Our Critics' Year-End Top Tens: Daniel Rodrigue Finds Something Happening About LCD Soundsystem's Promised Swan Song
Sure, this Denton-based experimental electronic duo's full-length debut may not be for the faint of heart. At the wrong moment or in the wrong setting, the album's like an intense, pulse-quickening, panic-attack-inducing aural strobe light. And, yeah, Pitchfork panned Homemade Extacy's "annoying sonic antagonism" (5.4), while crowning Crystal Castles II with a Best New Music for its equally "focused" and "propulsive" blown-out electronic sounds. Well, fuck 'em. All 50-plus minutes of Homemade Extacy's industrial beats, driving synths and primal-scream-style vocals are just as inventive and groundbreaking as anything else released this year.
9. Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles II
8. Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
7. Sarah Jaffe - Suburban Nature
6. Caribou - Swim
5. Beach House - Teen Dream
4. Toro Y Moi - Causers of This
Get this album -- and don't loan it out, or you may never see it again. I'm anxiously awaiting the follow-up, Underneath the Pine, due out in February on Carpark Records.
3. No Age - Everything in Between
On No Age's second studio album, the Los Angeles-based guitar-and-drums duo continues producing compelling, intensely catchy and -- what's more important? -- re-listen-able, murky, noise-rock melodies. Even without singles like "Glitter," the album succeeds from epic opener "Life Prowler" through the wacky, roll-the-credits closer "Chem Trails."
2. Small Black - New Chain
This Jagjaguwar-released debut full-length by Brooklyn-based, self-described "Casio dream noise pop" act Small Black was -- for me -- one of those stumble-across album's that completely catches you off guard and then doesn't go out of rotation for days or weeks at a time. My opinion of the songs was only bolstered after I caught the band's lively Halloween performance at The Cavern with fellow Brooklyn act Class Actress and Denton's own Sextape -- one of the best shows I caught this year.
1. LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening