GOOD ALBUMS is a series in which I essentially take on the role of an archaeologist who has embarked on a constant excavation into the vast array of the music industry and sporadically reveal all of the results I deem to be, at the very least, pretty good. It’s a series that allows me to give props to those who have created music that hits me in all the right places pretty sharpish without having to take the time to rustle up a full blown review, which is good because I am a very busy boy these days. Please enjoy what is PART FOUR of the Good Albums of 2016 series, and do all that liking and sharing and all that fun stuff if you want.
TUFF SLANG by TUFF SLANG | There’s never an oversaturation of music that makes you feel good, and this is another record to add to that pile of sunshine. Tuff Slang are three members of three bands (Secret Colours, Dirty Rotten Sunshine, A Lull) who have pulled together a debut record that’s reeks of upbeat rock songs. Lead single NOTHING ALL THE TIME is a great example of using hooks to throw all sorts of hooks and accessibility into guitar riffs to create a couple reasons to get into this band. It’s a great debut from a promising new band. Nice work guys.
JUNK by M83 | One of FIVE records to be released last Friday, you cannot fault this site for keeping up to date. M83 has returned after five years of inactivity in the studio album department (I know there’s an original motion picture soundtrack he did but whatever) with a comeback record that’s perhaps a little bit bloated but does offer up some fun nuggets. Like that feeling of constipation you get after eating a lot of sweets. The lead singles DO IT, TRY IT and GO! Are very fun pieces of innocent pop music, which is a sound that’s luckily explored throughout this record, but the record does try and force in a little bit of sombreness too. It’s another solid record from M83, though would have benefited with a little trim here and there.
UP TO ANYTHING by THE GOON SAX | If you’re in the mood for some laid back vibes to help emphasis how little you plan to do on a lazy weekend in the sun then this is certainly the record for you. Australia’s The Goon Sax have formed to deliver a debut album that’s complete with easy going instrumentals, simple pop hooks and a general indie attitude of “whatever” which altogether makes for some good listening.
WEEZER (WHITE ALBUM) by WEEZER | The introduction of the 21st century wasn’t exactly the highlight of Weezer’s discography but since the turn of the 10’s they’ve been steadily getting things back on track. The latest instalment in the band’s colourful self-titled series is arguably their best since the Blue album. Once again they’ve kept to the basics – Rivers delivering distorted riffs, Pat back on drums, lyrics of anxiety and woe and love and lost and the result is possibly the most cohesive Weezer record since the 90’s. The lead singles THANK GOD FOR GIRLS and DO YOU WANNA GET HIGH? and fantastic rock tunes, and the deep cuts are peppered with some truly wonderful songs in the form of (GIRL WE GOT A) GOOD THING, WIND IN OUR SAILS and ENDLESS BUMMER to create one of the best Weezer records around. Thank god.
MAN ABOUT TOWN by MAYER HAWTHORNE | I have become a huge fan of Mayer Hawthorne ever since hearing the excellent debut record by Tuxedo last year. He has returned to his solo output with arguably his best record yet. MAN ABOUT TOWN features some of the best singles to come out of his mind with LOVE LIKE THAT and COSMIC LOVE once again reaffirming that this guy knows how to get you hot and bothered. It’s an album that utilises a lot of mellow instrumentation alongside some sunny atmospheres which create a nice contrast against the many personal topics embedded within the lyrics. A great record.
BANG FLOWER by PURE JOY | Sometimes it’s nice to hear some music that takes things a little bit weird. Pure Joy’s new record follows proudly in the footsteps of Ariel Pink by taking all of the sweet, simple characteristics of pop music and putting them through a hellacious journey to turn them all into mangled individuals. They’ve seen some shit man. BANG FLOWER is an eccentric record that prides itself in all of it’s strange and well layered instrumentals to create what is actually a very entertaining record. I highly recommend the track TERRORIZE as an excellent example of this record and Pure Joy’s creativity.
HURT & THE MERCILESS by THE HEAVY | Ever since becoming a giant fanboy of Suits I have been digging The Heavy’s music for quite some time now. HURT & THE MERCILESS is their new album and once again they have delivered another stonking round of rock music that’s full of reasons to shake your hips and make them shapes. The guitar riffs are tinged with a hint of punk-y enthusiasm akin to The Hives but with all of the harmonies, melodies and god knows how many hooks stuck into the sound it evens everything out to be accessible for everybody, everywhere. The vocal hook for the track NOT THE ONE is possibly the greatest hook I’ve heard all year, and the rest of the album is just as good too.
EVERYTHING YOU’VE COME TO EXPECT by THE LAST SHADOW PUPPETS | Alex Turner and Miles Kane have returned to their own project to release a second album that fortunately meets a lot of expectations. EVERYTHING YOU’VE COME TO EXPECT is perhaps a much more intimate record as it offers less of the grand, anthemic sound offered in the band’s debut album, but does instead keep everything tightly knit within an indie bubble that’s warm and lush with sweet, soft material. It’s a solid record, and does see Alex head down a more Suck It And See direction which is cool. Nice record.
LOVE STREAMS by TIM HECKER | Tim Hecker returns once again with another album that delivers a sound that’s deeply rooted within the base of accessibility. LOVE STREAMS does feature a sound that’s more upbeat and kinda-danceable compared to Hecker’s last album Virgins, but it’s steeped within this other-dimension atmosphere that allows all kinds of sounds to come out from the darkness. It’s a very interesting, cohesive record that proves that Tim Hecker is excellent at creating music that’s far away from it’s genre.
So there we go, NINE ALBUMS for you to sink your teeth into. I hope you’ve enjoyed all of these recommendations; my fingers are exhausted right now. If you’ve listened to these albums already, what did you think of them? Are there any albums you’ve discovered that are worth a recommendation? Let me know below!