Daniel’s top 5+5 (no particular order)
Hi. I`m the new guy. This was my 2013.
5 records I spent a lot of time with:
1. Modern Life is War – Fever Hunting (Deathwish/Indigo)
The thing about reunions: most of them suck. Maybe my views are over romantic, but there are a lot of zombielike bands out there with lifeless merch, touring like undead and new songs that are absolutely brain damaging. They used to be good once, but decided to come back for the wrong reasons (also called: money). With that mindset, I was very concerned about the resurrection of the hardcore scene darlings from MODERN LIFE IS WAR, but I was proofed wrong (at least till now).
The new record “Fever Hunting” is no “My love. My Way.”, but more than a solid HC-album. With its pissed off vocals, melodic guitars and hymns like “chasing my tail”, “media cunt” and “currency” MLIW made a mid-tempo wrecking ball without big experiments. But the reason this record made it into my top 5 is another one: it is a promise. A promise for show with passion and energy… bury under a pile of sweaty sing-along people and I`ll be happy.
Bury me under a pile of sweaty sing-along people.
2. Arcade Fire – Reflektor (Vertigo/Universal)
“If I can`t dance, I don`t want to be part of your Revolution” – Emma Goldmann, dancing like no one was watching, with one fist in the air. Wearing an ARCADE FIRE shirt.
In my opinion ARCADE FIRE is actually one of the few bands that is capable to fill a stadium (just the band alone…seriously ten or so people?) and with “Reflektor” they did a step forward. The record is a mostly danceable journey through 13 songs, from groovy 80`s rhythms like in the title track “Reflektor” (with guest vocals from DAVID BOWIE), the blues-rockish “Normal Person” (with the hilarious line “Do you like rock`n`roll music? Because I don`t know, if I do!) to the the-smithish “You Already Know”, having it`s peak at the moving track “Afterlife”. But I could`t mention this record without it`s fabulous marketing. Oh boy, this appearance at SNL, followed by a fever dream were Michael Cera talks about baby-bananas…you got me.
Put on your dancing shoes…once again!
3. Laura Stevenson – Wheel (Don Giovanni Records)
I admit it: I have a crush on this record. I used to hear it, back at the long lasting rainy days in July and everytime the voice of LAURA STEVENSON came out of my headphones, it leave a warmth feeling in me, made me smile and I automatically started lipsyncing “This summer hurts! This summer hurts! This summer hu-hu-hu-huuuurts!”. LAURA STEVENSON is a singer with D.I.Y roots. Some of you maybe know her from the band BOMB THE MUSIC INDUSTRY, that she was a part of. She released her third album “Wheel” this year on Don Giovanni Records. With her sweet and fuzzy folk pop with fiddles this record is my discovery of the year.
It`s so fluffy, I wanna die!
4. The National – Trouble Will Find Me (4AD/Beggars)
To show you, that I have no idea of what I am doing, let me compare THE NATIONAL with SLAYER. Nobody wants SLAYER to develop and, to be honest, I don`t want to make the experience to write something like “and finally THE NATIONAL made the step to experiment with Gabba and Chinese throat-singing technics”. I guess my point is this: I loved the band before and still do it. In my opinion I get faster comfortable with it, than with “High Violent”. But it is no “Boxer”…
Same, same but different.
5. Casper – Hinterland (Four Music/Sony)
“Don`t call it emo – wah!” SAGE FRANCIS
Well certainly Casper released his third full-length record and it is once again full of my beloved Indie-Rap melancholy, thoughtful and personal lyrics and a nice amount of D.I.Y. – ethics (he is still a rapper in the body of a hardcore-kid…or vice versa). After eleven Songs there is this film scene from a random nineties comedy flick in my head, where the annoying kids on the backseat don`t stop asking their Dad “When are we there?!?”. Answer: Not jet. Journey goes on. My Favorite Track: the stomping “Jambalaya”.
He has still not arrived.
5 records I spent a lot of time with, but it could be more:
1. The Front Bottoms – Tallon of the Hawk (Bar None Records/Broken Silence)
Three goofy guys with bad hair. That was my first impression of THE FRONT BOTTOMS back in 2012. Than it happened: heartwarming and likable trash talk between the songs, lyrics that were the perfect fusion of sarcasm, ridiculousness and melancholic mixed with up tempo butt shaking punk-pop-folk-something. Thirty minutes later I was addicted. Singer BRIAN SELLA tells stories from everyday life, that everybody could agree with a nod of approval. “Tallon of the Hawk” is a little bit cleaner than the old stuff, but there are still those moments. That lines you wanna shout to the store fronts, when you come home sunday morning at 6 a.m., where you are in that fragile mode and want to be pathetic or honest or ironic or everything combined. “I wish the light would turn green, set me free, oh set me free! Teach my rolling veins where there`s a will, there is a way.”
2. Love A – Irgendwie (Rookie Records/Cargo)
Till 2013 LOVE A went totally under my radar and my college Carlo changed that. The band from Trier plays music I used to call “Unipunk”. I created this genre to describe bands like TURBOSTAAT, DUESENJAEGER or DER RAKETENHUND that combine punk with uh…kind of smart or cryptical lyrics (or at least lyrics I don`t understand). “Irgendwie” is full of hits and useful quotes for the next plenum (my favorite line: “Angst und Geld hattest du noch nie und du schreist: “das ist Punk, Cherie!”) and is a friendly raised middle finger in the face of the zeitgeist.
3. Tegan and Sara – Heartthrob (Warner)
As a longtime admirer of the songwriting of TEGAN AND SARA, I was curious in which direction they would go. The answer: in a good one… I guess. With “Heartthrob” TEGAN AND SARA made some progress. They didn`t change their ability to write perfect pop-songs, touching choruses and relatable lines, but with more electronic elements. This expands the danceability under a constant rate of appropriateness in a heartache. Definitely a good direction.
4. Afterlife Kids – Morgengrauen (Adagio830/Vendetta)
Blury Memory: Back in 2006 in a rehearsal room in Braunschweig.
“Hey, we should really make a band!”
“What should we sound like?”
“Pffff…don`t know. How about ANGSTZUSTAND and ACME?”
“Yeeees! And EAVES!”
We didn`t get very far, but I`m still in love with this kind of pissed german nineties screamo. In the tradition of those Bands AFTERLIFE KIDS play messed up misanthropic hardcore. Spit out lyrics, great mosh parts, no bullshit – more of that, please!
5. Ancst/Hiveburner – Split (Skull Witch Records/Mustard Mustache)
Okay, this one isn`t a full album for sure, but let`s face it: This my review. ANCST impressed me right away. I first heard them on a compilation and my first thought: “Is that a steam hammer chopping through my guts…oh my, this is beautiful”. This red& anarchist black metal band from berlin: heavy double bass action meets (neo-)Crust, which reminds me sometimes of bands like ICTUS. Hell Yeah – hopefully we get more in 2014!