[Vinyl Vednesday is a weekly feature about three favorite vinyl finds. It’s not meant to be a dick-measuring contest, but it kinda is. This week, VV takes a look at three of the top albums of 2009. You can find my best of ’09 list over at punknews.org; an expanded edition will run sometime around New Year’s. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your own big finds!]
Records: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart’s The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (2009) on black, Silversun Pickups’ Swoon (2009) on black, and Thursday’s Common Existence (2009) on black with the Thursday dove logo etched into the D-side.
Thoughts: Got-damn do I enjoy me some Pains o’ Being Pure of Something Something Something. Super catchy, kinda fuzzy, twee/Ramones hybrid. Good stuff. Every so often, I pick up an album based purely on hype, and Pains was one such purchase. I bought it on CD without knowing any of the songs, fell in love, and then went back to Repo for the vinyl version. This album was pretty much perfect for every season – haunting hooks in the winter and fall; lo-fi romance for the spring and summer. Gosh I hope they stick around.
I was introduced to Silversun Pickups when Wonka Vision Magazine slapped ’em on the cover around the time of my internship. I bought their record Carnavas on the strength of breakout single “Lazy Eye,” fell in love, and then proceeded to soak up as many SSPU tunes as I could. It was quite the happy day when sophomore full-length Swoon dropped. It’s not as good as Carnavas, but damn is it a close second. The band served up another helping of androgynous shoegaze-leaning alt-rock. Sometimes the album rocks out with its genitals out (“There’s No Secrets This Year”) and sometimes it kicks back a bit (“Getting Old is Getting Old”), but it’s always entertaining.
Common Existence made me giddy in 2009. First I got stoked on the fact that Thursday overcame the major label grinder. There was an awkward lil period where I feared it would be a Full Collapse retread – lead single “Resuscitation of Dead Man” seemed too 2001 – but that quickly ended once I heard the album’s 45 minutes of tunes. Common Existence gives me the feeling that Thursday could pretty much do whatever they want. “Last Call” shows how much they dominate the post-hardcore game, but “Circuits of Fever” and “Love Has Led Us Astray” reveal a band that knows how to write more ethereal jams. Punk bands tend to have short, fiery lifespans, but, thankfully, Thursday has been going strong for over a decade.