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***December Twenty Fourth Two Thousand and Eighteen***   


Top 15 Records of 2018!!!

I don't think this needs any explanation.  Enjoy the free musics.  


Idles - Joy As An Act Of Resistance (Partisan)
The musical comps for Idles are surprisingly easy – bits of Les Savy Fav, Protomartyr, Fucked Up, and Birthday Party
are all easy touchstones here.  What takes this up a notch is it’s energy and positive earnestness – “fuck the fascists”
and “love everybody” are the universal themes, themes that seem especially important these days.


Superchunk - What A Time To Be Alive (Merge)
You'll never believe it, but it is my opinion that this record rules.  RULES!!!  The crib notes are: everything is fucked, it's
time to burn the motherfucker down and let a better class of people (aka not old rich white people) try again. 


Hot Snakes - Jericho Sirens (Sub Pop)
This entire new album sounds so much like their first three releases that if you didn’t know better, you could easily
assume it was just something they had in the can from years ago that they just got around to releasing now. That's a
good thing, for the record.  


Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - Hope Downs (Sub Pop)
The name is so ridiculous I almost didn't give them a chance, which would have been a shame - there might not be a
better band performing right now that sounds this breezy and effortless and most importanly, real damn catchy.  


Bat Fangs - Bat Fangs (Don Giovanni)
Guitar heavy in that glam metal way (without all the pomp and cheesiness), combined with the late seventies power
pop of Cheap Trick or 20/20 or Shivvers.  It’s a combination that’s worked for decades, and Bat Fangs are doing it
as well as anyone right out of the gate.   


Spiritualized - And Nothing Hurt (Fat Possum)
It’s right there in the bible, clear as day – “and on the seventh day, god told Jason Pierce to stop dicking around and
release a new friggin' Spiritualized record already, because he needed some new jams what with all the laying
around on clouds he had planned.”


Wye Oak - The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs (Merge)
It sounds pretty much just like the last couple of Wye Oak records, and that's fine. This band has a sound and they’re
sticking with it, and that is a-ok with me.  


Eric Bachmann - No Recover (Merge)
Bachmann’s output is stripped down and simple without being simplistic, catchy without being cloying.  Sure, I’m
coming at this as a fanboy who loves every goddamn thing this man touches, but even within that framework I’m telling
you this is an exceptional collection of Bachmann’s work.


Spider Bags - Someday Everything Will Be Fine (Merge)
There’s not really anyone else around here doing exactly what they do, a hybrid of punk and garage and country that
over the years, at their best, is a blend of the Replacements, Meat Puppets and James Gang.


Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks - Sparkle Hard (Matador)
While still operating in the well-established pocket Malkmus has created for himself these past few decades, “Sparkle
Hard” feels…mellower, more mature even?  In this case ”mature” really just means there are some strings and not as
many guitar solos and one song sounds a little country.


Tommy And The Commies - Here Come… (Slovenly)
Sounds pretty much just like the Buzzcocks.  Sometimes a slightly mod Buzzcocks, but still the comparison holds.  And
that’s fine, because I love the Buzzcocks, and not enough bands do the catchy, upbeat buzzsaw punk thing for my liking.


The Sea And Cake - Any Day (Thrill Jockey)
The long break between albums might have reset the group back to their early years stylistically – the electronic/synth
elements that had been infiltrating their songs over the past 10-15 years is almost totally gone, giving us an album that
sounds like it could be the companion of 1995’s “The Biz.”


Cold Cream - Cold Cream (Self-Released)
It’s impossible to ignore the Flesh Wounds comparisons, as both bands definitely have a somewhat similar sound, but
this feels…more fun than Flesh Wounds maybe?  Looser, more adventurous, crazier lyrics – Flesh Wounds always felt
so angry and serious...


The Rock*A*Teens - Sixth House (Merge)
Two decades later, after a lengthy hiatus, have the Rock*A*Teens changed?  Honestly, not really – a little more mature
I guess, and a little less noisy, but they’re still doing the same southern, jangly indie pop that’s the musical equivalent
to a humid southern night. 


Tracyanne & Danny - Tracyanne & Danny (Merge)
The musical equivalent of purring cat in your lap on a cozy Sunday afternoon. It isn’t terribly different from the sixties
twee vibes of Camera Obscura in their later years…just with more male vocals really. I would probably buy a record
of Tracyanne singing CSPAN transcripts.


Honorable Mentions (In alphabetical order, with a few MP3s that I had readily available)

Author & Punisher - Beastland (Relapse)

Courtney Barnett - Tell Me How You Really Feel (Mom + Pop)
Damien Jurado - The Horizon Just Laughed (Secretly Canadian)
H.C. McEntire - Lionheart (Merge)
Honey Bucket - Furniture Days (See My Friends)
J Mascis - Elastic Days (Sub Pop)
The Jayhawks - Back Roads And Abandoned Motels (Legacy)
Jeff Tweedy – Warm (dBpm)
Mind Spiders - Furies (Dirtnap)
Nest Egg - Nothingness Is Not A Curse (Fuzz Club)
No Sister - The Second Floor (Self-Released)
Salad Boys - This Is Glue (Trouble In Mind)
Shannon Shaw - Shannon In Nashville (Easy Eye Sound / Nonesuch)
6 String Drag - Top Of The World (Schoolkids)
A Storm Of Light – Anthroscene (Translation Loss)


Best Comps/Live Albums/Singles
(In alphabetical order, with a few MP3s that I had readily available)

David Bowie ‎– Welcome To The Blackout (Live London '78) (Parlophone)

Guided By Voices - Ogre’s Trumpet (Guided By Voices)
The Mary Onettes - Cola Falls (Cascine)
The Number Ones - Another Side Of The Number Ones 7’’ (Sorry State)
Nocturnal Projections - Complete Studio Recordings (Dais)
The Revelons: '77​-​'82 (Numero Group)





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