I have been contemplating this post for quite some time now, and a finite answer still eludes me. While 2011 was a great, great, year for music, it seems to me that there few front runners for albums that were utterly fantastic. Albums that captivate your attention from front to back, the ones that are all killer, no filler. Ones that stay with you for if not the better part of the year, then years to come. I've been looking at other blogs lists, trying to see if there is anything I have missed and I found myself questioning why certain albums were even on such lists. People just seemed to put their faith in mediocrity, but that's fine, it's all opinions here. And I am sure people will think the same of mine. Such is life. Moving on.
Best 5 records of the year, in no particular order:
1. A.A. Bondy - Believers
2. Brain F≠ - Sleep Rough
3. Condominium - Warm Home
4. True Widow - As High As The Highest Heavens And From The Center To The Circumference Of The Earth
5. William Elliott Whitmore - Field Songs
There you have it. The 5 records that I think are perfect from front to back. Bondy and Whitmore have ceased to disappoint me, churning out near perfect records every time. Brain F≠ wrote one of the catchiest and urgent punk records of the year. Where as Condominium punished our ears with their long awaited lp, a truly talented band. And True Widow blew me away with their blend of Shoegaze and Stoner Metal, loud, heavy, and utterly beautiful music.
Honorable Mentions: Owen - Ghost Town, David Bazan - Strange Negotiations, Omegas - Blasts of Luancy, The Men - Leave Home, Scapegoat - S/T, Pygmy Lush - Old Friends, Bonnie Prince Billy - Wolfroy Goes to Town, Weekend Nachos - Worthless, Vacant State - Fill the Void, Tenement - Napalm Dream
Best 7in/Eps of 2011 (no particular order):
1. End of a Year Self Defense Family - Everything the put out in 2011
2. Career Suicide - Cherry Beach
3. The Ropes - S/T
4. Culo - Toxic Vision
5. I can't remember, opps.
Aside from the fact that I forgot what else to throw in this category, overall I would say that I picked up a good handful of great 7in that came out this year, but this is the cream of the crop. EoaY continue to confuse with name/personal/philosophy changes, but they continue to put out incredible music. And a lot of it. Cherry Beach could be counted as a reissue, but it has two new songs on it so I say otherwise. The Repos/Ropes are back a with a bang, only slightly weirder. And Culo, a band I kind of think is annoying, blew me away with Toxic Vision.
Some bands that released damn good demos from 2011:
Bald pig, Beautiful Mother, Last Chaos, Broken Prayer
Best reissues of 2011:
Lucero - That Much Further West, Sebadoh - Bakesale, Citizens Arrest - A Light in the Darkness
Records that I am sure are really great, and could at least be honorable mentions, but I really haven't spent all that time with them because I am lazy. Or they could just suck, but need to at least be notated:
Shoppers - Silver Year, any Thou record that came out this year, Blut Aus Nord - 777 Sect(s), J. Mascis - Several Shades of Why
Best reunion of the of one of the greatest bands in the world, who will continue to amaze the masses:
Guided by Voices, duh. Oh, and Archers of Loaf.
Best album of 2012, because I am so awesome that I can see into the future:
The Boston Strangler - Primitve. Duh.