Some people like their music to drive straight down the middle of the road. I can dig that — but I can also get behind something that comes straight out of nowhere, makes a few unpredictable hairpin turns, then speeds off toward the horizon before you know what hit you. Here are some of the more unusual offerings that veered into my lane in 2019:
WHO ARE THEY? Four math-rock rule-breakers, noisy non-conformists and exciting experimenters from London who are one of the year’s biggest, buzziest British band — and one of the few acts that actually deserve and justify the hype for a change.
WHAT IS THIS? The art-school alums’ much-anticipated debut disc, a nine-cut collection of prime-number time signatures, seat-of-the-pants arrangements, everything-and-the-kitchen sink instrumentation, inspired improvisation, virtuoso musicianship, herky-jerk spasms, high-tension weirdness, cacophonous outbursts, whisper-to-shriek vocals and just about anything else they can cram in there.
WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? Your hippest music-snob friend’s entire record collection, spliced and diced into one band.
READ THE FULL REVIEW AND HEAR THE ALBUM HERE
Binary Canary | iterative system
Bon Iver | i,i
Glenn Branca | The Third Ascension
Captain Cheesebeard | Deadwood
Clinic | Wheeltappers & Shunters
ESSi | Vital Creatures
Fat White Family | Serfs Up!
Feet | What’s Inside Is More Than Just Ham
Flying Luttenbachers | Imminent Death
Flying Luttenbachers | Shattered Dimension
INUS | Western Spaghettification
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard | Infest The Rat’s Nest
Julie’s Haircut | In The Silence Electric
Lambchop | This (Is What I Wanted To Tell You)
Oh Sees | Face Stabber
Particle Kid | Window Rock
Iggy Pop | Free
Psychedelic Porn Crumpets | And Now For the Whatchamacallit
Ty Segall | First Taste
Sturgill Simpson | Sound & Fury
Skarbø Skulekorps | Skarbø Skulekorps
Soundwalk Collective With Patti Smith | Mummer Love
Soundwalk Collective With Patti Smith | The Peyote Dance
Kate Tempest | The Book of Traps and Lessons
Throwaway | What?
Tom Of England | Sex Monk Blues
TO FIND REVIEWS OF THESE ALBUMS, PLEASE USE THE SEARCH WINDOW AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE