Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Idol Threat's Top 20 Albums of 2013

Its time once again for another Idol Threat Top 20 Albums of the year list! These 20 plus releases are what Idol Threat deemed the best of its peers presented as always in no particular order!  Without further ado let's dive right into the list and you can click the jump to see the full 20 and our other "Best of" from 2013 as well:

Sigur Rós‏ – Kveikur
It wasn’t too long ago when the world thought they’ve seen the last of Icelandic post rock mavens Sigur Rós‏.  Word that band member Kjartan Sveinsson (who officially left the group this year) was "tired of touring" and news of a hiatus led to rumors of a break up.  Combined with the tepid response to their last album it would be easy to assume that the nearly 20 year old band would be on its last legs. Instead the now ‘power trio’ returns with renewed vigor to release a refreshing album that shirks the delicate leanings of their past.  If their older records were the lullabies and fairy tales of our youth, Kveikur is the true stories of the Brothers Grimm reminding us of the long forgotten darkness of our innocence.  That’s not to say they still don’t have their tender moments - Birgisson’s ethereal vocals and the occasional orchestral backdrop can still lift us up to the clouds – but this time there’s a beautifully blackened sky awaiting our arrival. You can still hear beams of heavenly shine fighting to break through however and like always they manage to fill us with hope, while this time they also leave us optimistic for a new era for the band.  This is Sigur Rós at their most anxious, their most compelling and most potent sounding.

CX Kidtronik - Krak Attack 2: Ballad of Elli Skiff
If you can imagine Afrika Bambaataa fronting Nine Inch Nails and making obsessive club music about ass cracks then you’ve only begun to wrap yourself around the mind of CX Kidtronik.  CX is a Brooklyn-based DJ/producer/rapper who is also the the live drum-machinist for Saul Williams and one of the vocalists for digital hardcore group Atari Teenage RiotKrak Attack 2: Ballad of Elli Skiff (the sequel to his debut album Krak Attack) sounds like what Miami Bass would have evolved into if it were founded in the East Village in the early 70s, or if Luke Skyywalker grew up in Detroit kickin out the jams with gutter punks and club kids.  Kidtronik’s genius is that he takes hardcore, mostly New York rappers and seamlessly smashes them into industrial, noisy electro-rap to make some catchy-as-fuck dance music that actually has some balls!  Who else could take Phil da Agony, Billy Danze from M.O.P., MF Doom and Ruste Juxx and make an album that sounds like the soundtrack to a cyberthug riot rave? To think that this was all inspired by the story of a New Hampshire woman who was arrested for refusing to leave a mall because of her overexposed dookie maker. It's about time a rapper had a sense of humor while still treating the music seriously.

Akimbo  - Live to Crush
Imagine you come back to your hometown and go to a house party with 500 friends on Record Store Day. It’s been about 5 years since you’ve seen these people but it still feels as if you never left. You see a fist-pumping air guitar hero in the middle of a mosh pit surrounded by countless, crushed beer cans screaming along to the early 2000’s hardcore blaring through the house speakers. You realize he’s the kid you used to hang out with who had that awesome older brother that gave you guys his old Amphetamine Reptile and Dischord Records CDs, and had the cool dad who taught you both how to play Zeppelin on guitar. He spots you in the crowd and starts barreling towards you - his heavyset feet rumbling the thin hard wood floor with each step - until he finally reaches you with a bone-crushing hug and a punch to the chest. He yells drunkenly into your ear that this is actually his going away party and before you can ask why or even get remotely nostalgic he pulls you into the pit as you guys scream anthem after anthem; punching, kicking, drinking and smashing the night away until you black out. You wake up drooling on the street asphalt to a hazy vision of your friend galloping away on a majestic steed towards the horizon chanting “If you don’t like Rock’n Roll - FUCK OFF!” RIP dudes.