It’s the time of year where we feel compelled to compile a list of albums which captivated us over the course of a long and trying year. We listen to a lot of music. GOOD music, so our list fits our passion hence the size of it. Also, the list is a reference and not an indicator of what we truly feel is better over another. Without further ado, here’s our top 33 and 1/3rd records of 2019:
Written by William Long with help from Ryan Koster.
- The Telescopes – “Exploding Head Syndrome” – Dark, droning and brooding soundscapes provide fitting soundtrack for a 2019 filled with strife. Stephen Lawrie has mastered dark sound, encapsulating despair by creating mood through a wall of noise. The vocals blend into the well which sinks one into a pit that suggests: “You can hear me, but are you even listening?” Pure darkness, yet relatable to every human on this fair earth. Buy Here
2. Oh Sees – “Face Stabber” – John Dywer has ascended the Oh Sees into the ProgAsphere a few albums back. Over the top beautiful spaced out progressive jams with that classic Oh Sees garage fuzz still in the fold as well as the abject weirdness we all expect forever intact and then some. “Face Stabber” is in a league of it’s own in modern music and fit perfectly with any iconic album you dare compare it to. Yes, the Oh Sees are THAT good. Buy Here
3. Black Mountain – “Destroyer” – A massive lineup change transition album could of destroyed the band as co-vocalist Amber Weber and drummer Joshua Wells went on to greener pastures with their band ‘Lightning Dust.’ Enter ex Sleepy Sun vocalist Rachael Fannan and drummer Adam Bulgasem and Black Mountain doesn’t miss a beat with “Destroyer.” Heavy psychedelic prog that drizzles in droning, almost doomy measures that lull you into a synth drenched slumber only to be struck like a cobra when the band knocks you on your ass with their still omnipotent sound that is unmistakable. Pure and simple: Stephen McBean is a genius and this album is so fucking good that one needs their pulse checked if your hair doesn’t stand up on your arms upon first listen. Buy Here
4. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – “Infest the Rat’s Nest” – An intense foray into vintage 1980’s thrash and done with appropriate anger and style, yet maintaining the bands progressive yet quirky sound. If any outfit could jump into this genre, or any other genre for that matter, it’s King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. Prolific and on top of their game, there is seemingly not a stone that will go unturned. Buy Here
5. Sunwatchers – “Illegal Moves” – Psychedelic progressive jazz fusion that ventures well into the krautrock game and beyond the boarders of full on free jazz. Music head music from New York that will take you to inner meaning and see that you question every single bit of what it is you think you found. Buy Here
6. Dire Wolves – “Grow Towards the Light” – An album that can be hard to define is, typically for us at Infinite Spin, a tell tale indicator that the album is a great one. Toss in bizarre, meditative chants that seduce you further into the krauty, almost free improv jams which live beyond leftfield. Buy Here
7. The Underground Youth – “Montage Images of Lust & Fear” – Psyched out post punk, “Montage Images of Lust & Fear” will have your blood curling with Alan Vega (esque) darkness and croon you with reverb soaked ballads in the vain of Ian McColloch and Echo and the Bunnymen. Buy Here
8. Ecstatic Vision – “For the Masses” – Dave Brock from Hawkwind and Dave Wyndorf of Monster Magnet had a baby …and it’s Ecstatic Vision. One of the best live acts going in modern music, Philadelphia based heavy psyched out space-rock that both punches you in the face and sends you off into a trip to the aether world. Buy Here
9. The Brian Jonestown Massacre – “Brian Jonestown Massacre” – The forever prolific Anton Newcombe is still on top of his game providing a steady diet of monumental psych tunes with that special BJM sound we all know and love. “Brian Jonestown Massacre” is smooth like butter and an assurance that the band can be counted on to produce records that keep it real no matter if it’s 1996, 2007 or 2019. Buy Here
10. The Spiral Electric – “The Spiral Electric” – Spaced out heavy psychedelic prog with sprawling atmosphere and beautiful melodic texture. A 14 song journey that captivates and catapults mind well above any matter. …and that guitar. Buy Here
11. Föllakzoid – “I” – Chilean analog neo-krautrock that entrances with slow builds that end in a wave of maddening psychedelic perfection. You can both play this at a trendy modern dance venue and line it up next to Can’s “Tago Mago” without even a single hitch. Buy Here
12. Red Mass – “Kilrush Drive” – Artsy synth driven jams with elements of darkwave which comprise an outstanding modern post punk release that speaks to the creative mind while toppling sensitive subject matter. Buy Here
13. Wand – “Laughing Matter” – Wand have entered into the full on experimental realm, long abandoning the Ty Segall style garage rock from days past. With hints of highbrow holy Thom Yorke that both hearken back memories of Radiohead and shine light on the stark progress and creative beauty that comprises Wand of today. Buy Here
14. Gong – “The Universe Also Collapses” – Forever traveling through time is Gong, who have manged to warp us back to work reminiscent of the “Flying Teapot” psychedelic prog era of 1973 with a sprawling, expansive state of sonic bliss. Buy Here
15. Orchid Electric – “Deep Lotus Pavilion” – Synth laden art realm experimentation from the creative mind of Johnny Palmer, whom has summoned the majesty of vintage Brian Eno. Buy Here
16. Moon Duo – “Stars Are the Light” – Equally driven by Ripley Johnson’s guitar and Sanae Yamada’s synth, this husband and wife duo permeate dream state vocal harmony with psych drenched perfection. “Stars Are the Light” is an escape to a weed soaked planet where existence is a poof of worry free smoke and is destined to make you feel that everything is going to be just fine. Buy Here
17. Mdou Moctar – “Ilana: The Creator” – If you love the intense psychedelic world vibes of a Goat record, you’ll love “IIana” by Modou Moctar. Buy Here
18. Khana Bierbood – “Strangers From the Far East” – Reverb heavy surf psych from Thailand with a dreamy ambiance sending one to the far reaches of a modern “Beach Blanket Bingo” dance freak out off in a distant land. Buy Here
19. Billy Meier – “Sounds From Erra” – A fantastic weirdo, fusion(esque) conceptual journey in the realm of vintage exotica. Somewhere, Sun Ra smiles. Buy Here
20. Ty Segall – “First Taste” – An extension of Segall’s latest releases that have seen him go down the Marc Bolan inspired artsy glam rabbit hole, but with his own signature garage fuzz style which makes Ty so distinguishable, as well as including a progressive element that keeps you guessing on what will happen next, yet all the tracks fit like a glove. Buy Here
21. Doug Tuttle – “Dream Road” – Dreamy Byrds inspired jams that send one off to that lazy but beautiful Spring day. Doug Tuttle is a fantastic guitar player, playing with a feeling that is resonate to a listener not into the shredding virtuoso, yet soaked in imaginative emotion with a vocal style that aides said emotion. Buy Here
22. Night Beats – “Myth of a Man” – Dan Auerbach of Black Keys fame produced this record, which sees an emphasis on Lee Blackwell’s fantastic crooning ability, making the songs have a 60’s pop vibe similar to that of the Black Keys. Lost in this transition is the heavy hitting reverb soaked punch in the mouth psychedelic bad assery and swag, but still a very good release. Buy Here
23. Hawkwind – “All Aboard the Skylark” – Dave Brock is 78 years old and has managed to release another album that fits perfectly in the massive catalog. Punked out space-rock with that classic Hawkwind sound. Man, Dave Brock is such a fucking inspiration. Buy Here
24. L’Eclair – “Sauropoda” – Psychedelic funked out afrobeat out of Geneva, Switzerland. Instrumental jams that move and groove, reminiscent of far out 1970’s experimentation records. Buy Here
25. The Mystery Lights – “Too Much Tension!” – 1960’s psychedelic garage rock that makes you shake where the sun don’t shine with a hint of super punk attitude. Buy Here
26. The Claypool Lennon Delirium – “South of Reality” – Psychedelic weirdness and melodic beauty from 2 well known humans. Art rock in essence and a path well worth traveling.
27. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – “Fishing For Fishies” – King Giz try their hand at the Blues, and why not? Buy Here
28. Tengger – “Spiritual 2” – Ambient drone that ‘spiritualizes’ with new age wonder. A favorite to meditate to. Buy Here
29. Boris – “LOVE & EVOL” – Boris has been all over the map over the years and this record is a feat in abnormality in the sense it’s so ambient drone and far out experimentation that lends itself perfectly to the sludgy doom Boris is most noted for. Buy Here
30. Tim Presley’s White Fence – “I Have to Feed Larry’s Hawk” – Totally straying away from, what was, the typical White Fence brand of punk heavy garage psych. In place is a wonderful weirdo minimalist record that is closer to Tim Presley’s work with Cate Le Bon than his work in his early days with Darker My Love. Buy Here
31. L’ÉPÉE – “Diabolique” – Emmanuelle Seigner – French fashion model and actress – meets Anton Newcombe and born is stylish artsy psychedelic reverberation.
32. Lost System – “Left Behind” – Anger and frustration with pure style. Simple, raw, gritty synth Post-Punk. Lost System’s 2nd release imposes the questioning of everything around you and within you. Leaving you completely lost in a dysfunctional system. Play loud and ruminate.
33. Pink Mexico – “Dump” – Continuing the garage rock ‘devil may care’ attitude and hailing from Brooklyn, NY. Robert Preston Collum rides a wave of shit all the while chuggin’ a cold one. Packed with songs about self-deprecation and wanting love that will make your head rock and give you an urge to scream along. You’ll want to play this on repeat.
1/3. Oh Sees – “The 12″ Synth” – 40 min. of John Dwyer on acid, yes please.
Psychiatric Metaphors – “Radiation Hospital”
Nolan Potter’s Nightmare Band – “Nightmare Forever”