Top Ten Records of 2014 So Far
An excerpt From Scene Point Blank's Favorites: The Year So Far
By Nathan G. O'Brien on Scene Point Blank
Angst-y, bouncy punk rock. Melodic male-female vocal tradeoff gives it a sense of charm that’s hard to ignore. Close your eyes and let the fuzzy basslines, driving drums, and spirited guitar transport you to some damp basement party in 1993.
Brain F≠ – Empty Set (Grave Mistake / Sorry State)
See above, except the amps have been cranked, the riffs are harder, and the cocaine guy just showed up.
Moody, reverb-heavy post-punk/post-hardcore with flourishes of goth and garage rock. Underneath everything lays a pulsing rhythm that allows them to hop in and out of genres while maintaining a cohesive tone.
The Estranged – Self-Titled (Dirtnap)
Striking a juxtaposition of discordant guitar, gloomy vocals, and deep grooves, this is post-punk/death-rock/other subgenres that require hyphenated descriptors that’s rich, textured, un-cold, and, well, kind of fun.
First The Queers beat off, and now Gas Rag beats off. Soon we’ll be beating off with insert band name here. With a title like that, do I really need to say anything here? Snarling, hurtful, thrashing, D-beaten, and dumb as shit. Basically the best punk rock ever.
Iron Hand – Injected Fear (Safety Meeting)
D-beat hardcore that swims in the Scandinavian / Portland “epic crust” end of the pool; in the instrumentation at least. The vocals lend it some tough-guy-metal-core vibes, but not in a way that conjures up images of varsity logos, sXe calf tattoos, and Nike Cortez’s. Nike Cortez’s are dope though.
Tough sound to pigeonhole. Parts punk, hardcore, noise, and good old fashioned dirtbag rock ‘n’ roll. The vocals are howl-y and weirdly recorded, as if to purposefully antagonize the listener. Yet it has the opposite effect.
OFF! – Wasted Years (Vice)
In the middle of “Red, White and Black” Keith Morris says, “Arrogance is bliss. Who gives a shit?” Fitting, since this comes to us via codgy old timers on a label that’s also a humongous media conglomerate that’s been attempting to steal our scene and sell it back to us for years now. But, you know, who gives a shit.
Dark ‘80s style digi-punk. Zig-zags between glum, watery-eyed new wave and elastic, seductive electro-pop songs. This could be playing during the high school dance scene in a ‘80s teen movie. The driving force is symbol-free drum programming, brain-searing synths, and robotic pronunciations, but there’s plenty of heartstring-tugging basslines and agitated guitars to appeal to punk rock sensibilities.
White Lung – Deep Fantasy (Domino)
Haven’t heard this yet but by all indications, it will be killer. I’ll come back and update this part once it’s out. Or maybe I won’t. Instead I’ll just leave it like this and say I told you so.
Separate Rap & Hip-Hop and Punk & Hardcore lists coming soon...