ALARM's 51 Favorite Albums of 2013

ALARM’s 51 Favorite Albums of 2013

Saving the best for last, we’ve chosen our 51 favorite albums of 2013, pulled from the acclaimed and the unsung — some of the best as well as most boundary-pushing releases from rock and beyond.


Q&A: Zozobra’s sludgecore for the short attention span

Zozobra: Savage MastersZozobra: Savage Masters (Brutal Panda, 4/2/13)

“Venom Hell”

Zozobra: “Venom Hell”

There was a time when having a short attention span was seen as a character flaw. But for musicians operating in the modern world, being able to compartmentalize, to jump from one thing to the next with nary a blink of hesitation, might be an evolutionary next level.

If so, Caleb Scofield is a good candidate for king of the over-caffeinated, hyper-intense land of tomorrow. The bass player, enlisting the help of Cave In band-mates Adam McGrath and JR Conners, crammed writing for the new Zozobra record, Savage Masters, into a few warm months last year with an intense but focused plan of attack: write fast, keep it short, and don’t over-think. The result is the most blistering six songs that Zozobra has yet produced, all in the span of about 15 minutes. Scofield’s blitz went off so well he almost didn’t have time to write lyrics.

ALARM's 50 Favorite Songs of 2012

ALARM’s 50 (+5) Favorite Songs of 2012

Last month ALARM presented its 50 favorite albums of 2012, an eclectic, rock-heavy selection of discs that were in steady rotation in our downtown-Chicago premises. Now, to give some love to tunes that were left out, we have our 50 (+5) favorite songs of last year — singles, B-sides, EP standouts, soundtrack cuts, and more.

ALARM's 50 Favorite Albums of 2012

ALARM’s 50 Favorite Albums of 2012

Another year, another torrential downpour of albums across our desks. As always, we encountered way too much amazing music, from Meshuggah to The Mars Volta, Converge, Killer Mike, P.O.S, and many more.

Old Man Gloom: NO

Review: Old Man Gloom’s NO

Old Man Gloom: NOOld Man Gloom: NO (Hydra Head, 6/26/12)

“Common Species”

Old Man Gloom: “Common Species”

Let it be known that 2012 has been a great year for reunions in the music industry.  We all know about the names of the past coming together again for live performances, but few end up writing new material or actually functioning as a band. Enter Old Man Gloom: an all-star noise-sludge lineup that has moved in mystery since the end of the 1990s. Now, following a few recent live shows of its own, the Boston-based four-piece has released NO, its first recorded effort in eight years.