And finally, here we are at the last quarter of the year!
Phish, Big Boat, released 7 October. The band is positively perky on this album, full of bounciness and silliness that I haven’t heard since Billy Breathes twenty years ago. It’s also more cohesive and catchier than Fuego, their previous outing. And there’s some amazing harmony going on with this track right here.
Green Day, Revolution Radio, released 7 October. Another excellent album from the boys from the East Bay. While it may not be as radio friendly as American Idiot, it’s just as angry and in your face.
BT, _, released 14 October. BT is a fascinating musician in that you’re never quite sure what his next sound is going to be like. He’s a great remixer and his electronica stretches from glitchy to sublime. And then there’s this album, which is essentially an electronic classical album of sorts. It’s stunning and lovely and rates right up there with the work of my favorite new composer, Mason Bates. And of course this got a ton of play during writing sessions.
Bowling for Soup, Drunk Dynasty, released 14 October. BfS is up to their goofy, punky best as always with this Kickstarter-funded album (you should check out the KS page just to watch the video where they forget they’re trying to sell the album and talk about–you guessed it–drinking beer). It’s a strong and solid album all the way through, and a hell of a lot of fun.
Jagwar Ma, Every Now and Then, released 14 October. This album, interestingly enough, reminded me of Primal Scream’s Screamadelica, in that it’s a flawless mixture of melodic indie rock and blissed out dance grooves. And “O B 1” is definitely my Track of the Year, with its ticking ambient/chunky riff mix and infectious beat. The album itself is up there in my top ten as well.
American Football, American Football, released 21 October. WOO! New American Football! Given that their previous album was 17 years ago, that’s a long wait, but it was quite worth it. These guys were part of the original laid-back, wistful, math rock sound that included Low and early Modest Mouse back in the late 90s, so it’s great to have them back.
Jimmy Eat World, Integrity Blues, released 21 October. Glad to see these guys are still going strong after all these years, and still writing songs that stick in my head for hours. A solid album all the way through.
The Radio Dept, Running Out of Love, released 21 October. Yet another Wait–they have a new album out?? release for 2016, and it’s excellent. Dark and weird and groovy and twitchy all over the place — which is what makes me like them so much. Really dug the production on this one a lot.
Sleigh Bells, Jessica Rabbit, released 11 November. I really love their Wall of Crunchy Guitar sound (it’s great for headphones when you’re on a plane or at the gym), and I love the way they slip around their melodies, making them playful and in your face at the same time.
A Tribe Called Quest, We got it from here…thank you 4 your service, released 11 November. YES! Another ATCQ album finally arrives, and it’s a stunner. It might be their last one they release, but it’s a hell of tight one.
Metallica, Hardwired…to Self-Destruct, released 18 November. Ending on a surprising note, considering I’m not much of a metalhead at all, but this is one hell of a great album, the best they’ve done in the past few years. They still have a few songs here and there reminiscent of the more radio friendly Load/ReLoad era, but they’ve returned (finally) to some the best axe-wielding they’ve put on record in quite a while.
Coming up next week: The End of Year Lists! Favorite songs, and my year-end mixtape!