Now that the year is almost 85% over (we can't believe it's almost Black Friday!), we thought it might be fun to look back at some releases that might have been swept under the rug this year. Whether you never got a chance to check these out, or if this compels you to listen again, here's our list of overlooked records of 2017
"David Bazan's music has been hugely influential for me and a lot of my friends. This return to the full band sound of Pedro the Lion is deceptively straightforward guitar rock that makes the most of Bazan's warmly aging baritone."
"From Athens, GA, this indie folk band shares musical DNA with Neutral Milk Hotel, Elf Power, and Defiance Ohio. My wife and I have worn out the grooves on this one all year!"
"This one is totally in my wheelhouse: reverb-drenched guitar leads, hazy echo-chamber vocals, and a general air of badass-ness. If you imagine the Black Angels as a three-piece girl group, or the Del-Monas in black leather giving you a death stare, you get L.A. Witch."
"I almost forgot that this came out this year - its January release date feels like forever ago - but this is an awesome record. The post-punk/industrial sludge of Wake in Fright definitely leans into its Steve Albini influences (Big Black, Shellac), but incorporates elements of power electronics, hardcore, and thrash metal that makes it sound fresh and modern instead of just revisionist."
"Pissed Jeans have a strong fan base, but I still feel that every single person in the whole world should be paying attention. Insanely catchy and clever lyrics, aggravated vocals over guitar that's sometimes sludgy, and other times a quick assault. On top of all of that, they add the aesthetic of 'soulless office worker'; it's perfect."
"To be honest, I haven't liked a Liars album since their self-titled record in 2007. I took a chance on this one and was pleasantly surprised. In my opinion, the Liars sound I loved is back."
"I had first found out about Palm after seeing them open for Ought A year ago. I was hooked immediately to Palm's jagged edge sound and art-rock sensibility. The Shadow Expert EP is an excellent continuation after freshman release, Trading Basics. I'm very much looking forward to the next full length LP."
"I think the thing that draws me me to Jonwayne and Rap Album Number Two, is the personality and candor. With Rap Album Two, We're offered a glimpse into the psyche of an artist just on the edge of greatness, but never quiet cresting the hill. He KNOWS he's great, but his self-deprecating nature limits his ultimate potential. I find this an interesting angle on common themes."
"Idles debut album Brutalism fully encompasses what it means to suffer through fits of loss, rage, and an impetuous desire for self-deprecation. With songs like "Mother" and "Well Done", the band seeks to emulate booze infused frenzies, and soul crushing loss while maintaining a sense of balanced satirical cynicism. Idles produce a sound likened to early post-punk and garage rock, giving them a chance to shape their music as they see fit. While the album toys with various conventions of the past, it's clear that they've strayed enough to create something honest and truly their own. Hilarious and deeply candid, Brutalism proves itself as a stellar debut leaving me excited for seconds."
"Randy Newman's Dark Matter is a stellar addition to his already impressive catalog of music. Having scored several films and released 11 studio albums, Newman has continued to prove himself as an exceptionally talented songwriter and musician. Pulling no punches, Dark Matter conveys blithe tones of aged wisdom and a derisive contempt for certain institutions and beliefs. Newman is very opinionated and eager to express this, but that's what I find endearing about him. Overall, I'd say this album defies the 'aging musician' trope and gives the listener - both young and old - a relatable and charming experience."