Sunday, July 20, 2014

Revisionist List: Top Ten of 2009

2009 is up next. Spots 1-3 were no-brainers and unchanged since 2009. Propagandhi keeps their title (from me) of 'best band on the planet' with a record that somehow tops 2005's #1 album Potemkin City Limits. It's somehow, unbelievably, more compelling. Maybe slightly catchier than its predecessor and containing Todd's best composition to date, "Night Letters." An epic, genre-busting thrash punk masterpiece. Of course a new Propagandhi album means that every other band is competing for number two. Baroness and Doomriders each came close with their second and best records. Both are unbelievably thick and heavy, with undeniable hooks that never grow tired, even after forty listens.

I know the Death recordings are from 1974, but this is the first time ever on an album or even heard by 99.99% of the public, ever, so it counts as new. Megadeth released their best record in seventeen years (and as of 2014, their last even semi-decent one) and Mustaine out-shreds most thrashers half his age. Woods of Ypres released the bleakest and most unique metal record of the year while Red Fang released the funnest rocker of an LP. A couple of today's best punk bands kept the quality high (DTM, TBR) while The Marked Men are so goddamn good that they released their weakest record by far but still beat out like twenty others on my runners-up list (No Friends, Cloak/Dagger, The Spits, Jay Reatard, Goatwhore, Immortal, Vektor). So here's 2009, as I see it now, five years later:

Top Ten Albums of 2009
1. PROPAGANDHI | Supporting Caste  (G7/Smallman)
2. BARONESS | Blue Record  (Relapse)
3. DOOMRIDERS | Darkness Comes Alive  (Deathwish)
4. DEATH | For the Whole World to See  (Drag City)
5. DEAD TO ME | African Elephants  (Fat Wreck Chords)
6. MEGADETH | Endgame  (Roadrunner)
7. WOODS OF YPRES | Woods 4: The Green Album  (Practical Art/Relapse)
8. RED FANG | Red Fang  (Wäntage USA/Sargent House)
9. NO FRIENDS | No Friends  (No Idea)
9. TEENAGE BOTTLEROCKET | They Came From the Shadows  (Fat Wreck Chords)
10. THE MARKED MEN | Ghosts  (Dirtnap)

Top Five Singles & EPs of 2009
1. BONECRUSHER | Our Nations Burning  (Longshot)
2. CLASSICS OF LOVE | Walking In Shadows EP  (Asian Man)
3. SMALLTOWN | Read Between The Lines  (Pirates Press)
4. YOUNG OFFENDERS | Split 12” w/ Giant Haystacks  (625 Thrashcore)
5. PSYCHED TO DIE | Sterile Walls  (Grave Mistake/Firestarter)

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Revisionist List: Top Ten of 2008

To make sense of where I'm coming from, I thought posting my top tens from the last five years would be a good background check. But mostly it was just fun for me to revisit these years and make the necessary adjustments. Things change, certain records take time to embed themselves in your brain, and certain records don't find their way to you until a year later. I always think submitting top ten lists of any given year, in December OF that year, is ridiculous. Oh and this is the first year that more rock/metal records made my list than punk records... So here's 2008, as I see it now:
Top Ten Albums of 2008
1. COCK SPARRER – Here We Stand  (Captain Oi!)
2. VIRGINS – Miscarriage  (Kiss of Death)
3. AMON AMARTH – Twilight of the Thunder God  (Metal Blade)
4. ANNIHILATION TIME – III: Tales of the Ancient Age  (Tee Pee)
5. DILLINGER FOUR – C I V I L W A R  (Fat Wreck)
6. TOXIC HOLOCAUST – An Overdose of Death  (Relapse)
7. SAVIOURS – Into Abaddon  (Kemado)
8. ENFORCER – Into the Night (Heavy Artillery)
9. GRAVEYARD – Graveyard  (Tee Pee)
10. DEAN DIRG – Raus!  (Six Feet Under)
*Note: 7 of the 10 records did not change from the original list, including numbers 1 and 2. No questions there.
Top Five Singles & EPs of 2008
1. DEAD TO ME – Little Brother (Fat Wreck)
2. EARLY MAN – Beware the Circling Fin (The End)
3. MODERN ACTION – Modern Action (Modern Action)
4. CUTE LEPERS – Terminal Boredom (1-2-3-4 Go!)
5. FUCKED UP / HARD SKIN – Toronto FC (No Future)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

record of the year...

... and i knew it would be when i heard their practice room demo of "status update" last year.  the album does not disappoint, and gets better with each listen.  it's been said before that this is a band that defies genre classification, and this album further proves that point.  and without a suitable name for this sub-genre of heavy music, i propose that "crossover" be re-defined with this record as its flagship.  a seamless melding of hardcore punk and thrash metal, without any of the cliches associated with either.  incorporating elements of their influences, which they proudly wear on their sleeves and in their songs, be it Cro-Mags, Sacrifice, Razor or COC, all is perfectly melded into aggressive, urgent heavy music with riffs and lyrics most bands could only hope to write.  we have a new 'holy trilogy' on our hands, and it's Potemkin City Limits, Supporting Caste, and Failed States.