YEAR END! – Top Records Of 2016

tfnr

2016 was on some bullshit, man. I didn’t dedicate a lot of time to the blog because shit just kept happening. I kept running into car related money problems. My personal life kept finding new and exciting ways to be terrible. And everything really kind of stopped after my dad died back in May.

I’m still trying to figure out how much longer I’m going to keep doing things here. I’m leaning more toward keeping up than I was back in October. I guess we’ll see where it all goes in the coming months. Anyway, here are my top 25 favorite records of 2016 in alphabetical order:

  • Angel Olsen – “My Woman”
  • Colleen Green – “Colleen Green”
  • Computer Magic – “Obscure But Visible”
  • Dowsing – “Okay”
  • Flock Of Dimes – “If You See Me, Say Yes”
  • Fucko – “Dealing With The Weird”
  • Frankie Cosmos – “Next Thing”
  • Haybaby – “Blood Harvest”
  • The Hotelier – “Goodness”
  • Japanese Breakfast – “Psychopomp”
  • Kindling – “Everywhere Else”
  • Kowabunga! Kid – “Wasting My Time”
  • Magik*Magik – “MAGIK*MAGIK”
  • Middle Part – “Middle Part”
  • Miserable – “Uncontrollable”
  • Mitski – “Puberty 2”
  • Museum Mouth – “Popcorn Fish Guinea Pig”
  • Nancy Pants – “Vol. 27 EP”
  • Orations – “Incantation”
  • Psychic Twin – “Strange Diary”
  • Sad Blood – “Legion Of Gloom”
  • Save Ends – “Hug Your Friends”
  • Signals Midwest – “At This Age”
  • Slingshot Dakota – “Break”
  • Slow Bloom – “Slow Bloom”

That’s the list. Yes, I know there are some high profile releases that I didn’t include. Most glaringly, I passed on the American Football record and the Jimmy Eat World record. I know I’m supposed to love those records, but I really didn’t.

In the immortal words of the Wu-Tang Clan: if you want beef, then bring the ruckus.

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REVIEW: Middle Part – “Middle Part”

mpmp

Middle Part is pop and noise. They are where those two sensibilities intersect. It’s weird, it’s abrasive, and it’s not for everyone. It’s really fucking good though. Let’s not bullshit around with some long write up. Middle Part is making aggressive, lo-fi music. There is a lot of noise, a lot of yelling, and a whole lot of muscle. This two piece from Harrisonburg, VA isn’t holding anything back this EP. They have a drum and a bass, but are way more than the sum of their parts.

There are a number of things this band excels at, not the least of which is the ability to make a hard left turn out of nowhere. Songs like “Dip Dip” and “Like Before” pull you in with an almost dancey, post-punk sound. The former shifts back and forth between that and a killer hardcore/noise combination. It’s disjointed and jagged, but it works. The latter is probably the most accessible song on the record, but even it plays around with time changes and styles. It’s shift is almost a pop to dirge to pop thing.

“Fight Song” is all aggression. Musically, vocally, whatever. In fact, Judy Hong’s vocals are what makes this record work for me. They can range anywhere from melodic and halting (“Like Before”) to just fucking shredded (“Fight Song” and “Dip Dip”). The vocals work so well with the distorted bass and pounding drum. The production work from Tristan O’Shea, who is the other half of the band, absolutely nails the mood of this record too.

There isn’t a whole lot more that needs to be said. If you want a record that will keep you on your toes, this is absolutely it. Check it out.

Middle Part
Too Far Gone Records
Bandcamp
Buy It