By: John Verburg
Even though February is the shortest month of the year, plenty of good music was to be heard. These aren’t the only albums that were good, yet a sampling of some of the best in my opinion. If you have others you enjoyed, feel free to leave them below…maybe start a discussion.
St. Vincent- St. Vincent
I have a feeling that St. Vincent (Annie Clark) is going to be on some end of the year lists. Her 4th album is certainly worthy of the praise. From the opening notes of album starter ‘Rattlesnake’, her self titled album is a ride worthy of being on. From the astral and choral ‘Prince Johnny’ to the ‘Myxamatosis’ like scuzz of ‘Huey Newton’ St. Vincent displays a versatility that many artists don’t have the ability to achieve.
BBC is the second band on this list to be releasing it’s fourth album, and like St. Vincent, it is arguably their best to date. The transformation of the band over the years has been pretty significant. Once, they would have been filed in the Arctic Monkeys Brit guitar rock. Now, the guitar work is subtle and has given way to electronics. The ear pleasing arrangements on this self produced album work well with lead singers Jack Steadman’s voice.
Cheatahs formula on their self titled debut is pretty straight forward, they like their guitars. It’s a sound that was perfected in the early 90’s and still works today. We aren’t talking grunge here by any stretch, though there are some elements of it at play, we are talking up-tempo shoegaze perfected by bands like Catherine Wheel and Cheatahs’ nearest relative Ride. What you have is a swirling atmospheric record with punk spirit, and that is plenty alright in my book.
Temples definitely owes something to the past, but what rock band at this point doesn’t? Throughout Temples’ debut “Sun Structures”, you hear flashes of bands from the 60’s and 70’s psych-rock, from the Beatles to the Byrds and even some T. Rex thrown in. A modern day comparison would be Tame Impala, but Temples doesn’t quite have the ambition they do. That’s okay, because Temples album is ultimately a pleasurable listen.
Sometimes I just want to be blasted with in my face rock n’ roll. In this sense, Montreal band Solids definitely delivers. From the opening guitar blast of ‘Over the Sirens’ to ‘Terminal’, Solids blasts you with fast, fuzzy, guitars at an intense pace like a Canadian No Age. And while there is nothing ground breaking about it, this band, like their fellow countrymen Japandroids, know how to pummel ones ears into a beautiful submission.