Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Best (Wave) Albums of 2006 Thus Far

So it's July 5th which means that we have 178 days remaing in the year. That means we are more then halfway done with the year. I thought I would give a little summary of the best albums of the first half of 2006. In no particular order...
  • The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
    • The Lips finally returned after sucking all they could off of Yoshimi. Luckily they didn't let anyone down and once again created an album with a (relatively) different sound that was still uniquely The Flaming Lips.
  • Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
    • The always respected Sonic Youth also finally returned releasing their 15th album (depending on how you count). They went back to the classic 4 piece (Moore, Ranaldo, Gordon, Shelley) lineup after loosing member Jim O'rourke. That's OK though since this album might be one of their best ever.
  • The Black Angels - Passover
    • This Austin, TX band released their first full length album this year as a follow up to their self-titled EP that came out in the fall. While some of the tracks are the same this album is an impressive retroized fuzzed out effort that sounds like it was recorded in the late 60's/early 70's
  • Islands - Return to Sea
    • 2 Ex-Unicorns members collaborated with tons of indie rock faves to create this gem.
  • Eagles of Death Metal - Death By Sexy
    • This is actually EODM's second album but it seemed like their first as they all of a sudden became a household name in ass kickin' rawk. Sadly music from their first album (Peace, Love, Deathmetal
    • ) also all of a sudden showed up in car commercials.
  • The Raconteurs - Broken Boy Soldier
    • Jack White wins again! White lost Meg and joined Brendan Benson and some dudes from the Greenhornes to create this album that he claims should not be labeled a side-project.
  • Wolfmother - Wolfmother
    • While their sound is highly derivative of early Black Sabbath (the dude sounds just like Ozzy) this young Australian band showed they could "kick out the jams motherfucker". Sadly we again heard their music popping up in all kinds of commercials.
  • Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere
    • Cee-Lo & Danger Mouse! Covering the Violent Femmes!
  • Stereolab - Fab Four Suture
    • While not technically and album (more of a singles collection) the classic Stereolab cranks out another winning album full of music for space age bachelor pads.
  • The Subways - Young For Eternity
    • Its pretty obvious that these teenagers listened to a lot of Nirvana and early 90's rock, but none the less an impressive first effort.
  • Mudhoney - Under A Billion Suns
    • GRUNGE in the year 2006! Also a much more political effort. These dudes started it all in Seattle.
  • The Black Keys - Chulahoma EP
    • Kickin' out a couple Junior Kimbrough tunes.
  • Art Brut - Bang Bang Rock 'N' Roll [US Version]
    • This album actually came out last year everywhere else. Here in the US we got some extra tracks (that actually doesn't happen often). They sound like the Fall with some humor and are one of Pitchfork's perennial faves. They were right about this one.
Reissues:
  • Wire - 1977-1979
    • Includes Wire's first 3 albums and 2 unreleased live sets in a fancy box. If you don't already have these albums you are a looser.
  • The Flaming Lips - Hear It Is/Oh My Gawd!!!/Telepathic Surgery/In A Priest Driven Ambulance (Vinyl Only Reissues)
    • I don't know if I read about these being released anywhere, it just kind of happened. Plain Records reissued the first four Lips albums exclusively on vinyl in very nice limited editions. Pick these up if you have a turntable.
  • Delta 5 - Singles & Sessions 1979-81
    • I had never even heard of this band but they sound like Gang of Four if they collaborated with the Raincoats, which by the way is fucking amazing. It's good this got to see the light of day.
  • Sun Ra - Heliocentric Worlds, Vols. 1-2
    • Some classic "Space" Jazz remastered the right way.
  • The Beatles - Capitol Albums, Vol. 2
    • Hey, it's the Beatles. Second part of this series finally gives us Mono/Stereo remasters of the late-early part of the Beatles career. For serious fans only.
  • The Fucking Champs - III
    • I guess this got remastered. This explains why I could finally find it somewhere after looking for years. I never felt like paying the $100 it was going for on Amazon. Probably the Champs masterpiece and its basically a double album.
This has been a pretty good half year and we defiantly have a lot to look forward in the second half.

Stay tuned....

-Klax

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