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.
Hey, remember when I wrote about Sad Blood back in November? No? Well, here is a refresher. I ended the review being kind of a snarky and saying:
“Will Sad Blood be another one of those one-and-done bands that flooded my inbox a few years ago? I hope not. I’d like to hear a lot more from them, because Ultimate Worrier is a hell of an introduction.”
Past me can stop worrying though. There is a new EP from Sad Blood. I would have talked about it back in May, but I’m the worst. Anyway. It’s really good. Legion Of Gloom is the logical next step after Ultimate Worrier. It’s still a Doomsday Device of emo music loaded with pop hooks. There is still a lot of Dowsing and Pet Symmetry going on here, but Sad Blood are making it theirs. They sound more comfortable and have really found their feet.
If anything, the music has gotten more on the power pop side of things. It’s actually very interesting to see the band start making those moves. There is almost a dissonance between how the music sounds and what the lyrics are. The music has only gotten poppier and more melodic. The lyrics remain ever in bummer territory. I like that kind of thing though, so it definitely works for me. They add lighthearted humor behind it though. It certainly helps when they are talking about feeling nothing.
Also, the handclap gimmick on “Ten More Years” is my favorite thing.
Bandcamp / Buy It
Sad Blood has an EP called Ultimate Worrier. Like, come on. Of course I’m going to like this record. It is a solid emo EP, and the title is a pro wrestling pun. It is one of the most solid example of things that are 100% in my wheelhouse. This is a short EP, so I don’t have a whole lot to say about it. So I’m going to use this time to talk about some other stuff, while I talk about the record. Is that cool? Ok.
I’ve spent the better part of the last three or four years listening to every goddamn emo record that was sent to me. Everything from bands who use PR companies to bands who self released one thing and never did anything again. There is a level of burn out that comes from that. Not because the bands were bad, but because so many of them were really fucking good. That whole thing has died down a little. Most of the bands I’m hearing now play some version of alternative rock that was popular in the mid-1990s. My palate is cleansed, and I’m excited to hear emo records again.
Sad Blood is a perfect example of the kind of stuff I love. They’re an emo band, but with really strong pop influence. Their sound fit in very well with bands like Dowsing, Free Throw, and The Promise Ring. The three songs on Ultimate Worrier have a lot of life and energy behind them. It’s just great from front to back. I hate to pick a standout song, especially on EPs, but “Party, Animal” is a fucking jam. It’s a record that has exactly what you want.
Will Sad Blood be another one of those one-and-done bands that flooded my inbox a few years ago? I hope not. I’d like to hear a lot more from them, because Ultimate Worrier is a hell of an introduction.
Bandcamp / Buy It