Every August, I start really thinking about my “best albums of the year” list. Right now I’ve got a solid 18 albums in mind, and the top three are pretty firmly in place. But 2009 taught me that you never know when the most life-changing albums will be released. My top two albums for 2009, The Mountain Goats’ The Life of the World to Come and Strike Anywhere’s Iron Front, were both released in October, which is why I always wait until New Year’s Day to publish my lists. Great new music is always being turned out.
With that in mind, I’ve thrown together a fall music preview. These are the albums I’m hoping to hear in the months to come [ATTENTION PUBLICISTS: GIVE ME THESE FOR FREE]. Let’s start with next week…
Devil’s Brigade – Devil’s Brigade [Aug. 31]
I love Rancid. I love X. I even loved Auntie Christ, the short-lived crossover between the two. Matt Freeman and DJ Bonebrake are back again with a full-length for this belated side project. Largely known for a single song – “Vampire Girl” from the 2001 compilation Give ’Em the Boot Volume 3 – this pyschobilly group will almost definitely be ridiculous/awesome. I’m a superfan so I’m blinded, but I love Freeman’s fleet bass and Cookie Monster vocals so dang much. Even if it sucks, I’m still going to play the dickens out of it.
Screaming Females – Castle Talk [Sept. 14]
Female-fronted lo-fi punk rock from the always reliable Don Giovanni Records. Punknews and Pitchfork alike both say I should care.
Weezer – Hurley [Sept. 14]
I go through the same range of emotions every time Weezer puts out a new album, dating back to Maladroit. I get angry that they haven’t broken up, then I get hopeful that they’ll recapture the magic of “Blue Album” and Pinkerton, and then I get angry all over again when it turns out they suck now. “Red Album” is the lone exception, but I enjoy that record for being hilarious. It’s still a distant drop behind the Matt Sharp era. I went through the whole cycle in miniature when Spin.com posted a review of Hurley. The cover looks stupid, but the review is positive. David Marcheese has decent taste in music, and I’d probably frame the article the same way he does. He says the record isn’t half-bad provided you forget how the ’90s albums were better, which I think is reasonable. Then I streamed “Memories,” conveniently posted below the review, and realized Marcheese was just trying to be nice. I know I should just focus on the October re-release of Pinkerton, but part of me hopes they’ll drop at least one or two songs good enough to warrant placement on my “Crappy Weezer” playlist.
Banner Pilot – Resignation Day re-release [Sept. 14]
While Banner Pilot earned my love with Collapser last year, the tracks I’ve heard from their debut, Resignation Day, left me underwhelmed. This remaster job by Fat Wreck might remedy that situation for me. Jawbreaker comparisons get tossed around a lot these days, but BP is one of the few bands to deserve that honor. Fast jams and deep lyrics, man. Good combo.
Torche – Songs For Singles [Sept. 21]
I actually don’t know anything about Torche. But they’re touring with High on Fire and Kylesa this fall, so clearly they must be worth my time.
Fake Problems – Real Ghosts Caught on Tape [Sept. 21]
I used to love the shit out of Fake Problems. Their first album was an entertaining, kitschy blend of country, punk, folk, and classic rock. Their live show was even better. Follow-up It’s Great to Be Alive was the opposite for me. The joke songs got too hammy (and too plentiful). It starts and ends well enough, but there’s a lengthy middle crammed with filler. LP #3 is going to determine if I stick around as a fan.
forgetters – forgetters [Sept. 21]
Blake Schwarzenbach from Jawbreaker/Jets to
The Wonder Years – The Upsides re-release [Sept. 21]
Jimmy Eat World – Invented [Sept. 28]
Chase This Light was kind of ho-hum, but I’m always down for hearing what Jim Adkins and co. are up to. Between Bleed American and Clarity, I think I owe them that much. The lead single that’s floating around online sounded like yet another overproduced radio rock jingle, but like I said, some bands I follow irrationally.
The Flatliners – Monumental [Sept. 28]
Cavalcade is one of my favorite albums of 2010. It’s like I filled out a survey of what I want a punk rock band to sound like, and Fat Wreck turned that survey into the last Flatliners album. Mere months later, they’re already rewarding me again, this time with a seven-inch. Flatliners used to be a ska band, but honestly they’re doing so much right as a punk rock group.
Corin Tucker Band – 1,000 Years [Oct. 5]
Finally some new music from 1/3 of Sleater-Kinney. Yeah drummer Janet Weiss has kept busy with Stephen Malkmus, but I hate that guy. I have no idea what Tucker is going to do on her first solo album. Will it be more Sleater-Kinney punk mixed with Led Zeppelin? Will she go all folksy on my ass? All I know is it’s been five years since The Woods, and I can’t wait to hear what Tucker has come up with since then.
Tim Kasher – The Game of Monogomy [Oct. 5]
…actually wait, no. I don’t need to hear any more songs about Kasher’s wang.
Weezer – Pinkerton re-release [Oct. 5]
I still don’t know what the track listing is and I’m still going to buy it. If it’s as comprehensive as the second disc from the “Blue Album” re-release, I think I’ll be stoked.
The Measure [SA] – Notes [Oct. 5]
Songs About People… and Fruit ’N Shit is one of my favorite EPs of all time. The Measure is finally putting out a second full-length album, and you best believe I’m excited to hear more co-ed vocals singin’ about scene politics and failed romances. Lauren Measure and Mikey Erg know exactly how I feel, and they express those sentiments over the finest of punk rock beats.
Envy – Recitation [Oct. 12]
Envy beat the pants off of Thursday and Jesu on recent splits. Given that their lyrics are in Japanese, I have no idea what the songs are about. Given that they write such amazing post-hardcore music, I don’t care.
Kylesa – Spiral Shadow [Oct. 26]
I fell hard for Kylesa hard this year. They’ve consistently topped themselves four albums in a row. While I have some doubts that they’ll best Static Tensions, I’m still excited all the same to hear what kind of psych/metal jams they’ve written. Of all the records on this year, this one has the most potential to become my album of the year, although Black Tusk’s Taste the Sin has been filling my sludge needs this summer. All the best metal bands are from
Lemuria – Pebble [Nov. 9]
Super cute indie rock songs about fucking by a bunch of punks from upstate
The Next Big Thing – Tough as Nails, Sweet as Pie [TBA]
OK, OK, these are my friends. And I sing on like every track. You might even say I’m the focal point of the record. You might say that. Still excited all the same.
Smoke or Fire – TBA TITLE [UNDECIDED DATE]
Last month, Smoke or Fire promised me a new album would be released this fall, and dang it all, I want them to be right. Prehistoric Knife Fight was so awesome. I’ve been listening to a lot of Southern punk lately (Avail, Strike Anywhere, and of course SoF… all of my metal is from the south too come to think of it), and I could sure use a new entry in that great trinity.
So... what are you looking forward to?