With the year coming to a close, we look back at some of the favourite albums of 2013 from a few of CFCR’s hosts!
Host: Aaron Scholz
Program: RCMP (Tuesdays, 4-5pm), guitarist of Haunted Souls
Oranssi Pazuzu – Valonielu – A wolf in sheep’s clothing! Masquerading as black metal, psychedelic doom is the name of the game right here. Otherworldly sounds creep from the space rock belly of Hawkwind while shrill screams are summoned by the former goodness of Darkthrone. By far the most unique and interesting listen of the year.
Zachary Lucky – The Ballad of Losing You – Not unlike any of Gordon Lightfoot’s classic compositions, Lucky taps into a subtle country swing while continuing on an orchestral folk journey his recordings have continued to represent. The music soothes, and the worn and weary voice cradles the mind and ears.
Self Defense Family – The Corrections Officer in Me – Powerful tribute to Lungfish, Killing Joke, and others who paved the way for strength and repetition. Forget what you think you know about this band or what they have done in the past, because their future is now.
Föllakzoid – II - New psychedelia from these Chilean young ones. Looping bass lines, krautrock drumming and a mastery of dynamics and fuzz are what one might expect, but not in such lovely cohesiveness.
Strange Attractor – Back To The Cruel World – Anti-socialites Strange Attractor present all the things missing in so much of today’s punk rock: snottiness, weirdness, and danger. A messy record that makes one feel alive in their bedroom mosh pit.
Birds Of Maya – Celebration – Pure rock ‘n roll played in neanderthal fashion. This LP shows off recordings of the band playing live at a picnic, and then at a barbecue. All entirely improvised, the band even slams into a Stooges cover midway through a song. Hold on, because this one takes you on a riiiiiiiide.
Pharmakon – Abandon – Simply terrifying. Perfect industrial noise and drone are carefully composed to deliver the most frightful effects. This album taps into some primal feelings, and is not for the shy or faint of heart.
Okkyung Lee – Ghil – A brilliant and bizarre composer from Korea, Lee displays mastery over her cello skills. Or wait… is that a cello? Yes, yes it is. Incredible experimentalism and free-flowing improvisation make this some of the most dangerous shit ever. Any ties to free jazz or avant-garde have been severed. This is new territory.
Host: April Nechvatel
Program: Recently ‘retired’ host of Wednesday RCMP, banjo player of The Seahags
Fiver – Lost The Plot – Solo album of Simone Schmidt from One Hundred Dollars/The Highest Order. This stuff is the best of the best — political, honest, and captivating from the beginning to end.
The Deep Dark Woods – Jubilee – This Saskatchewan band got so much better after sweetheart Clayton Linthicum joined (Kacy & Clayton).
Folly & The Hunter – Tragic Care – A haunting folk album to listen to while midnight driving through the Rockies under a pink moon while watching for deer at dawn.
The Sadies – Internal Sounds – Another solid release from this legendary Canadian band. Plus, their live show made me teary-eyed last time they were in town and that rarely happens.
The Highest Order – If It’s Real - Take a journey and get lost in this genre of cosmic country also fronted by Simone Schmidt of One Hundred Dollars/Fiver.
The Growlers – Hung At Heart – Reverb-y surf rock with hints of twang every once in a while. Listen to the songs “Beach Rats” and “Living in The Memory” — I definitely obsessively played these two songs hundreds of times over the past year.
The Good Family – The Good Family Album – I love family bands and I love The Sadies and when these two things are mixed together you get one of my favourite releases in 2013.
Kurt Vile – Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze – My favourite Kurt Vile album released thus far — a really subtly good listen that effortlessly flows from start to finish.
Cowpuncher – Ghost Notes – Hailing out of Calgary, these guys release another solid album in the genre of country-rock.
Host: Jay “The Jay Of Spades” Allen
Program: Pirate Radio (Thursdays, 7:30-9pm), CFCR Program Director
Superchunk – I Hate Music – Another triumphant return from indie rock royals. Power pop for the ages. “Low F” is one of my favourite songs of the year.
Powder Blue – Dream In Black EP – No other title would describe the debut EP by this Saskatoon quartet. Lush, dreamy and full melodies are always complemented with a dark, brooding undertone.
The Sadies – Internal Sounds – It seems like every time in recent years that The Sadies put out an album, I proclaim that it very well may be their best yet, and Internal Sounds is no different. Delving deftly into 60s garage rock while maintaining their signature style of psych-fueled twang, Internal Sounds also has a special connection with Saskatoon. Dallas Good named the album after hearing the bones in his leg breaking when he slipped on some ice just minutes before a show at the Broadway Theatre in 2011.
Rose Windows – The Sun Dogs – Outstanding debut from Seattle septet, combining Spaghetti Western twang with a healthy dose of psychedelia and heavy riff dirges. Oh, and just the right amount of flute.
Fuzz – Fuzz; Ty Segall – Sleeper – Ty Segall’s musically prolific behavior continues into 2013, with another fantastic solo album, Sleeper, and an album by a new band called Fuzz, where Segall takes his spot behind the drum kit and the microphone, but where the main musical driver is Segall’s band’s guitarist Charlie Mootheart. Sort of the bosom buddy/companion piece to Segall’s current solo work, this band is called Fuzz for a reason.
The Ketamines – You Can’t Serve Two Masters; All the Colours of Your Heart 7”; So Hot! 7” – This Toronto-via-Lethbridge garage-pop group has had a busy 2013, releasing a great full-length as well as two installments of a four-part 7” series (there will be another piece of the puzzle (literally) released by Saskatoon’s Leaning Trees Records in the near future). If you like lo-fi guitars, super catchy melodies and the odd pop-culture sample, you might wanna get into some Ketamines.
Shooting Guns – Brotherhood of the Ram – The much-anticipated sophomore effort from Saskatoon sludge-slingers Shooting Guns is well worth the wait. Despite the furious pace of the first track to be released to the public (the nine-plus-minute long “Motherfuckers Never Learn”), there is a marked decrease in pace to Brotherhood of the Ram, but don’t take that as a decrease in thickness and girth. The Guns’ amps are still blazing on this one, with the exception of the exploratory title track, which finds them in new musical territory. That it happens to be the album’s closer may be a sign of things to come for Saskatoon’s dynasts of doom.
Kurt Vile – Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze – Another collection of great hazy shufflers from Philly’s top long-hair. From the lackadaisical meandering of the nine-minute opener “Wakin’ On A Pretty Day” to the gritted teeth of stand-out track “Pure Pain,” this album will keep you swaying & bobbing all pretty daze long.
Sun Stone Revolvers – Spaceship X – Another offering from solid Toronto psych/experimental label Optical Sounds. Formerly known as Revolvers, Sun Stone Revolvers return with Spaceship X. The album builds off of their 2010 self-titled debut, keeping the psych-blues-y stomp and adding a fuller sound and a bit more straight ahead rock n’ roll.