I decided to make lists of my favorite albums of 2009 and my favorite albums of 2000-2009. Here they are. (Not going to link to all of them; find 'em yerself)
TOPS OF 2009
1. Pygmy Lush/Turboslut split LP- Everything here rules. Two great bands ensure that this LP is ugly, beautiful, sad, angry, you name it. A very important release to me.
2. Divisions- Fin CS- Briefly sums up the hardcore of the last five years. Absolutely crucial/the best of the "hype" bands.
3. Iron Age- The Sleeping Eye- In a year when I learned to embrace the riff wholeheartedly, this album delivered some absolutely great ones.
4. Teenage Cool Kids-Foreign Lands- More complex and experimental than their demo or Queer Salutations, but everything is still charming and wonderful with this band.
5. The Hunches- Exit Dreams- This one totally took me by surprise. I guess I would call it "raw garage indie," so not normally my bag, but most of the songs here are just flat-out great.
6. Darkest Hour- The Eternal Return- This album does exactly what they wanted to do, it combines the best parts of their previous three full-lengths. The solos are sick as usual, the vocals have a bit more of a roar to them, and a lot of this is just anthemic. A great album.
7. Protestant- Antagonist- This band doesn't need my shitty rave review. Super-heavy, super-dark, super-well-written, all on the perfect format, the 7". Points for packaging too.
8. Villains- Lifecode of Decadence- This album slowly grew on me, but man, it delivers. The songwriting is never mathematical, conventional, or forced, the riffs are just dirty, the whole record seethes with pure hate.
9. Hatred Surge- Deconstruct- Hatred Surge has become one of the most talked-about bands in hardcore, and it's not hard to see why- this album rips.
10. Graf Orlock- Destination Time Today- So what if this band's a gimmick? My favorite Gorlock LP, somehow more accessible than the others despite the fact that this is still just another testament to the power of cinema-grind.
11. The Horrors- Primary Colours- I never would've guessed that I would ever like these guys, but hey, they got good fast. This album takes risks, but everything works.
12. Mala Suerte- The Shadow Tradition- I'm so glad that new bands keep appearing and releasing very high-quality stoner metal. This one goes a little more towards the doom end, but man, some heavy shit.
13. Converge- Axe to Fall- Converge continues its progression. More shred than usual, overall really good.
14. ANS- Pressure Cracks- With Annihilation Time broken up, ANS picks up the flag of pizza punx and runs with it. So, so fun.
15. The Catalyst- Swallow Your Teeth- This band is sick. Some seriously intense and riffy skramz-influenced hardcore (or something). This band can just throw it out and have it rule.
16. Ancient Sky- S/t- Awesome record. Psychedelic rock can go very wrong, but Ancient Sky is perfectly melodic and pretty trippy. Far, far better than Ghastly City Sleep, with whom they share members.
17. Iron Lung/Walls/Pig Heart Transplant- Public Humiliation- A great bro-down in lieu of a new Iron Lung LP this year. Adds new depth to everything they play here.
18. Black Dice- REPO- BD continues to get more beat-driven, but for some reason I'm still really into it.
19. Cult Ritual- S/t- The most-hyped of the hype bands, but not without some justice: CR was a really, really good hardcore band.
20. AA Bondy- When the Devil's Loose- I think I like American Hearts slightly more, but Bondy can seriously get you down.
21. Nazi Dust- ?-I don't even know what Nazi Dust has released in '09, but I do really like this band, myriad releases and all.
22. Vile Gash- I and II-A very good year for hardcore, at least in Florida, yields at least one more solid, short-lived band.
23. Mariachi El Bronx- S/t- A very legit mariachi record. The first song is really, really good, and everything else is nice and fun.
24. Skeletonwitch- Breathing the Fire- Another band with riffs to spare.
25. Candlemass- Death Magic Doom- This band is fairly critically-acclaimed for the doom scene, but they definitely deliver the goods.
TOP SHOWS, 2009
1. Eyehategod, Unearthly Trance, Tombs- Europa, Brooklyn, NY 26 Oct.
2. Iron Lung, Mind Eraser, Brain Handle, Nomos- Cake Shop, Manhattan, NY 10 Nov.
3. Iron Age, Hatred Surge- Living Room, Tucson, AZ 30 July
4. Mark Kozelek- Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY 6 Aug.
5. Comadre, Trainwreck, Saddest Landscape- ABC No Rio, Manhattan, 13 June
TOP RELEASES, 2000-2009
1. Fugazi-The Argument- This record is one of a handful ever to make me shudder with its brilliance. The songwriting here is utter perfection; my favorite album from one of my favorite bands.
2. Electric Wizard-Dopethrone- The Wizard answers the question of who will push stoner metal to its slowest and heaviest once and for all. Pure hate, pure heaviness.
3. Radiohead-Kid A- Everyone does this one, but it's so obvious. This is a legitimately great band recording their defining record. One of the few "electronic" records I can totally get behind.
4. Majority Rule-Interviews With David Frost- This album is so ass-thrashingly good. So many risks are taken, yet nothing feels out-of-place. The only problem is that it's too short!
5. City of Caterpillar-S/t- Intense, emotional, and gripping. Things don't ever really seem drawn-out even when they are. Super-creative.
6. Fucked Up-Hidden World- Another critics' darling, but this beast delivers 70-and-change minutes of awesome innovation. I prefer this over The Chemistry of Common Life, but that one's very cool too.
7. Black Eyes-S/t- I've been debating whether to put this one or Cough first, but I'm going to go with this one because I have fond memories associated with it and because I've listened to it more.
8. Black Eyes-Cough- The second great statement by one of the most creative bands of my lifetime.
9. Pygmy Lush/Turboslut Split (see above)- The best material from both bands. Pure greatness all around, a fantastic LP. Unfortunately, the best Turboslut will ever release (RIP).
10. Pg.99/Majority Rule-Document #12- Pg.99's side finds them at their most awe-inspiring, and that's saying something; Maj Rule's side is not quite as good, but is still absolutely great.
11. Dillinger Four-Versus God- D4 are just one of those bands where you feel like you can do what they do, but you just can't. This is my favorite of their albums, it rules.
12. Annihilation Time-III: Tales of the Ancient Age- This band laid waste to everything in its path. Who cares that this album contains basically one uniform tempo? Riffs, riffs, riffs. I love this album.
13. Skitsystem-Stigmata- Fast, loud, heavy, and angry. This album relentlessly crushes, and this band's back together! Fuck yeah!
14. Black Ships-Omens- The sole LP from a band which will never gain any recognition for anything other than sounding sort of like Cursed. This band was beyond heavy, beyond miserable, beyond loud, and could write a song with the best of 'em.
15. Black Dice- Broken Ear Record- My favorite BD record. The perfect combination of the Beaches and Canyons- and Creature Comforts-style weirdo-sounds with just enough rhythm to move it along.
16. Darkest Hour-Undoing Ruin- I think this record is Darkest Hour right when they reached the perfect blend of metal and hardcore. It's technical but not too technical, and just raw enough. This album really got me into metal.
17. Pygmy Lush-Bitter River- This is such a fantastically good album. I like it more than Mount Hope because the loud songs on here absolutely rule, and the quiet songs are among some of my favorite PL songs. Not as good as the Turboslut split, but very, very close.
18. End of a Year-Sincerely- I'd say this is one of the most "solid" releases I've ever listened to. The lyrics, as always, are a huge strong point, but everything just meshes together so well, it's all just so well-done.
19. The Locust-New Erections- I'm never ashamed to say I like this band because their music really does back up the hype. This was a perfect progression. I like every release even more than the last one, and the darker edge here really suits the band.
20. Eyehategod-Confederacy of Ruined Lives- Not as good as Dopesick, but then again, nothing is. A great album by a great band. Hurry up and release the fucking follow-up already, dudes!
21. Teenage Cool Kids-Queer Salutations- This band is just so charming in its simplicity. Overlapping catchy melodies backing up lyrics I can really get behind.
22. Hot Snakes-Suicide Invoice- Whenever Froberg and Reis get together magic happens. This band was so, so good and I think this is their best. A great album to listen to at any time whatsoever.
23. Darkthrone-Sardonic Wrath- I don't honestly mind their more recent crust outings, but I think that this is the best effort Nocturno and Fenriz put together this decade. The riffs are so evil and so good, and the production here may be my favorite on any Darkthrone release.
24. Iron Age-The Sleeping Eye- To me, this album stands up to a lot of what was put out when anyone could play great thrash. Iron Age can throw out great riffs with the best of 'em. The lyrics are pretty stupid, but who the fuck cares? THRASH!
25. Divisions- Fin CS- Sweet.