When I listen to things that i come in via the internets or that I pick-up myself in the store i look for a few things in a band’s music. Firstly does its sound rings authentic in a way that I’ll want to come back to it or does it just fall flat? Secondly does it have a freaking hit or a stand-out track. If there are no instant tunes it’s a looser but if I am in another room and come running back to my desk wondering what that song was I flag it with some random number of stars in iTunes — depending if I am feeling generous – nobody sees this so it’s just for my amusement because seriously I won’t remember a week from then until I look back in my listening history. Thirdly does the album carry a mood and sound all the way through or at least until the 5-6th track am I still listening and am I wanting more? If a record can do any combo of these things then we’re pleased around here. Totally know there are things we didn’t get or heard so this is just a slice of good music that was put out there this year and presented itself to the RS blog. So keep on sending it. We promise if you promise to bring you more in 2013. The last 1/4 was mostly a let down in 2012 but we won’t let that get us down.
12. Speedy Ortiz – Sports EP – One of our most stalked independent artist is the gal singer from Speedy Ortiz Sadie Dupuis. If you mixed the voice of Tanya Donelly from throwing muses with almost any respectable 90’s noise outfit each song would be finely represented on the Sports EP. Finely dissonant guitar chords chopped up on melodic vocals is this. We happen to know she is a record geek all the way through and it comes across as she brings her bandmates with her to a leve we can understand. So in a way the output is expected and not a missed hit really. Start with “Silver Spring” then visit the rest. You’ll be a fan like we are. We like them better than Screaming Females. [ BUY IT ]
11. Bob Mould – Silver Age – Just a solid record that was missing from current rock landscape of crap bands who think they know how to rock. This guy is the master.
10. Nude Beach – II It’s a little old school poptopia in a Elvis Costello meets joe jackson kind of way but this makes it very neat. Seriously mostly classic sounding love songs that sound like they were produced by Nick Lowe in the 70’s so if that is your thing. Check them out. We like it.
09. Diamond Rugs – Diamond Rugs – Call it a super group or whatever. This is just a good record. Maybe it’s a one-off band I don’t care. “Gimme Beer”, “Be God”, “Country Mile” and “I took note” are really good songs.
08. Nada Surf – The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy Super solid indie pop release from the guy who could make the phonebook sound like magic. Single “When I Was Young” is classic Mathew Caws.
07. Tame Impala – Lonerism – Fuck this is great. Equal parts beatles and stones if they just did psychedelic music. Ok sort of lazy comparison but it you like spacey music that is mixed in a peculiar way then try a track or two. It gets a little formulesque at times but it’s unique. So high high praises for this music.
06. Torche – Harmonicraft Its pure rock. A little down tuned with a unique metal sound. No gimmicks other than being great. Melody leads instead of a blatant chorus at times. In your face at other times fast prog. It’s awesome and nobody gets it. If anything their album artwork is awesome. So….
05. METZ – METZ – Holy noise! Yes, i was confused I thought bands stopped making records like this but suspect we’ll see more musicians revolt against a clean discernable sound. this record rocks all the way through. Whilst no hits perse it will make you question what you like about bands that are just loud but no identity in their guitar work.
04. Jason Lytle – Dept. Of Disappearance – Mr. Lytle formerly of grandaddy is the dr. of psycho depressing music made for soundtracks. Every note is perfectly spun for a backdrop in a western taking place on a concrete highway littered with broken down cars. A modern odyssey and backdrop to real mayan end of days.
03. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Meat and Bone – Back to basics is this JSBX record. Actually I don’t think they ever do anything else. No disco era for them. it’s either massive guitar swagger or bust. You can’t go wrong with picking this up and just blasting through your boombox. In fact if you don’t do that please stop reading my blog. Start with “Bag of bones” and “boot cut” then do it. Just do it.
02. King Tuff – King Tuff – Hey here is indie record on subpop that is not afraid to be a psych rock band with melodies and cheeky song titles. Might be a little poserish but it’s gridy and fun in a more nasal bon scott kind of way. Stand out tracks “Unusual world” which is this light rock ditty akin to psychedelic furs, “Alone & Stoned” and of course lead-off guitar hit “Anthem. If somebody every titles a song like that and it’s not ripper stomper – shoot them.
01. criminal hygiene – CRMNL HYGNE LP This is a LA Band that needs to get the fuck out of dodge and over to the east coast. It’s our number one pick because it reminds us of the good ole-days of slanted and enchanted meets Sorry ma forgot to take out trash. Most of you will hate it for which reasons I won’t be able to help you because this record is not polished but shines because of it’s basic elements of song like fIREHOSE were forever loveable . The music stands-out all on it’s own. [ BUY IT ] The standout tracks are “Alan, I’m in Love”, “Immortal eighteens”, “blak water” and “get an education”