2019 is almost done; let’s hear about what you heard this year!
But let’s have some ground rules to keep it orderly and all, okay?
Please list the Top 3 albums you heard this year that were released in 2019.
Up to two Honorable Mentions (something that just wasn’t quite as good as the Top 3 or an album or two that was released earlier than 2019 but you just discovered) are fine too.
Please include a brief description of the music and or artist. Feel free to tell us what you like about the music, of course. Links to songs and/or albums would be most appreciated. In my case, I’ll be linking to the artist’s Bandcamp pages where you can listen to the whole album (and sometimes see videos too) whenever possible.
After you’ve done all that, feel free to commend others on their good taste, comment on others’ questionable taste and otherwise good-naturedly discuss music and the artists who make it.
This was a good year for me & music. According to iTunes, I acquired 438 songs, about 27 hours worth of tunes, that were released in 2019. I was heavy on metal, of course (it has been an excellent year for Brutal Death Metal, Deathcore & Slam), but also found a bunch of fantastic jazz and funk releases. And I added a few older things too: another 437 songs, bringing my 2019 music acquisition to a total of roughly 54 hours of music and about 102 albums & EPs and a handful of singles.
My Honorable Mentions:
Horrific Demise - Excruciating Extermination - I was really excited for this album when I heard about it and a few months later when I had it in my hands I was not disappointed. This is a near perfect mix of old school death metal, thrash and brutal death metal. The guitar leads are among the best I have ever heard (I am sad that the first solo in Voracious Cravings doesn’t just meander through the whole ddamned song, for instance). The drumming is amazing, the bass just thunder rumbles on every track. The vocals are textbook perfect and the production is flawless and wonderful, like this type of music deserves. Lots of great releases this year but the songwriting, production, performances and everything else raise this high. It was tough to keep this album out of the Top 3.
The Diasonics don’t have an album, but this Russian ensemble has released 6 songs on Bandcamp. They sound like a group of guys who prolly really REALLY like Beastie Boys’ The Mix Up. I’d bet that at least one of them has multiple Esquivel albums in his collection. No vocals; the music is a laid-back afro-caribbean-jazz-rock that never quite takes off but manages to soar just the same. I’m hoping for a full album in 2020.
My Top 3:
#3 - Jesus Christ Muscle Car may have one of the all-time worst rock band names but their music kicks some serious ass. It’s like they actually paid attention to what makes a great desert/stoner rock song great and then made sure they tried to do some of that in every song they write and every performance they give. Some songs you’ll like more than others but there isn’t a bad song on this album. The only time it falters at all is on the closing track, which lacks the energy and passion of the previous nine. Excellent vocals, great riffs, super-strong production, rock-solid rhythm section… this band and album has it all. As stupid as the band name is, this is kick-ass semi-aggressive stoner rock. My favorite track is The Destroyer, btw.
#2 - Annotations Of An Autopsy - World of Sludge - (YouTube video autoplays, btw) - like I said, this year saw a lot of good Brutal Death Metal/Slam/Grindcore releases, but this 5-song, 20 minute EP is my favorite. Unbelievably catchy with fantastic performances AND production, this has been my go-to CD in the car, finally deposing Dr. Octagon’s reign of over a year. Good slam, man; good slam. I hope to hell they put out a full length in 2020.
No vocals. Every song is just an excuse for the ridiculously talented guitarist and the ludicrously talented saxophonist to riff off each other, off the rhythm section, off that song that one band that one of them saw that one time, etc. The music is a crazy jazz-mash of rock styles, each song as if Frank Zappa and John Coltrane were trying to score debate points with their instruments or something. Crazy complex stuff but it all overflows with groove and passion, executed not just with competence but with an exhilarating mastery. I am ashamed that I am so late discovering this band, but hey, at least I got here.