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Sunday, January 5, 2014

best of 2013 by layla gibbon

It’s hard to sum up a year in sound; there are always records I forget about by the beginning of a new year that were all I listened to for months! The trials of modern day existences wiping minds clear when it’s time to compile comprehensive list type documents. I am also doing a year end top ten in the March 2013 Maximum Rocknroll, so this one contains some music that is not all MRR-able (ie came out on labels that maybe have deals with major labels for distribution etc etc or are just not “MRR” core) at any rate, blah blah blah. You can write me at Layla at maximumrocknroll.com A lot of these are things that I just listened to repeatedly, over and over and over on the way to work, always a sign of a record that’s got what it takes to make the maniax on the bus fade away and radiate. The best thing that wasn’t music this year was LIVING BY THE BEACH. Everytime it feels like the world is rotting away from you as it revolves just go to the ocean. OK. Also this isn’t in order and I missed things out I am sure?! It’s mostly punk even tho I listened to many other sounds and ideas throughout the year. I didn’t put any reissues. Past is passed.


This is gonna be on a lot of people’s lists, it’s transcendent /brutal / incendiary, an easy shoe in. I had no idea this was in store after seeing them live, it’s easily the best post Sonic Youth recording, Kim is a genius and this is essential.


Scrape your eyes out rawness from Mexico City; Violeta’s vocals are coal for Christmas, the music is sick and perfect. Everything about this, from the LP cover to the out for blood nature of the punk contained within made me feel alive and ready for action. http://cremalleras.bandcamp.com/album/cremalleras

  Pleasure Leftists, “Elephant Man” 45

I like how it sounds like she’s saying Arrogant Man, her voice is so cool… as distinctive an instrument as Thalia from Come/Live Skull but that sounds so corny, an instrument?! What? She doesn’t sound like Thalia. But at any rate, this record did not leave my turn table all year and they were even better live. Cleveland out of place sounds for out of place people, post-punk but not posed.

  The Nots 45 on Goner

Goner put out 3 or 4 45s a year that are essential, and this was the cream of the crop for 2013. They cite Kleenex as an influence, but it sorta reminds me of a less garage/more punk A-Lines?! But then I watched some youtubes of them playing and there were many other musical dimensions present. So good! Usually 45RPMS is more than enough for most punk acts, keep it brief, the audience needs to sleep but they don’t need you to put em to sleep ya know? But this document made me wish there were 40 more coming out ASAP. A great record and I hope they make more 7”s and go on tour and maybe play the sea cave by my house?http://soundcloud.com/gonerrecords/nots-dust-red-goner-records


I listened to the tape that this 7” (and their other one too I think?!) was culled from a million times, cutting/biting sounds from Australia that is somewhere between Chrome and the first couple Pere Ubu 45s, for some reason it made me think of a more buzz saw Total Control, with less Eno, less head music and more metal box?! Metal machine music. I don’t know it’s just good and rotten ok, I can’t wait to get the LP. Fitting end times capitalism collapse music, ironic and hateful.

  Sauna Youth-False Jesii

I don’t think any of the rest of this band’s music sounds like this at all, but this 45 is a perfect Flatmates/Shop Assistants sound and a mix tape staple for me even tho I do not care for Pissed Jeans (the a-side is a cover of one of their songs), I have never heard the original version but this version is probably way better. The b-side is fresh too. The singer’s voice is so cool.

  The new Wire LP

Someone talked about how great it was, so I listened to it at work, then immediately sent off for it. It’s great, foreboding and a record for our times.


I think this is members of an old anarcho punk band (the apostles?!) and  current London act Hygiene, it’s sounds like a band that would have started after hearing Never Been in a Riot, at any rate makes me think of Mekons at the peak of their powers which is a rare feeling… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrTykvWUqC8


  I LOVE COMET GAIN this song is so good it makes me wanna be Billy Liar and Julie Christie at the same time. Songs for soul mods and crummy punkers. Photobooth photograph fans and delinquent squinters.


ALL GIRL HC FROM CANADA!!!!! It’s the best. The tape is my tape of the century, and the LP took a while to grow, but it planted its seeds and my brain got rotten from em; if you like the song explode by void, and have a brain send off for this.

  Stillsuit LP



All girl group from Oakland who broke up before I saw them or knew of their existence; this 45 rules but I made someone send me their unreleased songs and they are SO GOOD TOO and it makes me sad that this great band dissipated before I got to truly obsess over them! The song Young Professionals sort of reminds me of post-Eno nervous art punk music, it isn’t on the 45 of course, but the songs on the record are great in a UV RACE sort of manner. I mean they just rule and they should at least do a tape discography?! http://pangbandsf.bandcamp.com/http://pangbandsf.bandcamp.com/

  The Courtneys-LP

The guy that put this out sent me an email saying I would like it and he was SO RIGHT; as soon as I heard it I immediately emailed the music editor at Rookie mag and told her teenage girls must know about this band, she agreed and made another million converts! Three women from Canada who simultaneously channel the Clean and Look Blue Goes Purple making rambunctious music for summer all year round adventures. Plaintive and dorky, hilarious and true, once you get hooked (some of my friends have been slow converts for some CRAZY reason) you can’t stop singing random lines… Driving to Santa Cruz along the PCH blasting this and looking out at the ocean reinforced how much I love this band! They are great live too. I really need a copy of their first tape if anyone has one…


I know a few people that were disappointed with Bleached after the force and genius that was Mika Miko, and I think it’s not fair to compare. Bleached are for fans of the Zeros / Go Gos / Ramones / early Bangles etc, perfect LA music, and yeah they wanna make it and are sorta corny, but so were the Go Gos… It’s pop music! It’s just good eating greasy food as the sun sets over the ocean sounds, which is a hard sound to master; there are so many terrible terrible post-Burger Records acts littering highways and dollar bins with tired “beach” dreck. The Clavin sisters write great catchy pop music, and this record is all kicks (I will admit to skippin past some of the syrupy ballads)

  La Luz-It’s Alive

I am putting La Luz next to the Courtneys and Bleached I guess because they are all guilty of having tapes on Burger!? Not that that's a crime. At any rate I love all three. Tobi wrote about La Luz last year and I just didn’t quite get it. The same thing happened with me and the Vivian Girls, it took me until they pretty much weren’t a band anymore to like them! But this time it was a faster process, I got a promo copy of their record and suddenly couldn’t stop listening to it. Everyday on the way to work, while serving customers at work…  As someone who hears all the stuff that gets sent to MRR for review every month I get to listen to all the trends in elmo grind / fonzie sock hop jive / trip crust etc etc, and one thing that is apparent is that the kids LOVE the post Ty Segall/Burger Records  “California Surf  Pebbles Lite” sound. There are so many bands! Most of them unmemorable and as gimmicky as one of those post Jan and Dean surfploitation acts tin pan alley turned out… The garage reviewers grumble about the wimpy music on the constant. Well, I was ready to lump La Luz in with these unlucky hucksters, girl group meets surf music and all, but it was soon apparent that I was addicted to listening to their LP. I mean I love girl groups and certain surf sounds so… I guess I am writing an essay for this one because it’s a current obsession?! They are incredible musicians, the guitar playing is insane, like a session musician from 1964, the singing is silky/doom laden with perfect girl group harmonies, but none of it comes over as sickly and twee and gross and affected. They write great songs, lyrically and structurally, which makes me think that the difference between all the tired acts and this is simply being good at what you do. There is a darkness to their sound that in places reminded me of Quix*o*tic, I think that’s partially because of the echo-y guitar though. It’s very cinematic and the snippets of the lyrics that I can make out are sort of cool and unnerving. Watch this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRIt3aDX7-k and listen to It’s Alive ok. Also I need their first tape too if anyone’s holdin!


Watching this band play was one of the highlights of the year, real John Brannon style HC frontperson style from Ellie, this record is for fans of No Trend and hardcore and Honey Bane, reckless, fuck you, intelligence, vengeful feminists out for blood FOR LIFE! Good Throb are the best. The end.

  EX-CON-Cuda 45

Out for blood and vengeance; rudimentary destruction that I couldn’t stop listening to, Australian snipers summoning a sort of Babes in Toyland Royal Trux pummel.


  Life Stinks 45

I know the LP has gotten a lot of props but I haven’t gotten a copy yet, and anyway this is the perfect format for their sound. 45RPM! Just a great punk record. If you like music from Cleveland OH from say, 1975-1981 you will want to use this to dig yr own grave. Free with every copy.


  LATE ENTRIES: Household LP / Angie LP

  EXCITED FOR IN 2014: spider and the webs, hysterics, La Misma, Ivy, Family Outing, Failed Mutation, Frau, In School

P.S. add CRAZY BAND LP and SHOPPING LP to my almost made it section!

1 comment:

Tobi Vail said...

new wire? I had no idea! also, I think that comet gain 45 was 2012 but I have lost track...so much stuff I will spend the rest of the week discovering xoxo tv