As 2013 draws to a close, we’ve asked a number of our favorite artists and friends to put together their end of year lists. The criteria was simple: compile us a list of what inspired and excited throughout the course of 2013. It’s not been an easy task for some, but we happily present you today with Violent Soho’s top 10 albums for 2013! Thanks to our man Michael Richards for piecing together such a compelling list!
1. Earthless – “From The Ages”
How could an Earthless album NOT be listed as album of the year. Earthless are one of my all-time favourite bands and “From The Ages” is their masterpiece. Well worth waiting 6 years for. Isaiah Mitchell is fucking Hendrix man! Mario Rubalcaba is one of the best rock drummers EVER! If you haven’t experienced this band yet? Fuckin do it!
– For starters, watch this:
2. Nails – “Abandon All Life”
I think this “LP” goes for about 15 mins, which is just about perfect. Nails are one of those metal bands that produce music that is so unrelentingly brutal; brevity is a kindness. Seriously all you need from a Death/Thrash/Grind metal band is right here. Soooo fucking good! Can somebody please bring these guys out to Australia? Fuck! SOUNDWAVE! WTF?!
3. TV Colours – “Purple River, Toxic Skies”
Coming out of nowhere, well, Canberra, TV Colours have produced the BEST indie-rock record of this year. It’s even pretty close to High Art I reckon. Melding Jay Reatard flavoured garage-instensity with surreal 90s type soundscapes reminiscent of Angelo Badalamenti’s work on the Twin Peaks Soundtracks, this album draws you into a world of mundane carcinogenic-soaked depravity and boredom.To me, it’s a very serious work of art – the party vibe is just a double-sided bonus.
4. Parquet Courts – “Light Up Gold”
This album is a serious Indie gem. Parquet Courts sound is SOOO NY. “Light Up Gold” calls to mind so many NY favourites. Really they’re like Sonic Youth meets Talking Heads meets Les Savy Fav meets The Strokes. This is a very intelligent and hooky-as-fuck album from four cynical NYC stoners. Get amongst it!
5. Deafheaven – “Sunbather”
Ok! So fair call, if there is such a thing as Hipster Black Metal then Deafheaven are the definition of the genre. But fuck that label, this is just fuckin’ awesome music from a supremely talented band. Deafheaven have taken the lead of former HBM band Wolves In The Throneroom and added a little emo in there to boot. “Sunbather” takes Black Metal to classy new heights and further away from hate crimes and nordic gods. This is a very good thing for the genre dudes, I’m telling you!
6. Hydromedusa – “The Rats Have My Mind”
Adelaide’s finest, Hydromedusa, decided to be jerks and only release this album on cassette. All is forgiven though as it is just absolutely mind-blowingly sick. Hydromedusa are Australia’s answer to the classic metal revival in the US West Coast. They are sooo very Aussie as well, and a sure reminder of how Australian rock is just about the best in the world. Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs meets GOD. GO LISTEN TO THIS BAND!
7. Earl Sweatshirt – “Doris”
Easily my fav hip-hop record for 2013 and far and away the best exponent of the Odd Future record label (also now a clothing label for 14 year old boys). “Doris” offers simple beats and free blowing rhymes that sit on melody so seamlessly that you don’t even notice that the tracks change. If it wasn’t for Tyler The Creator’s bastardising almost every song with some annoying thing he has to say, this could possibly have been my #1 for the year. Still a great album though.
8. The Drones – “I See Seaweed”
The Drones are one of my favourite bands. Garreth Liddiard is just about the best lyricist going around. You’d say he’s a 21st Century Henry Lawson, or something along those lines. “I See Seaweed” was slightly disappointing for me, a weak follow up to 2008 masterpiece “Havillah”, which was always going to be tough to beat. Still this record features some serious gems and is right up their with the greatest albums of the year, just not the greatest of The Drones’ albums.
9. Pissed Jeans – “Honeys”
Pissed Jeans prove they still have all the pent-up anger and masturbation-induced depression that makes their music so appealing. Honey’s is not their best work, but it’s still makes you want to punch yourself in the face on your way to your piece of shit job, so it’s a winner in my books.
10. Harsh Toke – “Harsh Toke”
Mad-dogg professional skater and all time legend Justin Figeuroa must have been listening to a hell alot of Earthless before he formed this band. In the very same vein, but with a charmingly pot-addled, mum’s-garage type vibe, this album is fucking brilliant. 2 sides, 4 tracks that just go on absolute random tangents of Hendrix inspired, stoner jams that make for a hell of a good time. This album is an unassumingly bad ass record that reminds you just how free rock music is supposed to be.