by Starfucker
SIGD Feature
Genres: Indie, Electronica, Pop

Raptilian has been on fairly regular rotation through the bulk of the year for me. This album has a very solid and comfortable pace complete with short interludes that work perfectly in adding to the atmosphere and flow of the album as a whole. Every time I listen to this I catch myself saying "Oh ya, this track! Man, I love this album."

4.) Little Hell by City And Colour

Genres: Indie, Folk, Acoustic

Dallas Green is one of my favorite songwriters of all time. I love everything he does in Alexisonfire and especially City And Colour. For his 3rd album, there is a fair amount of full band arrangements and layers of nuance that were more subtle and muted in previous releases. This album really grew on me and now i can't go more than a couple of days until I feel a growing need to experience this album again. One of my highly anticipated albums of 2011 that did not disappoint at all.

3.) The Big Roar by The Joy Formidable
SIGD Feature
Genres: Indie Rock, Shoegaze, Garage Rock, Alternative

Technically I heard this album at the end of 2010, but it's official release date falls in 2011, and thankfully, here is this gem sitting at number 3. I heard the term shitgaze come up when referring to this band once. Basically it is the combination of shoegaze and garage rock or grunge. Psychedelic Horseshit is a perfect example of the noisy side of the ridiculous sub-genre. That aside, The Joy Formidable hit hard and fast with their album, The Big Roar. From the start of the eerie intro you can tell something pivotal is about to happen. And it does, with passionate fervor. This release sets the bar high for this group. Their chemistry and musicianship shine through every moment and it feels like it is going to be a classic someday. I am very anxious to see where they go from here.

2.) Gangs by And So I Watch You From Afar
SIGD Feature
Genres: Math Rock, Post Rock, Experimental, Post-Hardcore

What a treat. These guys are at the top of their game and manage to put together one of the best and most anthemic releases of the year. Urgent, layered, and powerful, Gangs is an epic of an album. They blend insanely catchy melodies and movements without it ever seeming forced or awkward. It feels like this album was already written, just looking for the right group to throw it all together and make it their own. And boy did they succeed.

1.) Heaven Is Attached By A Slender Thread by The One AM Radio
SIGD Feature
Genres: Indie, Electronica, Pop

It was a toss up between this and Gangs but this took home the cake for one specific reason: this album speaks to me. Everyone who appreciates music knows that feeling. Listening to this always puts a smile on my face. It's perfect for all occasions and such a joy to get immersed in. The imagery in the lyrics fits the music perfectly and the subdued atmosphere throughout allow for great dynamics. To me, this the best release of 2011.

I also compiled a list of my top 10 favorite songs at Documenting The Future. I will be a lot more active here in the coming months and have a list of some great bands to share with you. Thanks for visiting this blog and tell your friends about us. And most importantly, SUPPORT THESE ARTISTS! Go to a show, buy their merchandise and help spread the word. They are working hard for your enjoyment, it's nice to show your appreciation.

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