Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Best Albums of 2009, Part 3: #20-16

Part 1 - Rules and Runners Up
Part 2 - #25-21


Bad Blood Revival - Tongue Twisting Tunes for Tiny Tots
Dead Broke

Bad Blood Revival sounds a lot like the Jesus Lizard and a little like Slint, so you know they're good. True, they also aren't the most original band on earth, but they do what they do so well that, especially in this era of wussy, conservative anti-rock indie music, it's great to hear someone who isn't afraid to use a distortion pedal from time to time. The post-hardcore songs are clearly influenced by metal and noise rock, with weighty guitars, rage-filled drumming and shrieks. However, under all that great, awful sound, the songs are well-written, with outstanding riffs and a lot of variety. It's not pretty. But it's awesome.

How I found it: a couple of places
Track picks: "Kindling," "Bitter Pill/Aging Punk"
Link: [MySpace]


Wu-Tang Clan - Chamber Music
E1 Entertainment/Universal

Sure, this got eclipsed by Raekwon, and after a while, this record does turn out to be a bit thin - but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality. It's a nice comeback after the train wreck that was 8 Diagrams, proving the Wu-Tang still got it. The production is outstanding, using old soul music to give the rap depth and timelessness, while excellent MC'ing from most Wu-Tang members and some pretty great guests is the best we've heard on a Wu-Tang album since the 90's.

Read more from the original RFR review...

How I found it: Sheesh...I think I was first introduced to Wu-Tang Clan by the AllMusic Guide many lifetimes ago.
Track picks: "NYC Crack," "Evil Deeds"
Link: [MySpace]


Lightning Bolt - Earthly Delights

Of course, after all the complaining I've done regarding the wussiness of contemporary indie music, it would be remiss of me not to include this raw explosion of pure energy. Lightning Bolt features one very distorted bass and one drum kit, both played as fast and loud as possible. The whirlwind, however, is made of intense musicianship and nothing is random. It's like a bomb going off in your face. If that sounds awful, this album probably isn't for you. That's sad because it's fuckin awesome.

Read more from the original RFR review...

How I found it: been knowin'
Track picks: "Sound Guardians," "Funny Farm"
Link: [MySpace]


Fuck Buttons - Tarot Sport

Experimental electronicians Fuck Buttons made one hell of an album. While they are still a long way from convention, Tarot Sport translates their noise/drone into something more easy to grasp. Deep, glitchy grooves dominate each track, while evocative layers drift in and out. The beats are dancy and the rest deeply emotional. Unfortunately, for the length of this album, Fuck Buttons are a one-trick pony and the excitement of track one will fade by the time you get to the end.

How I found it: "Jasper" mentioned it
Track picks: "Surf Solar, "Olympians"
Link: [MySpace]


...and You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead - Century of Self
Richter Scale

Trail of Dead putting out a great album isn't exactly headline news, because they've been doing that consistently for a while now. They haven't broken new ground in a major way with Century of Self, but their sound is still entirely their own. Equal parts prog, shoegaze and punk, Trail of Dead sounds simultaneously artistic, rich and youthful. Walls of guitar sound break into stunning harmonies but strong melodies and pure energy keep the songs from stalling. There's a lot going on, and I promise you'll still hear something new the hundredth time through.

How I found it: lots of places, obviously
Track picks: "Isis Unveiled," "The Far Pavilions," "Ascending"
Link: [MySpace]

NEXT>> Part 4: #15-11
Part 5: #10-6
Part 6: #5-1

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