Le Tigre – Feminist Sweepstakes (Mr. Lady): –
The true lesbian in me is coming out! Unlike their previous EP which only had a couple decent tracks, this release is a complete success from beginning to end. As experimental as their debut, but more rockin’. Plenty of guitars mixed with samples. Lyrically covering the political and still showing a fun side. There is a whole lotta shaking going on!
Rival Schools – United By Fate (Island): –
Being a fan of Quicksand I was a bit thrown off at first by the “popiness” of these songs. It didn’t take long for me to get beyond that and just really enjoy the damn good riffs and great vocals. Even the mellow tracks hold up nicely. I have had no problem turning on friends to this band.
The (International) Noise Conspiracy – A New Morning, Changing:
Weather (Burning Heart): –
This is a REAL fun listen. Not a lame track in the bunch. These Swedes have a great way Of getting- their political ideals across without being preachy. It isn’t very often that in one listen I am hooked, ..and I Was.
Iggy Pop – Beat Em Up (Virgin): –
From the start this cd has more crunch than any of his previous solo material. His band is extremely tight and doesn’t hold back the rough and toughness that I love when seeing him live.
Betty Blowtorch – Are You Man Enough? (Foodchain): –
Great all-girl metal band. A mix of L7 with Courtney Love’s snarly vocals. The downfall is the powerballad but they still rock harder than most of their male counterparts.
New Order – Get Ready (Reprise): –
This is one band whom I thought was long gone especially after their past couple releases. More guitar driven than any of their earlier stuff and musically more uplifting than anything in their catalog.
Weezer – Green (Geffen): –
This cd tortured me many a sleepless night, the songs are so damn catchy that they never leave! I could almost hate it but it’s too good.
The Four Corners – Say You’re A Scream (Kindercore): –
The lush vocals are what grabbed me right away. This doesn’t sound like it was released in 2001, more like the mid 60’s. Supreme use of the organ. And just in case you REALLY love the cd they repeat all the tracks again for double the pleasure.
Rocket from the Crypt – Group Sounds (Vagrant): –
Another powerful set of tracks with the power of a steamroUer. Kickass horns and head shaking beats. It does sort of lose its power towards the end but worth the listen.
Tomahawk – S/T (Ipecac): –
A supergroup mix of members/former members of Jesus Lizard, Helmet, Melvins and Mr. Bungle. Musically sounding most like the Lizard on the first few tracks but Mike Patton’s vocals add a different feel.
Ramones – Leave Home (Rhino): –
Not only do you get one of the greatest punk releases but also a full live set from the Roxy in 1976
Ramonctures – Johnny Walk Don’t Run Pauline (Blood Red): –
X songs turned into surf music by ex-X’ers Billy Zoom and DJ Bonebrake. An excellent concept that works great.
Best Live Show
Iggy at Iriyng Plaza: –
Not surprising and still amazing. How does he defy his age! He is just a madman. Similar to a Ramones set being only 80 minutes long but plowed through the best of his solo material and closed with an amazing bunch of classic Stooges. Best show I’ve seen in 15 years!
* A note of thanks to all the people at Rhino who helped make this list possible. I had no clue what was out there this year and they helped weed out alot of the crap. I’m sure I still missed out on some good stuff but at least I had enough for a decent dump. ..I mean poop.