As 2014 approaches its endpoint, the GATRS have assembled to put together our individual “Best Of” lists… But firstly thank you for giving us a chance and putting up with yet another year-end list, secondly, let’s get right to the nitty-gritty.
2014 has been an incredible year, so many diverse and spellbinding albums so it wasn’t easy but I finally managed to make my list of five favorites, so here they are in no particular order…
Tyranny- Julian Casablancas + the Voidz
Tyranny is pre-revolutionary, it’s wonderfully subversive with a touch of whimsy, it’s a monster force of an album.
Most media outlets didn’t seem to understand the album which just fueled more life into Tyranny. Most importantly it also fueled the fans because it’s become a cult, no pun intended, smash.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, the Voidz are our vigilante’s of sound, warriors against the mainstream while simultaneously helping make kick ass get some time to shine in the larger narrative.
Ben Thatcher and Mike Kerr are hypnotic to watch. The thrashing of the drums can make your body pulsate and that bass… That bass can make you weak in the knees.
They’re incredible to watch via music video but especially live. Ben and Mike are the quiet before the chaos of a storm, you don’t expect that monster of sound to happen but you’re thankful it does.
We also have a slight thank you to say to Matt Helders. That’s right, Matt Helders of Arctic Monkeys was an early supporter of the Brighton duo and even wore their namesake t-shirt on stage at Glastonbury and subsequently asked the duo to open for them at two shows in London’s Finsbury Park this past May (where I was also at and it was mind-blowing). It’s no surprise that they made my list.
The Balcony- Catfish and the Bottlemen
Catfish and the Bottlemen have been quietly picking up a fervent following by constantly touring.
Technically their LP doesn’t hit the states until January, I was terribly impatient and was able to snag a copy back in September (U.K. release).
The Balcony is an earnest rock ‘n’ roll record it’s, unapologetic and lead singer, Van McCann resonates most when drawing from his past.
It’s been drawing comparisons to Arctic Monkeys Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not and even the early Strokes‘ ferocity of sound and nonchalance demeanor. It’s refreshing and also nostalgic to see a band like this thrive. I can’t wait to see more of Catfish and the Bottlemen in 2015.
Lazaretto- Jack White
Lazaretto sold more than 75,000 vinyl copies, making it the best-selling record since Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy in 1994, the “ultra” vinyl is unique in every way with hidden holograms and grooves.
Lazaretto has a tenacious sound of modern-blues mixed with chaotic grooves as well. He’s eccentric yes but there’s no shortage of energy or ideas from Jack, Lazaretto is a testament to that.. Writing most of the music months before he even composed the lyrics. He borrowed from poems and one-act plays he wrote 20 years ago, when he was all hunger and no experience.
Young Jack White should be proud.
Sun Structures- Temples
A psychedelic mix to the bunch, Temples have mesmerized me and I’ve never looked back.
Released back in February, Sun Structures is a finely crafted self-produced album with a mix of glam, psyche-rock, with perfectly blended harmonies.
The album even had a spin-off… So to speak, it was a remix of reanimated mastered songs which is called Sun Restructured.
Sun Structures is a kaleidoscopic of sounds.
Plenty of celestial and great riffs with lyrics to match.