Top 20 of 2022
Below is our list of Top 20 albums of New Music released in 2022. (work in progress)
July 8, 2022 at 7:00:00 a.m.
"In typical Viagra Boys fashion, all the instrumentals are consistent in their post-punk style. Every track has a consistent groove, there are fantastic solos all over the place, plenty of instrumental freakouts. You can see how good the music itself is on both instrumental songs. It is everything you could want a Viagra Boys album to sound like." - Scott Yohe (Post-Trash), 07/29/22
Ants From Up Here
Black Country, New Road
February 4, 2022 at 8:00:00 a.m.
"A more warm and sentimental Black Country, New Road remains just as challenging and potentially confounding as their former selves; this isn’t due to any sonic alteration on Ants From Up There so much as their shift from the self-conscious remove of post-punk to the life-affirming extremity of emo." - Ian Cohen (Pitchfork)
August 16, 2019 at 7:00:00 a.m.
"When I Have Fears sees The Murder Capital fulfill people’s expectations, a thoroughly insane album which will only open doors for the band. The Murder Capital are seriously a band to keep a close eye on, as with the release of their debut album it’s almost certain that they’re going to gain a ton of support." - Katie Macbeth (Indie Is Not A Genre), 08/12/2019
April 19, 2019 at 7:00:00 a.m.
"As a collaborative effort (one look at the sleeve notes shows the vast array of musicians involved) Serfs Up! is pitch-perfect. It’s no surprise that this was a tough record to make, but from pain and hardship comes great art. Their previous release, Songs for Our Mothers, clearly represented a vile descent into Hades, and was peppered with a violent undercurrent that ran through its veins. With their third album, the band has taken an about-turn, reaching out from the circles of purgatory towards a realm of blissful enlightenment. Yet the uneasy listening and lyrical bite still resonates beneath lush strings and saxophone flourishes. There is a subversive pulse even in its brightest corners, and unexpected moments of silliness and joy throughout. Serfs Up! provides a glistering antidote to the wasteland of Britain in 2019." - Adelle Stripe (The Quietus), 04/18/19
May 17, 2019 at 7:00:00 a.m.
"This compelling and provocative record is a haunting echo of a seemingly hopeless vignette of Britain today, where slowthai offers the slightest glimmer of optimism for a potentially brighter future. slowthai is the unexpected hero for the people we didn’t know we needed, but so many, justly deserve." - Yasmin Cowan (Clash Music), 05/16/19
March 1, 2019 at 8:00:00 a.m.
"The band’s wild, kinetic post-punk is as much a visual offering as it is an auditory one. They are strange and they are odd, producing frenzied, unsettled krautrock that is somehow danceable, and they’ve developed a reputation for their costumed attire and penchant for putting on brutal live performances. The band’s sophomore record Stunning Luxury, however, is as close as you can get to witnessing the band in person, their latest offering an adventurous effort in mixing everything from dance-punk, dreamy ambience, electro-pop (or rock) and everything imaginable in between." - Cady Serigar (The Line Of Best Fit), 03/06/19
September 13, 2019 at 7:00:00 a.m.
"Caustic and raw, Down the Lees’ dynamic vocals and guitar draw you in, only to strike a blow from the heavy rhythm section. Based in Ghent, Belgium, Down the Lees is Canadian Laura Lee Schultz and Belgians Jonathan Frederix on drums and Kwinten Gluehorse on bass.........recorded and mixed by Steve Albini at Electrical Audio in Chicago. This is a raw album, stripped down to showcase the live, emotional vibe of the power trio. The warm analog production lets the compositions and dynamics take the forefront. Guitarist/vocalist Laura Lee makes her guitar sing soft melodies with harsh contrasts while belting out the most impassioned vocals. Drummer Jonathan mixes math-rock and prog-rock beats with speed, energy and emotion, alongside Kwinten’s powerful and guttural bass riffs inspired by his hardcore roots." - (Cashbox Canada), 09/27/19
August 30, 2019 at 7:00:00 a.m.
"I wanted nothing more than to open up and bleed” sings Ezra Furman on Calm Down AKA I Should Not Be Alone, the track that opens his fifth solo album. Well, mission accomplished: he’s spraying the claret around liberally here, dropping the strong narrative drive of his last collection, Transangelic Exodus (a “queer outlaw saga” about a man who falls in love with an angel and has to flee from the oppressive government), in favour of red-raw punk frankness. Twelve Nudes veers madly through distorted, ragged-throated, urgent punk rock, like Jonathan Richman being slowly dissolved in acid, with sludge-metal flourishes on Trauma and a Dead Kennedys-ish stomp on Rated R Crusaders. Just as engaging is Furman’s bracing self-analysis: on Evening Prayer AKA Justice he berates himself for his complacent 20s: “I was rolling over for wealth and power/As if they really cared about me”. On the sweet change of pace of I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend, a sousedly sentimental ballad, meanwhile, he muses: “My responsible friends are applying for jobs/But me I was considering ditching Ezra and going by Esme”. At 11 songs (yes, the title is a trick) and just over 25 minutes, it all makes for a short, sharp, exhilarating blast, closing with the question we’re all asking as things fall apart: What Can You Do But Rock’n’Roll?" - Emily Mackay (The Observer), 08/25/19
February 22, 2019 at 8:00:00 a.m.
"In Eton Alive we hear one of the finest political lyricists of the time turning inwards as he still follows a rich and empathetic way, dealing with highly relatable issues around the terrible behaviour patterns that are imposed on men by the patriarchy as much as they are on anyone else. This is exactly the sort of conversation that we need to hear men having in this day and age as we work on reconfiguring what masculinity is and can be. As Williamson has it, once again in 'Negative Script', "it's hard work being kind"" - Luke Turner (The Quietus), 02/27/19
June 7, 2019 at 7:00:00 a.m.
"Dumb are blasé in their delivery. They're jaded and perpetually annoyed with the absurdity of people and the way they act. And while they're snide and sarcastic, it would be wrong to call them haughty or aloof. These are fun songs, and part of what makes them fun — for them, and for us — is that they can be so gleefully petty.....All throughout, Dumb lace their upbeat songs with jagged dissonance to keep things weird. Club Nites is the work of a band that give a shit, even if it seems like they don't." - Adam Feibel (Exclaim!), 06/05/19
September 13, 2019 at 7:00:00 a.m.
"They’ll probably always live in the shadow of their impeccable 88-91 purple patch, but ‘Beneath The Eyrie’ is still arguably their most consistent body of work since their 2004 reformation and certainly their most inventive in 28 years. What a spooky surprise – that this incarnation of Pixies would turn out to be such a dark, dark horse." - Andrew Trendell (NME), 09/12/19
March 22, 2019 at 7:00:00 a.m.
"As you listen to Orville Peck’s crooning, there’s a sense you’re tapping into a gem that you somehow never got around to hearing. Each track on this record breathes with tones of dark desert rock, classic pop, tones of Roy Orbison and a lyricism that is all Peck." - Owen Maxwell (Northern Transmissions), 03/22/19
June 21, 2019 at 7:00:00 a.m.
"Schlagenheim is in turns explosive and subdued (mostly explosive), an energetic, challenging listen start to finish. That improvisation lies at the heart of the group’s songwriting is apparent in the best way possible, their precise chemistry perhaps the most clearly traceable line through the math rock of 953, railing post-punk of Near DT, MI, stop-and-start drone of bmbmbm, and more relaxed portions of Western and Of Schlagenheim." - Sean Lang (Consequence Of Sound), 06/26/19
March 15, 2019 at 7:00:00 a.m.
"The indie-rock icon fires up his laptop and lays down a set of quasi-electronic jams that owe more to late-1970s post-punk than to the Berlin nightlife that supposedly inspired the record.....Groove Denied channels circa-1979 post-punk not just in austere sound but in mindset, harking back to an era when machines represented the sound of the future but no one was quite sure of what do with them yet." - Stuart Berman (Pitchfork), 03/16/19