Staff Lists: Top 50 Albums of 2011 [50-26]
Our music coverage continues with our Top 50 Albums of the year. The full list, including nos. 25-1, will soon follow.
Thanks for visiting and supporting Chybucca Sounds throughout the year, and we’ll return to reviews and regular updates in January.
50. Shaved Hamster – Somewhere Between Fuzzy and Clean
What started out as Stuart Jennings and Amy T Baxter’s joint project in 2009, has seen them enlist a wide circle of guest musicians, including full-time band members and ex-Marilyn Manson guitarist, Scott Putesky – a long time friend of Baxter, who helped to shape their alternative sound.
49. The Blind Shake – Seriousness
After a building a reputation as an raucious live band in their home state of Minneapolis; Seriousness does what the trio’s previous releases couldn’t: bottle their live, exhilarating sound, on a 13-track album.
48. Suplecs – Mad Oak Redux
Mad Oak Redoux is a soulful mix of crunching hard rock that documents the band’s post-Katrina angst with level-headed maturity and riotous melodies.
47. YIS – Kingdom of Fuzz
Recorded at a ‘secret location’ in Fairfield, Australia, Kingdom of Fuzz is inspired by simpler and cruder times. The Favio brothers, along with bassist Bronwyn Liroudia-Rands, turn old rockin’ clichés into modern-day slices of fast-paced guitar-crunching fun; as tales of booze-drenched nights and lost lovers are delivered with explosive, in-your-face energy.
46. SubRosa – No Help for the Mighty Ones
More captivating than cathartic; No Help for the Mighty Ones is a major statement of intent from an extremely talented quintet.
45. The :Egocentrics – Center of the Cyclone
Having earned a record deal with Nasoni Records – thanks largely to the underground success of Love Fear Choices and Astronauts – the young Romanian’s continue to churn out accomplished jams with minimal fuss.
44. Exploding Rubber Band – Exploding Rubber Band
Exploding Rubber Band live out their blues-rock fantasies, in eight brilliantly-produced tracks.
43. Iron Claw – A Different Game
The first album from Scotland’s Iron Claw, in over 35 years is tinged with irony. As young bands continue to worship the greats of yesteryear, Iron Claw was one of the greats – at least to their dedicated fan base. Welcome back chaps, we’ve missed you.
42. Radio Moscow – The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz
Channelling Cream, Hendrix and Zeppelin – and pretty much every other defining blues-rock band – The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz is all about playing vintage riffs with passion and intent. What’s not to like?
41. Electric Moon – Lunatics Revenge
Less than a year since the release of Lunatics, the German trio’s subsequent follow-up, continues to experiment with familiar psych-rock templates.
40. Ethereal Riffian – Shaman’s Visions
Relentless and hypnotic; this juxtaposing release, combines every particle in the stoner-rock galaxy, to form a concept album that is, at times, otherworldly.
39. Quaker City Night Hawks – ¡Torquila Torquila!
Described as a ‘supergroup’ by Fort Worth Weekly, ¡Torquila Torquila! is comprised of ten blistering tracks of: Memphis soul and Texan boogie. Fans of the Black Keys and the White Stripes, should take notice.
38. Heavy Glow – Midnight Moan
Hailing from San Diego, Heavy Glow’s full-length debut is a gloriously produced blast of psychedelic blues-rock and ‘70s proto-metal.
37. Jack and the Bearded Fishermen – Places to Hide
[Vouhvoue/ Impure Muzik]
By combining blistering feedback tones with countless post-rock change-ups, Jack and the Bearded Fishermen have made sure that Places to Hide is yet another post-90s success for European stoner.
36. The Skull Defekts – Peer Amid
Having spent the last five years quietly defining their experimental – and at times, brutal sound; the Swedish quartet combines droning psychedelia with post-punk anxiety; resulting in an eight-track blend of primal noise-rock.
35. Sahara Surfers – Sonar Pilot
Like its predecessor, Sonar Pilot continues to show why the Sahara Surfers’ are held in high regard. Despite being only their second album, the Austrian four-piece are masters of progressive, free-thinking jams.
34. Sea of Zyn– In the Key of Sinners
The brainchild of Jeffrey ‘Zyn’ Golzynski and Jason ‘The Reverend’ Seaman; In the Key of Sinners is a spiritual cleansing that is inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s interpretation of religion: “shake off the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are severely crouched.”
33. Coogans Bluff – Magic Bubbles
[World in Sound]
Driven by blues rock grooves and punk rock ideals; Magic Bubbles is a fantastic release, that isn’t burdened by the dictates of fashion. Avoiding the temptation to plump for a plural-noun moniker, the German quartet also shuns the culture-cycle of tight jeans and skinny jackets – the quintessence look for over-hyped revivalists. Instead, they are simply themselves – flared jeans, checked shirts and anything else that is to hand.
32. Wight – Wight Weedy Wight
Wight is the classic case of a band that has had the misfortune of being born in the wrong era. Too young to have experienced Lemmy’s crooning on Space Ritual the first time round; or the vertigo doom-blues of Aston’s finest; the young German’s have interpreted the sounds of their spiritual brothers in the form of six spellbinding jams.
31. Dangerbird – Dangerbird III
Before taking an ‘indefinite hiatus’ in October, Philadelphia’s Dangerbird, were one of the most prolific bands on SRA Records; releasing three albums in as many years, not to mention a four-way split with several local bands. III, the band’s best album to date, is punk-filled psychedelia in its purist form.
30. Queen Elephantine – Garland of Skulls
[Concrete Lo Fi]
With a running time of 35 minutes, Garland of Skulls is split into three parts: ‘Potency’, ‘Libation’ and ‘Garland of Skulls’, each of which is as downtrodden and symbolic as its predecessor; or in other words, metaphysical doom: the feeling of your mind and limbs succumbing to the state of weightlessness.
29. Ten Page Pilot – Into the Eyes of the Armed
Once in danger of becoming the forgotten sons of Dutch rock: Into the Eyes of the Armed is an adrenaline-filled rush of heavy stoner and melodic grunge.
28. Ancient River – Songs from North America
Despite being titled Songs From North America – they are from Gainesville after all – the most striking aspect of Ancient River’s best release to date, is the band’s ability to merge West Coast psychedelia with British-sounding garage: an exhilarating combination.
27. Monkey 3 – Beyond The Black Sky
Continuing to merge instrumental psych with progressive desert rock; Beyond The Black Sky is the latest addition to Monkey 3’s unblemished catalogue.
26. Barn Owl – Lost in the Glare
Lost in the Glare, Barn Owl’s second album under the guidance of Thrill Jockey, combines darkened-avant-Americana with kosmiche-filled tension; resulting in a transcendental listening experience.