YEAR END! – Top Twenty Records Of 2014

fulllengthIN ALPHABETICAL ORDER:

  • Allison Crutchfield – “Lean Into It”
  • Braid – “No Coast”
  • Cayetana – “Nervous Like Me”
  • Crisis Arm – “Rend”
  • Dikembe – “Mediumship”
  • Divino Niño – “Pool Jealousy”
  • Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate) – “You Will Eventually Be Forgotten”
  • Free Throw – “Those Days Are Gone”
  • Grey Zine – “Destitution”
  • The Hotelier – “Home Like Noplace Is There”
  • Kill The Intellectuals – “I Hope You Die Painlessly – With Laugh Lines And Wrinkles Around Your Eyes”
  • Kittyhawk – “Hello, Again”
  • Late Bloomer – “Things Change”
  • Living Room – “Moonchaser”
  • Mother Room – “Scorched”
  • Museum Mouth – “Alex I Am Nothing”
  • My Fictions – “Stranger Songs”
  • Perfect Future – “Manifesto”
  • Sport – “Bon Voyage”
  • Weak Teeth – “So You’ve Ruined Your Life”

REVIEW: Cayetana – “Nervous Like Me”

cayetananervouslikemeIf you want the truth, it is really hard to try and review this record. I’m sitting at the computer, wearing a Cayetana t-shirt, and trying to think of new ways to talk about how much I love this band. I touched on it briefly when I reviewed the Hot Dad Calendar single. In that review I said:

“I knew, from the minute I heard their demo/EP on If You Make It, that this was a band I was going to want to keep track of. And, goddamnit, I’m really glad I did. I can say without hesitation that the only thing disappointing about this 7″ is that it isn’t a full length. That isn’t hyperbole, it isn’t some bullshit. This is one of those rare times where you should believe the hype.”

And, to be honest, all that is still true. Any hype Cayetana gets is still 100% deserved. In fact, Nervous Like Me is definitely one of the top records of the year. I’ve been living with this record since June, when I got to see the band in Chicago. It is exactly what I would have wanted it to be. It’s a record that plays in the middle ground of punk and indie. The songs are melodic and catchy as all get out. But, and this is important, they still have a raw edge to them. This is evident from the get go. Augusta Koch’s vocals on the album opener, “Serious Things Are Stupid,” are still as raw as ever. It’s a rawness that just works perfectly with everything else. Be it the fuzzy, distorted guitar or the bouncing basslines. Especially on songs like “Dirty Laundry” and “Scott Get The Van, I’m Moving.”

The music is also totally on point. While Koch isn’t doing anything overly fancy with her guitar, she is definitely driving everything. Kelly Olsen’s drums are in touch with that more straight forward style as well. They push the songs. They get the song from start to finish in a more punk rock way. No noodling guitar, no overblown drum fills. What is refreshing is how the bass seems to be more up front. The bassline have some serious strength behind them. They are memorable. They are bouncy. The best comparison I can think of is that Allegra Anka’s playing reminds me of the kind of stuff Dan Andriano from Alkaline Trio did on Goddamnit. She adds a lot of dimension and character to what are otherwise very to the point songs. Her style of playing really shines on “Favorite Things.” She takes the scenic route instead of just doing Point A to Point B. And it fucking works.

Like, I have zero issues with anything on Nervous Like Me. The album versions of “Mountain Kids” and “South Philly” are great treats to people who liked the demo. “Animal” will be in your head for days. And, like, we can’t be friends if you don’t like “Dirty Laundry.” Never mind how strong “Serious Things Are Stupid” and “Hot Dad Calendar” are.

I don’t know what else to say. It’s pretty obvious that I love this record. If there was anyone who wanted a document of what great indie/punk sounds like, I’d point them in this direction.

Cayetana
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