Location: Montreal

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

music 2006 (late edition)

Boris - Pink
Japanese heaviosity supernauts switch from "deafening forbode" to "deafening kick out the jams riffage" on this monster of a rock album. the only exceptions to the garage band on fire rule are the opening and closing tracks, 'Farewell', which sounds like My Bloody Valentine at the bottom of the sea, and 'Just Abandoned Myself', which sounds like it was recorded in a wind tunnel powered by a hundred guitars that's being used for evil instead of science. when i listen to this while walking downtown i half expect buildings to start crumbling around me. wear a helmet kids.

Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
few bands have had as long and varied a career as the Sonic Youthers, and even fewer bands have been able to create and thrive in a 'sound' so completely and unmistakably their own. but in all their years they've never released anything quite like this; a beautiful, shimmering record of 3-4 minute pop songs (this being SY the term 'pop' is relative, of course). the guitars climb and tumble and cartwheel and make out all over eachother and it sounds amazing. at first listen it comes off as deceptively simple, but their tunes have never been tighter, denser or more melodic. 'Incinerate' is hands down the best song i've heard all year (and is certainly in the running for prettiest guitar-pop song of all time), and 'Pink Steam' is a slinky sex-crime that you'll end up asking to stay for breakfast.

Mastodon - Blood Mountain
strong enough for a man, but made for a Lv. 9 ascending Orc Mage. my god it feels good to get excited about metal again. i already raved about this album back in October, so here's a wee snippet of the band's bass player describing one of their songs:
"caught in a blizzard where [he] becomes frostbitten and frozen and [he's] starving and starts to hallucinate. [Then] this snow queen appears before him and tells him it's OK to start eating his own flesh. And then he starts to do that. Then an aurora borealis appears, and he thinks it's God, and it starts affecting this crystal skull he's been toting up the mountain, and it starts to warm his body. That, coupled with the knowledge of the aurora borealis being God, gives him the strength to start to carry on again."
take that Traveling Wilburys!

Madlib - Movie Scenes Vol 1-2
this right here is a sprawling, sampledelic, schizophrenic party record. Madlib's been digging elbow deep in those dusty old record bins and he's trawled up nothing but the freshest of beats. be they familiar, random or impossibly obscure, Lib fuses them together with unparalleled panache. he's divvied the mostly instrumental tracks up into two minute scores for scenes from movies that may or may not actually exist. think of it as a Blaxploitation themed fondue party, with funk instead of cheese sauce.

Buck 65 - Strong Arm
Mr. Sixty Five released this earlier last year as a free-to-download two part mixtape, available solely through the Show and Tell quadrant of his website. what a lovely fucking gift. it's comprised of two tracks, Side One and Side Two, each being roughly twenty minutes long and each being "holy frig there's a lot going on in these here songs!". it's got everything from sketched out gospel chants to wrangling with the devil himself; even a sweet little ditty about newborn babies. if you're a fan of Buck's older, more manic DIY type stuff this is not to be missed.

Comets On Fire - Avatar
blissed out Sabbathian revival record of the year. just as heavy as their previous album, the mightier than mighty Blue Cathedral, but infused with a taste of the uppermost peripheral of modern psychedelia. Cathedral was a ballistic missile fired through a Marshall stack. this time they aimed for the stratosphere. bullseye.

The Advantage - Elf Titled
Nintendocore at it's finest. these guys aren't just doing covers, they're elevating the compositions of the games they love and turning out impossibly tight and completely faithful nerd rock masterpieces. Castlevania 2, Contra, Metroid and my ever-beloved MegaMan 2 are all represented, made gloriously headbangable by these curators of 8-Bit fetishism. put down your controller and pick up that Air Guitar.

Loose Fur - Born Again In The USA
round two of this Jim O'Rourke / Jeff Tweedy side project finds our boys staggering down a song-ier more sing-alongable dirt road. it's a delicious blend of rootsy Americana and weirdo alt-country, more hummable than their last outing and the lyrics are sharper than your grandpas pocket knife. download 'Hey Chicken' and see for yourself.

Beck - The Information
this is what i've been waiting for. after the heart-rippy-outy hangover of Sea Change and the well meaning but awkward sounding Guero, it's good to hear Beck letting loose again. and this my friends, is letting loose in a grand fashion. the production is immaculate, wrapping itself around the jaunty white boy robo funk he hasn't visited since Midnite Vultures and even dabbling in the twangy, found-sound noiseiness of his early days. compound all this with a weird hyper-paraniod futurism we haven't heard from him before and you've got one hell of a Beck album there buddy.

Chad VanGaalen - Skelliconnection
without a doubt the quirkiest, smirkiest and sincerely yet awkwardly heartfelt record i've heard all year. Mr. VanGaalen's got a knack for whipping together insanely catchy bedroom folk (literally) and decorating it with strange, almost whimsical, tweaks and creaks from instruments that he builds himself. but the strangest instrument here is his voice, almost absurdly warbled but always painfully honest, even if he is singing about.....whatever the hell he's singing about. his immune system? probably.


Anonymous K Dixo-rino said...

Fantastic Call in the Strong Arm tape...

the Dirty Work EP is also fancy...

1:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting listm I will have to give two of them a listen as haven't heard of them.

Now let's see if this list gets the same mileage as last year's. (BTW last year's ended up ranking 2nd for being the most read article for 2006. Bloody thing took on a life of its own!)

4:48 AM  

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