Patch the Sky is the third straight incredible album from Bob Mould, who is having a bit of a career renaissance.
2016 has been one crazy year in just about every aspect. Many great things happened, but also many terrible things. Among the many great things, the music was good this year. There were a lot of very strong releases this year and that is just from things I’ve heard. I’m horribly behind on my tunes this year and not having an easy time getting caught up. With all the unpleasantness I find myself just wanting to rock out (or at least listen to some really upbeat stuff) so I’ve been shying away from acts I normally would dig or gravitate to because I just cannot take any more thought provocation or somberness.
In alphabetical order, here they are…
Bob Mould | Patch the Sky (Merge)
If I had to pick my top album of the year, it would be Patch the Sky, a stellar release from front to back This is the third straight incredible album from Mould, who is having a bit of a career renaissance, it would seem. In my humble opinion, his last three solo albums are the strongest he’s released certainly since The Last Dog & Pony Show—and, one could argue, since his days as Sugar.
The Coral | Distance Inbetween (Ignition)
Diarrhea Planet | Turn to Gold (Infinity Cat)
I was absolutely blown away by this album, given that I wrote this band off a couple years ago just on the name alone.
Heron Oblivion | s/t (Sub Pop)
James | Girl at the End of the World (BMG)
The Joy Formidable | Hitch (s/r)
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard | Nonagon Infinity (ATO)
This fits nicely into my love of garage-y–sounding music. Crazy concept that the songs are mastered so you cannot tell when one ends and the next begins, and the opening track starts exactly how the closer finishes. If you have the album on repeat, you never see a break. It helps with that borderline goofy concept that their psych garage is pretty incredible here, and rocks pretty damn hard.
Primal Scream | Chaosmosis (Ignition)
Richmond Fontaine | You Can’t Go Back if There Is Nothing to Go Back to (Fluff & Gravy)
The final album from an amazing, if sadly, relatively unknown band.
Spring King | Tell Me if You Like to (Island UK)
Steve Gunn | Eyes on the Lines (Matador)
Teenage Fanclub | Here (Merge)
It’s the Fannies; of course they would be on my “Best of” list. It should be a given.
Thee Oh Sees | Odd Entrances (Castleface)
Such an odd album that sees front man John Dwyer taking his foot of the gas for a bit. For those who do not know, this is the band’s 18th studio album since 2003. John Dwyer does not mess around releasing an album a year—sometimes, like 2016, even two a year.
Thee Oh Sees | Weird Exits (Castleface)
This would probably be my second favorite of the year. I’m obsessed with these guys and have been for a couple years now. Last year’s Mutilator Defeated at Last is their best release, but this one continues on with just balls-to-the-wall garage, and some really lush psyche on the two closing tracks.
Turin Brakes | Lost Property (Red River Entertainment)
Ty Segall | Emotional Mugger (Drag City)
Like Thee Oh Sees but more on the psychedelic spectrum. This is Segall’s best release. He is also highly prolific, like his friend John Dwyer. To Segall’s credit, he has released nine LPs since 2008 under his name, plus three as collaborative albums; he’s also a member of Fuzz, who have two.
We Are Scientists | Helter Seltzer (100%)
Wilco | Schmilco (Anti-/Epitaph)