Chris's Best Of 2016

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Here's a list of some great music released in 2016 you may have enjoyed too or missed altogether. Is that a great introductory line or what? 

Francis Plagne - Funeral Mutes  (Mould Museum) I don't know Francis Plagne, but I like to picture him to be one those guys who think that talent would win you the X Factor, but his performance gets slammed by some has-been dude in a denim jacket who claims he doesn't have enough "POW!!, OOMMPH or WOOAAR to transcend the first rows to reach the upper reaches of Madison Square Garden". His album is well orchestrated with some great drumming by Joe Talia. It brings his more experimental work to a more progressive pop setting and is one of the best things of 2016 in my opinion. I'd compare it to Jim O'Rourke's more rock based work but in a more Robert Wyatt / Soft Machine direction. It's humble and gentle which helps prevent any hint of pretention and is catchy whilst being interesting which is a weird combo. If you like the Necks too, definitely check this out. 

Grotto - Manic Evil 7" (Pissfart Records) Sometimes you hear punk and you think "yeah cool, thats ok", then you hear something like this where it's another level real. Nutty, manic in your face dirt punk without posturing that is tight, freaky and hates most forms of life. Split up now which is punk as hell.

Torture Chain - Wasting Syndrome  (Darkest heavy) Man, I love 90's death metal and black metal, but never really liked metal when it got too smart. I want to picture a band in the middle of nowhere who get together because they had no one else and get harassed at  suburban Subway outlets for wearing offensive t-shirts.  I don't know who Torture Chain is, he's nowhere on the internet and hopefully sitting at home in a cut off Cannibal Corpse tee telling his neighbours to piss off when they complain about his loud music. This three long tracks of spare, minimal death metal from the pitts of hell is amazingly well played from what i've heard is a one man band. So evil its almost psychedelic. In this grim day and age there should be more bands like this.

Skygirl Compilation LP (Efficient Space) Excellent compilation bringing together a bunch of excellent DIY 7"s from 1961 to 1991 from around the world I can honestly say i'd never heard before and would probably never hear if it wasn't for this. Best of all the overall mood works together to make a complete album somehow.

Geld Cassette (Space Ritual)  Hardcore from Melbourne  featuring members of Gentlemen, Soma Coma, Kromosom . Crazy Cleveland via Tokyo sound with Hawkwind playing in the back bar simultaneously a few metres away.

Brando's Island - Duplicaat 7" (Million Dollar Records)  Every 7" put out by these guys has been a winner. 

Run The Jewels 3  I think RTJ are the best. Great streetwise to dorky ratio, the tightest rhymes out and the production on this latest album by El-P is monstrous. I thought RTJ2 was one of the best albums of the last few years but this is even better. Confrontational, fired up and fun.

Rand and Holland Cassette (Room 40)  Rand and Holland split up in 2011 and sat on the release of this final recording til last year. Wrongly assumed I wouldn't like them for some reason, probably the name I guess, but it's bleak, heartbroken DIY folk that really sneaks into your system.

Tyrannamen Self Titled Lp (Cool Death) The band of 2016 that I pointed people in the direction of if they complained about "no good rock bands anymore". Always sounds good in the shop full blast.

Rangoons -  CBT Asylum 7" (Paradise Daily) Yeah, tropical post-punk from inner Sydney. Sold it to Henry Rollins. Hope he likes it.

Wonderfuls - Ruined. Done For CD (Chemical Imbalance) I really love this. Dark, light night confessions from Brisbane which are the darkest confessions of all. Compilation of outtakes from their excellent album Only Shadows Now album that even gets into a bit of chanting, like Attilla from Mayhem bumming out a George Harrisson Hare Krishna sing-a-long by singing about dying alone. The double cd by Wonderfuls member Dan McGirr was was an excellent piece of orchestral darkness too that came in an edition of 20 copies!

Omegas -  Power To Exist LP (Beach Impediment)  "Makes you go boom boom, makes you go aaaggghh" is the lyric of the year. Montreal's finest return with an album of tight, fun, nutty hardcore that gets you over the 2pm slump better than a coffee.

I wasn't expecting Dispossessed to sound so bleak and apocalyptic, but they do and it's great and very appropriate. Terrifying, confronting doom laden black metal. 2nd ever bandcamp purchase and i'm depressed about it but I also understand. 

I didn't like the Drones first single off the last album Feelin' Kinda Free that much, but the rest have been great. Especially this.

Miss Destiny (RIP society) are twice as good as those boring bands you see who are bringing the rock renaissance back to the pubs like its 1979. I don't know if that's a thing or something I just imagined, but whatever.  To be honest, what impressed me most wasn't that hard rock kept my attention for an entire album but that in 50 years of rock, no one had previously come up with the "the only thing worse than law, is order" line. Nice work. 

Lower Plenty "Sister, Sister" LP  (Bedroom Suck) more late night folkiness and I finally got to see them live. 

Terry - Talk About Terry 7" (Upset The Rhythm) Nice lo-fi mix of charm and weariness.

White Dog - Sydney Limits I like this and feel it's a very underrated album for no reason. I like that it has songs about Sydney, it's angry, it's not too melodic and it has  a real underdog feel. Doesn't have that "my punk rock side project" vibe. Nothing worse than punk that's too melodic. They gotta lotta heart, they have a go mate and that's worth something in my book. Like when the Storm won the comp with Bryan Norrie in the front row. 

Sex Drive - Demo Tape (Sexy Romance)  Holy heck yeah! Someone's gotta stand up and save the world and hopefully it's a band called Sex Drive.