So here’s part 2 of my year-end list. If you’re so inclined, you can check out part 1 right here. Maybe you’ll discover something new that you really like. Finding new music that I’ve somehow missed during the year is one of the reasons I like reading year-end lists and one of the reasons I keep posting mine. Enjoy.
40. Ma Jolie – …Compared To Giants (Self-Released)
…Compared To Giants is the awesome debut full-length from Philadelphia’s Ma Jolie. On it, they play a familiar style of mid-tempo punk that’s catchy and melodic but isn’t really pop punk in the same way that Samiam and Polar Bear Club aren’t really pop punk. You know what I’m saying? If pressed to do so, I might also say they sound a little like The Loved Ones minus the rootsy influence.
MP3: Ma Jolie – 88 MPH
39. Dinosaur Jr. – I Bet On Sky (Jagjaguwar)
I Bet On Sky is Dinosaur’s tenth full-length album and their third since the original lineup got back together in 2007 and it (gasp!) sounds exactly like Dinosaur Jr. Here, like they’ve always done, J Mascis, Lou Barlow and Murph continue to churn out their patented brand of guitar-based indie rock.
MP3: Dinosaur Jr. – Watch The Corners
38. Glocca Morra – Just Married (Kind Of Like)
Glocca Morra plays emo revial that rivals all their peers. Their sound is a little unhinged but a lot of fun. Just Married sounds like a party but with slinky guitar lines and music nods to Cap’n Jazz. RIYL: Algernon Cadwallader, BTMI, You Blew It, etc…
MP3: Glocca Morra – Irrevocable, Motherfucker
37. Bob Mould – Silver Age (Merge)
It’s almost fitting that 20 years after Bob Mould’s band Sugar released Copper Blue, he is back with an album that rivals that masterpiece. On Silver Age, Bob Mould shows no signs of slowing down. The guitars are louder, the songs are faster and there’s way more spitfire that I ever expected Mould to deliver at the age of 52. This is one of his best.
MP3: Bob Mould – The Descent
36. Downtown Struts – Victoria! (Pirates Press)
Downtown Struts are a Chicago band that combines relentless guitars, fast-paced rhythms and raspy vocal harmonies into a sound that’s one part Midwest and one part East Bay. Victoria! is full of catchy but edgy sing-a-long punk rock anthems that recall the gritty-but-straightforward almost street-punk sounds of One Man Army and the pop-punk sensibility of early Allister.
MP3: Downtown Struts – Postcards
35. Bro. Stephen – Baptist Girls (XRA)
A gorgeous album full of hushed acoustic Americana accentuated by hushed drones and lovely female harmony vocals from Louisville’s Bro. Stephen. It’s an almost stark sounding reverb-laden record that’s bigger and more complex than the sum of its parts. RIYL: State River Widening, The Wooden Birds, Greg Davis, etc…
MP3: Bro. Stephen – Tears On Tape
34. The Casket Lottery – Real Fear (No Sleep)
I’m glad the Casket Lottery is back. I’ve always been a big fan and this album might be the best thing they’ve ever done. Real Fear is a thundering album full of heavy post-hardcore and features more keyboards than the band’s previous material. Every other band in this genre should take note because this is how it’s done.
MP3: The Casket Lottery – In The Branches
33. Rocky Votolato – Television Of Saints (Self-Released)
Here, Rocky Votolato’s weary voice and understated guitar playing sound as good as they’ve ever sounded. While there’s nothing we haven’t heard before from Rocky Votolato on Television Of Saints, this batch of slightly-Southern indie-folk songs that make up his seventh full-length album are my favorites since 2006’s Makers.
MP3: Rocky Votolato – Sparks
32. Joyce Manor – Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired (Asian Man)
This “album” is all of 13 minutes long, but in those 13 minutes Joyce Manor manages to accomplish more than most bands can in twice that time. These songs bridge the gap between garagey punk, angular emo pop and arty indie rock. It’s a quick listen that is somehow raw and unrefined but not sloppy. If anything, the songs are all exactingly calculated. I almost think they’re fucking with us.
MP3: Joyce Manor – Bride Of Usher
31. The Evening Rig – Nothin’ To Hear Here (Self-Released)
The third full-length from Minneapolis’ The Evening Rig, Nothin’ To Hear Here is filled with exactly the sort of ragged and twangy rock music that made me love them in the first place. This time around, however, the pace is a bit slower and it only makes the liquor’s sweet burn last a little longer. That’s not to say this doesn’t rock, because it does. I’m pretty sure no one playing this sort of music does it better than The Evening Rig does right now. RIYL: Lucero, Alone At 3AM, The Mats, etc…
MP3: The Evening Rig – So Far Gone