Each week for the next 10 weeks I will include a review of one of my top 10 albums of the 2000s on this page. These are not in order of preference, merely alphabetical order, as I feel ordering them would not do justice to those lower down the list. The first one can be found below:
This record is emotion in its purest form - the moment the rushing drums and harsh guitar make their presence felt on opening track 'Arcarsenal' signals the arrival of something special. Aggression and anguish resonates through Cedric Bixler-Zavala's voice and never looks like relenting. The guitar work of Omar Rodriguez-Lopez is something quite brilliant, burying complex and intricate melodies beneath discordant and overdriven power chords. Iggy Pop makes a cameo appearance, singing backing vocals on one of the album's strongest tracks, 'Rolodex Propaganda', and appearing as the kidnapper in 'Enfilade'. Often ignored are the band's rhythm section, Paul Hinojos on bass and Tony Hajjar on drums, without whom the complex guitar interplay of Rodriguez-Lopez and Jim Ward would sound disorganised and perhaps cacophonous. The surrealist and fiercely emotive lyrics utilising the extensive vocabulary of Bixler-Zavala are one of the many factors that set 'Relationship of Command' apart from other post-hardcore records of the era - his Jeffrey Dahmer-referencing lyrics in 'Arcarsenal' recall the gruesome imagery of Dali and Bunuel's 'Un Chien Andalou'. Bixler-Zavala also ventures into the political, dealing with issues such as the Juarez murders on 'Invalid Litter Dept' and governmental hypocrisy in 'Sleepwalk Capsules'. But perhaps the best aspects of the record are the vicissitudes and shifts in dynamics; from the surging and powerful onslaughts of drums and guitar to the atmospheric breakdowns and contemplative moments. Truly a record unlike any other.
2010 1. Caribou – Swim 2. Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest 3. Foals - Total Life Forever 4. New Young Pony Club - The Optimist 5. Parades - Foreign Tapes 6. Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma 7. Scuba - Triangulation 8. Beach Fossils - Beach Fossils 9. Male Bonding - Nothing Hurts 10. Wavves - King of the Beach
2009 1. Girls - Album 2. Mos Def - The Ecstatic 3. Wavves - Wavvves 4. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix 5. Red Riders - Drown In Colour 6. The Boxer Rebellion - Union 7. Japandroids - Post-Nothing 8. Engineers - Three Fact Fader 9. Silversun Pickups - Swoon 10. Songs - Songs
2008 1. Deerhunter - Microcastle 2. Foals – Antidotes 3. F***ed Up – Chemistry of Common Life 4. Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles 5. The Departure – Inventions 6. No Age - Nouns 7. Cut Copy – In Ghost Colours 8. The Futureheads – This Is Not The World 9. Black Kids – Partie Traumatic 10. M83 – Saturdays = Youth
2007 1. Yourcodenameis:milo – They Came From The Sun 2. Panda Bear – Person Pitch 3. The View - Hats Off To The Buskers 4. Battles – Mirrored 5. Caribou - Andorra 6. The Young Knives – Voices of Animals and Men 7. LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver 8. Air Traffic Control – To Be Free 9. Apartment – The Dreamer Evasive 10. Expatriate – In the Midst of This
2006 1. Secret Machines – Ten Silver Drops 2. Deftones – Saturday Night Wrist 3. The Young Knives – Voices of Animals and Men 4. Keane – Under The Iron Sea 5. Gallows – Orchestra of Wolves 6. Kings of Leon – Aha Shake Heartbreak 7. Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not 8. Red Riders – Replica Replica 9. Gerling – 4 10. Beaches - Beaches
2005 1. Bloc Party – Silent Alarm 2. The Rakes – Capture/Release 3. Faker – Addicted Romantic 4. Doves – Some Cities 5. The Kooks – Inside In/Inside Out 6. The Departure – Dirty Words 7. The Boxer Rebellion – Exits 8. The Go! Team – Thunder, Lightning, Strike 9. Incubus – A Crow Left Of The Murder 10. Grinspoon – Thrills, Kills & Sunday Pills
2004 1. The Futureheads – The Futureheads 2. Kasabian – Kasabian 3. The Streets – A Grand Don’t Come For Free 4. Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand 5. The Cops – Stomp on Tripwires 6. Jackson United – Western Ballads 7. Cut Copy – Bright Like Neon Love 8. The Libertines – The Libertines 9. Jebediah – Braxton Hicks 10. The John Butler Trio – Sunrise Over Sea
2003 1. Bonobo – Dial ‘M’ For Monkey 2. Gerling – Bad Blood!!! 3. Blur – Think Tank 4. Kings of Leon – Youth & Young Manhood 5. Thievery Corporation – The Richest Man In Babylon 6. Rage Against the Machine – Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium 7. Powderfinger – Vulture Street 8. The Mars Volta – De-Loused In The Comatorium 9. The Karminsky Experience Inc. – The Power of Suggestion 10. Outkast – Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
2002 1. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – BRMC 2. Interpol – Turn On The Bright Lights 3. The Streets – Original Pirate Material 4. Parva – 22 5. Doves – The Last Broadcast 6. Moby – 18 7. Supergrass – Life On Other Planets 8. Augie March – Strange Bird 9. Midnight Oil – Capricornia 10. Jebediah – Jebediah
2001 1. New Order – Get Ready 2. Radiohead – Amnesiac 3. Something For Kate – Echolalia 4. Gerling – When Young Terrorists Chase The Sun 5. The Strokes – Is This It? 6. Incubus – Morning View 7. Eskimo Joe – Girl 8. Muse – Origin of Symmetry 9. Ian Brown – Music of the Spheres 10. Radiohead – I Might Be Wrong
2000 1. At The Drive-In – Relationship of Command 2. The Avalanches – Since I Left You 3. Doves – Lost Souls 4. Radiohead – Kid A 5. The Cure – Bloodflowers 6. Queens of the Stone Age – Rated R 7. Spiderbait – Grand Slam 8. Thievery Corporation – The Mirror Conspiracy 9. Deftones – White Pony 10. Phoenix - United
It was initially around the era of 'The New Danger' (I caught on a bit late), but I only got heavily into Mos when 'The Ecstatic' came out. It's probably my favourite hip-hop record of the 2000s. I bought it on vinyl at JB Hi-Fi when I went to Melbourne.
2. What was the first song you ever heard by 22? (Foals)
'Olympic Airways'. I saw the slightly surrealist film clip and was captivated. I bought the CD single, and then the double disc version of 'Antidotes' soon after. I've got the new box set of 'Total Life Forever' on pre-order too.
'Hey Mr. Rain (Version One)' from the 'Peel Slowly and See' box set. Basically epitomises the Velvets' sound and yet it's virtually an unknown track.
15. Is there a song by 19 that makes you happy? (Jeff Buckley)
Well they're not technically songs, but the monologues 'Duane Eddy/Songs for Lovers', 'Reverb/The Doors' and 'Matt Dillon/Hollies/Classic Rock Radio' from the 'Live at Sin-e' album make me laugh every time.
I recently came across an article which claimed that 2:42 was the ultimate song length. However, I would like to put forward the case that 3:24 is in fact the ultimate song length. I would like to cite the following songs for reference:
Apartment - Fall Into Place Cut Off Your Hands - Oh Girl Phoenix - Girlfriend Blur - There's No Other Way The Clash - London Calling The Cure - Close To Me Dogs - This Stone Is A Bullet Razorlight - Before I Fall To Pieces Gerling - Doin' OK The Cure - Fire in Cairo Franz Ferdinand - 40' The Kooks - Naive The Young Knives - The Decision Birds of Tokyo - Silhouettic You Am I - She Digs Her The Futureheads - Back to the Sea Gerling - Deka The Young Knives - Tremblings of Trails The Boxer Rebellion - In Pursuit Eskimo Joe - Breaking Up Grinspoon - Champion Dizzee Rascal - Dance Wiv Me The Beatles - Revolution Wire - Once Is Enough The Libertines - Death on the Stairs Kings of Leon - Revelry Linkin Park - Easier To Run Cold Chisel - Cheap Wine The Presets - Are You The One? Goldfrapp - Ooh La La Blur - Popscene The Prodigy - Fire Midnight Oil - Blot At The Drive-In - Cosmonaut Magic Dirt - Watch Out Boys The Libertines - Tell The King Kaiser Chiefs - I Can Do It Without You Garbage - When I Grow Up New Order - All The Way The Clash - Cheapskates The Living End - Uncle Harry Nirvana - Mr Moustache The Beatles - Hello Goodbye Grinspoon - Signpost You Am I - Who Put The Devil In You? Kaiser Chiefs - Team Mate
So there you go, that's why I reckon 3:24 is the ultimate song length. No further explanation should be needed. However, if further explanation is needed, post a comment on my profile page.