Every year I say to myself I need to put together a year end list. My intentions are good but often they never get finished. This year though, I actually completed one.
After a bunch of hem & haws, adding & subtracting & thinking and weighing, here's the records of 2019 that I believe I listened to the most.
Aluminum Knot Eye Neutered and Declawed 7inch: Read the Smashin' Transistors review.
Andy Human and the Reptoids Psychic Sidekick LP: Listening to the Reptoids 2nd album, is like listening to a stellar comp of elsewise unheard '77 DIY arty punk singles and caffeinated but loose Krautrock. The difference is though is that they're all made by the same band. Hear tracks on Smashin' Transistors podcast episodes 46, 48 and 50.
Celebrity Handshake This Is Real Life LP plus singles: In the current world of chaos and disconcertion, Celebrity Handshake's primitive grunts and bangin' is from the smack-dab middle of the maelstrom. Hear tracks on Smashin' Transistors podcast episodes 48, 55, 56 and 58.
Chronophage Prolog for Tomorrow LP: Technically this Chronophage's "official" debut album came out out in 2018 but it was literally three days before the year ended. It's decayed and wobbly lo-fi fit like an familiar sweater last winter. Equally and oddly warming as it is itchy. Hear tracks on Smashin' Transistors podcast episodes 46 and 47.
Cochonne s/t cassette: Post-punk with groove that's rubbery and capricious, Durham, NC's Cochonne often get comparisons to the Slits/Raincoats/Au Pairs camp. While dropping such names is understandable, the band sound here is not a pastiche as it is one of a group that got map references but then decided to find a path of their own to reach a desired destination. Hear tracks on Smashin' Transistors podcast episodes 60 and 61.
Comet Gain Fireraisers Forever! LP: Firestaters Forever lyrically takes sprightly jabs at boomers from a Gen Xer's point of view and wraps it up in a very iridescent and British indie-rock characteristic that is the very own. David Feck and co. continue to show a way on how to age gracefully while still keeping cynicism and sharp wit intact. Hear tracks on Smashin' Transistors podcast episodes 57 and 59.
Cowboys Bottom Of The Rotten Flower LP: Read the Smashin' Transistors review.
Dan Melchior Group Ruins LP: Dan Melchior did three albums in 2019. Two with the Dan Melchior Band. his it's band, a trio that consists of him and Jah Nada of Bloody Show & Raw Pony. It's heavy & straightforward but still thick with that weird art garage thing that Dan executes so masterfully. Hear tracks on Smashin' Transistors podcast episodes 57, 58 and 60.
DANA Glowing Auras & Black Money LP: Dark, distorted and spiked with theramin whirrings, Columbus, Ohio's is not playing just simple space-punk. They're creating and orchestrating music for adventures in the galaxy's many black holes. Hear tracks on Smashin' Transistors podcast episodes 48, 56 and 60.
Hash Redactor Drecksound LP: Alec of Ex-Cult and Meredith & Charlotte of NOTS are in Hash Redactors ranks. Lumbering and trebly, Drecksound a dark and ominous affair as the band sounds like it's haunted by Mark E. Smith's final breaths and bourbon demons telling ghost stories of the blues. Hear tracks on Smashin' Transistors podcast episodes 49 and 50.
JOHNNY ILL Congratulations Digital EP: Read the Smashin' Transistors review.
Isolation Party Fiber Optic Holiday LP: Read the Smashin' Transistors review.
The Long Hots "Nickel and Dime" 7inch: The Velvetoid "Boogie Trance" of Philadelphia's Long Hots 2018 cassette Monday Night Raw became a constant play for me in my car that year. The 2019 single on Third Man became a constant on my turntable the past year too. Hear a track from the single in Smashin' Transistors podcast episode 49.
Lousy Sue First Digital EP: Read the Smashin' Transistors review.
Midnight Mines Create A Disturbance In Your Mind Double CD: What's actually a comp of their first three cassettes, Private Sorrow and Baron Saturday present of disturbing world where gnarled in a garage guitars are torched in a cauldron of barbarous dub and harsh clang. Hear tracks on Smashin' Transistors podcast episodes 48 and 61.
Mononegatives 5 Second Future Digital EP: Read the Smashin' Transistors review.
Mope Grooves Desire LP: Cleverly crafted bedroom pop that's way too idiosyncratic and lolloping for many to declare pop at all. Hear tracks on Smashin' Transistors podcast episode 54.
Mountain Babies s/t Digital LP: Over the past decades or so, Port Huron's Mountain Babies have evolved from a one man project led by Dave Peters in to a absolute orphic folk rock quartet. Inspired by Michigan's four seasons of vistas and the scent of Lake Huron air, The band, joined by various guests which make up a veritable who's who of local musicians, has reached a magical stride. Hear a track on Smashin' Transistors episode 53.
Musk "Animal Husbandry" 7inch: Read the Smashin' Transistors review.
Parsnip When The Tree Bears Fruit LP: Tumble-down garage pop that's as sprightly sparkly as it is whimsical and off-kilter, Parsnip debut album delivers as its promise as their singles before it already proved they were capable. I am not telling a lie when I tell you that on a very cold, rainy and depressing day in 2019, I put this record on, the clouds parted, the sun came out and birds started singing. Hear tracks on episode 57 and 59.
Pleather Wasting Time With Riot 7inch: Read the Smashin' Transistors review.
Protruders Poison Future LP: Weird and wiggly, Montreal's Protuders vinyl debut celebrates and emulates musical forefathers that colored outside of the lines. References to Swell Maps, Hawkwind and Ubu are not uncommon when discussing the band and like those combos, they hit grooves that may not be straightfoward and "normal" but are definitely serpentine and alluring. Hear tracks on Smashin' Transistors episodes 51 and 52.
Pscience s/t LP: Synth dominated (but not completely overpowered by) and agitated new wave from members of Buck Biloxi & the Fucks, Trampoline Team etc. Catchy aberrance wrapped up in a recording that sounds like it's straight outta some cheap recording studio circa 1978. Hear tracks in Smashin' Transistors episodes 54 and 56
Red Mass Kilrush Drive LP: Everything Red Mass, a project from Montreal rock-n-roll legend Roy Vucino and his wife Hannah Lewis, have released up til this album was the scaling of a musical mountain. On Kilrush Drive, they've reached their Everest. Post-punk put through a grinder then reformed into something that's appropriately unpredictable and brooding for these strange days we are in. Hear tracks on Smashin' Transistors episodes 48 and 50.
Slump Flashbacks from Black Dust Country LP: Read the Smashin' Transistors review.
Spray Paint Into The Country LP: Read the Smashin' Transistors review.
Toeheads Basement Digital LP: Read the Smashin' Transistors review.
USA/Mexico Matamoros LP: Read the Smashin' Transistors review.
Vision 3D s/t LP: Slashed up Wilko Johnson/Andy Gill guitar bangs and a whole lot of frenetic yet sing along songs, Franco-Belgian band Vision 3D's debut album seems angular and skeletal on the surface, but quickly turns inviting once it starts to seep in. Hear tracks on Smashin' Transistors episodes 57, 58 and 61.
Zurich Cloud Motors Trail Of No Return cassette: Carrying a scuzzy proto-punk disease while also being infected with some dystopian condition that makes them seem prone to cracking open their own skull to get the bugs out, Providence, Rhode Island's Zurich Cloud Motors have a heavy burden to bear. These savants seem to be up to the task. Hear tracks on Smashin Transistors episodes 59 and 61.
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