Friday, December 28, 2012

0 James Reeves' (Into the Storm) Top Albums and Shows of 2012

Albums of 2012 (in no particular favor)
1) Murder By Death - Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon
    *Always a deep love of mine, this latest set of songs shows the gang experimenting with their finely honed skillset. The result is pure Americana splendor.
2) Neurosis - Honor Found in Decay
    *Right to the point, Neurosis and I have never really meshed. I dug them up years ago, listened, and fell into boredom. Time passed and I happened across them live at Neumos with Converge. Still bored, walked out I was so damn unmoved. Another year and suddenly "Times of Grace" lands in my lap(the song "Under the Surface" in particular). I am hooked. Sifting through the other albums proves hit or miss. Then, they put this fucker out. Bam floored. Time does wonders.
3) Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind
     *Fucking shit duh right here. "Aimless Arrow" was an instant refresher for Mr. Bannon. This is lifesblood at its prime.
4) Crypts - Crypts
     *To be honest, I did not think this relationship would work out. Turns out, I don't know what the fuck I am talking about. Repeat listens all over the place, it's a mash-up of Joy Division shoegaze and Steve Sneer being Steve Sneer. Love it.

5) Crystal Castles - III
     *Repeat listens have proven to be tiresome, but at the end of the day I can't resist the style and ultimate environment they create. This is everything to me and their approach is quite unique. Plus my tiny grub loves attempting the art of jigglin' while listening with me.
6) Old Man Gloom - NO
     *Long time listener, first time caller(I mean come on Isis, Cave In/Zozobra & Nate Newton?! Yea, total win). "NO" is a titan of a release for this collective. Seeing it live(and with my beloved drum set being helmed by Santos) doesn't hurt either. The song  "To Carry the Flame" borrows a lyrical segment from Legend? Yea. Oh fucking yes yea.

7) Deftones - Koi No Yokan
     *A total duh, Chino & Cunningham shaped the vision of my own destiny at a young age. This was a fun release, albeit not the most spectacular. Doesn't matter, had sex.

8) GYBE! - Allejuah! Don't Bend! Ascend!
     *To be honest, this one took a few listens to really enjoy. The ceaseless pitch bends at the beginning of "Mladic" really fucked with my head. Then I realized that was the point as the delivery of the second chunk of the song is all that much sweeter.

9) Chelsea Wolfe - Unknown Rooms: A Collection of Acoustic Songs
     *Really have no fucking idea how I stumbled across this one. I started with "The Grime and The Glow" and began adoring her style while not fully loving the release as a whole. The latest though(all acoustic, a soft spot of mine) is fully satisfactory.

10) Gaza - No Absolutes in Human Suffering
     *Another album that really did not sit well with me on first listen. The style seemed overdone and tired. This perspective is backed by playing with the dudes in Utah a few years back. However, once I sat down and really got into this album my mind was fucking floored. The guitar work and subsequent fluidity of the drumming is absolute innovation! My how shit changes and my opinions constantly rendered worthless! Bravo, Utah.

Honorable Mentions
1) Gladiators Eat Fire - Psychedelic Hogwash EP
2) Serial Hawk - Buried In the Gray EP
3) Bell Witch - Longing
4) Samothrace - Reverence to Stone
5) Braeg Naofa - Untitled

Shows of 2012
1) Smooth Sailing & Blood Ensemble - boom! theater [July 21st 2012]
     *To those that missed it, let it be a lesson to your slothiness.
2) Gladiators Eat Fire & Judgment Day - 2 Bit Saloon [October 24th 2012]
     *Ian Iddings from Dead River's first show with GEF. Shit was fucking holy. Like watching an amateur go pro.
3) Gaza, Eagle Twin, Grenades, Czar, Into the Storm - El Corazon [August 3rd 2012]
     *This was too good to be true. A dream.
4) Old Man Gloom & Thrones - Highline Bar [September 8th 2012]
     *See above.
5) LB! & Dead River @ Skylark [August 2nd 2012]
     *I discovered LB! and all was right in the world.


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