This year was weak as shit, but at least some good music came out from it. We laughed, we danced, we sang, and more importantly, we sat inside and contemplated death because no live music has been seen since March. But don’t fear, it’ll be normal and once again I can sweat ontop of other fools in the pits where the worst thing I have to worry about is getting drilled in the head by a bottle. Anyway, thanks for your continued support (Mostly My Parents) and all the love that I received even though I wasn’t able to work as nearly as hard as I should have. Here are the 13 records I spent most of my 2020 with and wouldn’t have it any other way.
“What originally I thought to be just a meme for a quick laugh, Van is actually 17 minutes of some of the strongest electronic excrement piled into harsh distortion and saxophone playing from two clowns packed into a drivable studio. While they both handle the keys and screams, the percussion is a tool of both obliteration and support similar to a battering ram with white face paint and red lipstick. The saxophone is also in a similar vein where the harshness can cut like a switchblade, but also be smooth enough to ride through cascading waterfalls of sonic bliss.”
“Somewhere in the essence of confusion and predatorial motives, Let The Children Scream is NGHTCRWLR’s step out into the blackened and foreboding night in search of a victim. She lands a direct connection with the introductory track, “Bolt (RIP Miss Maryam 999)” which is more a creeping pulse rather than any outright attack. The soft vocals that come from the distorted voice from Esfandiari almost sound as if the humanity is seeping out by the second. As she begins to shout louder and the instrumental grows into a tornado of noise that overtakes the listener, the animosity can begin.”
“Like a fine piece of dado blade to cut grooves into the wood, Osees acts as a blade to cut into the record and turn Protean Threat into channels and trenches. Through these trenches comes a canal that leads around the lines in the vinyl, where Osees can capture the ears and demand attention like a drill sergeant on LSD.”
“A translation from the Hausa language in the northwestern sections of Nigeria and southern Niger which roughly means, “iron ore,” gives a balance to the record. While it never truly hits like a piece of iron, the materials here are raw like ore and is a stage for Navy Blue to smith upon.”
“When the record finally ends and the alien ship seems to fly off into the distance, there is not much left that Uzi does not cover. He hits the rising and exciting entrance, then transitions into the almost saddened and nostalgic style, then to finally end with a positive look toward the future.”
“That’s almost the beauty of DOG, the record is 20 tracks in 32 minutes. So by the time the listener can get used to a beat or flow from one track, Blu essentially breaks the neck to turn onto something new. It is admirable, and for some reason, quickly becomes a timestamp in an already diverse career.”
“Machine Girl is a charismatic monster that can somehow combine the catchy work of frantic dance tunes and a deeper-rooted love for hardcore and punk that sees a fresh coat of paint. The entire production is crisp here and a perfect leaping point for a new fan to dive into headfirst into a cyber-city where disorder is key.”
“When the sweet release of a final death comes, To Dull The Blades Of Your Abuse is simply astonishing. It has the makings of being horribly lasting on the listener and can capture some of the elements of experimenting with sound that pushes the record further.”
“Over broken bones and stolen credit cards, Bennington Forest is more exciting and entertaining than it is profound. Where each verse piles on like loads of bricks, both Xavier Wulf and Idontknowjeffery are charismatic rhymers that appear as the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of hip-hop.”
“$ilkMoney feels like this prophet that through the acid blotters and hours of staring at the walls in existential thought is a reflection of what’s burning through youth in America. If any track here is a mirror of this, it is “Black Hefty Bag Test” with production from Kahlil Blu which from every playthrough inches nearer to being one of his best tracks of his career.”
“With a fair mix of downtime and an ability to create desperation from the sound, King Krule captures once again, what it means to sink into mud and eventually rise. Painting a bleak sky at moments, then a sunset in the next, Man Alive! is the most vibrant death one can experience in 41 minutes.”
“It is hard to cover this overarching misery known as Underneath because the content is so deeply layered and through each listen, more can be discovered and introduced. With tracks that seem to have little samples from past Code Orange tracks, references to maniacs, and a larger disconnect to the physical world, Underneath is one of the strongest releases of the year and possibly the decade.