One More List: The Top 5 Albums I Didn’t Hear in 2011

I should say up front that there were way more than just five albums I didn’t hear in 2011. Five is just a convenient number. It’s half of 10, prime, odd, easily multiplied, etc. I could probably do a top 20 if I felt like it, but frankly, I don’t. Much as I (apparently) enjoy making a show of my ignorance, even that thrill has its limits.

Reactions varied to this year’s top 20 list when it went up, which was to be expected, and I appreciated it that people felt strongly enough to point out things I missed or things they felt deserved inclusion. That’s awesome. It gives me more records to hunt down, and well, what the hell is the point of all of this if not that?

Reserving the right to either purchase or not purchase these albums in the future depending on my cash flow, momentary impulse and fluctuations in taste, here’s the list. You should probably note that, since I didn’t hear any of them, the numbers are basically meaningless.

1. Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, Blood Lust

When this didn’t make the top 20, the response was so immediate and horrified that I actually went and bought the damn thing off eBay. Import price, no less. Seriously, people were pissed. Windows were broken by flying bricks of disgust. Cars were flipped over and set on fire. “Oh my god it’s retro British occult doom how could you not have it on your list?” The hype being as massive as it is, I only hope my contrary nature (read: prickishness) doesn’t get the best of me and actually prevent me from enjoying it when it comes. Either way,  I’ll write on it. Not a full review, but something.

2. Orchid, Capricorn
One of several releases on The Church Within Records that I would’ve preferred to have been able to review (looking at you too, Serpent Venom and Lord Vicar), but I’m only one man, I only have so much money, and I feel bad chasing stuff down when there’s a list of records waiting to be written up. Plus, after a nasty one-liner about their performance at Planet Caravan in 2009 and a meh writeup on their Through the Devil’s Doorway EP, I don’t think I’m even on their radar for people whose opinions they care to hear about a full-length. Fair enough. I’ll probably pick up Capricorn eventually regardless.

3. Tombs, Path of Totality
Years ago, I interviewed Mike Hill for the Aquarian when the former Anodyne guitarist/vocalist was releasing that band’s The First Four Years compilation on his own Black Box Recordings. He was a nice guy, and he talked about starting a new band in Brooklyn that was in a heavier direction. That turned out to be Tombs. And then they signed to Relapse, and then they were really popular. I wasn’t too huge on their first record, and this one just kind of fell through the cracks, but by all accounts it’s fairly amazing. I don’t doubt it.

4. Hammers of Misfortune, 17th Street
While I’m reliving irrelevant memories (see #3 above), at SXSW in 2007, I was at a merch table for a show Weedeater were playing. Maybe it was Om. Or both. Slough Feg were also on the bill, though I’d missed them, and I wound up drunkenly buying everything Hammers of Misfortune had for sale from Sanford Parker, who assured me they kicked ass. I don’t recall ever finding out one way or the other, and neither did I manage to keep up with the band’s 2008 double release, Fields/Church of Broken Glass, but each time they put out a record, I feel like I should get aboard, and this one’s no different.

5. Argus, Boldly Stride the Doomed
I was given a free download of the album, I got the .zip file, and then it sat there. And in the end, I didn’t not review it because I didn’t want to listen — I didn’t review it because I didn’t want to listen, dig the hell out of it and then have to go buy it. That’s the truth. It’s nothing against Pittsburgh trad doomers Argus, whom I’ve seen live and whose sound I dig a lot — I just didn’t want to have to shell out the cash for another record. Would be a different scenario if they were playing a show, and hopefully I’ll run into them over the course of the next year and be able to make fiscal amends for my neglect.

Honorable mention goes to Seven that Spells, The Heavy Eyes and probably six or seven others I can’t think of. You know, I was kind of hoping that doing this feature would make me feel better about missing out on some of this stuff, but nope. I just feel lame and out of touch. Maybe in 2012 I’ll be cool enough to keep up, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

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12 Responses to “One More List: The Top 5 Albums I Didn’t Hear in 2011”

  1. JT says:

    Haha. Why do people get so pissed when their opinions are validated? guess I just answered by own question. But seriously, ridiculous. The Uncle Acid thing is pretty good, but the obscene amount of hype is truly a head-scratcher. They do lay down some tasty tones, and catchy hooks. There must be some kind of hidden message in the songs, causing the masses to behave so freakishly over this band. Yeah, freakish.

  2. Gaia says:

    Ach, today I found out I missed out on the Moab record ‘Ab Ovo’. I had a quick listen of the album stream over at Brooklyn Vegan, and annoyingly enough it’s fantastic. Now I have to pick it up.

  3. Winoguy says:

    Argus, album of the year

  4. Skillit says:

    The bands or labels didnt send them to you? For shame!

  5. Mr Red says:

    Everyone misses out on a ton of stuff. There are only 24 hours in each day, maybe 8-10 to listen to stuff on a waking hour. That’s why we rely on a great filter like The Obelisk to guide us to the good stuff! :)

    As far as the missed stuff:

    1. Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats – I haven’t heard this myself yet. I’ve fully been thinking it was joking/hipster/ironic sort of deal. After seeing the recent commentary, maybe they are not?

    2. Orchid – I’ve heard some of this band and enough trustworthy commentary to write them off as a bullshit knock-off type of project.

    3. TOMBS – yes, please check this out! Probably the best metal/riff-based project type of thing happening! I wasn’t huge on Winter Hours myself but seeing them play live clued me into the potential of this band. Their warm-up gigs in 2010 to recording this were some of the best shows I’ve ever seen.

    4. I like the 2CD deal they did for Profound Lore much better than this recent deal. That was much proggier in a bad-ass way, whereas I think this new thing is quite a bit over the top. Queen gets cited as an incluence a lot and I feel like the more unlistenable/embarassing moments of Queen apply to this. It is funny because the 2CD PF release will be my favorite release from this band, but any other fan of this band considers it weak. hahaha.

  6. RalphSnart says:

    HP you make me feel a bit better about my own inability to keep up with what’s up and coming. I’m always out of the loop. No excuses for me as far as Tombs goes, though…I loved Winterhours, and I feel truly shamed that I never picked up the new one this year.

  7. romilar says:

    Uncle Acid is worth a spin or more but Orchid, oh my god, they are overrated IMHO.

  8. doomborn says:

    and still you missed out some great titles by opeth, esoteric, the devil’s blood, wolves in the throne room, arenna…

  9. Mr. Scrotum says:

    Uncle Acid is great shit. Any hype they get thus far is well deserved.

  10. Butch says:

    H.P. – drop me an email and I’ll get you hooked up a physical copy of “Boldly Stride The Doomed”. Happy New Year !

  11. goAt says:

    That Uncle Acid/Orchid shit TOTALLY flew under my radar…and from what I’ve sampled, is RAD shit…redundant as FUCK for those who own the first 8 Sabbath records (who doesn’t?), but still rad shit.

    TOMBS is my #1 for 2011.

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