Balance and Composure, ‘Parachute’
B&C’s new album ‘The Things We Think We’re Missing’ has shot straight to the top of my Albums Of The Year pile. I’ve been in love with this band since Day Dot, and watching them grow from soppy pained emo-punk into ball-tearing alt-rock through a handful of EPs and two albums has been so satisfying. The new album takes all the power and directed anger from the best moments of first album ‘Separation’ and channels it through 13 all-killer-no-filler lung-busters. They’re still emo as hell, and reading through the lyric book will give off more than a bit of heartache and melancholy – but opener ‘Parachute’ is the most direct and straightforward and powerful they’ve ever sounded, and it kicks off maybe the most impressive alternative rock album of 2013.
Arctic Monkeys, ‘Arabella’
That pre-chorus is ripped straight from Black Sabbath’s ‘War Pigs.’ Let’s not mince words, it’s copied. It’s not even trying to cover itself up. It’s ‘War Pigs.’ But this is killer and groovy and arid and sexy as all get out. Alex Turner isn’t the teddy boy he used to be, and while he’s not quite the desert biker dude he is trying to hard to be, ‘AM’ is the best Monkeys record since ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’ and ‘Arabella’ is their booming – and none too subtle – ode to the early British metal that paved the way for rock and roll today.
Party Supplies, ‘Going Back To NY’
One of the producers behind Action Bronson and Danny Brown went and made a electropop/disco record about New York. Justin Nealis records under the name Party Supplies and it’s pretty great. All shimmery and hazy and cheesy synths and sample vocals and drum loops, it’s fun and bright and melancholy at the same time. The album is ‘Tough Love,’ and it sounds somewhere between Phoenix and LCD Soundsystem. The vocals even sound like James Murphy sometimes. Fun.