@@@ The Two Gallants: We are Undone (AT), 2015). #4 on Esquire’s best records of 2015. It opens up with some slow distorted slide blues guitar. Another in a somewhat long line of white folks’ drums/guitar duos but the singer here is much more classic rock than punk blues and the guitar playing is above average without being Jimmy Page. This is a major label record so the rocking is only going to go to a certain point and the mainstream tilt to the material is not surprising. Not going to be on my year end list.
@@@ Half Moon Run: Sun Leads Me On (Indica/Glassnote, 2015). A Canadian band that is described as ‘expansive, ethereal’ — big, fake spiritual white people’s rock. On this first tune I hear a more mainstream and less dissatisfied epic Radiohead rock sound. The singer is special — I bet he has some leather pants in his closet as he’s riding the rockstar horsie purdy good. On this second tune, Sun Leads Me On, we are entering Undercover Cheese Land, a little Death Cab for Cutie, a little New Age, a little orchestral and only a little bit satisfying to me.
@@@ Hock: Dead Guitars (Not sure, 2015). Some independent hip hop out of Providence Rhode Island. The song is called Dead Guitars but there are lot of guitar sounds in the tune and the lyrics revolve around how access to the airwaves is restricted to the corporate labels and urging folks to support their local music scenes. Excellent sentiment.
@@@ Drab Majesty: Careless (Dais, 2015). If you took the mope of the Smiths, the Cure, and the Cult and you blenderized them you would get very close to this band. Cult-like arpeggiated guitars and that gated snare sound — whose idea was it to bring that back? The singer rides the fine line between serious rock and goth. Some synth bass opens up the second tune. I urge all the depressed and alienated kids to listen to some heavy metal, this record will just make you more depressed. Off my heavy metal mail order weekly email.
YTD recordings listened to: 984
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 555
Not good music: 343
Honorable Mentions: 25
Possibles: Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, About Group, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Bone Dance, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Debruit, Slidhr, The Whammies, The Chewers, Alexander Hawkins, Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mohamed Abozekry, Dawn Richard, Leo Welch, Mastery, Leviathan, Xibalba, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Akitsa, Richard Thompson, Pat Thomas, Janelle Monae, The Alchemist, Luther Dickinson, Andra Day, Frog Eyes, Madd Again!, Fuck the Facts, Destruction Unit, Rim Kwaku Obeng, Graeme Barrett, Kowloon Walled City, Lionel Loueke, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Noisem, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Mystic Braves