Another year is in the books and the dust has settled on the holidays, so it’s time to check out some of the favourite releases by a few of CFCR’s hosts!
Host: Chad Munson
Program: Sound Dust (Wednesdays, 10:30-11:30pm)
Top 10 albums of 2012:
1. Swans – The Seer – The most challenging and frightening record of the year. 2010′s “My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope To The Sky” was just a warm up for the recently reformed Swans. Clocking in at almost two hours, The Seer it’s a difficult but worthwhile listen that encompasses the full spectrum of the Swans sound over their last 30 years. Their finest, most accomplished work to date.
2. Lee Ranaldo – Between The Times and The Tides – On Lee Ranaldo’s first solo “rock” album he shows us who was the most sonically important member of Sonic Youth.
3. Beak> – >> - Geoff Barrow of Portishead fame gets his Krautrock on, doing some of the finest Can and Neu aping you will ever come across!
4. White Hills – Frying on the Rock - White Hills return in all their psych rock glory with a much more straight forward record channeling some early Alice Cooper moments.
5. Ringo Deathstarr – Mauve - On Ringo Deathstarr’s third release they perfect the 90s shoegaze indie guitar swing sound! Recommended for those of us who “Never Lose That Feeling!”
6. Disappears – Pre Language – Disappears take huge strides forward on their third release. Acquiring Steve Shelley (formerly of Sonic Youth) has made their repetitive motornik rock meets Joy Division sound more vibrant and engaging than their previous outings.
7. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend - After nine years of silence GY!BE return with the best record of their careers.
8. Laetitia Sadier – Silencio - Being a total sucker for all things Stereolab this is a no-brainer for my top 10 list. If you like analog synths, organs, french socialism and samba this record is made for you!
9. Old Man Gloom – No - This album makes me happy Isis broke up. Aaron Turner creates much better music with these chaps!
10. Camera – Radiate – Carrying on in the Krautrock tradition these German gents produce some of the finest locked jams since the 70s.
Host: Aaron Scholz
Program: Former host of TV Party Tonight (Saturdays, 10pm-12am) and go-to fill-in host for pretty much any program.
Some cool releases of 2012:
Lotus Plaza – Spooky Action at a Distance – Put on your cool-guy shades for these hazy jams. Shimmering guitars, relaxing rhythms, and a singer who sounds like he was taking tranquilizers during recording make this a very unique, yet accessible listening experience.
Audacity – Mellow Crooners – Slacker punk vibes from young boys who are championing this scene in California. Could this be a modern-day Pinkerton?
Spacin’ – Deep Thuds – Distorted psychedelic rock that is equal parts atmosphere and structured riffage. Lyrics are sometimes distinguishable, but mostly, the vocals seem to be used as accents over top of Ron Asheton-like guitars and restrained drumming.
Terry Malts – Killing Time – Bop and sway! Bop and sway! Architects of traditional pop structures and catchy hooks create masterful debut of fuzzy power-pop.
Stalwart Sons – Stay Cold – Sincere patriotism oozes optimism through a gruff collection of melodic punky Can-rock anthems. This encouraging sophomore album shows growth and cohesion for the Calgarian trio.
Scott Walker – Bish Bosch – Truly masterful work. Walker’s goat-bleating vibrato is haunting, and with lyrics about severing genitals and the melodic use of recorded human flatulence, this is the definition of outsider genius.
Mac DeMarco – 2 – Pure sleaze. Elements of jazz, surf and adult contemporary creep from this creep.
Fist City – It’s 1983, Grow Up! – Saying that this is a cool garage record is a total understatement. Fist City slam through pogo-inducing jams containing a slight surfy bend and snotty attitudes. Total toe-tapper.
Richard Papiercuts – A Sudden Shift – Some songs are bizarre deconstructionist rock ‘n roll. Others are simply idiotic. A challenging consideration, but one of the more personally rewarding listens of this year.
Host: Jay “The Jay Of Spades” Allen
Program: Pirate Radio (Thursdays, 7:30-9pm) and CFCR Program Director
Some of my favourites of 2012, in no particular order:
Beachwood Sparks – The Tarnished Gold - This California band return after an extended hiatus with a beautiful album of sunny-but-somehow-sad twang-pop.
Grizzly Bear – Shields – The most ‘rock’ and maybe most accessible (in a good way for me) album to date by this Brooklyn band.
Feral Children – Sunson EP - The stellar swan song release from a great Saskatoon psych-pop band.
Shooting Guns – “Down And Out In Detroit” - Saskatoon doomy instrumentalists, from a split 7″ with UK band Cult of Dom Kellar.
These Hands – Aquatic Blue - Another great bunch of songs from Saskatoon/Prince Albert experimenting singer-songwriter.
Peace – The World Is Too Much With Us - New-wavy psych-punk-gaze from Vancouver, with a healthy dose of Mark E. Smith.
Ladyhawk – No Can Do - Vancouver stalwarts return from a 4-year hiatus with a fantastic album of blistering mid-fi rock jams.
Needles//Pins – 12:34 - Vancouver pop-punk, channeling Teenage Head and other great late 70s punk bands.
White Lung – Sorry - More great stuff from the West Coast, this is easily one of the absolute best punk releases of 2012, this album is tough to keep up with but easy to love. Killer guitars, iron clad backbone and incendiary vocals.
METZ – S/T - Another ridiculously good punk release. Toronto’s METZ is an audio assault, channeling all the best parts of 90s punk & even grunge, with a distinctly new twist.
Ketamines – Spaced Out - Just haphazard enough without being sloppy, this is a fantastic release of weird pop/punk/garage-rock from Lethbridge (now Toronto).
Teenanger – Frights - Great album of garage-punk from Toronto. Combining garage rock with the bratty-ness of early punk from the 70s.
Ty Segall/Ty Segall Band/Ty Segall & White Fence - This was the year for prolific California garage protege Ty Segall. His 2011 release Goodbye Bread was the prequel to a trilogy of amazing 2012 releases, including Hair, his eclectic collection of 60s-influenced pop & rock released White Fence (aka Tim Presley of Darker My Love), Slaughterhouse, on which he breaks away from his (also fantastic) frantic garage rock, channeling that energy into a more cohesive, band-based release. And finally, Twins builds onSlaughterhouse and keeps charging forward.
Mac DeMarco – 2 – After the demise of Makeout Videotape, it was nice to see frontman Mac DeMarco start a solo project. Luckily, his tongue-in-cheek debut release Rock And Roll Nightclub was picked up by Captured Tracks, because it allowed him to put out 2. Still maintaining his piss-taking attitude, his second effort is something the listener can take a bit more seriously. At least it seems like Mac is.
King Tuff – S/T – Catchier-than-shit pop-punk-rock.
Tame Impala – Lonerism – Probably my favourite album of the year, these dudes from Perth, Australia really nailed it with Lonerism. This album derives its sound more from the 70s than the 60s, as their previous album Innerspeaker did, but succeeds in combining Todd Rundgren-y pop, rock and psychedelia to create something worth listening to on repeat. Also, check out Beard Wives Denim by Pond, a sort of sister-band to Tame Impala. Pond’s sound is a bit groovier/funkier, while maintaining that similar tunnel-vision guitar sound.