50 Unheralded Albums from 2011

50 Unheralded Albums from 2011

In just one more trip around the sun, another swarm of immensely talented but under-recognized musicians has harnessed its collective talents and discharged its creations into the void. This list is but one fraction of those dedicated individuals who caught our ears with some serious jams.


Guest Playlist: Eugene S. Robinson’s top 10 songs to accompany surrender

Oxbow: King of the JewsOxbow: King of the Jews (Reissue) (Hydra Head, 5/10/11)

Oxbow: “Daughter”

[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/01-Daughter.mp3|titles=Oxbow: “Daughter”]

With his band OxbowEugene S. Robinson has become known for his simple, primal lyrics howled over increasingly complex arrangements, and for his fearsome live performances. The band’s most recent studio album, The Narcotic Story, was released in 2007. More recently, its second full-length, King of the Jews (released way back in ’91), was reissued this year on Hydra Head. Though the band’s avant-punk music is aggressive, and Robinson’s vocals powerful and howling, even they need dial things back and unwind with a little quietude once in a while.

Music to Put the Gun Down to

The world is sometimes a hectic place. People running back and forth, screaming, diving under cars. All of this modern hubbub and these frenetic and shouted cries to “put the gun down” will sometimes just drive you crazy. And so, as a tonic or a salve to the savage soul, Oxbow’s Eugene S. Robinson suggests 10 songs that go well with surrender. Enjoy.

1. Johnny Mathis: “Open Fire” from Open Fire, Two Guitars

Jesus Christ, this is just a great stocking-feet, throw-pillow paean to fine “bachelor” living. In front of a fireplace. With a glass of sherry.

2. Johnny Hartman: “The Day the World Stopped Turning” from The Voice That Is

Listened to this record once for a week straight. Without leaving the bed. That says it all.

Helms Alee

Helms Alee: Unapologetic, Unwieldy Post-Rock

Led by guitarist/vocalist Ben Verellen, Seattle-based post-punk band Helms Alee makes melodic heaviness that evokes grunge and post-metal — but with harmonized moments of clean-channel clarity.

100 Unheralded Albums from 2010

Among the thousands of under-appreciated or under-publicized albums that were released in 2010, hundreds became our favorites and were presented in ALARM and on AlarmPress.com. Of those, we pared down to 100 outstanding releases, leaving no genre unexplored in our list of this year’s overlooked gems.

Buzzov-en is back on tour after 12 years

Stoner-core veterans Buzzov-en have reunited and will hit the road after a 12-year drought to tour the USA this fall.

For a handful of East Coast and Midwest dates, founding member Kirk Fisher has gathered the band’s original lineup, including bassist “Dixie” Dave Collins (also of Weedeater) and drummer Ramzi.

After the release of the band’s compilation album, Violence from the Vault (Relapse), this year, Buzzov-en is working on a new album called Revelation: Sick Again that will be out in 2011 on Hydra Head Records.