We are very happy that so many Epitaph, Burning Heart and Hellcat bands got the recognition they deserve in Blunt's Top 100 Albums of 2004! Here is what they had to say about some great bands.
Proving once again how reliable Burning Heart are when it comes to delivering the goods, this was a stunning shot of European hardcore and punk rock delivered from the, er, heart.
And by a pack of Swedish kids who'd previously only made electronic music, no less. Noisy, fast, unrelenting and raw, C.Aarme took their cues from bands like Dead Kennedys to Refused, even though C.Aarme had no idea who those bands were.
You Fail Me
Boston band Converge's 6th album and first for Epitaph, You Fail Me was a 10 outta 10 release that matched it's phenomenal predecessor Jane Doe in every regard. Although one might say Converge had nothing to prove this time, having already established themselves as metalcore leaders, the band had no such delusions.
Somewhere in the middle of a math metal and punk rock storm, this is one of the standout albums of the year.
THE BLACK KEYS
Not as rockin' as the Akron duo's breakout record Thickfreakness, the Black Keys' unimposing third release is just as raw and even more intimate- a perfect Sunday arvo album. While their previous outings rested heavily on blues-based hooks and raw, primal rhythms, Rubber Factory added 60's hard rock and acoustic moments.
Always good to see a band stretching themselves- even if the Keys lost a little charm along the way.
DIVISION OF LAURA LEE
'Das Not Compute
These Swedes are victims of the music industry's need to have everything fit into neat, marketable categories. (Their first LP was overshadowed by fellow countrymen The Hives and T(I)NC). This time their often chaotic post-punk sound was even stronger, with thick sheets of phaser-cranked guitar and emphatic vocals the main drawcards.
Still, seems a lot of folks would rather listen to Interpol. Suckers!
An unlikely Brett Gurewitz (Bad Religion) side-project chiefly orchestrated by producer Atticus Ross (NIN, Rancid) and his brother; in 2003 Error produced a crazy electronic hardcore EP in the vein of Alec Empire that Epitaph released earlier this year. Dillinger Escape Plan vocalist Greg Puciato sings on it, but he'd already split the project by time this was released. Word is there's a full-length album on the way, which should be pretty damn interesting.
HOT WATER MUSIC
The New What Next?
10 bananas out of 10 is a rating we'll easily stand by for regular Aussie tourists Hot Water Music's latest effort The New What Next? Always a no nonsense band, the Gainsville five-some stepped up to the plate cool as you'll like on their 6th full-length and knocked one out of the park. And as bands start to move away from increasingly overdone styles like screamo, pop punk or metalcore, HWM's classy punk/hardcore meld is going to start opening ears.
EYEDEA & ABILITIES
We may not know everything about hip-hop here at Blunt, but we know angry bastards with talent to spare when we hear'em. MC Eyedea and DJ Abilities are two white mofos who've got the musical and lyrical skills to pay the bills, and on E&A, their first collaboration together, they bust them all out together and leave nothing behind.
And they'll be able to cash up a lot more creditors if they keep playing this wicked freeform shit.
Pure fucking class all the way, this was supreme sonic violence designed to fuck with your speakers and shake your bowels in the most unpleasantly pleasant way. Nasum's fourth record (and their first on Burning Heart) saw two new members adding a fresh dynamic to their sound. Intense, unrelenting, gut-churning, this shit is so heavy you should wear a welding mask when you listen to it- just the thing for serious, discerning fans of grindcore/metal.
III: Ghost Tigers Rise
The drummer for San Francisco psychobilly legends Tiger Army got shot in the head when some moron tried to break into his house before making this album. The band got the dude from Warrant to fill in during recording. Damn, that's gotta hurt more than the bullet! Still, this is a tight record that takes an eclectic journey through some dark themes. Like a rockabilly AFI, it makes you wanna dance, too-two step like Davey Havok would motherfuckers.