My Top 25 Albums Of 2016



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1. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard: Nonagon Infinity
When it really comes down to it, I did give Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool my first ever perfect score. But, over the year, this has to be the album that I listened to the most. Whether it was my daughter requesting to hear “Road Train” for the umpteenth time or maybe it was just to hear the ever powerful transition from “Big Fig Wasp” to “Gamma Knife”, Nonagon Infinity was one of the most under appreciated albums of 2016. If it passed you by I implore you to give it a listen. Also, one of the best live shows I’ve seen in a while.

2. Radiohead: A Moon Shaped Pool
One of the most beautiful albums of 2016 has to be Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool. Thom really seemed to give the reigns to Johnny and his orchestra and it made for one of Radiohead’s fullest albums to date. I’ve admitted to myself that we may never see another “guitar” album from Radiohead and I’m ok with that because in my three years of writing, this was my first five-nuts album.

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3. Jeff Rosenstock: WORRY
Considered to be the best punk album recorded this year, Rosenstock takes the theatrics of Titus Andronicus and drops the fuck life, philosophical dichotomy replacing it with the Rivers Cuomo slacker life style. It came out of nowhere and it’s a hell of a ride.

4. Charles Bradley: Changes
Charles for change! A true success story, Charles Bradley is the screaming eagle of soul with a heart of gold. Changes houses some of the truest confessions of love and soul this year.

5. David Bowie: Blackstar

A heartfelt and hypnotizing goodbye. Blackstar is the album that kow one saw coming. Bowie was a true artist even in his last days and Blackstar is all the proof that you need.

6. Car Seat Headrest: Teens of Denial

Don’t let Ric Ocasek know this is here — haha. My friend Christopher Anthony couldn’t have been more correct about this album, “The record is a winner because it never stops evolving or surprising you.” This record is one hell of a showcase of indie rock styles and influences.

7. Sunwatchers: Sunwatchers
Some of the greatest and strangest sounds that I’ve heard all year. Sunwatchers’ blast of brass and guitars is something to behold. I’m not going to lie — this list is fairly heavy with Castle Face artists past an present. It seems they know they way to pick their artists. Sunwatchers is no exception.

8. Company Man: Brand Standard
Coming in just in the nick of time, Company Man’s Brand Standard is dirty, bloozy, and an all around good time. While it’s an EP is has just as much a place here as all these other albums. It was some of the most fun that I’ve had in six songs this year.

9. The Hotelier: Goodness
I don’t know if you’d call this emo, but I do know that I really like what The Hotelier did here. Goodness takes theatrics and creative prowess and pushes it way past what a typical “emo” band would be today. In fact, it’s top notch rock n roll and that’s the truth.

10. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: Skeleton Tree
2015 was a tough year for Nick Cave. After losing his 15-year old son, he created the only album he could after that. Skeleton Tree is heartfelt, pure, unbridled pain. It’s Cave wrestling with his demons, and that emotion is quite captivating.

11. Parquet Courts: Human Performance
I always love a good indie slacker jam out, and Parquet Courts has been very good at it since their debut, Light Up Gold. But, we’re not here to talk about the debut — we’re here to talk about the grower Human Performance. I think I must have rocked to spaghetti western jam “Berlin Got Blurry” countless time since it’s release. Parquet Courts have always maintained quality. It will be interesting to see what they do next.

12. ORB: Birth
Also from the same land as King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, ORB simply rocks. While Birth got a 3.5 when reviewed, it was their spacey, sludge style that took me to Sleep, then to Sabbath, and to FUZZ. This trio really poured the grooves on thick and it gave me all the stoney, metal feels.

13. Votaries: Psychometry
When anybody links a band to Wand, I have to take notice immediately. Many critics poured praises on this debut and with good reason. It can be tough to make shoegaze catchy and hooky. With songs like “Annihilation Generation,” “Delusion,” “Lucifer,” Votaries easily make a case for themselves. Before you know it, “Ritualized” is playing and the album has melted into the floor.

14. Tim Presley: The Wink
Tim Presley takes Barrett, Bowie, and Byrne and constructs something that only seems vaguely influenced by his main project White Fence. A albums that I’m still sad I didn’t review. The Wink has some interesting track from its’ title track, to “Solitude Cola,” and “Goldfish Wheelchair” to name a few. It will do you some good if your looking for a little something off the beaten path.

15. Thee Oh Sees: A Weird Exits
While it isn’t the strongest Sees album to be released, it still has some really strong tracks. It also saw Thee Oh Sees experimenting with two drummers. “Ticklish Warrior,” “Gelatinous Cube, “Unwrap the Fiend Pt. 2,” and “The Axis” now take their place as some of my favorite songs in the entire Sees catalogue. Knowing their output, that’s no small feat.

16. GØGGS: GØGGS
17. Heron Oblivion: Heron Oblivion
18. Black Mountain: IV
19. Lonesome Shack: The Switcher
20. Ryley Walker: Golden Sings That Have Been Sung
21. Frankie and The Witch Fingers: Heavy Roller
22. The Claypool Lennon Delirium: Monolith of Phobos
23. Witchcraft: Nucleus
24. Iggy Pop: Post Pop Depression
25. Preoccupations: Preoccupations
Best Live Album Release: The White Stripes – The Complete John Peel Sessions

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  1. Pingback: Nick Cave Takes Skeleton Tree Out On The Road For The First Time | Rocknuts

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