Saturday, July 15, 2006

2006: Top Ten Tracks So Far

This was far from easy and this list at one point or another had the likes of Tool, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Black Keys, Thom Yorke, Hot Chip, and Arctic Monkeys. I whittled it down from the list that I started on my flight out to California last week and then I sat on it. Came back to it. Changed it. And this morning I finalized it. Complete with B-sides (after the "|").

MP3: Wilderness - "Monumental" | "Emergency"
We got turned on by 1000yregg over at Kushi Tan who frequents a lot of the same places we do and obstructs the view of other concert-goers much in the same way that Top (6'1") and myself (6'6") do. Anyway, the album VESSEL STATES is phenomenal from start to finish. I love the eerie, creepy quality of their sound. They are a local crew (Baltimore) and on a great, great label (Jagjaguwar), so there is really no reason to not check it out.

MP3: The Raconteurs - "Hands" | "Together"
As much as I loved "Steady As She Goes" I was hesitant to buy The Raconteurs album for some reason. I really don't know why. Once I got my hands on it, I cast aside my fleeting disgust with Jack White and hopped back on his sweetass, blues-based bandwagon. "Hands" is a killer track that has grown on me more and more with each listen.

MP3: Yeah Yeah Yeahs - "Turn Into" | "Way Out"
If this list was a playlist and was written in order of how I would play these tracks, "Turn Into" would be the closer. The guitar breakdown puts my favorite part of the band on display: Nick Zinner. Karen O.'s sprite-like stage presence borders on annoying me, but Zinner's chops keep me hooked and wanting more. In the same fashion that "Y Control" gripped my pulse a couple of years back, Zinner does it again here. A building climax of distortion that made me play it again once it was over.

MP3: The Strokes - "Heart In A Cage" | "Vision of Division"
Best song on the album. Great video. Opener when they played DAR. An addiction of mine. It is one those moments with The Strokes where Julian's lyrics are spot on and a perfect addition to the layered guitar work.

MP3: Birdmonster - "Balcony" | "'Cause You Can"
The whole debate I had between checking these guys out in DC or Sam Roberts Band in Arlington ended up being a wash because it was the First Lady's birthday that night. Regardless, "Balcony" was the song that pushed me to the Birdmonster side of the fence and prompted me to buy their album NO MIDNIGHT. NO MIDNIGHT will definitely be in the running for Metro D's Album of the Year sweepstakes and we are looking forward to hopping on stage with them again in the fall, when they return to the East Coast.

MP3: Muse - "Exo-Politics" | "Map of the Problematique"
There are a few bands out there that I will follow from one city to the next and attend multiple shows in consecutive nights. Muse, of course, is one of them. After all, I must repent for my sins. This album is already my favorite Muse album. Better than ABSOLUTION, SHOWBIZ and ORIGIN OF SYMMETRY. That is a ballsy statement, but it is simply phenomenal. I was a little wary when I first heard "Supermassive Black Hole," which was the first release and, in my opinion, the weakest track on the album. Once I heard the tracks above, "Knights of Cydonia" and "Assassin" all of my suspicions were laid to rest. See you in August, boys.

MP3: Boris - "Pink" | "Electric"
This album will be in my Top Ten Albums. I promise you. It is an absolute beast. The live performance is also of epic proportions. The most unassuming group of people I have ever seen take the stage and absolutely slay the audience. It was well worth the ride to Baltimore to see these guys and my eardrums damn the day that they return to my immediate vicinity. Picking tracks off of this album isn't easy, "Psuedo-Bread" and "Farewell" are huge, and "Just Abondoned My-Self" is a 10:00-plus roaming assault that will capture your imagination in a Tool/Mars Volta kind of way. The 2006 drop date stateside keeps these guys in the running on this list and probably kept Hot Chip off.

MP3: Wolfmother - "Colossal" | "Joker & the Thief"
When I spoke to the bassist of Wolfmother, Chris Ross, about why "Colossal" wasn't the title track on the US release he said it was for no particular reason. In my opinion, both "Colossal" and "Dimension" are great openers, but I would have to give the edge to "Colossal." "Colossal" wasn't the first Wolfmother track I listened to. It was probably "Mind's Eye" or "Woman," so when I heard the Australia release it was fantastic to start the CD off with something I had yet to hear. Especially something with the power and edge of "Colossal." It is still my favorite song of theirs.

MP3: Witch - "Seer" | "Soul of Fire"
There are no two ways about this song. It is heavy, dark, and explosive. The self-titled album, while only seven tracks long, clocks in over 30 minutes in length and packs plenty of punch. The track "Rip Van Winkle" was my introduction, coming to me from a Kemado Records sampler called INVADERS via our friends at Filter-Mag. On that song alone, and with the knowledge that J. Mascis from Dino Jr. was on the kit, I fired it up at Insound and the rest is history.

MP3: Band of Horses - "The Funeral" | "I Go To The Barn..."
This song isn't simply the best song I have heard this year, it is one of the best songs I have heard in a long, long time. It is heartbreaking, emotional, physical, and at points overwhelming. A perfect vocal placed over a simple riff that builds into a heavy collision of sound that leaves you banging your head in tears. The rest of the album, EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME is a powerhouse of reflections on our fragile times and the bonds we create, shape, and break with our every move. It begs a repeat listen time and time again, never failing to get better, to mean more than it did before.



radio tinman said...

amen on that band of horses song. great list.

francis said...

good stuff. i've been lookin for more witch since i heard rip van winkle a while ago. like the band of horses too.

sam flanagan said...

your selection is is superb.......props on leaving the more of the 'popular' stuff out as well.

thanks for the list

Anonymous said...

no no HOT CHIP > Boris!!!!
evvvvvery time!

pippa xx

Erick Paiva said...

Man, Boris is awesome, thanks for sharing!