Let Down – Glyph’s Disappointing 2015 in Rock
I feel like 2015 started strong but petered out quickly. Looking over my library, relatively little of what I got that came out this year, rock-wise, moved me all that much; some “likes”, not a ton of “LOVES“.
I was sadly pretty disappointed in the latest Deerhunter (Fading Frontier) which IMO had only 2-3 strong songs (though “Breaker”, above, remains absolutely gorgeous).
And when the hell is that Chromatics album actually going to come out?! Still, this song from it got a lot of play from me:
On the bright side, the rock that DID do it for me, was largely created by females – looking this piece over after I drafted it, I realized that only Deerhunter (which has occasionally featured one female player in the past), Built to Spill, Viet Cong, Car Seat Headrest, Torche and Swervedriver are made up exclusively of men; the remaining bands are led or co-led by women.
Hmmm. Maybe “The Ladies Are Trying To Save Rock’s Sorry Ass” would have been a better post title.
This Torche video (from Restarter) is very NSFW, unless your workplace is run by murderous heavy metal robots:
Dream-poppers Beach House had a very good year with two solid records, and I got a few really nice shoegaze albums from bands old (Swervedriver) and newish (the Russian Pinkshinyultrablast, and the Canucks in No Joy).
The ever-dependable Built to Spill put out Untethered Moon, and while it was appealingly rougher and rawer than usual (the probable result of some lineup changes and the perpetually-restless creativity of leader Doug Martsch), for me it probably will stay in their second-tier, with the caveat that Built to Spill records sometimes sneak up in the rankings years after the fact: a predictable side-effect of the band’s consistent high quality.
A LOT of bands mined 1990’s alt-nation-style music. I can’t say that PJ Harvey or Courtney Love were my favorite vocalists from that period, but it’s nonetheless heartening to see youngsters taking up their acid-tongued mantles:
On the mellower 1990s side, Posse, Chastity Belt and Courtney Barnett (whose rambling lyrics called to mind Liz Phair’s and Stephen Malkmus’ conversational styles) all put out very enjoyable, mostly low-key records.
But without question, the new rock album I played the most this year was Radical Dads’ Universal Coolers – it’s a throwback for sure (to early-’90’s Amerindie), but low-key it’s not, with energy and hooks to spare. It stayed in my car for months.
A good companion album – a bit more professional, perhaps – might be Screaming Females’ Rose Mountain. Love her guitar sound.
Last but not least, Sleater-Kinney came back:
What about y’all? What did you like this year, in any genre?
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Created: 24 November 2010