Thee Oh Sees- The Master’s Bedroom is Worth Spending A Night In / For a couple of years now I’ve paid very close attention to all John Dwyer’s projects (all six of ‘em) but Thee Oh See’s have always been my favorite. It started as a lo-fi bedroom experiment that morphed into a full on garage-psych explosion. The Master’s Bedroom is full of catchy tunes that stay in your head all day, hell, all year. Can’t wait for whatever Dwyer has planned for 2009.
Eddy Current Suppression Ring- Primary Colours/ Literally the first time I heard this album I knew it was going to be on my end of year top ten. ECSR blend post-punk, proto punk, and pub rock influences into ten brilliantly crafted songs. For my money these Aussie boys created one of the best and unassuming albums of 2008.
Deerhunter-Microcastle/ This album was less weird and experimental than 2007’s “Cryptograms” which I thought was a good thing. I always thought “Cryptograms” was a good album but it will remain one that I have to be in the “mood” to pick up and listen to. Microcastle on the other hand is an album that I enjoy listening to straight through. I truly believe this is the bands best work thus far.
Ten Kens- Ten Kens/ It’s interesting to hear bands debut albums because I always get the feeling the band has been working on the songs for a couple of years and are trying to grapple all of their different influences. This causes each song to sound completely different than the one before. Sometimes this makes for disheveled listen but in the case of Ten Kens we get eleven songs of “where the hell did these guy’s come from”. This shit is excellent.
Endless Boogie- Focus Level/ Top Ten of a Top Ten of why I love Endless Boogie:
1.) The band is named after a 1971 John Lee Hooker Album.
2.) Band members go by Top Dollar, Grease Control, The Governor, and Memories from Reno
3.) Top Dollar rocks the Cat Power haircut with a crusty goatee.
4.) Endless Boogie is all of the members hobby, two work for Matador records The other two at record stores.
5.) They will play for free if you ask them.
6.) Average song on Focus Level clock in at 7minutes of pure psych/ metal/classic rock/blues jams, full of riffs that melt faces into pudding.
7.) Have songs called Low Lifes, Smoking Figs in the Back Yard and Jammin’ With Top Dollar.
8.) The combined age of the band is 169, but rock harder than any band with a combined age of 80.
9.) List influences as ZZ Top and Canned Heat.
10.) Oh yeah, did I mention they fuckin’ slay!!!!
Blood on the Wall- Liferz/Brother and sister Brad and Courtney Shanks share leads vocal duties once again for their third full-length. Blood on the Wall keep a mid-west honesty to their music. The tunes balance humor along with insanity and the Shanks male/female vocals kind of remind me of Frank Black and Kim Deal.
Flat Duo Jets-Two Headed Cow/ This is the soundtrack to a documentary that was done on the duo. No new material but a lot of live and different versions of songs. The Duo Jets are pure energy and the intro to the album sums up pretty much what you’re going to get for the next 70 minuets.
Black Mountain- In the Future/ In the Future is a far-out adventure that makes me want to hang out in my moms basement and smoke weed for seven days straight, drink high-life and play Atari. This was one of my most anticipated albums of 2008 and it didn’t disappoint.
Religious Knives- The Door/ Bands that start out as side-projects and morph into main projects 80% of the time kick ass. Maybe it’s because the band members have the freedom to try new things that they wouldn’t normally try and then they realize just how great it is. This is proven with Religious Knives, started as a side-project of Maya Miller and Michael Bernstein of Double Leopards the band creates complex garage-psych songs that are downright amazing.
Thomas Function-Celebration!/ I can finally say I love something from Alabama. Thomas Function is not one person but instead four gentlemen that constructed some of the catchiest tunes of 2008. Tracks like Relentless Machines and 2012 Blues are the type of songs that get tattooed into your brain causing you to sing, hum, or whistle them for weeks.
Top Ten 2008 Shows I saw in Missoula:
- The Dodos
- Thee Oh Sees
- Blood on the Wall
- Black Diamond Heavies
- The Sword
- Blitzen Trapper