December 28, 2017

HCTF's best of 2017 (20-16)

HCTF's annual list of the 20 albums that will be in regular rotation for many years to come. The long list of memorable releases boasted about 50 albums. Tough decisions were made narrowing it down. As per usual it's a mixed bag of genres: rock in its various incarnations (garage, hard, post, prog), avant-garde, jazz, pop, folk, funk. Also of note: four live albums made the cut.

Today: countdown from number 20 to 16.

Please keep in mind to shop at your local record store, buy directly from the artist, attend live shows. And shut the fuck up while the band is playing.

20 The Dirty Denims: Back With A Bang

Catchy good time high energy music never goes out of style. Fun and gusto galore supplied by a Dutch hard rock band.

The Dirty Denims call themselves a happy hardrock band. And that's what they are: loud, fun and loaded with great hooks and attitude. Loud Stuff that will turn their live audience into a headbanging, air guitar playing friendly mob. Back With A Bang won't turn R&B and hip-hop fans into rawkers instantly, but it might make them rethink their taste in music. Turn it up, all the way to eleven. We Want More indeed.

» Full review

19 Evacuate the Earth: Evacuate the Earth

Alt-jazz won't save the planet, but it will do as a great soundtrack when the shit hits the fan.

The Milwaukee based trio paint a bleak future with this album that sounds a like Philip K. Dick novel set to music. Some undisclosed horrors are announced during The Eyes, followed by far from reassuring announcements in Mayday. When the foes from outerspace gain a foothold, they accompany the ensuing panic and the scrambling to get into a rocket with the 5-part Evacuation Suite.

» Full review

18 Trevor and The Joneses: Take You to Stay

Las Vegas psychedelic rock quartet take a colourful trip down memory lane, signposted by acts like Love, Nazz, Jefferson Airplane and The Velvet Underground.

Trevor and The Joneses are long way from The Strip, but it's worth tracking them down in Sin City. Take You to Stay is the perfect antidote for the racket of the slot machines, the elevator muzak and CĂ©line Dion.

» Full review

17 Fit and the Conniptions: Old Blue Witch

Folk music thrives when bad things happen in Great Britain.

Myers has a case for being pessimistic and angry, but as an artist he couldn't be happier. Short of being in some kind of relationship trouble nothing beats an arrogant adversary to get the songwriting juices flowing. He dons the guise of an outsider during a party who (Festival Of Fools), brings fabled union leader Bob Crow back to life and sums up all the cuts on health care and the rampant unemployment in Valentine's Day. He tries to escape from it all, travels to an unfashionable German city (Stuttgart In October) and dreams about potential female companions named Carolina and Brenda Finn, and fantasizes about befriending a mythical creature in Mermaid Song.

» Full review

16 I am Oak: Pictures of the Floating World

Exquisite solo folk performed for a captivated audience. Sometimes art only needs to whisper to be heard.

He is a poet choosing his words carefully. Without ever rising his voice he laments the death of loved ones, finding solace in nature and stories. While listening to this EP it is easy to think that he is playing for an audience of one. It will be hard to find another album that is this up close and personal

» Full review

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