1. Car Seat Headrest- Teens of Denial

Posted by KB on 12/31/2016 to Reviews
From first listen Teens of Denial had me. It's brilliant. Each song contains layered mini songs. The longer opuses grow, evolve and mutate into completely different ideas only to come back to their beginnings. Toledo's lyrics are intelligent, relevant and are statements without being preachy. Supposedly this is lo-fi indie and if that is the case it's the best lo-fi release I have ever heard.

Favorite Songs- Fill in the Blank, Vincent, Destroyed By Hippie Powers, Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales.... actually whole damn album

2. Eric Bachman- Eric Bachman

Posted by KB on 12/30/2016 to Reviews
This is totally out of my normal music spectrum and its a complete departure from Bachman's Archers of Loaf repertoire, which I am a fan. With that said this solo effort is personal, touching, insightful and just makes you think. It's hard not to replay it over and over allowing it to help us grasp further understanding or meaning in our own personal, and current societal woes. Best listened to alone, with eyes closed...

Favorite Songs- ALL OF THEM

Adequate 2016 Releases Best For Fans or To Cherry Pick

Posted by KB on 12/29/2016 to Reviews
Part of the reason this was a weaker year (IMHO) is that there were a lot of "okay" releases. Not great, not horrible, just okay. This coupled with my earlier list of artists I like who I felt released crap added to the misery. So here is my adequate list that were close but got us no cigars.

3. Sturgill Simpson- A Sailor's Guide To Earth

Posted by KB on 12/29/2016 to Reviews
It's refreshing to have a "country" artist actually be a country artist (of course one that straddles many genres) and one with a brain (albeit perpetually toasted). Intelligent, insightful, rollicking with twangy-funk. It's no wonder the dolts of pop-country won't give him any airtime. But hey, he's up for a Grammy this year.

Favorite Songs- Keep It Between the Lines, Sea Stories, Brace For Impact (Live A Little), Call to Arms

4. Against Me!- Shape Shift With Me

Posted by KB on 12/28/2016 to Reviews
An extension to "Transgender Dyshphoria Blues", "Shape Shift..." delves deeper into Laura Jane's transformation both emotionally and physically. It's all in the open and nothing is forbidden. Sure it is more poppy and accessible, but the bile, bite and raw energy and power is still alive. The songs are big and loud. They are anthems.

Favorite Songs- Crash, Delicate Petite & Other Things I'll Never Be, Dead Rats, Rebecca

5. Drive By Truckers- American Band

Posted by KB on 12/27/2016 to Reviews
American Band is a perfect marriage of political and social opinion and good ol' Americana rock. The boys had something to say and they thought it through and didn't rush it out the door. The songs, like most of DBT's offerings, are well constructed, biting and are not one size fits all. The guitars are searing and bookend their ballads providing them a punch. Glad that Hood and Cooley are pissed. It benefits us fans and it benefits thinking in the US.

Favorite Songs- Ramon Casiano, Surrender Under Protest, Kinky Hypocrite, What It Means

6. Nada Surf- You Know Who You Are

Posted by KB on 12/26/2016 to Reviews
Nada Surf has a distinct sound, song structure and Caw's lyrics are predictably cryptic but understandable. That said it is easy to dismiss this release as just another go around with NS. I did at first, but upon further listening I found myself drawn in -again- and humming the songs long after I played them. It became a go to 2016 release for me. So let it be a NS same-o-same-o, I'm all in.

Favorite Songs- Cold To See Clear, Believe You're Mine, New Bird, Out of the Dark

7. Dinosaur JR- Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not

Posted by KB on 12/25/2016 to Reviews
Dino Jr keep putting out loud, fill all the nook and crannies loud, great music. Since "Beyond" the godfathers of indie have been showing what it means to rock, with introspective (maybe) lyrics. Just listening to them tear into their instruments makes one feel cooler than Kim Deal. So get this. Put in on. Turn it up.

Favorite Songs- I Walk For Miles, Lost All Day

8. Heron Oblivion- Heron Oblivion

Posted by KB on 12/24/2016 to Reviews
Ethereal, old world bordering on new age on one end and crescendo, ear piercing guitar on the other. Blended it makes a sound that is never uninteresting or predictable. The longer songs are the most daring and require their length to flesh themselves out. Best to listen at dusk or dawn.

Favorite Songs- Oriar, Faro, Your Hollows

In the Um, No, Needs Work Category 2016

Posted by KB on 12/23/2016 to Reviews
Those who know me are know that I felt 2016 to be a weak year over all musically. Lot of "hot, new, big" bands this year would never have gotten a sniff in previous years. Below are bands/artist that I am a fan of who release sub-par albums this year in my opinion. By no means am I giving up on them, but I will be crossing my fingers for better efforts next time.  Some these pain me to list in this category:

9. Volbeat-Seal the Deal & Let's Boogie

Posted by KB on 12/23/2016 to Reviews
I'm sure you all are wondering "huh?", and yes the album title is borderline stupid, but it's one my most reached for albums of the year. Catchy Danish pop metal-billy with bark-sing vocals that's hard not to bop your head to. No pushing the envelope, no huge surprises but damn it's just such a rock ear worm, in a  good way.

Favorite Songs- Devil's Bleeding Crown, The Bliss, Let It Burn, Goodbye Forever, Seal the Deal

10. Southern Culture On the Skids- Electric Pinecones

Posted by KB on 12/22/2016 to Reviews
SCOTS shook up their 20 plus year recipe slightly by going with a 60s groovy theme- but not totally abandoning their rockability twang. It was just enough of a tweak to make them sound reinvigorated and fresh, which I feel they needed.

Favorite Songs- Freak Flag, Grey Skies, Midnight Caller, Swamp Fox (Original)

11. Purling Hiss- High Bias

Posted by KB on 12/21/2016 to Reviews
Purling Hiss keeps getting better. In four releases they have gone from a solo act, virtually unlistenable to a unique riff rock, noisy, freak out band that pushes the boundaries of a rock song. Definitely still indie, but you can hear mainstream sensibilities until they tear them apart.

Favorite Songs- 3000 AD, Follow You Around, Ostinato Musik

12. True Widow- Avvolgere

Posted by KB on 12/20/2016 to Reviews
Avvolgere means to wrap or wrap up. Why they dubbed this recording this, who knows. What I do know is that their sludgy, stoner, slow dirge"ish" rock has a surprising groove. It's hypnotic, addictive and the songs evolve not feeling like drudgery. Turn off the lights and turn it up- and try to figure out why Avvolgere?

Favorite Songs- The Trapper and the Trapped, O.O.T.P.V., Entheogen, Sante

13. Black Mountain- IV

Posted by KB on 12/19/2016 to Reviews
Not as Sabbath as lasts effort, leaning more to Zeppelin, Black Mountain still retains it trippiness and black light flourishes. They like to take their time in building their ideas but this time around they threw in a full shorter to the point riff rockers. Good to see that they are continually expanding.

Favorite Songs- Mothers of the Sun, Florian Saucer Attack, Constellations, Cemetery Breeding

14. The Kills- Ash & Ice

Posted by KB on 12/19/2016 to Reviews
The Kills deserve more love. Their hard driving, machine crunching beats are always inventive with melody and hooks abound. Ash & Ice has their usual take on love (good and bad) with a little more tribal drumming punctuated with abrasive guitar noise. If you haven't been introduced to The Kills, start now.

Favorite Songs- Heart of A Dog, Bitter Fruit, Siberian Nights, Impossible Track

15. Todd Snider- Eastside Bulldog

Posted by KB on 12/17/2016 to Reviews
Snider has fallen off in his wit of late but came roaring back with this release. Messy- and-I-don't- care straight ahead country rock and roll that is an absolute blast. Non-preachy social commentary and unabashed love a good ol' party is the theme and if you don't get the joke, you probably never will. Which would be sad. And the best new dance to hit airwaves!

Favorite Songs: Hey Pretty Boy, The Funky Tomato, Check It Out, Bocephus, Are You With Me, Ways and Means

16. Dwight Yoakam- Swimmin' Pools, Movie Stars

Posted by KB on 12/16/2016 to Reviews
After a bazillion years of releasing excellent, true and criminally underplayed country, Dwight proves that he can whip up a mighty good bluegrass album too. Doesn't sound like a novelty one off (though it may be) as his performances sound absolutely authentic. He even covers..... himself on Guitars, Cadillacs.

Favorite Songs:What I Don't Know, Guitars, Cadillacs, Gone (That'll Be Me)

17. Summer Cannibals- Full of It

Posted by KB on 12/15/2016 to Reviews
The Cannibals are raw and full of riot girrrrrl punk with hooks capable of landing a whale. Besides being in your face the ladies (sometimes with token guy) have chops and they are tight. You can hear Joan Jett, Sleater Kinney and Kim Deal Pixies. Oh, and they do have a sense a humor.

Favorite Songs: Say My Name, Talk Over Me, Make Up

18. D Gerneration- Nothing is Anywhere

Posted by KB on 12/14/2016 to Reviews
The D Generation boys got back together after 16 years and put together a solid, straightforward, no holds barred rock album- with a bit of aged punk wisdom, vision and aplomb. Malin sounds great and band grooves along at a proper neck bobbing pace. Like no frills rock- this is your album.

Favorite Songs: Piece of the Action, Not Goin' Back, Tomorrow