Year in Review, Part 3

Back again for Q3!

Blink-182, California, released 1 July.  I’ll admit, I’m still a Blink fan partially because Travis is such an insanely great fast-speed drummer.  This new album feels like a return to their happier, punkier days of the late 90s-early 00s, and it’s a lot of fun to listen to.

The Avalanches, Wildflower, released 8 July.  When was that last album of theirs?  2000?  2001?  Far too long.  They’ve lightened up on the sampling (a bit) for obvious financial reasons, and their songs aren’t nearly as weird and goofy as the ones on Since I Left You, but on the other hand, they’ve excelled at creating groovy vibes and insanely catchy tracks like the above.

Lou Rhodes, theyesandeye, released 29 July.  Lamb’s lead singer released a lovely solo album featuring some of her best work outside that band.  Her style of singing works well in a non-electronic atmosphere here, and she also does a hell of a great job covering The XX as well.

Dog Party, ‘Til You’re Mine, released 5 August.  One of my favorite local bands releases their fifth album — the first after drummer Lucy’s high school graduation (!!) and as always, it’s all kinds of fun to listen to.  Short econo punk that would make the Ramones and Fuzzbox proud.

De La Soul, …and the Anonymous Nobody, released 25 August.  So happy to see these guys back at it…one of the best hip-hop groups around.  I’m also impressed by the DIY nature of this album as well: the samples used were recorded using live musicians (their jamming would be recorded and various bits used for the samples), and the entire project was funded via Kickstarter.  Even a lot of the non-music packaging and post-production was done either by them or by friends and acquaintances.

Banks & Steelz, Anything But Words, released 26 August.  Who knew that the dark, driving alt-rock of Interpol would fit so perfectly with the blistering delivery of RZA?  And that these guys met up frequently to play chess?  This match-up delivers one hell of a strong punch from both sides and it’s one of my favorites of the year.

The Wedding Present, Going, Going… released 2 September.  The Weddoes are back!  Another Kickstarter-funded album that was well worth the wait.  Full of their trademark dreamy and crunchy riffs on top of lovely melodies.

Wilco, Schmilco, released 9 September.  Wilco has always been just this side of weird, and their new album proves once again that they can pull it off and still be fun and enjoyable to listen to. Definitely a band off in their own universe, but they’ve become quite comfortable and agile within it.

Bastille, Wild World, released 9 September.  I wasn’t quite sure how they were going to top their fantastic debut album from a few years ago, but they’ve pulled it off by being bigger, stronger, and more experimental with their sounds.  They’ve also injected a bit of humor into the mix this time out, which makes a lot of the songs that much more fun to listen to.

Preoccupations, Preoccupations, released 16 September.  The band formerly known as Viet Cong returns with a new album that sounds straight out of 1985-era goth that you’d expect to hear on Homestead Records, and it’s a fascinating listen.  [Also, the above video perfectly fits with early era 120 Minutes, doesn’t it?]

Against Me!, Shape Shift with Me, released 16 September.  One of their most melodic releases that I can think of, and some of their best work as well.  The songs feel freer and livelier.  Another frequent player during the Day Job as well as writing sessions.

Beach Slang, A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings, released 23 September.  Another album that sold me on first listen, even before the album was done.  Equal parts Replacements and Dinosaur Jr, there’s a hell of a lot of great pop-punk going on here.  Definitely in my top ten of the year.

*

Next up, the final quarter of 2016….and of course, I’ll follow up with the lineup for the end-of-year compilation mix and my Top Albums and Songs of the year!

 

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