#1 Red Kross — Researching the Blues
Tagline!: The high-highs far out way the lows.
I’m not going to bore you with another review (as you can read the original), but I will say this: there are some great songs here, and some not so great. Other albums were much more consistent, but Researching the Blues, despite it’s dumb name and low parts, hit lots out of the park. Maybe you can’t achieve greatness if you play it safe?
#2 Pujol — The United States of Being
Tagline!; Hyper caffeinated pop songs with well thought out lyrics.
How many albums manage to get out two or three good songs before reaching into the filler barrel? Answer – many. Not this album. Released on a label much more known for music of the electrical bent, there’s a lot of honest rock here. Did I just called electronic bleep bloop music dishonest? Don’t tell anyone!
#3 White Wires — WWIII
Tagline: The funnest album of the year, minus some dumb lyrics.
Yeah, you’ve heard some of these riffs before. Maybe even in a Rick Springfield song. What’s that, you’re way too young to know who Rick Springfield is? Well, rock away, then!
#4 Royal Headache — S/T
Tagline: The energy is infectious.
This album never lets up. It’s always great to hear such joy in hammering on instruments. Which is always kinda funny with such clean guitar tones.
#5 The Men — Open Your Heart
Tagline: A solid long player I kept returning to.
I found faults, but I played this album all the time. That says quite a bit.
#6 Mind Spiders — Meltdown
Tagline: Another solid album that keeps it’s eye on the prize.
All the songs hum along and kept this album in constant rotation.
#7 The Golden Boys — Dirty Fingernails
Tagline. Takes some risks, takes some stumbles, and puts out some fine songs.
Texas rock-y. Expansive, detached songs about feelings are the rage these days. Give me The Golden Boys.
#8 Mount Carmel — Real Women
Tagline: Nostalgia worship done well.
Joe Walsh is still kicking, and writing crotchety songs about how using a cell phone sucks. If he’d quit playing with his ham radio, and hit the cocaine again with the James Gang, we might have something like this album.
- Red Kross – Choose to Play
- Red Dons – Auslander
- Pujol – Black Rabbit
- Golden Boys – California
- Superchunk – This Summer
- Torche – Letting Go
Amazing Artists I Discovered This Year that Didn’t Happen to Put Out an Album This Year. And EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE I discovered right after they played in Portland.
- Reigning Sound
Bands that missed the deadline, but could have been contenders:
- Woolen Kits – Four Girls
- Call of the Wild – Leave Your Leather On