20. DIIV - Oshin
19. Damien Jurado – Maraqopa
18. The Evens – The Odds
17. Wood Ear – Steeple Vultures
16. Guided by Voices – Class Clown Spots a UFO
15. Guided by Voices – Let’s Go Eat the Factory
14. Lambchop – Mr. M
13. Two Gallants – The Bloom and the Blight
12. Bruce Springsteen – Wrecking Ball
11. Lord Huron – Lonesome Dreams
10. Spider Bags – Shake My Head
9. Wooden Toothe – Pachyderm
8. Frank Ocean – Channel Ocean
7. Titus Andronicus – Local Business
6. Beachwood Sparks – Tarnished Gold
5. Dinosaur Jr. – I Bet on Sky
Did anyone need further convincing that Dino Jr is one of the baddest bands in rock history? Since reforming their “classic” lineup DJR has put out almost as many albums as in their late 80’s heyday, and it’s impossible to tell that they took a 16 year break. Dinosaur Jr continues to put out driving fuzzy records that will make your ears bleed.
4. Tame Impala – Lonerism
Tame Impala’s first album Innerspeaker could have passed for outtakes from the Revolver sessions. With Lonerism, they continue to mine the depths of the late 60’s but somehow making it sound ever fresh and present. The days of the acid tests, may be long gone for some, but not these guys.
3. Floating Action – Fake Blood
Groovy and chill. This record is simultaneously the soundtrack to your summer party and a nice warm up for a chilly winter’s night. Danceable numbers mixed with chill tracks help this album flow perfectly. The mark of a great album is that new things are revealed at every listen, after four months and countless spins I know that this record is gonna show me new things for years to come.
2. Cloud Nothings – Attack on Memory
At one minute Attack on Memory is aggressive and noisy, at the next it’s hooky and poppy. At just under 9 minutes, “Wasted Days” is challenging and aggressive. “Stay Useless” is the catchiest rock song of the year and my favorite song of the year. Lead singer Dylan Baldi is only 21 years old, you can look forward to a lot of good things to come from this band.
1. Spiritualized – Sweet Heart, Sweet Light
Jason Pierce, aka J. Spaceman, is the composer and conductor of a modern psychedelic orchestra. Sweet Heart, Sweet Light, is a simple driving rock record and a huge psychedelic composition of the most epic proportions. Final track “So Long You Pretty Thing” is a moving gorgeous song, a perfect way to end an incredible record. J keeps the rhythm repetitive and grounded so that the guitars and strings can swirl your ears as far into the cosmos as they are prepared to go.