Thursday, December 20

Mr Dogg's Top 25 of 07: 10-6

10) Travis Morrison Hellfighters – All Y’all
Forget the Dismemberment Plan; they are gone forever. The good news is that the Hellfighters are here, and with Travis Morrison at their helm they are sure to provide equally great tunes. Indeed, if All Y’all is any indication of where Morrison’s song writing is going in the coming years, there is a lot to be excited about. An album full of witty observations and cautious commentary about growing older and making music, All Y’all is full of t mix-tape fodder for that guy who is a little to smart for his own good. Knockout tracks like “Saturday Night,” “As We Proceed” and “Just Didn’t Turn me On” offer top notch lyrical turns, beautifully backed by the always tight Hellfighters. All Y’all may not exercise all of Morrison’s D-Plan demons, but definitely a big step in the right direction.

9) Bomb the Music Industry! – Get Warmer
With a live drummer taking place of a drum machine and new keyboard lines replacing pre-recorded samples, Get Warmer is the most polished and produced of any in the BTMI! catalogue. It’s the writing of Jeff Rosenstock, however, that will command replays. Rosenstock chronicles his move from Long Island to Athens, GA with smart observations, fresh metaphors, and a self deprecating charm that makes him an everyman and a poet for anyone whose ever felt stupid or spoiled. Get Warmer is all about seeing the imperfections in life, and finding joy in the fracture.

8) Los Campesinos! – Sticking Fingers into Sockets (EP) Sometimes, a record contains such pure joy that it makes one feel as if anything is possible. Such is the case with Sticking Fingers into Sockets, an EP from young UK upstarts Los Campesinos! Packed with so much fast-paced excitement that it’s hard not to get caught up in it. Full of innocence and wide-eyed wonderment, it’s truly an EP for you and me, full of the kind of fast pop twee that is too good to be ignored. Don’t be turned off be the scene skewering and sharp tongue, at the end of the day, Los Camp just want you to feel good. Not to mention, it boasts one of the best songs of the year in “You! Me! Dancing!”

7) Kings of Leon – Because of the Times
Looser and more grand than past releases, but still with moments of soft tenderness, Because of the Times has been called the Kings of Leon’s U2 record. More accurately, it’s the sound of a band who has come into their own and are trying to push themselves further. It’s not grandness or substance the band is going for, it’s an overall theme of life, and songs big enough to capture it. Sure, it’s as tight as ever (“McFearless”), and it’s got some real rockers (“My Party”), but it’s the grand, swooping anthems (“Knocked Up, “Ragoo,” “Arizona”) that will stick to your ribs and keep Because of the Times in your disc changer for weeks.

6) Modest Mouse – We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
No longer and indie rock secret, Modest Mouse has come out the other side of major label stardom with their integrity intact. More importantly, they’re still writing fractured, lonesome, expanse-rock, this time taking the listener to the depths of the ocean on We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank.

Sure, Johhny Marr makes for some nice guitar licks, and Shins lead singer James Mercer’s sweet chirp plays well off the harsh, rocky angles of the band, but it’s Isaac Brock’s madman howl and painfully honest pen that is the engine of the doomed ship in question. Still as sharp as ever, Brock’s pessimistic view of people, life, and all that lies beyond make for haunting, daunting, and sometimes painfully beautiful works of sonic art. Songs like “March Into the Sea,” “Parting of the Sensory,” and “Spitting Venom” are fierce and defensive, but is the quieter moments like “Little Motel” and “Missed the Boat” that suggest Brock’s struggle for understanding outweighs his eye for destruction.

Still, by further exploring the lonely depths of the soul through the last frontiers of man, We Were Dead is another record about looking for isolation in a world too crowded for elbow room.

Check tomorrow for 5-1!

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