Iann Robinson’s Ten Best Albums Of 2013….So Far
Man cannot live by metal alone. At least not this man. There has been a wealth of great music this year, and I’ve tried to consume as much of it as I can. Here are my thoughts on the Ten Best Albums Of 2013….So Far.
My Bloody Valentine – MBV
Label: Pickpocket Records
Partially recorded before their break up in 1997, MBV is exactly what you want from My Bloody Valentine. Lush harmonies, layered guitars and fuzzy feedback. Less dreamlike than 1991’s Loveless, MBV is a harsher record, more akin to 1988’s Isn’t Anything.
Savages – Silence Yourself
Label: Pop Noir/Matador
Silence Yourselves is a sonic slab of awesome rock n’ roll. Imagine Sleater-Kinney, but really pissed off, mixing the post-punk trebly pop joy, with a penchant for tribal beats and chunky bass parts. Dark and dangerous, Silence Yourself is a feminist punch to the gut.
Scott Murphy/Rivers Cuomo – Scott & Rivers
Despite featuring Scott Murphy of Allister and Rivers Cuomo of Weezer, Scott & Rivers got a physical release in Japan only. In America, there was no push, leaving the album to languish in Itunes hell. Too bad, this is a slice of sugary pop gold. Murphy and Cuomo toss out anything that is not breezy, catchy, and absolute fun to listen to. The lyrics are sung mostly in Japanese, but it doesn’t matter, you’ll still be singing along.
Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
Label: Daft Life/Columbia
Ever wonder what a seventies arena rock album would sound like if performed by the Bee Gees? Daft Punk take the huge, sweeping, larger-than-life seventies arena rock ideal and use it to make a dance album that rocks. Toss in some well placed guest spots, and you have a record you can head-bop and head-bang to.
Palms – S/T
Taking the more lush, relaxed aspects of Isis, and allowing Chino to do what he does, Palms creates an earthy atmosphere, a record that’s as much elemental as it is progressive. The complex song structures are served well by Chino’s basic howls of sadness and desperation.
Tomahawk – Oddfellows
While people are ejaculating all over the QOTSA album, most are missing Oddfellows, the best example of an art-rock record that actually rocks. Tomahawk play with time-signatures and bizarre structures, without losing the groove. Patton’s voice plays ringleader to the chaos, at times allowing the musicians to go off, at others forcing them in line when the song needs it.
Sigur Ros – Kveiker
Label: XL Recordings
Sigur Ros return with their darkest, grittiest, and most focused album in recent memory. Still glacial and moody, still atmospheric and ethereal, Sigur Ros balance all of that with a return to crashing drums, as well as moments of feedback, and dark droning movements.
Czarface – S/T
Label: Brick Records
All done cooing over Kanye West’s album? Perhaps you’d like to check out something a bit less egotistical, and a bit more ass kicking. Take comic book and sci-fi references, drop some truly slamming beats over them, then let Inspectah Deck and Esoteric go crazy on the microphone. Stir in production from 7L and DJ Premiere, plus guest spots featuring Vinnie Paz, Ghostface Killah and Cappadonna. That, my friends, is a recipe for true hip hop genius.
Locrian – Return To Annihilation
Post-rock enriched noise music, with flashes of doom, surges of shoe gaze, brief glimpses of black metal, and even a few acoustic touches. Yep. All on one album. An album titled Return to Annihilation. This is an experimental/drone record that will hook you and keep you hooked. Trust me.
Year Of No Light – Vampyr
The only thing that surpasses Return To Annihilation, is Vampyr. Originally planned as their own soundtrack to the art-horror film of the same name, Year Of No Light has created something so staggeringly emotional, so balanced between darkness and light, strength and frailty, you can’t help but be astonished by it.
Okay 2013. What else ya got?