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Fourtheye’s 2011 Musical Highlights

As the end of 2011 approaches, it’s tradition (except for last year when I was too lazy) for all music websites to reflect on the year gone by and present a Best Of list for everyone to argue over (and I encourage robust debate in the comments section).  Not wanting to break with tradition (again), here is a list of stuff I enjoyed in 2011.

There have been plenty of good albums this year, and rather than make an arbitrary top 10, I’m going to mention a range of albums I liked this year, and a few words on why.  So here we are, in no particular order my favourite albums of 2011:

Yob – Atma

I listened to this one just the other day after hearing they were supporting Tool in 2012.  I’d heard their name before, and knew they were doom metal, but never quite got around to checking them out.  Anyway, it took only one listen to work out this album was excellent, and I’d be pretty damn happy to see them supporting Tool out my way.  Favourite track for me is the closer Adrift in the Ocean.

Front End Loader – Ritardando

I reviewed this album in one of the threads in our forum, and at the time I gave it a 9/10 and said it was a better rock album than the recent Foo Fighters one.  I still stand by that claim.  Maybe not the best of 2011, but one I’ve listened too more than the rest.

Red Fang – Murder the Mountains

Red Fang are a great stoner rock band, somewhat well known for their excellent videos.  As well as delivering a great albums, they also created a great video for the single Wires, which is both my favourite track and video of the year.  The sooner they tour Australia the happier I’ll be…

Sepultura – Kairos

These guys have never quite topped their Cavalera days, but I usually find post-Cavalera Sepultura to be better than Soulfly and Max’s other work.  This album was a solid metal album with some great riffs.  Includes a nice Ministry cover!

Amon Tobin – ISAM

I don’t listen to much electronic music (as you can tell from this list) but this is a great sounding album, which accompanied by an apparently great live show.

Beastie Boys – Hot Sauce Committee Part 2

The last couple of Beastie Boys albums were just ok, and I was beginning to feel like they were starting to outstay their welcome.  Hot Sauce Committee surprised me when I first listened to it, and I really enjoyed what I thought was the best albums of theirs since Paul’s Boutique.  After further listens, I’m not so sure about that statement, but it is good enough to make my list!

Wormrot – Dirge

Some of you will know that love a good grindcore album, and this group from Singapore has put out the best for 2011.  In fact if forced to order them I’d put this in my top 5 of 2011.  Listen to it if you dare.  Apparently touring Australia sometime in 2012, so check them out when they do!

Revocation – Chaos of Forms

Revocation have a great guitar player, and consistently come up with some damn fine metal riffery.  Another band I’d love to see touring Down Under…

Cannabis Corpse – Beneath Grow Lights Thou Shall Rise

Dank Death Metal, which far surpasses their previous releases.  They may seem like a joke band, but musically that’s certainly not the case! 

Mastodon – The Hunter

I couldn’t really get into Crack The Syke – it had its moments, but to me just seemed a little too indulgent.  I just enjoy Mastdon rocking the fuck out.  On this album they wound back the progressive side of things, and delivered a “straight” hard rock album, and I think it’s their best album since Leviathan.

Foo Fighters – Wasting Light

I’d pretty much sworn off Foo Fighters after 4 crap albums in a row, but hearing the opening single and a couple of other snippets suggesting this was heavier than past efforts I decided to take a listen. I was unimpressed on first listen and am not convinced it’s any heavier than their previous few albums, but will admit that upon giving a few more tries it got better each time. Has a couple of awful songs on it, but generally is a good rock album and definitely their best album in years.

Wooden Shjips – West

I thank Blender for getting into this album.  No real stand out songs on the album for me, they all kinda belnd into each other, but a consistently good album. Nothing like a great fuzzy psych rock album to help me coding.

La Dispute – Wildlife

Some great post-hardcore from these Michigan punkers.  Probably not for everyone, but I really dug this album and look forward to checking them out live in February.

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Self Titled

With Liam out of the equation, Noel is now free to write more Oasis-like hits for us to enjoy.  And enjoy them I did.  I always thought Noel was a better singer anyway…

Other albums I listened to during the year, which I enjoyed but didn’t quite make the list include Steel Panther, PJ Harvey, Rotten Sound, Fucked Up, Russian Circles, Origin, Primus, Steven Wilson, Black Cobra, Dub Trio, William Shatner, Crowbar, Cage The Elephant, Janes Addiction, Animals As Leaders, This Will Destroy You and of course Puscifer.  All good albums, but didn’t really make it into my favourites list.

As far as old musical discoveries go, I got into a bit of Queen this year.  I really enjoyed the Devonshire Mixes of Nirvana’s Nevermind reissue – they made the album listenable again.  And the Pearl Jam and U2 re-issues were good fun as well.  I discovered that 7 Year Bitch, Royksopp are pretty good.  I rediscovered a love for the Rollins Band.  I listened to plenty of Australian music I’d never heard before (or to in years) such as Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Midnight Oil, INXS, Cog, Kim Salmon & The Surrealists, You Am I and Magic Dirt.  And of course The Melvins released a shitload of live stuff that was fun to listen to!

As far as live music goes 2011 was an excellent year for Aussie Fourtheye concert goers, as we got to see Tool, as well as The Melvins gracing our shores early in the year.  The obvious highlights for me were the two Tool shows I was lucky enough to see, one at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne, where I was lucky enough to go backstage, and then a couple of nights later at the Adelaide Big Day Out (featuring a surprise performance with Rammstein).  Both were fantastic shows, and despite one being a festival set, it’s very hard for me to pick the better performance.  Tool were excellent on this tour, much better than back in 2007 and this bodes well for future tours in my opinion.

Speaking of the Big Day Out, I also checked out Deftones, who were disappointing due to poor sound (though I’m told were fantastic at their side shows), Die Antwoord, who were great for a laugh, and another favourite of mine Rammstein.

Soundwave was the next festival for 2011, and it featured a few bands I was keen to see, most importantly The Melvins.  It was the first time I’ve been able to see the double drum setup for the Melvins, and I wasn’t disappointed at all.  In fact they came really close to topping Tool’s performance a month earlier.  Perhaps if they had another 30 minutes on stage they may have.  Highlights were few and far between that day, but Trash Talk were great early in the afternoon, and Primus put on a great set as well.

The rest of the year was reasonably quiet for me.  A few bands I planned on seeing I never got to, but of those that I did, Front End Loader and Grinderman stand out as the best ones.  I also got to see Propagandhi & Suicidal Tendencies, both of who put on solid shows, and Helmet as well, who were a little disappointing compared to their last excellent show here in Adelaide.

2012 is already starting to look good with Soundgarden, System of a Down, Meshuggah, Gojira, Dillinger Escape Plan, Mastodon, Bad Religion and La Dispute already on the cards.  I’ve even had it suggested to me that a certain band could be going back to back…

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badkittygothgirl
10 years ago

Well done, Hellboy! We thoroughly enjoyed Red Fang when they opened for Mastodon recently. So much so, we bought the album on vinyl and have listened to it a few times. Thank you for the TWDY mention…I hope one day you get to experience them live. I’d love to see these guys open for TooL one day. I had no idea that Nick Cave was Australian. Love his voice. I have to say 2011 was the year of the vinyl for us. Taking the plunge after Record Store Day opened a whole new world for our listening pleasure. We’ve had… Read more »

atarigw
atarigw
10 years ago

couldn’t agree more about noel gallagher’s new album. seeing him in april next year. 

AtTheBottom
AtTheBottom
Member
10 years ago

Im with you on the Sepultura album. So much better than anything Soulfly has done recently.

fortysixand2
fortysixand2
10 years ago

Thanks for the list, I’ve been looking for some new tuneage.

bonebroke
bonebroke
10 years ago

I suggest seeing Polly Jean next month.
She’s coming your way…
http://musicfeeds.com.au/news/pj-harvey-2012-australian-tour-dates

DRURY
DRURY
10 years ago

Does back to back mean a double album?????

badkittygothgirl
10 years ago

DRURY – 3 hours ago  » 
Does back to back mean a double album?????

I’m thinking that means back to back trips to the land down under.

petemasterpete
Member
10 years ago

badkittygothgirl – 21 minutes ago  » 

DRURY – 3 hours ago  » 
Does back to back mean a double album?????

I’m thinking that means back to back trips to the land down under.

well you’ve read into that less than the double-dildo scene I’d imagined initially

SirGreat
SirGreat
10 years ago

Red Fang’s album is definitely one of my favourites this year. I’m also pleased to see you adding the newest Beastie Boys in there (I loved it). It’s a breath of fresh air to see someone on this site praise bands that aren’t just metal or 90s alternative.
 
Other releases I really liked this year are Radiohead’s “King of Limbs”, Arctic Monkeys’ “Suck it and See”, and Black Keys’ “El Camino”.

Jethro Tool
Jethro Tool
10 years ago

nice eclectic mix there hellboy. not a classic year but thought Mastodons Hunter best lp and James Vincent McMorrow Old Dark Machine best song…

badkittygothgirl
10 years ago

petemasterpete – 59 minutes ago  » 

badkittygothgirl – 21 minutes ago  » 

DRURY – 3 hours ago  » 
Does back to back mean a double album?????

I’m thinking that means back to back trips to the land down under.

well you’ve read into that less than the double-dildo scene I’d imagined initially

bwaahahahaha..you almost made me spit my drink all over my laptop!

Bendulum
Bendulum
10 years ago

I can’t imagine the amount of work that must have went into creating the art installation projection mapping for Amon Tobin’s ISAM shows.

The ISAM album has some really innovative sound design, and sounds quite dark, dense… and HUGE – as in Earth-crashing-into-the-Sun huge.
It’s very intricate, if you listen with some good headphones, so much going on.

Glad that you came across ISAM – continue your journey with Foley Room.
 

badkittygothgirl
10 years ago

ISAM? What am I missing?

MaggotBrain
MaggotBrain
10 years ago

Tom Waits:”Bad as Me”  Tyler the Creator: “Goblin” Big Business: “Quadruple Single EP”  Primus: “Green Naugahyde”  Eddie Vedder: “Ukulele Songs” Wolves in the Throne Room: “Celestial Lineage” – and even though technically it came out in 2010, i didnt pick it up until early 2011- but “Black Masses” by Electric Wizard is a great fuckin album.   Mastodon: “The Hunter” –  I was bummed out that this wasn’t a concept album. to me that is one of mastodon’s best features. Mastodon’s vocals seem to get cleaner with each album, and for the most part this isn’t a complaint of mine,… Read more »

Tyson
Tyson
Member
10 years ago

Lou Reed & Metallica – Lulu for me was the best followed by Limp Bizcuit – Gold Cobra

thewisenoob
thewisenoob
10 years ago

Tenhi’s Saivo and Syven’s Aikaintaite were my favorite of 2011.

Tyson
Tyson
Member
10 years ago

Anyone who mentions Tyler the Creator seriously gets an instant pass from me

Mog
Mog
10 years ago

@Maggot – Agreed about Tyler the Creator. So nice to see quality hard core hip hop come back again. That fake ass southern dance floor rap bullshit disgusts me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSbZidsgMfw Steven Wilson’s Grace for Drowning gets my vote for album of the year. An exceptional album from start to finish. Opeth – Heritage is a close second. I have a shit ton of respect for Mikael for always having the balls to try something different from album to album. Completely agree with HB about Mastodon – The Hunter. Much better album than Crack The Skye. Right up there with Blood… Read more »

GaryS
GaryS
10 years ago

Tyson – 14 hours ago  » 
Anyone who mentions Tyler the Creator seriously gets an instant pass from me

Just listened to Yonkers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSbZidsgMfw&feature=relmfu

THANKYOU!

Tyson
Tyson
Member
10 years ago

Death Grips > Tyler
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Orlbo9WkZ2E
Death Grips – Ex Military is easily the best hip hop release last year

GaryS
GaryS
10 years ago

Was it you who posted that on Tooltabs a while back? Just wondering. Yeh, that song’s fucking brilliant. One of the greatest jittery songs I’ve ever heard.

Mog
Mog
10 years ago

Tyson – 1 hour ago  » 
Death Grips > Tyler
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Orlbo9WkZ2E
Death Grips – Ex Military is easily the best hip hop release last year

Death Grips is solid but Tyler can rap circles around him. Tyler is a wordsmith. Death Grips makes interesting rap music no doubt, but his flow is truncated and rhymes are fairly simple. The only guy I have heard in hip hop that can pull off that odd timed flow is RZA.

Tyson
Tyson
Member
10 years ago

Tyler is basically ICP repackaged

Mog
Mog
10 years ago

Tyson – 12 minutes ago  »  Tyler is basically ICP repackaged Nah dude common. You know hip hop. ICP can’t rap they fucking suck. Tyler isn’t shock rap either just hardcore. No different than Gravediggaz. In fact he is tame compared to Gravediggaz and some of the older hardcore groups/artists. Hey if you don’t like the guy you don’t like him but you gotta respect his ability to rap. Plus quite a bit of what Tyler is doing is tongue in cheek shit. The guy is actually very intelligent. He loves to poke fun at the rap industry and on… Read more »

Tyson
Tyson
Member
10 years ago

All hype, I ain’t biting.

I actually think Hodgy Beats is the only really talented one out of the lot.

Mog
Mog
10 years ago

Tyson – 13 minutes ago  » 
All hype, I ain’t biting.
I actually think Hodgy Beats is the only really talented one out of the lot.

That’s cool. I like the Odd Future camp. Anything is better than Lil *insert random name here* Mainstream rap sucks balls. Still good hip hop underground but very few artists with any talent getting notice. I listen to a guy like Intuition and I cannot fathom how this guy hasn’t blown up.

Tyson
Tyson
Member
10 years ago

I’m more amazed P.O.S. isn’t huge.
Odd Future aren’t as great as the media makes them, but good for them for riding the hype wave.
I take it back about Hodgy Beats, Frank Ocean is the most amazing thing to come out of Odd Future.
Fuck yes.

demmons
demmons
10 years ago

My fav releases of 2011:
Cynic – Carbon-Based Anatomy EP 
Between the Buried and Me – The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues 
Decapitated – Carnival is Forever
Kvelertak – S/T
Puscifer – Conditions of My Parole 

Lucidiot
Lucidiot
10 years ago

My favorite releases of 2011:

Wolves In The Throne Room – Celestial Lineage
Mamiffer – Mare dacendrii
House Of Low Culture – Poisoned Soil
Neurosis – Sovereign (Reissue)
Sunn O))) – Monoliths & Dimensions
Ides Of Gemini – The Disruption Writ EP
YOB – Atma

…In no particular order

Biggest disappointments of 2011:

Opeth – Heritage
Mastodon – The Hunter 

moneyisevil
moneyisevil
10 years ago

I thought The Hunter was a huge let down. I should listen to it more.

demmons
demmons
10 years ago

Mastodon’s the Hunter was seriously disappointing. Black Tongue was a great single but after that the album falls short.

thirdeye42012
thirdeye42012
10 years ago

childish gambino and puscifer were my favorites of 2011. i wanted to like green naugahyde way more than i actually did. i live in portland, or and I’ve still never seen red fang…whats wrong with me?

Naattik
10 years ago

I’m with Hellboy on The Hunter. Dug it more than any previous Mastodon, especially after checking them out live. Pretty solid material IMO. Kinda surprised to see a string of bad reviews up there.

@ thirdeye42012 – I was kind of leaning to fail on Green Naugahyde after my first pass, but it grew on me. And seeing it live front to back, I am really digging it now. And yeah, Red Fang were fun live, check them out.

petemasterpete
Member
10 years ago

^ I find the new mastodon, okay as a package and in comparison with recent music releases, but still underwhelming and definitely not their best… too much obvious musical influence referenced within the tunes (like steven wilson without nearly the amount of talent)… somehow sounds way too unoriginal in parts… several listens in and only really feel a need to replay the last couple tracks. New Primus also still not meeting my rotational standards… the harder I try to like it, the less I do. Red Fangs latest is definitely decent, but I’m a sucker for quality stoner rock and… Read more »

thirdeye42012
thirdeye42012
10 years ago

[quote comment=””][quote comment=””] ^ I find the new mastodon, okay as a package and in comparison with recent music releases, but still underwhelming and definitely not their best… too much obvious musical influence referenced within the tunes (like steven wilson without nearly the amount of talent)… somehow sounds way too unoriginal in parts… several listens in and only really feel a need to replay the last couple tracks. New Primus also still not meeting my rotational standards… the harder I try to like it, the less I do. Red Fangs latest is definitely decent, but I’m a sucker for quality… Read more »

Jethro Tool
Jethro Tool
10 years ago

To suggest puscifer have done anything to match 13th Step is laughable! But yeah Florence is a major talent…

Mog
Mog
10 years ago

^ +1

Conditions is cool, but Thirteenth Step is an exceptional album from start to finish.

chrispiiiii
chrispiiiii
10 years ago

For all of those mentioning Tyler, The Creator, give this this guy a listen. Him and Tyler and been feuding for awhile and I think Hopsin is way more sick.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bULBnef6w6k

Calfium Jay
Calfium Jay
10 years ago

Lucidiot – 1 day ago  »  My favorite releases of 2011: Wolves In The Throne Room – Celestial Lineage Mamiffer – Mare dacendrii House Of Low Culture – Poisoned Soil Neurosis – Sovereign (Reissue) Sunn O))) – Monoliths & Dimensions Ides Of Gemini – The Disruption Writ EP YOB – Atma …In no particular order Biggest disappointments of 2011: Opeth – Heritage Mastodon – The Hunter  Monoliths And Dimensions was 2009 – but congratulations anyway on having the best Best Of list so far in this thread. I was afraid I was about to lose my egg salad lunch, what with… Read more »

Mog
Mog
10 years ago

chrispiiiii – 9 hours ago  » 
For all of those mentioning Tyler, The Creator, give this this guy a listen. Him and Tyler and been feuding for awhile and I think Hopsin is way more sick.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bULBnef6w6k

Hopskin is a talented MC but he is not in the same universe as Tyler. Tyler has impeccable flow and timing. His subject matter and rhymes are far more complex.

Bottom line though, they all pale in comparison to any member of the Wu Tang Clan.

WU

badkittygothgirl
10 years ago

I was afraid I was about to lose my egg salad lunch, what with all this talk of Noel Gallagher and all.

LMAO!! I was feeling the same way! Might as well have mentioned creed.

ilikecheese
ilikecheese
Member
10 years ago

can you imagine thom fronting creed; it’d be like tom the baptist went off

ilikecheese
ilikecheese
Member
10 years ago

H

petemasterpete
Member
10 years ago

admin – 4 hours ago  » 

I was afraid I was about to lose my egg salad lunch, what with all this talk of Noel Gallagher and all.

LMAO!! I was feeling the same way! Might as well have mentioned creed.

May as well have mentioned Radiohead for that matter… 

what was that? oh, sorry… kinda sounded like mmmm, mumble… slobber…gaaaaag… mmmm with matt bellamy’s cock so far down your throat

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