YEAR END! – Top Twenty Records Of 2013


  • Laura Stevenson – “Wheel”
  • Football, etc – “Audible”
  • The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die – “Whenever, If Ever”
  • Waxahatchee – “Cerulean Salt”
  • Nona – “Through The Head”
  • Lord Snow – “Solitude”
  • Save Ends – “Warm Hearts, Cold Hands”
  • Pity Sex – “Feast Of Love”
  • American Thunder Band – “Neither Here Nor Thayer”
  • Tiny Moving Parts – “This Couch Is Long & Full Of Friendship”
  • Lemuria – “The Distance Is So Big”
  • Dowsing – “I Don’t Even Care Anymore”
  • Belgrade – “Belgrade”
  • RVIVR – “The Beauty Between”
  • State Faults – “Resonate/Desperate”
  • Little Big League – “These Are Good People”
  • Mutual Benefit – “Love’s Crushing Diamond”
  • Rika – “How To Draw A River, Step By Step”
  • Radiator Hospital – “Something Wild”
  • Our Sunday Affairs – “Cave”

REVIEW – RVIVR – "The Beauty Between"

RVIVR is a pretty polarizing back. It seems like even people who love this particular brand of punk rock have some kind of issue with this band. A lot of this can be placed on the cult of personality surrounding Matt Canino and Erica Freas. Everyone has an opinion about the band’s politics, and most people express it in very hamfisted ways.

That said, what about the music? Well, simply put, it is really fucking good. RVIVR have proven themselves to be one of the best, honest DIY bands going right now. They have the discography to prove it. Spanning multiple 7″s and EPs and the amazing self-titled full length, they have been putting out quality work since 2008. The Beauty Between only furthers that line.

“The Seam” opens this record like “Rain Down” did the last one. An extended instrumental intro before the vocals kick in. As an album opener, it more than sets the tone. Every song flows into the next one perfectly. The front half of this record is fucking loaded with greatness. Everything goes along briskly until the more mid-tempo “Paper Thin.” Everything after that (on the second half) just works together perfectly. If the first half was a bunch of stand alone songs, the second half feels like a theme record. While this is obviously partly true with the three part “Hunger Suite” songs, it follows through to the end of the record. Tracks 8 through 14 all flow seamlessly into each other. It’s actually really awesome.

There are so many songs on this record that could be considered “stand outs.” Most anything on this record could be readily made into a single. There were some uneven bits on the self-titled, but this record doesn’t suffer the same fate. Front to back, this album rules. “LMD” and “Rainspell” are certainly of note. Basically, RVIVR have once again proven that they are among the top tier of this kind of melodic punk.

Rumbletowne Records
Buy It

The Best Shit of 2010

Well, it is the end of the year. This, of course, means it is time to pretend my opinions matter, and compile my best of list for 2010.

Obviously, this list is my favourite stuff of the year. You may disagree with it (I like that I am typing this warning when, honestly, no one actually reads this thing [save that one dude, maybe]). So, yeah.

On with the show, motherfuckers.

TOP 10 FULL LENGTHS (in no particular order):

2) Blunt Mechanic – “World Record”
3) Off With Their Heads – “In Desolation”
4) Snowing – “I Could Do Whatever I Wanted If I Wanted
5) Grown Ups – “More Songs”
6) Castevet – “The Echo & The Light
7) Best Coast – “Crazy For You”
8) Iron Chic – “Not Like This”
9) The Dum Dum Girls – ” I Will Be”
10) Alkaline Trio – “This Addiction”

TOP 7 INCHES AND EPS (in no particular order):

1) The Get Up Kids – “Simple Science”
2) The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die – “Formlessness”
3) Lemuria – “Chautauqua County”

STUFF THAT WAS ALSO PRETTY AWESOME (but, not “top 10” awesome)
1) Candy Hearts – “Ripped Up Jeans & Silly Dreams”
2) The Gaslight Anthem – “American Slang”
3) Mi Ami – “Steal Your Face”
4) Shinobu – “Exhaustive, Exhaustive”
5) Grass Widow – “Past Time”
6) The Thermals – “Personal Life”
7) Japandroids – “No Singles”
8) Bars Of Gold – “Of Gold”
9) Sundowner – “We Chase The Waves”
10) MGMT – “Congratulations”

One record missing from all lists is “Ghosts On The Boardwalk” by The Bouncing Souls. The reason that it is not included is because, while it came out in January of 2010, it is just all the songs from their monthly 7″ series in 2009. As such, it was on my 2009 list as the series, and would be poor form to include it this year again. Though, yes, it is totally awesome.

—— —— ——

So, that is the list. More reviews coming this week, as we wrap up 2010.


“From these shitty jobs and moldy houses, shitty jobs and overdoses. The fact we survive at all is kind of a surprise”

Every goddamn time I start getting away from punk rock music, due to whatever bullshit reason, a band comes along and reminds me why I loved it to begin with. I was feeling that way in 2005, when fucking out of nowhere, I heard Latterman. It was their ” No Matter Where We Go…!” record. Instantly stoked. Two years later they broke up.

Fast forward to 2010, and I was starting to feel the same way. Luckily, RVIVR came out with their full length, and it is great. Now, I know everyone in RVIVR had previously been in other bands, but I do not know most of those. I knew that it had Matt Canino in it, and was more than a little interested. I would love to have had this record in the punk house years.

This is, more or less, not too far away from the type of stuff Latterman did. Melodic punk rock with (dare I say) little twinges of emo. Falls in line with the political/personal lyric split too. I recall reading a review of this, and having said review say something about how the lyrics sounded like “a self help book.” Is this a fair judgment, sure. But, a little posi never hurt anyone.

The split male/female vocals is what makes this stand out from Latterman. Erica Freas is the other vocalist (and also the guitarist), and she really sounds prefect for this type of music. The dual vocal stands out as a strengths on a number of songs, but the best being “Cut The Cord.” Her vocals are particularly stand out on “Real Mean” and “Cold In Your Bones.”

My one minor gripe with this record is the first track. I really can never get super stoked on, basically, instrumental only punk songs. Something about that always irks me. Had this record been one track shorter, and opened with “Edge Of Living,” I would not complain.

Honestly, I would feel bad giving this a 5 out of 5, because I feel like my Latterman bias would be partly responsible for this. But, I feel like that is what this record deserves. This record was in constant rotation for about 2 months. This was just what I needed. Fucking record of the year, right here.

Buy It! (Donation based download)
RVIVR (official site – WordPress)