It's that time of year again, the time of year where we remind you of all the amazing releases we were lucky enough to help promote for the past twelve months.
Scroll through and enjoy these fine albums, and give a shout if they're missing from your collection!
SOLID PR 2007 RELEASES!
An album of monster rifts and blasts of ferocity featuring the cast of Old Man Gloom. Need a reminder? Stream the entire album HERE! Oh yeah, they toured w/ Isis and Jesu too. So heavy. So good.
7000 Dying Rats
Season in Hell
Hell yes. We finally got to work w/ the mighty HWC imprint and one of our favorite grind bands ever. Featuring Weasel Walter and members of Pelican and Lair of the Minotaur, this thrash attack was one of standout punk rock albums of 2007. Yes.
The follow-up to Jesu's s/t full-length will unquestionably go down as one of the most powerful and amazing albums of the last decade. Praised the world over, Conqueror proved that Justin Broadrick is basically a god living among men.
My Heart Has a Wish That You Would Not Go
Aereogramme's last full-length before their untimely demise, and easily their best. Aereogramme were from Scotland and created some of the most lush and powerful sound-scapes ever. This band will be sorely missed but their influence will never go unnoticed. Stream the album in it's entirety here.
Featuring members of Cave In, Clouds rip the stoner-bar-rock scene a new hole w/ their debut on Hydra Head. Their intensity is unmatched and as proven on tour w/ Pelican, Fatal Flying Guilloteens, and Autonym, they should definitely take home the prize for feircest, most balls out live show of 2007.
Shall We Skip to Excessive Celebration?
Autonym is the punk-spazz attack from the streets of LA and Philly whose controversial messages and blatant lashing out against organized religion created a tidal wave of controversy earlier this year. Led by William Angelos, Autonym is as sincere as they come, and their technical brutality will undoubtedly see them slowly becoming a phenomenon in the punk rock underground over the next year.
Here Comes the Waterworks
Oh hell yeah. We know the latest album from the new kings of heavy rock already made a ton of year end lists, but just a reminder about how ass-kicking these f*ckers really are: click HERE to stream the album from the dudes who ended up being 2/3's of The Melvins and landed on a nation-wide tour w/ the legendary Tool.
They signed to one of our favorite and sickest record labels around, toured w/ Helmet, Mastodon, and Fu Manchu, and became many a stoner-metal fan's favorite of 2007. "Ladron" is already a classic among classics.
An avant masterpiece and heralded throughout the year as some of the most beautiful composers of drone-metal ever. Nadja made sporadic appearances in the states throughout the year and will continue to bring us some of the best in contemporary avant-metal the world has ever seen.
(Double H Noise)
Another ambient masterpiece, this time featuring the one and only Aaron Turner of ISIS! This one blew eardrums and minds w/ their take on the "sounds" of visual art.
The Antique Barking Swirls of Dawn
Wow. This record was such a gem it's hard to put into words. These Philly-based psych masters made a record for the hippy kids everywhere, but make no mistake, this is far from a jam band. Heralded by Pitchfork, Jambase and more, Golden Ball is the future of psychedelia.
The Molecules, led by Ron Anderson, were the forefathers of the jazz-punk generation. Inspiring bands like Swing Kids and Arab on Radar, The Molecules released this collection of hits earlier this year. If you missed it, trust me, ask for it.
Lesbians on Ecstasy
We Know You Know
From Venus to Revolver, these high-profile electronic-lesbian-dance-punx lead a revolution of empowering women across the world. Respected and loved, LOE is 2 for 2 w/ critically acclaimed full lengths. And Le Tigre love them so obviously that means you should too!
Mastery of Steel
Witch's Hat party-punk battle cries set off a wave of hysteria around the mid-west and eventually on the East Coast thanks to the non-stop touring and and an album full of endless fun for the whole family.
The Streets, The Sounds, And the Love
A pop gem masterpiece. Their video for Cold Hearted Town can be seen now on FUSE and MTVu. Catch them on tour now w/ The Spill Canvas. These guys are about to be huge... trust.
Birds of Avalon
Featured on nonstop US tours w/ The Fucking Champs, Ted Leo, and THE FLAMING LIPS, Birds of Avalon (featuring ex-members of Cherry Valence) created one of the best psyche-rock albums of 2007, hands down. Favorited by the likes of Spin, Harp, Jambase, and blogs everywhere, we're extremely excited to see what's in store for the next album. A major year-end contender right here.
A female fronted dark and disturbing dance punk band from New York who's latest album saw them tour endlessly w/ Ted Leo and friends. Stream the entire album here to remember just how amazing this album really was!
Bergraven's main man, Pär, turns the traditional blast-and-flay aesthetic of “frostbitten grimness” on its ear and comes at us with sweeping riff dirges, winding cinematic passages, melodic guitar interludes, tortured-yet-vaguely-authoritarian & Germanic vocal overtones and—get this—ambient pedal steel excursions. All of which is enough to make your fucking head spin, especially if you (like us) are down with weirdness that transcends weirdness-merely-for-the-sake-of-being weird and comes out on the other side looking like a total fucking destroyer. What we’re saying is this: Dödsvisioner is not your typical black metal experience, and Bergraven is not your standard Swedish killing machine.
JUNE! (A Huge Month!)
The Narcotic Story
This year, Oxbow released their best album in their 20+ year existence w/ The Narcotic Story. w/ features in The Wire, Decibel, Revolver, and a beautiful cover story in Signal To Noise, it's clear Oxbow is on their way to take over all that IS music. Front-man Eugene Robinson has never sounded so tortured. The Narcotic Story is IT, quite possibly a contender for THE Best Album of 2007.
Lewis and Clarke
Blasts of the Holy Birth
(La Societe Expeditionnaire)
This week, Lewis & Clarke performed @ The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, a truly perfect way to close out a year filled w/ so much praise it was hard for us to keep track. Lewis & Clarke's "Blasts of Holy Birth" is up there as having received the most press out of any of our bands in 2007, and rightly so. A beautiful and epic album filled w/ the most gorgeous and powerful music put to wax all year. Other highlights included a US tour w/ Brighton-based BAT FOR LASHES, a performance on NPR's World Cafe in Philadelphia, and endless praise from the internet's biggest taste-makers. We salute you Lou, congrats on a job well done. Stream all of "Blasts" HERE!
Another band heralded by taste-makers around the world, was Brooklyn's O'Death! This re-release on New York based Ernest Jenning opened the doors to a whole slew of amazing attention in the main stream media. Granted, Pitchfork, Spin, and the hottest blogs on the web had already caught on to this album when it was self-released, but that didn't stop the support from rolling in like mad. Also, it should be noted that O'Death's live show is hands down the sickest of 2007.
A New Beat From a Dead Heart
2007 also saw the revival of one of New York Hardcore legends, the almighty 108. Possibly beating out Songs of Separation as the band's greatest album, "A New Beat" was a pummeling thrash attack, a face-ripper like no other. Punk Rock and Metal publications praised the devastating power that is 108, and their newest album produced by Kurt from Converge. A masterpiece of an album in this man's humble opinion. And their latest set of dates w/ Snapcase and Converge proved the band's live energy is still more than there. See you in the pit f*ckers!
The Number 12 Looks Like You
Another sickly disturbing, technically flawless metal album of 2007 came from the Jersey based cult heroes The Number Twelve Looks Like You. Their latest, Mongrel, set off a wave of praise for what many consider to be the second coming of Dillinger. After a US tour w/ Gwar and A Life Once Lost and sick record sales, the band sets their sites on a tour w/ From Autumn To Ashes, and the December 15th filming of their debut DVD for Eyeball Records. So insane. Click here to stream Mongrel in its entirety.
Stamen & Pistils
Hailing from Washington D.C., Stamen & Pistils have built a sound atypical of what is commonly expected from this city. Acoustic based folk-pop, filled out with programmed beats and synths form a sort of controlled chaos. Influenced as much by the future as by anachronism, Stamen & Pistils aim to create something new and sincerely their own: a highly textured sonic pallet of fuzzy deconstructed pop. Towns features beautiful backing vocals by Carol Bui and Mikal Evans (Gypsy Eyes, Revival); additional production and mixdown by T.J. Lipple (Aloha); and mastered by Devin Ocampo (Mary Timony, Medications) for Silver Sonya Studios. A true gem.
Shape / Tame One
Raised Near the Powerlines / The Grudge: Fuck the Industry Mixtape
This year we helped our friends at Division East Skate Shop get the word out about their new label representing the sickest shit in the underground Jersey hip-hop scene. Their first releases appeared courtesy of Shape, a new young producer and emcee, who, in our opinion, layed down some of the sickest tracks in the entire hip-hop scene all year. No shit, we defy you to listen to "Raised Near The Power Lines" and not lose your god-damned mind. Shape represents unimaginable talent for someone so young, and Divison East proves it is here to rival any label in the hip-hop underground. Also released this month was the new Tame One mix tape. For those who don't remember, Tame One came up from the Artifacts, Slow Suicide Stimulus, Leak Bros, and more groundbreaking hip-hop crews from the mean streets of Dirty Jerz.
New Brunswick, NJ, Goodbye (Bands, Dirty Basements, and the Search For Self)
This year our very good friend, educator, philanthropist, and podcaster, Ronen Kauffman, wrote a book about his life experiences growing up in the punk rock scene (the New Brunswick, NJ punk rock scene to be exact). This critically acclaimed paper-back stirred up emotions and memories in readers worldwide w/ its coming of age tales of love, loss, and the pursuit of finding oneself. A beautiful, enlightening, and heart-warming read that reminded so many of us why we're sitting here doing what we do in the first place.
American Nervoso Reissue
The first in a series of reissues from the now defunct Botch. Definitely a year-end best becuase it's one of the best albums of all time. Take that! Botch went on to form bands like Minus The Bear, These Arms Are Snakes, and more.
Deadverse Massive Vol. 1: Dalek Rarities 1999-2006
Here we have another contender for number one album of 2007. Although it's a B-sides and rarities collection, there is no denying that this is some of Dalek's best work to date. Raised from the streets of Newark, NJ, Dalek has been creating the best in avant-hip-hop for years, and this collection grasps all that is truly special about the group. Look out for Volume 2 in '08?!
Year of the Pig
(What’s Your Rupture?)
Ah Fucked Up. A band so awesome the NY Times can't help to write about every chance they get, and not mention the band's name even once. It's true, this year Fucked Up put out the best punk rock album of 2007. Although i heard NOFX released a new live album so that is probably totally amazing. Regardless, Fucked Up break new ground in the punk rock and hardcore scene and bring us back to a time when music and the "scene" was much more innocent. Fucked Up keep it real but also manage to produce albums of glorious and spectacular proportions. Their next bit of vinyl out this December may even outdo Year of The Pig on sheer shock value alone. Bottom Line: Fucked Up may be the most important band in the punk rock scene today. Stream Year of the Pig HERE!
Yakua released one of the most groundbreaking metal albums EVER this year, which automatically means the best of the year. A fusion of jazz and sheer brutality, Transmutations is an all out sonic assault, and for those unfamiliar, an introduction to what amazing music can and should actually sound like. Let's not forget, Yakuza @ CMJ was one of the sickest fucking things ever seen. Remember when Bruce picked up that table and almost smashed you in the face w/ it? That was AWESOME. If you like metal at all, Yakuza will be your new favorite band after you hear this monster.
The Austerity Program
AHHHHH! Jesus Christ The Austerity Program makes me want to kick someone in the face. If you haven't turned this album up to 11 and flipped the f*ck out yet, there is something seriously wrong. Two dudes having fun and playing along to pre-programmed blast-beats in their bath-robes. Does it get any better? We think not
There is Nothing New Under the Sun Reissue
Oh hey! Did we mention the best band in metal-core (ever?) got back together this year to tour and start huge pits of destruction? Cuz that defintiely happened. Remember how the entire room in Knitting Factory's main-space looked like the New York hardcore scene circa 92? God damn. Come back soon guys. Please.
Our Way is Revenge
Shock Cinema features members of Dragons of Zynth, And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead, and Rogers Sisters. What does that equal? An amazingly dark, female fronted goth punk record of course! Our Way is Revenge takes the cake for best post-industrial-punk album of the year. Yes i just made that category up right now, but it's true! Stream "Our Way is Revenge" HERE!
Wildly embraced by the punk rock community, Bald Eagle released one of the most fun and energetic records of 2007. A Blood Brothers meets Call Me Lightning cluster-f*ck of spazmadic and uncontrollable angst, Hot Shoulders should get put back in everyone's 6-disc changer immediately (what's that dad? There's a thing called ipods now? Whatever.)
World/Inferno Friendship Society
Addicted to Bad Ideas
World/Inferno is the epitome of one band's ability to defy genre or classification w/ the inclusion of cabaret and Brecht to their animalistic punk rock sound and ethos. There is nothing left to say that hasn't been said by critics everywhere about the Inferno. If these guys get their way there will be anarchy in the streets in no time, and frontman Jack Terricloth will be leading the march down a street of abandoned burning cars and throwing money and gifts to the women and children along the way, much like Jack Nicholson in the first Batman. And Addicted to bad Ideas would of course be the soundtrack. This year the dudes (and ladies) toured the states w/ Lifetime, The Bouncing Souls, and Against Me. They even performed their first ever multi-media performanace - "Addicted To Bad Ideas, Peter Lorre's 20th Century Live" to a packed house @ NPR's World Cafe Live in Philadelphia. We love you World/Inferno. We f*ng love you.
Jade Tree came out of the shadows w/ this one and released a shocker of an amazing punk rock album. A mix of Drive Like Jehu meets Black Flag, these kids from Richmond set it off like no other. Of course they played The Fest this year as well as hit the road w/ Strike Anywhere and Hour of the Wolf. Even cousin Nick agrees - these guys RULE!
Who the hell would have ever thought there would be a piece on Xasthur in Spin Magazine?! Well guess what, pick up the newest issue w/ Bruce on the cover and read the following: "California black-metal loner Xasthur, a.k.a. Scott Conner, emerged from relative obscurity with 2006's Subliminal Genocide, releasing an opus whose weirtd, shoegazy atmospheres impressed hipsters while its intesity earned the United States scene cred in a scene dominated by Europeans. With the follow-up however, Xasthur reminds us he is in this for himself: Mixed into a pealing, clinically depressed haze, Defective Epitaph slogs through a universe few others would willingly visit, let alone inhabit. There are subtleties drifting in the maelstrom (for instance, the elegiac keyboards in "Cemetary of Shattered Masks"_, but as with any music this isolated, you need headphones to hear them." - perfect.
We Are The Romans
This year Botch reissued their two most legendary albums that went on to influence the current state of metal-core. We Are The Romans was by far the most popular Botch release. Devastatingly brutal and technical, Botch set the stage for the future of hardcore and technical metal. Really guys, you should just get back together already and teach these kids a lesson! Please?!
Is it possible to have one band with two releases in year end lists? We think so. Jesu's latest Lifeline EP is a lesson in sheer beauty. Never ceasing to amaze, Justin Broadrick released another collection of atmospheric metal under his Jesu moniker. In support, our good friend hit the road for Jesu's first headlining tour of the states, accompanied by some good friends from coast to coast, also stopping in New York for this year's CMJ Marathon. Thank you sir Broadrick!
Fatal Flying Guilloteens
Fatal Flying Guilloteens kicked major ass this year. Though they haven't toured the states for their new album yet (stay tuned 2008, you're next!), these legendary spazz-punks came to NYC for the Les Savy Fav record release shows, and for about five shows during this year's CMJ Marathon. Praised by Spin Magazine and taste-maker blogs everywhere (what's up BrooklynVegan!), the Guilloteens are back to rip you a new one.
So this month, something truly amazing happened. One of our bands, a band by the name of Zs (an experimental, improvisational, avant-jazz quartet from Brooklyn), was featured for a week straight on our favorite bit of entertainment out there, The Howard Stern Show. Was it because they thought Zs were a joke? Maybe. But we like to think it's the fact that Zs are one of the most talented and groundbreaking bands currently making their mark on the underground today. As their recent shows w/ The Locust and Yip-Yip went on to prove, Zs perform some of the most difficult music put to paper, at a speed more mindblowing and intense than you could possibly imagine. Local New York publications Time Out NY, The Fader, and The Village Voice agree, Zs are undeniably awesome. Get to know them, and FAST!
Here, BJ from Parts and Labor puts together an album of amazing bedroom pop-electronica for the kids under the name Shooting Spires. This album is really really good. BJ and I spoke at great length about the current state of the music industry over waffles and omelets. This guy knows what's up. Be sure to look out for upcoming 2008 releases by the likes of Ecstatic Sunshine and Zs on his Cardboard Records imprint.
Eyeball Awareness Vol. 1: To Write Love on Her Arms
The first in a series of CD samplers from Eyeball Records to raise awareness and benefit a non profit movement which aims to present hope and find help for young people struggling with depression, addiction, self injury and suicide. This compilation features some standout tracks and artists set to release new material on Eyeball in 2008 including Baumer, Jettie, Kiss Kiss, Pompeii, and The Number Twelve Looks Like You.
GDP is that dirty dog Matt Miller who helps run Division East Records. And guess what. He's f*ng 19. You heard me. Did we mention he rips the mic and is lyrically blessed like no other? Did we mention kids go off so insanely hard at GDP shows that shit gets shut down by the cops constantly? GDP aka Matthew Miller is our friend and one of the most talented and amazing human beings we know. If nothing else this fine young man makes our top 10 best people of the year. Like Time Magazine's Man of the Year or something. That's our boy.
The Black Swans
(La Societe Expeditionnaire)
We're not sure how many year end lists the new Black Swans album "Change!" will make, but if we had our own list, this would easily be in the top three. "Change!," an album covered in publications like Rolling Stone, Spin, USA Today, and other ridiculously huge publications, is one of the most gorgeous records we have ever heard in our lives. In fact, there's not a day that goes by that we don't play "Change!" in the office, in the car, or on our ipod. The Black Swans are one of the best bands making music right now and front-man Jerry DeCicca's take on the modern folk scene, and his vast knowledge of music in general, is some of the most mindblowing dialogue we've heard in quite some time. You may be reminded of an infinitely more tortured Leonard Cohen, Ryan Adams, or Dylan. You can stream all of "Change!" HERE!
Professor Murder on A Desert Island
Although only the first of three tracks (possibly five if you count forthcoming remixes) have been released, the song "Flex-It Formula," is the first new Professor Murder song in quite some time, and that alone is cause for very much excitement. Your favorite dub-punx are back, and over the next couple months, will have a ton of fun and FREE surprises in store for you (that's right, this entire EP will be given away for free), all courtesy of the new and awesome RCRD LBL imprint.
Cave In frontman Steve Brodsky is back and better than EVER! Pet Genius will rock your face in ways you never thought imaginable. Arguably his best work since early Cave In, Pet Genius is a groove-ridden masterpiece complete w/ sick production and sludge-heavy riffs. Brodsky is a master song-writer and has just released an album so dynamic and powerful it will make frontmen everywhere green w/ envy. Guest musicians from Clouds and Doomriders make the debut Pet Genius release a no brainer for top something in 2007.
(Hot Dog City)
This year, the music world lost a great musician and dear friend. Trevor Butler played in the bands Bottom of the Hudson and Coyote. One of his bands, Coyote, remains determined to soldier on in memory of their lost band-mate. The band's new album, and the last recorded material featuring Trevor Butler, was released last week on local Philadelphia label, Hot Dog City Records, and is a dark and heavy gothic post punk album reminiscent to The Black Heart Procession and Gravity Records-era Rapture albums. There's even hints of early Jim Morrison in there. An absolutely terrifying and sonically-powerful listen, Outsides should gain as much attention as possible before the year is out.
(self released / Magic Bullet)
Ringfinger is ex-Dahlia Seed Tracy Wilson's first recorded material in 10 years, and yesterday, this tricked out electronic masterpiece (featuring guest appearances by members of Cave In, ISIS, Dalek, SunnO))), Engine Down, Denali, and many many more) was the number 1 album on eMusic! Quite a feat and well deserved for one of the greatest ladies out there. A sexy and charming album, Decimal is a must have for any fans of Massive Attack, Portishead and the like.
Featuring members of Converge, Piebald, and The Explosion, The Huguenots were a band truly ahead of their time, pumping out the kind of slash n’ burn noise terror that prefigured the current crop of “avant-punk” poster-children (we’d name names, but what’d be the point?) while razing various New England-area basements, living rooms and VFW halls before hitting their jagged stride on an HH-sponsored split ten-inch with SevenPercentSolution. In the tradition of Angel Hair, Clicatat Ikatowi, Twelve Hour Turn, Shotmaker, Gravity Records, Swing Kids and VSS, The Huguenots are a band that will go down as one of the more visionary and influential bands in our history.
(Whats Your Rupture)
We'll be 100% honest w/ you and tell you we haven't heard this 7" yet, but come on, based on the guest musicians alone you KNOW this will be one of the sickest records you've ever heard. For those who need a reminder, here is the list of special guests: James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem)
Cole (Black Lips), Davey Havok (AFI), Kevin Peterson (What's Your Rupture?), Faris Rotter (The Horrors), Mike Fellows (Rites Of Spring), Matt Sweeney (Chavez/ Zwan), Dave One (Chromeo), Jacob Thiele (The Faint), Morag and Ursula, Jay Reatard, Dan Romano (Attack In Black), Trevor Keith (Face To Face), Jason Green (Panthers/ Orchid)
Jerry A. (Poison Idea), Shenae Grimes (Degrassi: The Next Generation), Scott Vogel (Terror), and Nelly Furtado. Wow.