Sunday, January 1, 2012

2 LIST MANIA: Nik's Favorite Local Releases of 2011

**Just because the Sandrider and Monogamy Party records were released on my Good to Die imprint doesn't mean I can't plug them on here. It's called putting out my favorite records and they fall 1 and 2 even without my involvement.**

1. Sandrider – s/t (Good to Die)

The long awaited debut from the band comprised of Jon and Nat from Akimbo, and Jesse from The Ruby Doe is hands down the best local release of the year, and my favorite record released all year period. It’s a very well written record from start to finish, accessible enough for the generic hard rock fan and brilliantly executed enough fans of underground music fans to get behind as well. It’s a riff barrage and mighty one at that. It’s a record that opens the serotonin flood gates on each listen, a perfect kick in the ass for anyone needing a pick me up.


2. Monogamy Party – Pus City (Good to Die)

Monogamy Party are known locally for their unabashed and unhinged live performances, and to their credit with help from producer Chris Proff they have captured a good amount of their live energy on this first release, “Pus City”. Monogamy Party is setting the tone for things to come in the city, apologetically kicking ass and getting weird. Here’s a bandwagon to jump on.


3. Smooth Sailing – xoxo (self-released)

Smooth Sailing began the year on cloud 9 as they finished up their much anticipated debut record. Released back in April, “xoxo” was everything fans of the band could have hoped for. From the brilliant and beautiful “Introlude” through the destruction sounds of stand-out tracks like “Sunday Morning Margaritas” it runs the gamut of post-rock elegance and crushing metallic breakdowns. For us locals, we may be looking ahead to the next release already but the fact of the matter this record has a lot of life left in it and in 2012 Smooth Sailing have plans to bring their amazing live show and this excellent debut to the rest of the country.


4. Helms Alee – Weatherhead (Hydra Head)

Helms Alee’s sophomore full length on Hydra Head Records features even more of those brilliantly fuzzed out Ben Verellen riffs (see: Elbow Grease). Balancing out the heaviness of “Weatherhead” are numerous moments of melancholy harmonies courtesy of all three members (see: Epic Adventure Through The Wood). For me, these can drone on a bit but I think they also set the tone for a record and band that is quintessentially NW. “Weatherhead” is moody and dark and sounds nothing like anything ever laid to wax before. Helms Alee can do no wrong at this point.


5. Consulate – Feeding the Ducks (self-released)

It’s a bummer to say but Consulate is no more, but not before unleashing a fantastic debut album and leaving a lasting mark in my ears. On “Feeding the Ducks” Consulate completely ignore typical rock arrangements, blending elements of math rock and prog. This record is chalked full of odd time signatures, and it’s just plain different than anything I heard all year. RIP Consulate.


6. Constant Lovers - True Romance (self-released)

Constant Lovers are one of Seattle's most imaginative and unique rock acts in current times. They along with the Absolute Monarchs are leading the charge of angular noisy bands springing up in Seattle, and self-released their long awaited debut back in October. "True Romance" captures their vibrant and percussion heavy noise rock perfectly, and is certainly deserving of all accolades it has received thus far. Great band.


Other local releases that I dug:

Princess – The Grim Energy EP
ASVA - Presences Of Absences
Police Teeth - Awesomer Than the Devil
Fungal Abyss – Bardo Abgrund Temple (cs)
Midday Veil – Subterranean Ritual II (cs)
My Goodness – My Goodness
Grenades / Mercy Ties Split
The Spits – The Spits V
Warning:Danger! – The Safe and the Dead
Into the Storm – Captains!
Strong Killings – s/t
Great Falls - Coextinction Release 10
Bell Witch – demo
Ancient Warlocks 7”

What am I missing?


  1. Great list! I recognize most on the list. Definitely agree with Sandrider, Smooth Sailing, Warning: Danger, Princess, and ASVA.

    I wonder if albums will be relevant in 2012?

  2. Albums will never go away! Viva La Vinyl!



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