Back this year, by popular demand, is a list of albums to impress the “rebel”, with the eclectic taste in music, on your gift list. In my family, everyone knows that music is one gift “thou shall not buy” for me. As an individual who listens to mostly music outside of the Billboard top 100 (even 200) here are five great grabs for gifts from 2013’s releases.
Top 5 Albums of 2013
Partycrasher by A Wilhelm Scream
Genre: Punk | Melodic Hardcore
Notable Tracks: “Boat Builders” | “Hairy Scarecrow” | “Born a Wise Man”
Releasing their last full-length album in 2007, fans have been eagerly waiting for this release. Fast, hard hitting with luscious guitar harmonies galore and critical in lyrical content, as always, the wait was well worth it. This album sonically reflects bits and pieces of their previous albums. You’ll definitely want to suggest cracking a beer and reading along with the liner notes for this one.
Moving Mountains by Moving Mountains
Genre: Alternative Rock | Indie
Notable Tracks: “Eastern Leaves” | “Burn Pile” | “Hudson” | “Hands”
Starting primarily as an instrumental band, Moving Mountains strayed from that sound with each passing release up until their recent hiatus. Slow and upbeat, ambient at times, and an album that flows well from front to back, this album pairs great with a fall day or a snowstorm.
Memorial by Russian Circles
Genre: Metal | Post-Rock | Instrumental
Notable Tracks: “Deficit” | “Ethal” | “Lebaron”
If the eclectic one in your family loves face crushing riffs, a mammoth rhythm section, and feeling left overwhelmed after listening to an album, this one’s for them. Russian Circles is a three-piece band (you may not believe me after listening to them) based out of Chicago. With each release, they’ve managed to hone in more and more on their sound, while still maintaining a fresh approach. You’ll be hard pressed to find a band better than this in the post-metal genre. Oh, and if you’ve ever been to Chicago, go ahead and tell me their music doesn’t reflect the feeling the city gives.
Jar by Daylight
Notable Tracks: “Life in a Jar” | “No One’s Deserving” | “Hole In the Ground”
Very reminiscent of torn-knee jeans and flannel shirts, Jar is a throwback to early 90’s grunge. Each song on the album is comprised of either a great riff or ear catching hook, some of the best you’ll hear in a long time. Perfect for those who love Nirvana, Failure, insert other grunge band here.
All Hail Bright Futures by And So I Watch You From Afar (ASIWYFA)
Genre: Instrumental | Experimental | Math Rock
Notable Tracks: “Big Thinks Do Remarkable” | “Like a Mouse” | “Mend and Make Safe”
Hailing from Belfast in Northern Ireland, ASIWYFA is the best band you’ve never heard of. Their music is comprised of fast, at times, chaotic riffs with a very technical approach. With the loss of a founding member, ASIWYFA’s sound remains very much the same on “All Hail Bright Futures” but at the same time, explores new territories with vocal arrangements and various instruments. This is a highly energetic and recommended album by me and perfect for those who love hearing musicians push the sounds of what a guitar can do…with pedals, of course.