Aesop Rock – None Shall Pass Defjux Records
Aesop comes correct with this delightful answer to all the Kanye’d out crap hop pop, questioning existence, social status, and our place as humans in the grand scheme of things. Clever rhymes over slick beats produced in majority by Blockhead with the standout single and album namesake being one of the strongest. El-P lends his tasteful ingredients to “Gun for the Whole Family” and Aesop comes as the strongest closer with tracks 1, 7 and 11. This is a must have and will definitely be making my top 10 for 07.
Les Savy Fav – Let’s Stay Friends FrenchKiss Records
Tim Harrington and the gang took 6 years off to have a bunch of other slightly less interesting adventures while we all languished in their absence. Luckily they’ve managed to deliver one of their strongest albums to date. The post-punk guitar work of Seth Jabor cuts through Tim’s humorous barks as bassist Syd Butler and drummer Harrison Haynes provide one of the strongest backbones this side of Fugazi’s Joe Lally and Brendan Canty.
Big Business – Here Come the Waterworks Hydrahead
Well looks like Warren and Coady have accomplished what I didn’t think they’d be able to do – outshine the Melvins (a) Senile Animal with Here Comes the Waterworks. The two bands have been intertwined for some time now with Big Business official members of the legendary band. The addition of guitarist David Scott Stone to the drum and bass duo added that level of mid-range tonality they’d been missing on previous records. Waterworks is still incredibly dense and percussive. “Shields,” is one of my favorite tracks, it is intense. And I got it on 180 g gold vinyl!!!
Tegan and Sara – The Con Sire
For a major label release this album is ridiculously well produced. It helps that these twin nymphs employed the skilled hand of Chris Walla who for the past 5 years has crapped nothing but pure pop gold. While 2005’s So Jealous was a tad more acoustic guitar rock friendly, The Con welcomes Matt Sharp and his deft syth skills on more than a few tracks, giving this record some amazing hooks. Tegan and Sara’s lyrics have matured as well. This will be another record that radio stations will pass over but that doesn’t mean you should. Besides, who listens to the radio anymore anyway? You should listen to DJ Rosstar or Nic Harcourt at the very least anyway.
Akimbo – Navigating the Bronze Alternative Tentacles
For former Dead Kennedy’s frontman Jello Biafra’s record label that doesn’t have any bands doing any touring or moving any units, Akimbo is carrying more than their fair share. Touring in a van, eating Ramen noodles and drinking copious amounts of beer and playing places like San Diego’s illustrious local drunk drain, Scolari’s office make Akimobo’s brand of rock that much more palatable. “Wizard Van Wizard” contends to be the cock-rockiest of all nine tracks but the boys show their tenderness by moisturizing their thumbs prior to insertion on “The Curse of King David,” a riff driven aural assault.