2014 Mid-Year Best-Of: Albums

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

Acid Fast – Rabid Moon (Protagonist)
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.

Creative Adult – Psychic Mess (Run For Cover)
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.

Gas Rag – Beats Off (Beach Pediment)
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.

Leather – Easy (Self-Released)
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.

Teledrome – Self-Titled (FDH / P.Trash)
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...

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