1) Song Of Return - Limits
Scottish band was called Union of Knives and changed their name for
whatever reason. This is their first release as Song of Return. I've
found that they are pretty much unknown in the U.S. To me they sound
like Nine Inch Nails mixed with britpop (bigger choruses and melodies).
Bands just don't sound like this anymore.
2) The Joy Formidable - The Big Roar
I was blown away the first time I heard this album. A lot about this band
screams out "1990s" - the distorted Smashing Pumpkins style guitars,
the female singer, and the lively performances. They just rock.
3) The Get Up Kids - There Are Rules
did not expect anything this good to come from GUK's return, especially
since they've changed their style a couple of times with poor results.
This album features a lot of sounds that we've never heard from the
band before. It's edgier than their past pop-rock stuff, but not as
hyper as their emo stuff.
4) The Cars - Move Like This
was just a kid when The Cars were in their heyday, so I never really
listened to them other than the radio hits. Randomly sampling this
album left me impressed. I can see how bands like Weezer are influenced
by The Cars. This is just an all around fun, well-written album.
5) Golden State - Division
followed the leader singer, James Grundler, for a while now. He
started with the Din Pedals in the 90s, which was a remarkable band even
if they were trying to sound exactly like Radiohead. He then started
Paloalto, which had the same British influences but more of a pop sound.
Golden State continues that. This is their first album, but they have
been putting out singles and EPs for most of the last decade. From what
I gather, they are more of a "local band" in Los Angeles since they
haven't toured outside of California. If you like older U2, you'll like
this album. There is nothing new here, but it's really good.
6) White Lies - Ritual
White Lies follows the path of Interpol and Editors, being heavily influenced
by Joy Division. Ritual is a big improvement from their first album.
There are a lot more "singles" on Ritual - songs that you can sing along
to with well-placed synthesizers. These songs are just plain catchy.
7) The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Belong
sound like a mix of a variety of 80s and 90s alternative bands. Each
song sounds like a different influence. You'll hear a bit of The Cure,
New Order, and Smashing Pumpkins. And that's a good thing.
8) Low - C'mon
is a band that I hadn't ever listened to before this album. This is just a solid indie rock album. I'm not sure what else to say.
9) Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
As you would expect, this sounds very much like the Oasis songs that Noel
sang on. While there is nothing on here that can match the best of
Oasis, it is a very pleasant listen. The Beady Eye album was also
decent, but Noel's songwriting skills give this album the edge.
10) Thursday - No Devolución
were the "next big thing" about ten years ago. Their music went out of
style, but I still followed them. While their recent albums were
nothing special, No Devolución is their most interesting album since
their beginning. The first half of the album very atmospheric, and
makes it a solid swan song for the band.