State of My Albums

I’ve been pretty lazy when it comes to writing about music for the blog. School got busy, hockey got busy, and I was slow about getting around to giving new releases the attention that they deserved. What I would like to accomplish is to devote some of my energy towards mentioning some early 2011 releases that have stood out to me so far. We all need a break from endlessly staring at playoff stats, arguing about predictions, and throwing nails in the face of logic in the hopes of appearing knowledgeable.

Lemuria – Pebble
I’ve been a bit frustrated with album. I’ve listened to Pebble more times than any other 2011 record. There is a really good album here, but it has taken me real time to adjust to the sound. For me, I can see Pebble doing for me this year what Fake Problems' Real Ghosts Caught on Tape did for me last year. Real Ghosts grew on my slowly and now, looking back, I know that I underrated what is a fantastic album.
Music (MySpace)

The Cute Lepers – Adventure Time
The Briefs were an intensely fun band with a great live show, so I was disappointed when the band decided to take a break from new material. After hearing Adventure Time I also am disappointed that I didn’t chase after the Cute Lepers. Steve E. Nix’s new band combines the classic pop punk sound that the Briefs were known for, but mixes in power pop elements and 50s era rock & roll. The whole album is fun and infectious and is a good start for putting together a great summer soundtrack.
I can't find any recent music... so here is their website 

The Heat Tape – Raccoon Valley Recordings
I’m generally not a fan of lo-fi bands. If Jeff Rosenstock can record an incredible sounding album in his bedroom using his macbook, then why would a band intentionally want their music cheap and fuzzy? It’s like people who are part of the cassette tape movement, the logic is broken. But, none of that matters because The Heat Tape made a good album in Raccoon Valley Recordings. Each track bleeds punk rock nostalgia, with simple song structures, reverb, easy to follow lyrics, and plenty of attitude. It also helps that the supremely talented Brett Hunter of The Copyrights and Dead Landlord fronts the band.
                                                      Video: Oh, Camilla

Old Man Markley – Guts ‘n Teeth
Folk-punk was the big thing for some time, then the Gaslight Anthem ushered in punk mixed with Americana rock & roll, and now we’re starting to see a lot more punk fused with the sounds of raw country and blue grass. Old Man Markley certainly found a way to shine through the mud, and their popularity is probably partially due to being signed by Fat Mike and Fat Wreck. Guts ‘n Teeth is the kind of album that branches away from its punk rock roots and appeal to audience that will be all that much happier for having heard the music.
Video: For Better, For Worse

Here’s a list of some other records I’ve enjoyed, but haven’t gotten their due as of yet:
Let Me Crazy – Contraflow
The Mountain Goats – All Eternals Deck
The Pains of Being Pure At Heart – Belong
Red City Radio – The Dangers of Standing Still
Zoey van Goey – Propeller Versus Wings

All together it is looking to be another big year for music. There are still two things I am missing so far. The first is the ultra catchy pop punk album that is going to spend many long hours in my car. The second is the first truly excellent ska punk album of the year. I currently have high hopes for Have Nots and their sophomore release.

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