Thursday, July 14, 2011

Favorite albums of 2011, so far

I did this for 2010, and somehow forgot Murder By Death's Good Morning Magpie. I'm doing this halfway through the year because there are a lot so far, and there will probably be even more by the time the year's done. M83 will have one out "soon", the Mars Volta is trying to get one out, and there are rumors that Rage Against The Machine is working on a new one too. So I'll probably do a second post at the end of the year if I remember. This has been an amazing year for post-rock. Or maybe I just only ever pay attention to post-rock anymore. I'll start out with the not-post-rock in case you don't care for it.

The Kills - Blood Pressures

There's not a whole lot I can say about this. It's nothing but great mindless garage rock. The Kills have been around for a long time, but I've only known about them for maybe a year or so. They're really fucking good.

The Hole Punch Generation

I read in an interview that the Hole Punch Generation has been together for five or six years, and they're only now releasing their first album because they wanted to get their sound perfected. And it shows. Their self-titled album is easily one of the best first releases from a band I've heard in a long time. Everybody needs to check this out. Their name "reflects mass-production processes and how these processes have affected art, culture, and identity."

The Hole Punch Generation - They're On To Me from Audiobulb on Vimeo.

Conversations by The Hole Punch Generation from The Hole Punch Generation on Vimeo.

The Allstar Project - Into The Ivory Tower

The painting on the cover is "Destruction" by Thomas Cole, one of five paintings in a series called The Course of Empire, which I mentioned in yesterday's post. They're about the rise and fall of a civilization. Post-rock is great for having no lyrics because it can be interpreted wildly, but I think it's pretty obvious that the Allstar Project meant this album to focus on that theme. It's so epic, and so terribly sad.

Explosions in the Sky - Take Care, Take Care, Take Care

EITS would easily make it in my top five favorite bands, so I was really excited for this release. And they didn't disappoint me. I'm pretty sure it's on par with The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place, which is one of my favorite albums of all time. I think this is the best album of 2011 so far, and it will likely stay that way.

This Will Destroy You - Tunnel Blanket

Tunnel Blanket takes getting used to. It's not like anything else TWDY has done (which is very stereotypical post-rock). I was iffy about it at first, but after a few listens something clicked, and now I think it's god damn genius. I realize most people probably won't agree. It's very ambient, bordering on drone. It's different, and the fans are mixed. It makes me want to think and not think at the same time. I don't know. It makes me feel a lot of things that I don't know the words for, and I can't really explain why I like it. I'm really getting into existentialism at the moment (lol), and it's basically becoming my go-to soundtrack whenever I struggle to read Jean Paul Sartre.

Mogwai - Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will

When people have heard of a post-rock band, it's usually either Mogwai or Godspeed. These guys have been around forever, and they've helped lead the way for the genre. This is Mogwai at their best, and I can't recommend it enough.

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