ALARM’s Top 10 Albums of 2008

Our list of favorites from last year includes devastating dub metal, organ-fueled psychedelic grind, a re-released classic-rock gem from nearly four decades ago, an international assemblage of punk-infused field recordings, and an Indian/surf/metal take on John Zorn‘s Masada material.

Lymbyc Systym on Live Adaptation and Evolution

Before their beautiful full-length debut of Love Your Abuser on Mush Records, brothers Michael and Jared Bell of Lymbyc Systym made well-crafted, keyboard-driven post-rock for their Carved by Glaciers EP.

Faith No More

The Top 10 Songs by Faith No More

Faith No More didn’t revolutionize the rock landscape, but for much of its tenure, its members created some of the genre’s best mainstream songs while courting radio success. Along the way, Mike Patton and crew peppered other styles into their expanding repertoire, wedging lounge sounds, incoherent squeals, and even an angelic choir into songs that ran alongside pummeling rock tunes.

There is a kitschy guilty pleasure to pre-Patton songs such as “We Care a Lot,” but respectfully, they can’t compete. So with apologies to the Chuck Mosely era, here is our list for Faith No More’s best songs.

Beastie Boys

The Top 10 Lines from the Beastie Boys’ Hello Nasty

Named after the telephone greeting at PR company Nasty Little Man, Hello Nasty was the Beastie Boys’ stellar follow-up to Ill Communication.

It houses a mix of live instruments, handpicked samples, and serious DJ skills, and it also holds some of the trio’s best lines. We decided to pick out our favorites.

The Top 10 Record Label Names

Lord knows that there are thousands of record labels in the world. So how does one go about separating itself from the rest (other than through awesome music)? That would be with a good name. Thankfully, these labels all have great music as well.

Q&A: Jerseyband on Lungcore and the Lives of Unsigned Artists

Photo credit: Theo Wargo
Photo credit: Theo Wargo

With a demolishing dose of horn-heavy chug metal, Jerseyband stands as the logical result of loose forerunners such as John Zorn’s Naked City, Mr. Bungle, and Estradasphere. The seven-piece band’s progressive fusion touches on jazz, groove, big-band flair, and math rock, making a sonic concoction as wild as its live shows.

Q&A: God of Shamisen

Led by Tsugaru-shamisen master Kevin Kmetz, Santa Cruz’s God of Shamisen creates cultural collisions in the form of shredding, Japanese-infused progressive metal. Scott Morrow catches up with Kmetz and bassist/producer Mark Thornton on the heels of the group’s full-length debut release.

The Top 10 Parts of The Shape of Punk to Come

Just prior to an acrimonious breakup in 1998, Swedish hardcore group Refused released its magnum opus, The Shape of Punk to Come: A Chimerical Bombination in 12 Bursts. It was as much an assault on capitalist philosophy as it was a striking stylistic evolution, and it did its best to advance hardcore in the way that its titular influence, Ornette Coleman’s The Shape of Jazz to Come, did with jazz.