For better or worse we took the time to compile a list of our favorite things that came out this year. All of these bands are a cut above and worthy of complete respect.
IRON LUNG's Year End Top 11 in no particular order:
UNA BÈSTIA INCONTROLABLE - Observant Com El Mon Es Destrueix LP - La Vida Es Un Mus
-This is the record of the year for us. So much goes on that seems to slip by unnoticed by most. UBI's got it all and we caught it early. Fuck yes! Heavy, distorted, anthemic, industrial, inclusive punk with a non-linear musical direction designed for explosive upward action and will shattering hypnotism. If you haven't dazed up and done yourself in with these yet, please get down with them immediately. Don't be chumped. Everything about this record is different and perfect. See you soon!? Thank you.
FRAMTID - Defeat Of Civilization LP - Black Water/La Vida Es Un Mus/Crust War
-"Japan has long been heralded as thee place to see and hear raging yet earnest musical craftsmanship." Even if you don't agree with that statement (which may or mat not have been printed in a good citizen's handbook), FRAMTID is most certainly an argument for it. The drumming alone on this record is better than most band's entire catalog of offered sound. Note: copying FRAMTID's blistering natural state is not recommended. We expected to like the tortured pummel and head twisting megawave but holy hell it blew all of us out of our trees. Incredible. Consider our civilization defeated. Thank you.
CONDITION - Bombed Out 7" - Rust & Machine
-Just another D-Beat record to be ignored...WRONG!. CONDITION is the new face of genre perfect madness and bar-raising brutality. And they look good doing it too. Chains. Tattoos. Supple warming bass tone. Full rich guitar sounds minus the gratuitous noisy feedback crutch. Tasteful D&B from a guy with real dreadlocks and the sweet ginger tones of a leg-breaking-beer-throwing wild-ass. We are charmed to the last drop. Thank you.
HIS ELECTRO BLUE VOICE - Ruthless Sperm LP - Sub Pop
-Just when you thought acceptably over dramatic Italy had had it's time in the musical sun, HEBV comes creeping from the outer rings with their first proper full length. Worth every bolt, nut and noodle on the wait plate too. From start to finish Ruthless Sperm caresses your insecurities and takes full, provocative advantage of your newly vulnerable state with equal parts jagged noise rock, punk snarl and urgent soundtrack simmer. It's as if you were watching a Mario Adorf/Linnea Quigley jazzercise orgy on VHS. Thank you.
BONE SICKNESS - Alone In The Grave LP - 20 Buck Spin
-Alone In The Grave thrashes and kills like a punk record but is not a punk record. It's a death metal record. A real death metal record. Not one that sucks bananas with lots of tech tricks and triggered nonsense. Just solid raging Autopsy meets Terrorizer styles. Not to mention a singing drummer! You know we like that. We wish all current metal bands had the balls to sound real like these guys. BONE SICKNESS is no fucking wimp. Thank You.
WOLF EYES - No Answer-Lower Floors LP - De Stijl
-On their 900th release, WOLF EYES cleans the noise clock yet again with a more pared down soundtrackish approach. Lick the speakers, you can almost taste the dirt on the basement floor. It's hard, uneasy and unfinished yet dense enough to hold up the entire shack for a thousand years. The secrets are buried beneath the bodies. Do the big dig, there's something special here. Still can't put our fingers in it but it hits just right every time. Thank you.
PRIMITIVE CALCULATORS - The World Is Fucked LP - Chapter Music
-If you didn't already know PC was one of the best drumless keyboard punk noise weirdo hybrids of the 80's then they gave us all another chance to do that dance. Oddly enough this recording is the first they've done in a proper studio. All others were recorded live. And still destroyed! How many bands ever did that? Screamers? Yep. None other that we can think of. In a sea of lukewarm teenage new wave/industiral/goth rehash these guys made an ugly pumping muscular collection of ear destroyers palatable for all age groups with a taste for the indecent. Thank you.
PLEASURE CROSS - s/t CS - End Theory
-The only tape release to make the cut this year but rest assured that this is the real grindcore you've been looking for. Angry lives ground by full grown adults with jobs and responsibilities who are not quite "too old for this shit" just yet. We look forward to seeing what they release next because we know it will knock your block off and repurpose the chubby tepid leftovers into fuel and party favors. This cover art should win some kind of award. Two KKK's kissing? Genius. We grant thee a championship belt encrusted with jewels, gold and bragging rights. Thank you.
KREMLIN - Drunk In The Gulag 12" - Beach Impediment/Bad VIbrations
-We swear we saw this band wear a beret on stage. And sunglasses at night too. That's what the punks do these days, right? Whatever the fuck they want, right? It shows hard on this 130 grammer. A scalding cache of nasty Canadian roughcore tunes easy to groove to but hard to pigeonhole. No gimmicks, no fuss, just punx. Fuck off squares, get down to KREMLIN (posthumously)! Thank you.
PISSED JEANS - Honeys LP - Sub Pop
-Sweaty. Thank you.
GAG - This Punk Shit Is Cool But I Hope I Am Rob Zombie When I'm 28 12" - Bedside
-Trenchmen states-wide beat themselves ugly to the antics of our northwest's beloved. Big riffs and smashed noses can always be counted on. And that is just the live version. Recorded it's just as visceral and unattractive. It's a good thing this is only one-sided as most would not be able to handle two. Lucky for us we have thick skin and hard knuckles. If we've learned anything from these manglers it's to never let our guard down. GAG goes ham. Bet. Thank you.