Wednesday, February 26, 2014

BEST OF 2013

Here it is folks, the Stoned Out Of My Mind best of list for the year 2013. Seems like most other of these lists got posted before the year even officially ended, but I prefer waiting a while to look back upon the entire year and see what stuff held up and try to remember things that came out that I end up liking more upon revisiting. Or, in the case of the ill-fated 2012 best of list, writing it and never sharing it, whoops! Well this year I actually got my shit together long enough to make this list and say some things, mainly just to show some recognition to the artists and labels who really blew my mind and made living life more tolerable via blasting some music really loud. Here goes...

Best 2013 Full Length Albums:

1. Satanic Rockers - "Fu Kung" [Black Greasy Basement]
The year’s ultimate in scuzzed out drug blues. So good I actually managed to sit down and write a full review of it which you can find posted earlier here on the blog. Unfortunately the Rockers are no more, but main man Lynton is currently working on new projects: Sacred Product with a recently released 2x7” called “Wastex”, a great tape on Albert’s Basement, and I think there’s also an LP in the works; and The Encounter Group which I guess is the live performing incarnation of SP. Keep it comin’.

2. Wonderfuls - "Salty Town" [self-released]
Full-length debut from Brisbane duo Robert Vagg and Danny McGirr. An extremely personal and sorrowful collection of songs that’s sure to bum ya out or push you over the edge if you were already there, listener beware. The perfect soundtrack to a total mental breakdown, just as fucked up as the NGL single but far more delicate, beautiful even. New single just released on No Magic Man so if any shops in the US are reading this please stock it and let me know.

3. Mordecai - "College Rock" [Richie]
Second LP from Montana locker-room rockers Mordecai, following up on their underrated first full-length on Killertree and a single on Wantage USA. I was a big fan of everything the group had recorded thus far, but “College Rock” really pushes things forward in terms of songs and the total DIY fucked-with production. Not sure how they make things sound the way they do, sometimes it feels like they might not even be in the same room playing together, but it works. “Dead Head” dude, if you can’t dig that then you just can’t hang, man.

4. Counter Intuits - "Sheets of Hits" [Pyramid Scheme]
Ron House singing over home recordings by Times New Viking’s Jared Phillips. Need I say more? Ron. Fucking. House.

5. True Sons Of Thunder - "Stop And Smell Your Face" [Little Big Chief]
Brain smashing guitar rampage from Eric O. & co. The musical equivalent of shotgunning a case of beer and crushing the cans on your forehead.

6. Good Area - "French Antarctica" [Kye]
Weirdo home recorded free improv jamz, dawg, this shit hits some deep zones, specially on the b-side. New single is out now or will be soon so scoop that up too.

7. Buck Biloxi & The Fucks - S/T [Red Lounge]
An entire LP of hits from Maestro Buck Biloxi & His Fucks. Studies have shown that listening to this album on repeat for an entire day will raise your IQ by at least 10 points, feed your brain.

8. Life Stinks - S/T [S.S.]
Bay Area hate rock for misanthropes who yearn to withdraw from society. The perfect soundtrack for putting up with people you dislike yet are surrounded by. 

9. Liquor Store - "In The Garden" [Almost Ready]
While the “Yeah Buddy” double LP from 2011 established Liquor Store as a heavy guitar-driven force to be reckoned with, the group really focused in on making some of the best pure Rock N Roll that’s come out in the past decade. 

10. Cuntz - “Aloha” [Homeless]
The first time I heard the opening of “Homeless” I remember thinking “ohhhh shit, this is gonna be good” and I was right. Noisy, fucked up, anti-social, and weirdly humorous (there is a Tim and Eric cover). While their second album, also released in 2013, is great, songs on “Aloha” such as “Lost” and “Meth” are what bump this up to the top tier of the year. Support the Homeless.

Honorable Mentions:
Exhaustion - “Future Eaters” [Aarght] 
Roachclip - "Discovery Park" [All Gone]
Sky Needle - “Debased Shapes” [bruit direct disques] 
The Lloyd Pack - “At Home With The Lloyd Pack” [L’Esprit De L’Escalier] 
Birds of Maya - “Celebration” [Little Big Chief]
Graham Lambkin & Jason Lescalleet - "Photographs" [Erstwhile] (this would actually belong up in the Top 3 but I excluded it because a) I don't actually own it and b) it's part of a trilogy and although I've heard the first two parts before it's been awhile and I haven't yet gone back to listen through the whole thing, as I've been meaning to) 

Best 2013 Singles & EPs:

Gary Wrong Group - "Knights of Misery" [Total Punk]
The Sleaze - "Tecktonik Girlz & Other Hits" [Total Punk]
Lumpy & The Dumpers - "Sex Pit" [Muckraker Records]
Buck Biloxi & The Fucks / Giorgio Murderer split 7" [Holotrash] 
Buck Biloxi & The Fucks - "Holodeck Survivor" [Total Punk]
Yi - "Punk Memories" [self-released]
Mad Nanna - "I Wanna See You / The Nectarine Tree" [Soft Abuse]
Mole House - "Be Around" [All Gone]
Avon Ladies - 2nd 7" [Distort/Fashionable Idiots]
Graham Lambkin - "Abersayne/Attersaye" [Kye]
Sacred Product - S/T tape [Alberts Basement]
Love Chants - S/T 12" [Quemada]
Eastlink - "Wild Dog" [Aarght!] / Eastlink - “Angel Gun” [In The Red]
Gravel Samwidge - “Medicinal Requirements” [Swashbuckling Hobo]
Housewives - first and second 7”s on [R.I.P. Society] and [Anti Fade]

Best Reissues/Archival Releases:

Ego Summit - "The Room Isn't Big Enough" [540 / Old Age/No Age]
Neil Michael Hagerty & The Howling Hex - "The Hildreth Tapes" [Golden Lab]
Urinals - "Negative Capability...Check It Out!" [In The Red] / singles on [Superior Viaduct]
39 Clocks - "Pain It Dark" [Luxury Products]
R.L. Crutchfield's Dark Day - "The Exterminating Angel" [Dark Entries]
Roky Erickson - “The Evil One” / “Don’t Slander Me” / “Gremlins Have Pictures” [Light in the Attic]
Clothilde - "Swinging Madamoiselle" [Born Bad]
Pete & Royce - "Suffering of Tomorrow" [Little Big Chief]
Afflicted Man - "I'm Off Me 'Ead" [Permanent] / High Speed & Afflicted Man - "Get Stoned Ezy" [Guerssen]
Anonymous - "Inside The Shadow" [Machu Picchu]
Dark - "Round The Edges" [Machu Picchu]
The Garbage & The Flowers - "Eyes Rind As If Beggars" [Bo'Weavil/Fire]
Venom P. Stinger stuff on [Drag City]
Devo - Hardcore Devo Vols. 1 & 2 [Superior Viaduct]
Grabbies - Live 7" [Fashionable Idiots]
Tuxedomoon - “No Tears” EP / “Scream With A View” EP [Superior Viaduct]

Best Labels:

Total Punk rules over all. Every release is essential, just buy everything the day it comes out, don’t be dumb. With upcoming releases from the likes of Lumpy & The Dumpers and Manatees, plus the upcoming Total Fuck Off Weekend (March 7-8 in Orlando, FL, showcasing all the best Total Punk bands) the label shows no sign of stopping the hits from coming. 

Superior Viaduct still reigns supreme over the deluxe reissue game, constantly releasing necessary archival records for 21st century listeners, all packaged beautifully. I admit I haven’t kept up with everything they’ve put out, but this is just one of those labels where you know it’s gonna be great no matter what it is. The Hardcore Devos alone secure their spot as top reissue label.

Graham Lambkin’s Kye imprint continues putting out the best in contemporary experimental/avant-garde sounds. Little Big Chief is not only one of the best and most interesting distros around, but the label itself has put out two of the best records of the year (TSOT and Birds of Maya) as well as making its first foray into the world of reissues starting with the Greek-prog platter Pete & Royce “Suffering of Tomorrow.” Also, shipping now, is the label’s second reissue, Simon Finn’s “Pass the Distance” which I’m real excited about, top shelf. On the Australian front, and it’s no secret I’ve been following along closely with what’s been goin’ on down there, we got  R.I.P. Society and Bedroom Suck holding down the fort, while Albert’s Basement and Breakdance the Dawn hold their own in the subterranean realm. Also gotta thank Quemada, Easter Bilby, and Soft Abuse for helping bring similar sounds to the rest of the world. 

That’s all, thanks for reading and listening to the podcasts and all that, expect last week’s show to get posted up soon. I really wish I still had a prescription for adderall because sitting down and writing stuff is fuckin hard. 

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