These are the records that were fantastic, but just this side of the top ten.
1) Save Ends – Strength vs. Will (self released)
2) Among Giants – Truth Hurts (self released)
3) Red Collar – Welcome Home (Tiny Engines)
4)The Eeries – Home Alone (Evil Weevil / Burger)
5) La Sera – Sees The Light (Hardly Art)
Holy shit, I thought I was going to hate this record. No fucking way. Surprise of the year, you guys. The Eeries have a name, description, RIYL list, and genre tag that screamed “punk band playing garage pop ironically” or something. I guess there is a lesson in knee jerk reactions here.
Home Alone is a hell of a record. It is rooted in old garage pop from the 50s and 60s, but avoids the stumbling that often comes with that genre by expanding their net. There is some serious Beatles shit going on here. Not the experimental stuff, but their old pop stuff. This is especially notable in the vocal harmonies and general song structure. There is some pretty sweet surf parts too. This feels like a love letter to a genre, instead of some revival cash-in thing.
This kind of reminds me of The Hi-Fives (if you removed the Lookout! Records, pop punk affectation). There is some sweet shit happening here. Vocal harmonies that done quit, whoa-ohs all over the place, and an underlying sense of fun. Home Alone is 23 minutes of awesome. Check it out.
Stream It (Bandcamp)
Evil Weevil Records (Buy 7″)
Burger Records (Buy Cassette)