1/2 Year In Review
How about something different? Berg here, bringing you the story so far in music, my half year review of the best (my favorite) albums of 2013. Or maybe just a list with a little explanation. First, let me state that I am not a musician but an extremely rabid fan and constant consumer of albums. Second, I know what I like and why I like it. My main purpose behind this is to maybe expose you to something new. Our monthly playlist gives you samples of songs we are digging, this list will give you complete albums.
1. “The Future Is Cancelled,” Captain, We’re Sinking.
Not only is this album at the top of this list but this release has edged its way into my top ten albums of all time. Starting off frantic and edgy with “Adultery,” it then transforms itself into larger narrative with “Brother” through “Shoddy Workmanship.” Reoccuring themes of abuse, addiction, abandonment, love and loss, desperation and hope. Using melodic/hardcore punk with lo-fi and sincerity this album is a delight to the ears. Well, at least, mine. My favorite is the three song set of “You Have Flaws,” “Lake,” and “Here’s to Forever.”
2. “The Bronx IV,” The Bronx.
With their fourth self titled release LA’s The Bronx have continued their path of total rock sonic destruction along a heavy riff trail and powerful vocals. They have steadily progressed from stooges influence to a more straight up rock sound. Every album they’ve released has upped the ante to get more in your face. On a side note I saw them open for Bad Religion in April and it was a phenomenal set. They are also playing this years musicfestnw. Take my advice, go see them. My favorites of the album are “The Unholy Land,” “Style Over Everything,” and the slower “Life Less Ordinary.”
3. “Ordinary Silence,” Mixtapes.
Another year and another release from Mixtapes. That may sound like a detraction but it is not. Let me just say that their release last year, “Even On The Worst Nights,” was an exceptionally good album and I was leary of another release so soon. But it was unfounded, “Ordinary Silence” is very mature and a quality album. They still have songs that are very funny but they mix in songs that are personal and poignant. My favorites of the album are “Everything’s Eventual,” “A List of Things I Can’t Handle,” and “Be the Speak That You Change About.”
(Mixtapes will be playing Backspace Saturday July 13th)
4. “Leavetaking,” Elway.
The Colorado boys release a all around solid album. Full of literary references and catchy hooks this sophmore release from Red Scare Record delivers where others sometimes falter. With 12 songs and a running time of just about 34 minutes they rarely go over 3 minutes per song, which means straight to the point rock and roll. My favorites are “The Salton Sea,” “Prophetstown,” and “There Is A Line.”
(Elway will be playing at Backspace with Masked Intruder, Sam Russo and Sundowner for the Red Scare Across America Tour on August 2nd)
5. “Banquets,” Banquets.
What can I say? Another band from Jersey delivers. A little more refined, a better recording mix than previous releases. Still, they have the chops to eventually play bigger and bigger crowds. Great vocals with lyrical content, slow at parts and fast where it needs to be. If you don’t go and at least sample this album then you’ve done yourself a disservice. Check out “Call It A Comeback!”
6. “Signed And Sealed In Blood,” Dropkick Murphys.
There is no reinventing the wheel for this band or this release. They know what they do and they do it well. Having cultivated a massive following by smart marketing and merchandising they have become a household name. However, they still have not lost sight on what has brought them here. Sing-a-longs and songs of unity dominate. The best songs on the album are the ones that deal with family. Plus, they do a Christmas song! My favorites on the album are “Burn,” “Don’t Tear Us Apart,” and “My Hero.”
I know there was only six and I logically should have stopped at five but who the fuck cares? I mean, come on, I’m only half assing it anyways.