Top Albums of 2008

Upon reading The Wire magazine‘s top 50 albums of 2008, I was inspired to share my own favorites of the year.

TEN

Hospitals - Hairdryer Peace

Skin Graft’s Hospitals again have used their full potential to produce noisy no-wave ear brutality. It’s as if LSD was a sound and had the same effect to the brain. Where many artists perk up their accessibility after being moderately popularized, Hospitals became more noise-oriented.

NINE

Sunn0))) - Domkirke

Domkirke is a live recording by Southern Lord’s Sunn0))). No O’Malley recording exhearted so much voice that the album begins like an opera / drone hybrid extravaganza, then returns to Sunn0)))’s trance-inducing droneage.

EIGHT

The Bug - London Zoo

The amount of different music styles that are integrated into The Bug’s latest album is hard to keep track of. Electronic, synthy beats often with heavy delay echo on snare hits to produce an original sounding Rastafarian neo-dub that could even be appropriately played in frat clubs on Friday nights. This one’s a must for the hip-hop folks.

SEVEN

Boris - Smile

Boris dropped another album with their later, fast-paced, psychedelic metal bondage found on their previous studio album “Pink”. As far as album art goes, it has the “Southern Lord stamp-of-approval” all over it. Boris also recently released a live album with Merzbow called Rock Dream, also with great artwork and tunes.

SIX

Pocahaunted - Island Diamonds

Psychedelic, folky, and atmospheric. Pocahaunted is a new addition to many people’s libraries this year and I certainly recommend them to Sunburned Hand of the Man enthusiasts.

FIVE

Black Milk - Tronic

Producer / rapper Black Milk’s second full-length begins with very produced, synth-based, new rap sound, showcasing the best of Black’s abilities. He’s also a monster at choosing guest rappers and never features compulsively like many do. This album is a prime example of exhibiting Detroit’s rapping and beat style.

FOUR

Earth - The Bees Made Honey in the Lions Skull

In 2007 we were teased with an EP called “Hibernaculum” with a new direction. It was also announced that there would be a full-length coming out with a similar sound, and here it is. The Bees Made Honey in the Lions Skull turns down the distortion knob down to produce a more clear, minimalistic sound with plenty of build-ups.

THREE

A Silver Mt. Zion - 13 Blues for Thirteen Moons

A million died to make this sound. ASMZ acquire a shapes themselves into a heavier, punk sounding band, enraging their music and amplifying their political viewpoints. To know more, I wrote a review about it here.

TWO

Silver Jews - Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea

Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea brings Silver Jews back to their folk-oriented albums after their rocking sound of their previous album, Tanglewood Numbers. Silver Jews always diversified the tracks well, and Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea contains oddball tracks to quirk up the album such as “Aloyisius, Bluegrass Drummer”, a fast-paced western sounding track about uh…well, a bluegrass drummer. Smashing hits include “Suffering Jukebox”, “My Pillow is the Threshold”, and the opener “What is not but Could be If”.

ONE

Gang Gang Dance - Saint Dymphna

Gang Gang Dance is on fire. In their previous album, Gods Money, they demonstrated their ability to combine acoustics with synthesizers appropriately, and have now unleashed their full potential as artists. As Chinese Democracy attempted to combine many musical styles into an album, Saint Dymphna does a far more convincing shot at this. “Blue Nile” begins with a techno beat and mixes in a funky guitar wah and heavy reeverb on the vocals. “Vacuum” is a completely drum and synth based song, accompanied with a giga-delay with continuously switching delay time. “Princes” successfully pulls off rapping over a GGD track. They’ve come a long way since Survival of the Shittest.

Related posts:

  1. A Silver Mt. Zion - 13 Blues for Thirteen Moons
  2. 5 tips to make a great mixtape
  3. Why lesser exposed music has more artistic freedom
  4. Sonic Youth - The Eternal
  5. 22/12/2008

Robin Bastien
Howdy! I'd the head of Ocular Harmony. I spend most of my time designing, reading beatnick literature, and pounding sound waves of experimental pulsation into my brain's frontal lobes. Contact me if you have any questions!


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2 Comments

  1. -c says:


    January 15, 2009

    just an FYI: that isn’t O’Malley singing on on Dømkirke, it’s Attila Csihar.

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    April 28, 2009

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