Corey Rennolds’ Top Ten Albums of 2013
Corey is the host of Dead Air on WMUC Digital. Dead Air plays dark ambient, drone, noise, industrial, metal, and experimental music every Thursday night / Friday morning from midnight to 2AM. Get your fix of the most unsettling, disturbing, noisy, and just plain weird music in existence. It’s better than actual dead air.
Trevor Nierendorf’s Top 5 Albums of 2013
Trevor is WMUC’s Chief Engineer. He also hosts Let’s Learn Calculus on WMUC Digital every Wednesday from 6-8 PM.
5. Enemies - Embark, Embrace
I was an immediate fan of this Irish four piece band after hearing their 2010 full-length debut “We’ve Been Talking”. This album retains the best qualities of that album while also managing to not seem like the same rehashed math rock album - a trap that many bands of this genre unintentionally fall into. The danceable polyrhythms are still there, but they’ve added background vocals on some tracks to give you something to yell along to. Unfortunately their drummer just quit, however they’ve made it clear they plan on continuing to play.
4. The 1975 - The 1975
I’ve never really been a fan of 80s influenced pop, but for some reason when I stumbled upon this recent British group on YouTube I got hooked, I’ve been a fan ever since. Maybe I’m just a sucker for vocals with a British accent (see: my affinity for British math pop), but my opinion of these guys has only grown since seeing them live at the Black Cat in October.
3. The Physics House Band - Horizons / Rapture and Their/They’re/There - Their/They’re/There
I figure two EPs are about equal to one album right? These were the first releases for both of these bands, and I cannot wait to hear more. The Physics House Band is a British group who vary a bit more towards the prog rock side of math rock and have some of the tightest drumming and bass I’ve heard in a long time. Hopefully they’ll make it to this side of the pond sometime soon.
Although the band Their/They’re/There is technically new, the members of the band (Mike Kinsella of Owen and American Football, Matthew Frank of Loose Lips Sink Ships, and Evan Weiss of Into It. Over It.) have been all over the emo/math rock scene since forever. So it was no surprise to anyone when this EP was as good as it is. They’ve announced a second EP titled “Analog Weekend” due out on December 10, 2013 (or you can stream it on Soundcloud right now!)
2. Moving Mountains - Moving Mountains
This album sort of took me by surprise. At first listen, it was good, not great. It had the raw sensitive qualities I had grown to love in earlier Moving Mountains releases, but seemed to lack some of the energy or passion. After a few more listens I started to appreciate this not as a lack of passion but rather a maturation of the band. They’ve grown out of their angsty teenage phase and into a more calm and collected demeanor. Unfortunately after the release of this album and few shows they announced they were calling it quits. Sadly I never managed to see them live, so here’s to a reunion!
1. The Slaughterhouse 5 - Alban B. Clay
Who?! Yup, some Danish band named after the Vonnegut novel just took the top spot. To give you an idea of what we’re working with here: It’s a concept album with math rock sensibilities about the rise of an artist named Alban B. Clay who kills the woman he loves in order to inspire his art. He also attends a rave party and meets a character (who he names “Panty-Christ”) then convinces him to kill himself. It can get pretty depraved and vulgar, but in the absolutely best way possible (“My own cattish cunt, fat ladies’ battle grunt”). I’m currently working on compiling the lyrics because they really do read like the beautiful ramblings of a deranged poet. Seriously, listen to this album.
Chance the Rapper - Acid Rap: I really don’t listen to much rap. But this is really good, and you already know that.
Zefs Chasing Cara - Ultra Gown: Had this come out more than 3 weeks ago, it would probably be in my top 5. I’ve always enjoyed this one-man-project from Scotland, but this unannounced album really caught my attention. From the very first mathy, tappy, riff of “Pink Sweat” to the anthemic, modulated ending of “Clay Brother”, this is a very solid album that I will be listening to many more times before the year is done.
Most Anticipated for 2014: Jonathan Boulet
It’s only been about a year and a half since his most recent album, We Keep The Beat, Found The Sound, See The Need, Start The Heart, but I have never been more ready for new material from this Aussie do-it-yourselfer. Once it comes out, I guess I’ll just have to keep hoping that he’ll end up on a US tour.
Sigur Ros @ Patriot Center (3/24)
Local Natives @ 9:30 Club (4/5)
Tera Melos/TTNG @ DC9 (5/4)
And So I Watch You From Afar/TTNG/Mylets @ Rock n’ Roll Hotel (11/6)
Over the course of the next month, we’ll be gradually (and sporadically) posting our DJs’ lists of their favorite albums of the year!
I’ll start things off with my own list, which still feels so tentative (especially when it comes to ‘rankings’) that it probably won’t even be accurate anymore by the time you’re reading this. “Read more” to see the full list.
—Michael Lawrence, Music Director (2012-?), co-host of Third Rail Radio (Sundays, 6-9 PM)
Two awesome Baltimore bands play this Sunday’s Third Rail!
Come to the station or listen live here: http://wmuc.umd.edu/wmuc-high.m3u
and to the archived recording here: http://wmuc.umd.edu/stream_ripper/sun/Third_Rail_Radio_1800_2100.mp3
Don’t miss this Sunday’s Third Rail. Gonna be a good one.
Myrrh Myrrh: http://myrrhmyrrhdc.bandcamp.com/
Grey Zine: http://greyzine.bandcamp.com/
Third Rail Radio presents: Tulsa (VA) & Streetview (DC)
Starts at 6!