Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Absolute Best Records Of 2015


Many times throughout the year I had commented on how 2015 seemed like a year that had a lot of really good records, but seemed to be lacking in drop dead great ones.  I'll admit that when I sat down to work on this list, I ended up being presented with a lot more records that I loved this year than I was expecting.  The top 20 in particular is damn strong.  Aside from Clearance, I didn't have those records that I just played non stop over and over again this year, but looking back at it, 2015 was nothing to sneeze at.  Some pretty good records came out this year.  I don't have time to discuss them all, but I do have some extra thoughts on a few.

The record that really did it for me this year was Clearance.  I am a sucker for Pavement, so when Clearance decided to pop by and pick up that torch, I was all too pleased to follow along.  It's such a perfect record from top to bottom.  I can't think of a record that I went back to over and over again as much as Clearance.  These guys are on the right track and I really hope they keep pumping out new tunes.

The Mountain Goats and Royal Headache also both received a ton of play out of me this year.  Even though the record was about pro wrestling and I figured that would be fun for a listen or two, I was shocked at how much I genuinely enjoyed the Mountain Goats, especially as I had never been that much of a fan previously.  Royal Headache was top notch, but there were a couple of songs in the middle of the record that slowed things down a bit and may have kept it from the top spot. Third of the year is still pretty great.  Good Shade technically was released digitally in 2014, but the LP came out this year, so it's going on my list.  Wonk Unit may not totally deserve to be on the list on a technicality as it's a compilation of previously released songs, but it was their first time on vinyl, and I hadn't heard them previously, so on it goes.

Lastly at number fourteen is Unlikely Friends.  I didn't review that record this year.  It didn't come out on vinyl, so I kept putting off buying it hoping it would eventually be released.  It didn't happen so I finally ordered the CD but I waited too long.  I'll get a review of that up first thing in the new year, but it's really worth a listen.

01 - Clearance - Rapid Rewards - Tall Pat (Listen)
02 - The Mountain Goats - Beat The Champ - Merge (Listen)
03 - Royal Headache - High - What's Your Rupture (Listen)
04 - Good Shade - Good Shade - Gut Genug (Listen)
05 - Wonk Unit - Feel The Wonkness - Drunken Sailor (Listen)
06 - Swami John Reis & The Blind Shake - Modern Surf Classics - Swami (Listen)
07 - Warm Soda - Symbolic Dream - Castleface (Listen)
08 - Red Dons - The Dead Hand Of Tradition - Taken By Surprise (Listen)
09 - Outtacontroller - Television Zombie LP - Southpaw (Listen)
10 - Lost Balloons - Lost Balloons - Alien Snatch (Listen)

11 - Widows Watch - This Message Repeats - Toxic Pop
12 - Radioactivity - Silent Kill - Dirtnap
13 - Hungry Tiger - Hungry Tiger - Sex Sheet
14 - Unlikely Friends - Solid Gold Cowboys - Jigsaw
15 - Sweet John Bloom - Weird Prayer - Tiny Engines
16 - Ash - Kablammo - E.A.R.
17 - Tenement - Predatory Headlights - Don Giovanni
18 - Beach Slang - The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us - Polyvinyl
19 - The Barreracudas - Can Do Easy - Oops Baby
20 - Beach Party - Broken Machine - Sex Sheet

21 - The Ballantynes - Dark Drives, Life Signs - La-Ti-Da
22 - ИO​​/​​​/​​​/​​sé - Lower Berth - 1859/Man In Decline
23 - The Blind Shake - Fly Right - Slovenly
24 - Nervous Talk - Nervous Talk - Hosehead
25 - King Khan and BBQ Show - Bad News Boys - In The Red
26 - The Sonics - This Is The Sonics - ReVox
27 - Built To Spill - Untethered Moon
28 - Mikal Cronin - MCIII - Merge
29 - Legendary Wings - Do You See? - Dirtnap
30 - Apocalypse Meow - The End Is Nigh - Sex Sheet/Rad Girlfriend

Other Records I Picked Up This Year:
Archers Of Loaf - Curse Of The Loaf - ARRA Music
Baby Shakes - Starry Eyes - Lil Chewy
Built In Sun - Built In Sun - PIAPTK
The Butterscotch Cathedral - The Butterscotch Cathedral - Trouble In Mind
Casual - Casual - Dead Broke / Square of Opposition
Hex Dispensers - III - Alien Snatch
Hysterese - Hysterese - Dirt Cult
Hospital Job - Never Get Cold - Rad Girlfriend / It's Alive
Jaill - Brain Cream - Burger
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Freedom Tower - Mom + Pop
The Knew - Schmew - Greater Than
Mandates - In The Back Of Your Heart - Hosehead/Taken By Surprise
Maniac - Demimonde - La-Ti-Da
Mac McCaughan - Non Believers - Merge
Nervosas - Nervosas - Dirtnap
Pale Angels - Imaginary People - Recess
Phylums - Phylum Phyloid - Dirtnap
The Rubs - The Rubs Are Trash - Tall Pat
Sanhose - Pi - Snuffy Smiles
Shadow In the Cracks - Shadow In The Cracks - Goner
The Soaks - The Soaks - Riot House
Spraynard - Mable - Jade Tree
Wavves - V - Mom + Pop
World's Fair - Leisurely - Rok Lok


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