January 29, 2008

Have a Nice Life - Deathconsciousness

Truly falling in love with an album usually happens once a year for me. My most recent heart-melting came at the hands of the shoegaze/post-rock/dark ambient/industrial band Have a Nice Life, who released their double-disc concept album last week. It came in a slim DVD case and had a 70+ page booklet explaining the life and writing of a near-mythical 13th century Italian writer and zealot, Antiochus. The music is absolutely stunning. Considering how DIY and heartfelt this release is, I hope everybody actually purchases it. It's only $11 for a very generous and complete package. Go to the label's website to put in an order.

Deathconsciousness [2008] - Review - Review
Disc One: The Plow That Broke the Plains - Download
Disc Two: The Future - Download

January 21, 2008

The Cape May - Glass Mountain Roads

I heard about The Cape May by way of a press packet. I like Steve Albini and he was producing this album so I decided to give it a few whirls. I'm glad I did. It is really subdued and powerful not unlike an indie version of Engine Down. This band has a wonderful sense of how to brood without being dark or depressive. As far as I know this is their first LP but something tells me it's their second. The second track, "Old & Early Numbers" is one of my favorites of the year.

Glass Mountain Roads (2007) - Download - Review

January 14, 2008

Top EPs/Splits of 2007

I excluded releases that weren't EPs or Splits from my Best Albums of 2007 list so I made a special feature for all of the great EPs that came out this year. There were mostly sweet skramz stuff. Tera Melos made the list twice and both The Kidcrash and Daitro almost doubled down too. I made the downloads into two packages so that everybody can sample a bunch of stuff.

1. Comadre / Trainwreck Split
2. Drowning With Our Anchors - Demo
3. Tera Melos - Drugs to the Dear Youth
4. Envy - Abyssal
5. The Kidcrash / Coffin Dancer Split
6. Ampere / Daitro Split
7. Tera Melos / By the End of Tonight - Complex Full of Phantoms
8. Twain Harte - A Sunny Place for Shady People
9. Aussitot Mort - Aussitot Mort

Top EPs/Splits of 2007 Albums 1-4
Top EPs/Splits of 2007 Albums 5-9

January 12, 2008

Top 15 Albums of 2007

Here are my top 15 in a streamlined form. To read little blurbs about my favorite albums go here.

1. The Kidcrash - Jokes - Download - Review
2. Thrice - The Alchemy Index: Volumes I & II - Fire & Water - Download - Review
3. The Pax Cecilia - Blessed Are the Bonds - Download - Review
4. Justice - - Download - Review
5. Hot Cross - Risk Revival - Download - Review
6. Ghastly City Sleep - Ghastly City Sleep - Download - Review
7. Radiohead - In Rainbows - Download - Review
8. Hopesfall - Magnetic North - Download - Review
9. Minus the Bear - Planet of Ice - Download - Review
10. Meneguar - Strangers in Our House - Download - Review
11. The Dirty Projectors - Rise Above - Download - Review
12. Between the Buried and Me - Colors - Download - Review
13. American Steel - Destroy Their Future - Download - Review
14. Venetian Snares - My Downfall - Download - Review
15. Modern Life Is War - Midnight in America - Download - Review

Honorable Mentions: Ghostlimb - Ghostlimb (only just a mention because I found out about it too late), Burton Wagner - 21, Meet Me in St. Louis - Variations on Swing, The Cape May - Glass Mountain Roads, Little Brother - Get Back

Meneguar - Strangers in Our House

Meneguar is a slick ass indie band from Brooklyn, NY. This was my 9th favorite release of 2007 (I may yet get links for this entire list), beating out The Dirty Projectors' Rise Above as my favorite indie album. These guys play a highly guitar-centric brand of riff-rock. They are really fun not unlike a more serious, genuine version of The Strokes.

Strangers in Our House (2007) - Download - Review

January 10, 2008

Ghostlimb - Ghostlimb

Sometimes I listen to hardcore bands and they just throw around a bunch of dissonant notes and make super sparse but beefy breakdowns. Ghostlimb is heavy as fuck at all times without sacrificing melody. The album has 11 songs and is 15 minutes long. "Palimpsest" is a perfectly complete 55 second hardcore nugget. These guys also don't take themselves completely seriously with descriptions of their music on myspace being "Influences: none, traffic; Sounds Like: unreasonably mad" unlike other similar sounding artists (Celeste's Influences: SHORA, BREACH, NEUROSIS, ISIS, DATURAH, BRAZEN, CALLISTO, TIME TO BURN, SYSTRAL, ACME, FORCEED, KNUT, ANANDA, NOSTROMO.......). The result is a hardcore album that understands that brevity and brutality can coexist with melody and sensibility. Also, this music isn't for pussies. Excuse the obnoxiously large album art. It's EPIC.

Ghostlimb (2007) - Download

January 9, 2008

Tera Melos (Are Freaks)

Sorry to stray from my norm of just posting albums but these live videos of Tera Melos merit an aberration.

From a set in San Jose, CA

Excerpt from "Last Smile for Jaron"

New track

From a set at Modified

"Spoonful of Slurry"

"When Worms Learn to Fly"

Compilation of TM going crazy

They are so good at their instruments.

January 7, 2008

Team Sleep - Team Sleep

Team Sleep is the trip hop side project of Chino Moreno, singer of the Deftones. The music ranges from more traditional sounding rock in the style of the Deftones to more abstract electronic and drum and bass stuff as on the track "Staring at the Queen." I saw these guys live at Slims in San Francisco on December 16 and was particularly impressed by their drummer, Zac Hill, who is the active drummer in a lot of impressive Sacramento based bands, most notably Hella. Below is their only release. Their next album is in the works but has no official date to be recorded or released.

Team Sleep (2005) - Download - Review

January 4, 2008

Girl Talk - Night Ripper

Girl Talk was praised by my friends back in early 2007 / late 2006. I really liked what I had heard at the time but never bothered getting the album of the moment, Night Ripper, because I figured I'd just get to hear it every time I drank or something. The album phased out of my friends' playlists in March and it took me until October to pick it up myself. Since then I've listened to it nonstop. Seriously it has probably 20+ plays in that short time. This is the best pop / electronic album I've ever heard other than Daft Punk's Discovery and Justice's .

Night Ripper (2006) - Download - Review

In Pieces - Lions Write History

Lions Write History surprised me in the late summer of 2005. I had been a fan of their previous LP, Learning to Accept Silence, though I had always considered In Pieces to be a poor man's Thrice. Upon getting this album, and relistening to their previous work, I realized that In Pieces have a lot more depth to their songwriting than I had initially thought. Lions Write History is their masterwork, featuring an immaculate vocal performance and memorable passages saturating every track. This album is a 5/5 album for me personally and can probably impress even the most jaded fan of post-hardcore. Ex-members are in a slew of current bands. One of which, Have a Nice Life, is interesting shoegaze/post-rock/doom that I'll feature in the next few weeks when I get the advance of the album. For the time being, check out their myspace.

Lions Write History (2005) - Download - Review