I’m keeping this list brief this year. Not too many bells and whistles, or whatever. It’s the end of January, so I really need to just post it. 2015 was a weird fucking year, and I didn’t keep up with this stuff the way I should have. 2016 should be better. Anyway, on with the list.
Top Records of 2015. LPs, EPs, and splits. In alphabetical order:
- Adult Mom – “Momentary Lapse Of Happily”
- Annabel – “Having It All”
- Beach House – “Depression Cherry”
- Big Awesome – “Party On”
- Blind Mice – “Sunday Songs”
- Bong Mountain – “You’re Doin’ Great”
- Drowse – “Soon Asleep”
- Football, etc. – “Disappear”
- Haybaby – “Sleepy Kids”
- Island Of Misfit Toys – “I Made You Something”
- Jennylee – “Right On!”
- Kindling – “Galaxies”
- King Woman – “Doubt”
- Kind Of Like Spitting / Warren Franklin & The Founding Fathers – “It’s Always Nice To See You”
- Long Knives – “This Is Your Life”
- mewithoutYou – “Pale Horses”
- Pet Symmetry – “Pet Hounds”
- Sheer – “Uneasy”
- The World Is A Beautiful Place And I Am No Longer Afraid To Die – “Harmlessness”
- The Unlovables / Dirt Bike Annie – “Reunion Show”
- Waxahatchee – “Ivy Tripp”
There is a lot of music in the world to draw inspiration from. Every music scene comes from somewhere, and it always leads to somewhere. Alternative rock is a great example. You can track that genre back to it’s roots in punk rock. It gets a bit muddy thanks to the whole alt rock explosion in the 90s, but it’s possible. Due to the genre’s history, it makes sense that certain strains of underground music still take influence from that mainstream sound.
Blind Mice are an example of that influence being used in the best way. They are able to take influence from the punk and emo scene circa the early 2000s, and mix and meld it with alternative rock from the late 1990s. At the risk of this review becoming a bunch of shitty comparisons, the resulting sound is something like “Polar Bear Club and Brandtson filtered through Third Eye Blind and Nada Surf.” It’s a combination that works extremely well, and keeps things interesting. Blind Mice are really adept at playing up these influences without sounding derivative or unfocused.
Sunday Songs is an EP that has a sincerity that shines through on every song. It’s packed with great riffs, great hooks, and energy. Even a song like “Barbara’s Bar,” which has the slowest pace, excels at being a great pop song. The lyrics are very earnest, and cover everything from growing up in a family of divorce, addiction, and feeling stuck in a specific time or place. “Home Movies” and “Drifter” are prime examples.
Sunday Songs is a record that has a very nostalgic tone to it, but never falls in the trap of being one of “those” records. A lot of bands who try to do this kind of thing end up sounding like shitty throwbacks, Blind Mice do not. This is the kind of EP that anyone can get stoked about.
Animal Style Records
Bandcamp / Buy It