Posted on May 12th, 2010 in Music

100 best albums of the aughts, part 3 (#80-71)

On to part 3 of my 100 best albums of the aughts list.

You can find part 1 here, and part 2 here.

I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness – Fear Is On Our Side (2006)
Secretly Canadian
Excellent post-hardcore out of Austin, Tx.; Fear is on Our Side feels like the logical progression of what Interpol’s later records should have sounded like. It’s a slow-moving crawl with a striking unease that sounds best on cold, rainy nights. This record hasn’t aged as well I thought it would, but its best songs (‘Lights‘, ‘At Last is All‘) remain powerfully nostalgic for me.
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Underground (2007)
Vinyl International
Underground is technically the first entry in Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti series, but was the last—most of his material originally saw only limited release on cassette—to see a widespread release. Pink’s outsider-art tendencies are less blatant here (less fractured, less psychedelic/insane), but the songs are still unabashedly lo-fi, and definitely among his best.

Juno – A Future Lived In Past Tense (2001)
DeSoto Records
A Future Lived In Past Tense delicately balances the line between gorgeous post-rock and furious post-punk; encompassing mammoth crescendos, shimmering guitar lines and even some traces of early emo. ‘Up Through the Night‘ sounds suspiciously like the Twin Peaks theme, though not in any way related to it. Juno (now defunct) had such an amazing ability to combine aggression with tenderness…that this record maintains a tremendous sense of urgency almost a decade later.

Tom Vek – We Have Sound (2005)
Go! Beat Records
The abrasive production on We Have Sound is among my all-time favorites—with nods to 70s protopunk (Richard Hell, Television, Suicide), and early-80s post-punk (Public Image Ltd., Talking Heads). It’s brash, melodic and entirely in the wrong time period. Still, as out-of-place as this record sounds in the 2000s, something gives it a semblance of modernity amidst its throwback vibe.
Benoît Pioulard – Précis (2006)
Précis is one of the most haunting, graceful albums I have ever heard. Pioulard draws on his history of field recording to add touches of ambiance and atmospheric electronics to every available note and passage. Between stunning breathtakers like ‘Ext. Leslie Park‘ and ‘Palimend‘, he inserts found-sounding segues that could moonlight in a Gus Van Sant film.
BOAT – Let’s Drag Our Feet (2007)
Magic Marker
BOAT interweaves Pavement-at-a-carnival vocals with frequent trips to falsetto-land; melodies and choruses enter and exit like 6th- or 7th-grade girlfriends; songs-within-songs abruptly change time and switch tempo…yet, the record flows flawlessly. Let’s Drag Our Feet is a post-Pavement record brilliantly updated for the new millennium.
65daysofstatic – The Fall of math (2004)
Since this release, 65dos has sadly gone the way of more conventional post-rock, but this album still destroys everything in its wake. The pulsating, mechanized drums and apocalyptic melodies give it a fevered intensity somewhere between Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music and Explosions in the Sky. There’s just no bullshit here—the songs are short and to the point (in post-rock terms), with no extraneous detail to diminish their strength(s).

The Distillers – Coral Fang (2003)
Another album that I now unfairly undermine due to lackluster later material (Brody Dalle’s awful subsequent band, Spinnerette). Dalle’s guttural punk vocals are effortless and fiery-intense—a quality Courtney Love has been trying to recapture for over a decade now. I more-than-loved this record when it was released, and it still maintains a strong emotional attachment.
Engine Down – Demure (2002)
Lovitt Records
Engine Down was and still remains one of the more underrated bands in recent memory. Keeley Davis [one of my favorite musicians working right now] is the king of minor chords and dissonant melodies, and Demure is no exception—Davis’s harmonies are as instantaneously recognizable and fervent as ever. Demure has more in common with the understated zeal of Denali than Engine Down’s ensuing self-titled magnum opus, but it’s an absolutely necessary listen regardless.
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – The Doldrums (2004)
Paw Tracks
The first of Pink’s records released on Paw Tracks, The Doldrums is fragmented; [possibly] insane; sporadically brilliant, weird, and oftentimes both. (Think kaleidoscopic GBV melodies tagged with LSD and doused in Valium.) I came late to the Pink party, but after listening to all of his proper records, this stands out at the top.

8 Responses to '100 best albums of the aughts, part 3 (#80-71)'

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    on May 19th, 2010 at 7:12 am

  1. Sebastian said,

    Something tells me Juno will be higher on my list, har har har. Benoit is another favorite.

    Engine Down always impressed me more live than on record. I think each of their albums has 4-5 great songs and thankfully they knew which ones were good. Demure’s their most consistent album, though.

    I haven’t listened to I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness in ages, but that album does remind me of a better Interpol route post-Bright Lights.

    What’s your take on the new 65daysofstatic? Closing song is great but the rest is forgettable.

  2. on May 19th, 2010 at 10:20 pm

  3. dja said,

    Haha. I was actually pretty close to including your love for Juno in the actual commentary.

    Engine Down’s self-titled (one of my favorite albums of all time) is more consistent than Demure to me…you will see it listed later on.

    The new 65dos strikes me as the same as their last few—promising on first listen, but ultimately forgettable. They’re just not the same anymore.

  4. on May 25th, 2010 at 3:26 pm

  5. Sebastian said,

    I still think One Time for All Time rivals The Fall of Math, but since then they’ve been very hit or miss.

  6. on June 6th, 2010 at 1:34 pm

  7. […] can find part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here and part 4 […]

  8. on June 13th, 2010 at 12:14 am

  9. […] can find part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here, part 4 here and part 5 […]

  10. on July 5th, 2010 at 4:26 pm

  11. […] can find part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here, part 4 here, part 5 here, and part 6 […]

  12. on July 22nd, 2010 at 11:11 pm

  13. […] You can find part 1 here, part 2 here and part 3 here. […]

  14. on July 23rd, 2010 at 1:16 am

  15. […] can find part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here, part 4 here, part 5 here, and part 6 […]

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