The Drums-Abysmal Thoughts (2017)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 74%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 79%

Average Rating: 84%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Mirror
  2. I’ll Fight for Your Life
  3. Blood Under My Belt
  4. Heart Basel
  5. Shoot The Sun Down
  6. Head of the Horse
  7. Under The Ice
  8. Are U Fucked
  9. Your Tenderness
  10. Rich Kids
  11. If All We Share (Means Nothing)
  12. Abysmal Thoughts

Favourite Song on Album:


Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for a contemporary band that sounds like they could be straight out of a 90’s Spielberg flick.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Super weird, I think I like it…I think.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Own it, they did a good job at making it really unique too! One side of the two records is just a glossy “Abysmal Thoughts”.

Final Thoughts:

The Drums have been playing on my mp3 players since late High School, they’re a band that’s seen me through a lot of growing pains. And I think they’ve gone through growing pains of their own. With the more experimental sound of Encyclopedia, their release before this one, a lot of fans weren’t on board for songs like Magic Mountain (my all time favourite by them). But with the release of Abysmal Thoughts both fans from Encyclopedia and old school fans from the days of Money and Let’s Go Surfing should find lots to drool over. There is something a lot more accomplished about this album, true it doesn’t stray too far from their sound, but it’s almost like a confidence is being exuded through the tracks. It sounds like an instant classic, like the evolution of The Smiths. Abysmal Thoughts continues the theme of incredibly sad lyrics over fun instrumentals, and we thank them for it.

Doomtree-All Hands (2015)

My Rating: 96% (A+)

Pitchfork Rating: 71%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 62%

Average Rating: 76%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Final Boss
  2. My Own Nation
  3. .38 Airweight
  4. Gray Duck
  5. Heavy Rescue
  6. 80 On 80
  7. Mini Brute
  8. Cabin Killer
  9. Beastface
  10. The Bends
  11. Generator
  12. Off In The Deep
  13. Marathon
  14. High Water

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting a hip hop album with lots going on at once.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s a beautiful looking cover, I’d be stoked to have it in my collection.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

I need to own more Hip-Hop on vinyl (yes I want it).

Final Thoughts:

Doomtree is a hip-hop super-group (at least in my eyes), Sims, P.O.S., and Dessa are all artists with amazing solo work, so to have them all in the same group making music is kind of a big deal for me. Granted I got into Doomtree before their solo careers but now that I’ve researched more I almost forgot that these guys all worked together. They take things in a different direction on All Hands, keeping the lyrics abstract and the percussion raw, they get much more electronic than I’m used to hearing them, which was a good move because they now can appeal to a larger audience. Old fans may be a little let down with the new sound but I’m on board and excited to hear these guys push themselves as a group and as individual artists.

Danger Doom-The Mouse And The Mask (2005)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 78%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 81%

Average Rating: 86%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. El Chupa Nibre
  2. Sofa King
  3. The Mask Feat. Ghostface Killah
  4. Perfect Hair
  5. Benzi Box Feat. Cee-Lo
  6. Old School Rules Feat. Talib Kweli
  7. A.T.H.F. (Aqua Teen Hunger Force)
  8. Basket Case
  9. No Names (Black Debbie)
  10. Crosshairs
  11. Mince Meat
  12. Vats Of Urine
  13. Space Hoes
  14. Bada Bing

Favourite Song on Album:


Listen to This Album When You:

Have a bowl of cereal in your lap and are ready to party, son.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Absolutely love it.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

I’ve almost bought it multiple times but it’s like $50 and I’ve never been financially stable, soooooo yeah, one day!

Final Thoughts:

Ugh this album. What more does a weirdo like me need? Nothing, that’s what! MF Doom + Danger Mouse + [Adult Swim]= One of (if not my all time) favourite Hip-Hop records ever made! The beats are absolutely incredible (could you expect differently from Danger Mouse?) The lyrics are absurd and catchy (Could you expect differently from MF Doom?) and the interludes are funny, absurd and somewhat annoying (same thing but add [Adult Swim]). This is one of the most perfect albums I’ve ever heard, it’s as if they had me specifically in mind when they made it (maybe they did???). Get your hands on this and have a one of a kind experience ya dingus!

De La Soul-And The Anonymous Nobody… (2016)

My Rating: 68 (C-)

Pitchfork Rating: 64%

Rolling Stone Rating: 70%

Metacritic Rating: 77%

Average Rating: 70%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Genesis Feat. Jill Scott
  2. Royalty Capes
  3. Pain Feat. Snoop Dogg
  4. Property of Spitkicker.com Feat. Roc Marciano
  5. Memory of… (US) Feat. Estelle And Pete Rock
  6. CBGBS
  7. Lord Intended Feat. Justin Hawkins
  8. Snoopies feat. David Byrne
  9. Greyhounds Feat. Usher
  10. Sexy Bitch
  11. Trainwreck
  12. Drawn Feat. Little Dragon
  13. Whoodeeni Feat. 2chainz
  14. Nosed Up
  15. You Go Dave (A Goldblatt Presentation) Feat. David Goldblatt
  16. Here in After Feat. Damon Albarn
  17. Exodus

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for some chill Hip Hop

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Hilarious, big fan of the style.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Not really.

Final Thoughts:

De La Soul is back and the result is chill if not underwhelming. The crowd funded album is as cool as a cucumber, but a little too cool if you ask my humble opinion. And The Anonymous Nobody… feels like it’s building up to something big (see Feel Good Inc. style rapping) but it doesn’t develop it just remains incredibly laid back. Nothing wrong with keeping it chill, but when you’ve been away for such a long time we rightfully expect some up-beat tunes. Their other sin is the under use of the contributors, such as Drawn Featuring Little Dragon which did not hit the mark in any sense (Seriously it takes way too long for De La Soul to join in on the fun on the track). As a filler album this would be decent, but as a return album it’s too little too late.

Death Cab For Cutie-Narrow Stairs (2008)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 60%

Rolling Stone Rating: 80%

Metacritic Rating: 73%

Average Rating: 78%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Bixby Canyon Bridge
  2. I Will Possess Your Heart
  3. No Sunlight
  4. Cath…
  5. Talking Bird
  6. You Can Do Better Than Me
  7. Grapevine Fires
  8. Your New Twin Sized Bed
  9. Long Division
  10. Pity And Fear
  11. The Ice Is Getting Thinner

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

In the mood for an emotional roller coaster.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Lots of colour, I like it!

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

One of the first albums I bought on vinyl!

Final Thoughts:

So this is aging me a bit (more showing how young I am) but Narrow Stairs was the first Death Cab For Cutie album I listened to. My older brother was into The Postal Service and bought this album around the time I first started listening to them. I must’ve listened to this album 1,864 times (rough guesstimate), it’s one of the handful of albums that I can sing to word for word without missing a step. It’s a truly intimate and large sounding album that can hit a wide range of emotions for me. I will always have a soft spot for these tunes and even though many Death Cab fans think this is on their weaker side, it’s one of my favourite work of theirs.

Del The Funkyhomosapien!-Iller Than Most (2014)

My Rating: 73% (B-)

Pitchfork Rating: 74%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 74%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Leader
  2. Boogieman
  3. Delta Time
  4. Mental Fitness
  5. Bitin Ain’t Samplin
  6. Robust
  7. Militant
  8. Wreckin The Upside
  9. 10 Paces
  10. Grand Royal
  11. Land Of Immediate Rap Hits

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

On the search for renowned underground hip hop.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s super trippy, I don’t like how I can’t tell what’s going on, it scares me.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Nah he has better stuff than this.

Final Thoughts:

Del The Funkyhomosapien! was my gateway drug to nerdy/alternative hip-hop, I remember listening to his album Eleventh Hour back in my high school skater days and half loving it and half being completely confused as to what was going on. He’s kinda one of those rappers that has done all he’s wanted stylistically and any other album he makes is just padding to his already impressive discography, I don’t see him making any albums that really catch me off guard (this one didn’t) but there’s nothing wrong with sticking to the plan. Iller Than Most is a perfect definition for Del, it’s not showstopping hip hop, but it’s quality and it’s better than a lot of the stuff being made.

Damaged Bug-Hubba Bubba (2014)

My Rating: 71% (C++)

Pitchfork Rating: 68%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 63%

Average Rating: 67%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Gloves For Garbage
  2. Rope Burn
  3. Eggs At Night
  4. SS Cassidinea
  5. Catastrophopbia
  6. Hubba Bubba
  7. Sic Bay Surprise
  8. Photograph
  9. Hot Swells
  10. 1-2 An Airplane
  11. Metal Hand
  12. Wasteland

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

In the mood to take a psychedelic ride through space.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Yeah it’s really solid, lots to stare at and it’s psychedelic looking like the music.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yep anything from this label I almost am always gonna want on vinyl.

Final Thoughts:

Jon Dwyer is slowly becoming one of my favourite contemporary artists, with his projects Thee Oh Sees, Coach Whips, and Damaged Bug, there is so much to sink your teeth into. Damaged Bug goes heavier on the lo-fi electronic sound. Giving you muffled vocals and 80’s sound effects that can be both danceable and mellow. Hubba Bubba offers a wide scope of sound that’s sure to keep psychedelic fiends entertained, but is not all too accessible to others not familiar to the genre.

The Drums-Encyclopedia (2014)

My Rating: 92% (A)

Pitchfork Rating: 59%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 61%

Average Rating: 71%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Magic Mountain
  2. I Can’t Pretend
  3. I Hope Time Doesn’t Change Him
  4. Kiss Me Again
  5. Let Me
  6. Break My Heart
  7. Face of God
  8. U.S. National Park
  9. Deep in My Heart
  10. Bell Laboratories
  11. There Is Nothing Left
  12. Wild Geese

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for an album to mellow out to/be sad to.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

I love it, everything from the position they take on the couch to the objects above their heads, it all fits their sound.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah, fer surrrre.

Final Thoughts:

The Drums feel like the evolution of bands like The Smiths or The Animals, catchy tunes for sensitive people. They have an overall sad sound that really translates to the themes that they tackle (see There Is Nothing Left). Although the theme of Encyclopedia isn’t exactly as flushed out as I’d like it to be, the album still stands. And holy crap Magic Mountain as the opening track, I’ve never felt so excited to delve into a album by these guys.

Damien Rice-My Favourite Faded Fantasy (2014)

Record Review Requested By: Trevor Loken

My Rating: 94% (A+)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 76%

Average Rating: 85%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. My Favourite Faded Fantasy
  2. It Takes a Lot to Know a Man
  3. The Greatest Bastard
  4. I Don’t Want to Change You
  5. Colour Me In
  6. The Box
  7. Trusty and True
  8. Long Long Way

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Angry/sad and need to get it out of your system.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Super cool, I wish I could draw as well as the person who did the cover.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yes!

Final Thoughts:

Damien Rice’s My Favourite Faded Fantasy sounds like an epic. As if a man who has been in a marriage for years has lost everything and is putting it into his music. Huge sounding. Really beautiful, but incredibly sad and angry. It’s great for any angsty teen/adult/baby that may be out there. I can see myself singing some of these lyrics loudly in the middle of the night. Honestly if you haven’t gotten into Damien Rice yet, it’s about damn time. This is a great starting point, but honestly all of his albums are.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑