And so its the end of the year again (or the start) and we have listened to an awful lot of music, the people here. And two of us managed to churn out some words on what we consider as our favorite albums of 2011. So enjoy, hope it proves to function both as a tip sheet and as a salute to good music.
06. Tiger & Woods – Through the Green (Running Back)
It is hard to find an own sound and stay consistent with that, especially if you don’t really work with vocals. Tiger & Woods, somehow, someway, manage it. I can now listen to a remix of theirs and go, Oh yeah, Tiger & Woods, and I can’t do that with everyone. That really means that they’ve carved out their own sound, their own niche within this house/dance spectrum. Well, you might say, if they have such a distinct sound, tell us what that is. But I have to admit, that isn’t quite as easy as recognizing they, in fact, have a fairly distinct sound. So best thing you can do is just to listen to it and find out for yourself.
The tracks on this album, they just move, you know? They just keep on rolling, there’s a good balance between repetition and new elements, and if you think that at one point surely they have exhausted their inspiration think again, because the last two songs on the album are perhaps the most killing of all. ‘Gin Nation’ is a bit slower, the slowest of them all in terms of BPM I reckon, but I don’t know where they get those sounds from, and I don’t know how they can manage to repeat them to brilliance, but they do. ‘Speed of Light’ is a bit more up-tempo, and you hear that core sound coming through slowly and it comes increasingly more to the fore, which is just lovely. It is the art of repetition, and they control that better than anyone I’ve heard this year.
Tiger & Woods - Love In Cambodgia - Out Of Bounds EP by Bryan McQuade
06. Wild Flag - Wild Flag (Wichita/Merge Records)
As a conglomerate of musicians from formerly influential bands like Sleater Kinney, Helium and Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, you could ask whether Wild Flag really has anything new to add. Another all-girl punk band, like we haven’t seen enough of those. But put it another way, and Carrie Brownstein, Mary Timony, Rebecca Cole and Janet Weiss might just have the experience and insight to know just what the musical world of 2011 needs. Although the album can hardly be said to push the boundaries of any genre of music, they do manage to create an amazing album. It’s catchy, has some great melodies and riffs and the band members have enough gravitas to get away with borrowing some of Deerhunter’s better guitar lines (the finale of ‘Short Version’ bears a striking resemblance to said band’s ‘Nothing Ever Happened’).
But copyright infringements aside, the band really knows how to carry a tune. The album is filled with pop-punk that might have scared mothers in the ‘70s but can only endear in this day and age. The album shines in consistency: there is not a track that acts solely as filler. However, at the same time no one tracks stands out as an obvious anthem or even small indie crowd pleaser. But hey, that’ll probably mean their London gig next month won’t sell out just on one track that some hipsters heard on the radio, and that can only be good thing.
Wild Flag - Romance by MergeRecords