Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Here On The Range I Belong....
And...now it's Day 3 (of 4) of our Top Records Of 2009, eventually taking you straight into the New Year.
Slightly longer rambling in the album reviews today, as we're gearing up towards the Big Ten. Sorry about that (not like anyone reads these things anyway).
Before we jump in, jump in, jump in, here's our favorite record labels of the year. Take it for what it's worth, but please consider supportin' 'em, cuz they're helping to keep great music, old and new alike, comin' at yr busted-ass eardrums. There are plenty more great labels out there (including the fledgling High-Ball Rec....ooops, that would be telling), so support your favorites!
Favorite Record Labels Of The Year
Big Legal Mess
Columbus Discount Records
Now then, let's hit the list. Part 3 in a 4-part series!
The BRCM Top Albums Of 2009, Part 3 (Of 4!)
Useless Eaters: Agoraphobic 7"
Useless Eaters: Sucked In 7"
Underground scuzz at it's finest in years. Main man Seth Sutton kicks the speakers all to hell and rides the volts to oblivio(a)n. More fuckin' rawk, please.
Useless Eaters: Information Freak (mp3)
M.Ward: Hold Time
Ward rocks out a bit (but just a bit, ya know?), but still resides in the canyon, a harvest sun sepia-filtered through rain and low-lying clouds. Joined on this record by She and Him pal, Zooey Deschanel, which is probably all you really need to know.
M. Ward: Shangri-La (mp3)
CoCoComa: Things Are Not All Right
What we said back when: "...What they play is a slobberbone style of our old favorite garage-trash punk. No reinventing the wheel here, but they do it better than anyone else. Sorta like the glory days of New Bomb Turks and the Oblivians, when all other bands sounded like pretenders to the throne, Cococoma takes their sound to dizzying heights of surging organ, caveman stomp drums, and shattered, savage guitar. With Bill Roe's vocals howling and sniping over the proceedings, it's like the second coming of The Stooges. Yeah, really."
CoCoComa: It Won't Be Long (mp3)
The Clean: Mister Pop
It's always a glorious day, every six years or so, when the world is gifted with a new record from God's favorite band, New Zealand's The Clean. Brothers David and Hamish Kilgour along with The Bats' Robert Scott make some of the breeziest organ-drenched,VU-inspired Kiwi pop, swirled and Autumnal. A breath and it's gone, with only the glow of a dappled day and star-filled night naggin' a hummin' tune in yr head. It's a long way from the seminal "Tally Ho" single of days yore, but there's a reason every indie band worth its salt, from Guided By Voices to Yo La Tengo, cite these cats as the pinnacle of influence. We're gonna have a longer post dedicated to 'em down the line.
The Clean: In The Dreamlife You Need A Rubber Soul (mp3)
A.A. Bondy: When The Devil's Loose
Another stunner from Bondy, following last year's "American Hearts". The darkest corners of Americana (not the music genre, but the actual "experience" and states of being) explored here, then, in a voice cracked with age beyond years. The heart is, indeed, a lonely hunter, and Bondy chases fireflies with a net made of sand and dusty floorboards. A lovely record, by camp-fire bejeweled and moon un-howled.
A.A. Bondy: I Can See The Pines Are Dancing (mp3)
Box Elders: Alice And Friends
Like the Archies and the Modern Lovers, post-coital, taped on a busted four-track, taking better drugs, and twice as fast. These whippersnappers know the value of a 2-minute song, and pump their organ straight into yr face, punky and spiked, fuzzy melodic. Pure garbage can pop for now people.
The Box Elders: Death Of Me (mp3)
The A Bones: Not Now
What we said earlier: "...The A-Bones are a swinging, shimmying, stompin' stew of sax-skronkin' sin and sleaze. Taking the tropes of 50's teen dance euphoria, mixing in the danger of black sunglasses, devil-driven rock'n'billy, and opening up the garage doors onto suburban streets, The A-Bones recognize the similarity of the sock hop and the strip club, barely controlled sex urge grunting yeah, baby yeah. It's milkshake-shakin' rumble, tribal poundin', guitar frenzy, finger poppin' rebellion, with the needle on the record, and go,caveman,go."
The A-Bones: Shallow Grave (mp3)
Bobby Ubangi: Inside The Mind Of...
Bobby Ubangi died earlier this year, and we'll have more to say about that later. What he left behind is a few singles and this stunner of a record. Short, sharp, and shocked like a cracked egg, helium-laced, girl-obsessed and full of piss and vinegar. This is a record folks'll be talking about for years.
Bobby Ubangi: Another Girl Like You (mp3)
Chooglin': Sweet Time
A big, big fuckin' sound, horn section and all. Southern-style fried boogie'n'blues, hard ground and revelation-bound, hallelujah. Pop down yr car windows and blast this puppy, watch the road melt in the rear view mirror.
Chooglin': Risin' Sun (mp3)
Jack O And The Tennessee Tearjerkers: Disco Outlaw
Jack Oblivian: Saturday Night Part 2
Jack Oblivian continues to make great record after great record, and this year we get two LP's (well, one's kind of an E.P., and he had a couple of singles, but you know what we mean). Earlier this year we wrote "...a strong Country streak lingering at the edges, and a nod (as good as a wink) to The Faces' brand of bar band boogie, but pressed and squeezed into a Memphis rhythm'n'booze grease pit. His voice is still there, a dried corn-husk of a sneer, snot-flecked and leering. But, with a vignette-heavy songwriting maturity, he creates a rawkin' ramble of lowdown sleaze, bad attitude and bad intentions, pistols and pussy, and southern-style burned down house-party." And that sums it up. If you love the rock and the roll, then these two platters will find your salvation waiting at the doorway to yr soul.
Jack Oblivian and The Tennessee Tearjerkers: Ditch Road (mp3)
Jack Oblivian and The Tennessee Tearjerkers: Walk Of Shame (mp3)
Jack Oblivian: Milkshake Baby (mp3)
Part 4, the Big Top Ten tomorrow. Any guesses?