Monday, December 21, 2009

TVD's Got ThinkIndie's Top Releases for 2009

We're fans of reading lists...not so much on compiling them. Thankfully, our pal Andrew over at ThinkIndie has taken the weight off our shoulders and compiled ThinkIndie's best of the year. And the first half commences below:

Behold! The Monolith - S/T
A friend turned me onto these guys by sending me a link to their myspace page. They are a three piece doom metal band out of the Los Angeles area and I really dig this album. One of the great things about working at and with indie record stores is the chance to find bands that aren't signed to a label or anything and get them some exposer. We worked out a direct deal with em to get their content on the digital site cause i feel they are just a good as any of the bigger "doom" bands out there. They have a little bit of a psych feel to them at parts so it's not all "slow and low" as you would think. Besides, you got to love an album with a song like "Battle For Balls Deep" on it.

Big Business - Mind The Drift
Big Business is Coady Willis (Murder City Devils) on drums and Jared Warren (Karp/Tight Bros From Way Back When) on bass and vocals. They also happen to be 2/4 of the current Melvins lineup so you kind of get an idea what they are going to sound like if you know the Melvins at all. This is their third album but first with full time guitarist Toshi Kasai who has helped em in the pas on the production side of things. With the addition of a full time guitarist their sound has only slightly changed. This album has a bit more of a "spooky" feel to it as the layers of sound give it a little bit of mystery. Long time Big Business fans will recognize some of the songs as they had previously shown up on a couple of tour only EPs the band sold in the past.

John Frusciante - The Empyrean
You probably know him from his work with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but this is John Frusciante's 10th solo album. I bought his first solo album right after it came out, but wasn't a big fan since it's really out there being as though he was strung out at the time he was working on it. Now that he's clean and sober his music is still slightly "weird," but extremely beautiful at the same time. Every time I listen to this album, i can describe in detail where I was, what the weather was like and everything else the first time I heard it. It's been a while since an album has been able to do that for me. The album starts off with a 9 minute instrumental track where Frusciante just wails on the guitar, but he doesn't wank on it all. From start to finish this is an amazing record. Go buy it.

Assjack - S/T
Working at a record store in San Diego, one of the questions I got most often was, "Do you have anything by Assjack?" You might find that a weird question to get asked often, but San Diego is one of the best markets for Hank III aka Hank Williams III. Why does Hank III have to do with Assjack? Assjack is his metal band that plays the second part of his live shows and they've never officially released anything. Hank III's second album he gave to Curb Records was a metal album called "This Ain't Country" and they refused to release it or anything else unless it was another country album. This caused a huge legal battle and in the end, Curb was forced to release a metal album after Hank III turned in a few more country albums. It's a pretty kick ass metal album especially since Hank III recorded everything on the album.

The Love Me Nots - Upsidedown Insideout
Four piece fuzzed out, organ drenched garage rock band out of Phoenix, AZ. This is their third album is three years and again it's produced by Jim Diamond (The Dirtbombs/The Mooney Suzuki/The White Stripes) but this time it was recorded in Phoenix rather than Detroit. Fronted by Nicole Laurenne with her sultry voice that intertwines with her Farfisa organ, fuzzed out guitar work from Michael Johnny Walker that you might find on one of the "Nuggets" box sets and a rhythm section of Kyle Rose Stokes and Bob Hoag holding it down. They are constantly touring the US so if they come to a town near you check em out. While you're there you can pick up their albums on great looking colored vinyl as well.

Naam - S/T
Tee Pee records knows how to pick their bands. Such a great album I can't think of how to describe it, so I'm gonna let the band describe it, "Disgusted by the lack of heavy, psychedelic rock and roll, We deliver our deafening sermon to bring a new dawn for all civilization. The vast seas cannot drown Us, the darkest caverns cannot conceal Us, We will conquer insurmountable foes. We are war, We are peace, We are time and space, We are infinite, We are Naam." Yeah... It's that damn good.