As we wind down yet another year embroiled in the topsy-turvyness of a now seemingly unending pandemic, I'm here to be the purveyor of good news, and to remind you that when it came to good tunes, 2021 gave us more than a few things to smile about.
First, I'm pleased to announce the birth of our new blog, Musings from the Underground (what you're reading right now!), authored by none other than TGTYNH's own wayward co-founder and original co-host, yours truly Mr. Mathew Brown-Watson, #MadMat. Like many others, I was dealt some rather serious blows at the beginning of the Pandemic and unfortunately, I needed to step away from the podcast and only recently has the dust settled enough to reengage with what was becoming a real labor of love. Going forward I will be publishing these blog posts every Friday as a sort-of informative garnish to your weekly listening experience with Ben & John. That’s not to say you won’t be hearing from me in a more literal sense as well, as I plan to take on a more reoccurring role with the podcast in 2022, so look for me when things slide into the punk realm.
Second, in an effort to bolster the cast’s overall experience, we are aiming to include sound bites from some of our favorite moments of the album in review. This was something Ben and I really wanted to employ when we first started, so this an exciting feature we feel will really bring the experience to another level!
As for 2021, and where we got our smiles from...
With this first blog post I’m imposing a tradition on the 3 of us where we reflect on what was truly inspiring that was released during the current year. It’s our take on the best record we heard regardless of ambiguity, podcast affiliation, or any other metric you may associate with our humble cast thus far.
Ben this year, like every year over the past.... I’m not sure... 10 plus years now? has continued with his tradition of delineating his list of the best albums of the year. And while I urge each of our listeners (especially those of the more metal-minded persuasion) to go through these 20 albums worth of auditory intrigue, today I’ll focus on his chart topper, Agusa’s En Annan Varld. This two track 46-minute album is about as dynamic as they come with warm 70s-esque tones, and melodic leads stemming from, of all things, a flautist! If you’re in the mood for something unique, this one has it in spades. What I found incredible was how these guys move from somber melody friendly sonics seamlessly into a jazzy funked-up jam that’s just empoweringly good!
Ben's Top 20:
|20.||Malignant Altar||Realms of Exquisite Morbidity|
|18.||Steel Bearing Hand||Slay in Hell|
|17.||Necrofier||Prophecies of Eternal Darkness|
|15.||Thulsa Doom||Ambition Freedom|
|14.||Hekate||Sermons to the Black Owl|
|13.||Monobrow||A Decorative Piece of Time|
|11.||Eldovar||A Story of Darkness and Light|
|09.||Boss Keloid||Family the Smiling Thrush|
|08.||The Lucid Furs||Damn! That was Easy|
|05.||Weedpecker||IV: The Stream of Forgotten Thoughts|
|04.||King Buffalo||The Burden of Restlessness|
|03.||Apostle of Solitude||Until the Darkness Goes|
|02.||Cave of Swimmers||Aurora|
|01.||Agusa||En Annan Varld|
I, like perhaps the rest of you, only really know John by listening to the episodes he’s done on the podcast, and what a fantastic successor to yours truly he has been. Still, I was curious as to what his number one entry might be? Well folks, I was not disappointed. John’s top 20 list this year is topped by none other than Apostle of Solitude’s Until the Darkness Goes. The traditional doom group from Indianapolis really gave the Doom community something to celebrate! it’s a release that was born out of horrible suffering resulting from the Pandemic and that immense sorrow is deeply immersed into every facet of this record. And while the heartfelt loss that is ever present in this sonic landscape, once understood in proper context is unequivocally jarring, the ultimate effect is nothing short of profound.
John's Top 20
|20.||Haxmasteren||Sol I Exil|
|19.||Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou||The Helm of Sorrow|
|18.||Neil Young and Crazy Horse||Barn|
|16.||Eyehategod||A History of Nomadic Behaviour|
|15.||Cult of Luna||The Raging River|
|13.||Yawning Sons||Sky Island|
|12.||Marissa Nadler||The Path of the Clouds|
|11.||Exodus||Persona non Grata|
|10.||Mastodon||Hushed and Grim|
|07.||Monobrow||A Decorative Piece of Time|
|06.||Chelsea Wolfe & Converge||Bloodmoon|
|05.||Agusa||En Annan Varld|
|03.||Wheel||Preserved in Time|
|02.||Greenleaf||Echoes from a Mass|
|01.||Apostle of Solitude||Until the Darkness Goes|
It’s not every year that your favorite band releases a new record, especially if your favorite band is none other than the somewhat elusive Canadian duo Death from Above 1979. But that’s just what they gave us in 2021 and right when I needed it! The Is 4 Lovers album is relatively unique for them, especially for those who may not be familiar with the duo’s work outside of DFA 1979 as they seem to have taken the entirety of what they’ve learned from all of the various projects they’ve embarked on over their careers to create it. This one really has it all. From 8-bit electronica vibes, to dance punk crescendos, it’s a tour de force that underscores the maturity as much as the diversity in music these two men have garnered since the band's inception.
Well, that’s it for now....
There will be a special podcast commemorating our 100th episode this evening featuring all 3 of us with special guests to boot. We would love for you to join us in our celebration. For now, be safe, enjoy what remains of the holidays and have a splendid New Year!