Well, it’s nearly the middle of February already – so it seems as good a time as any to wrap up this round up of the previous years best songs. They don’t call me The Timely Content Kid for nothing. Also some might call having 25 songs on a top 20 list something of a cop out. To which I have no real argument.
It was a great year for music though and I think this list demonstrates just how good. Especially since it was a year in which I didn’t find much time to delve into all that much hip hop – Busdriver and Milo narrowly missed the cut for the list but that was about it for my rap listening in 2015, bar a couple of L’Orange produced albums – and almost completely ignored what was by all accounts an excellent year for black metal. It was a year of Too Much Music and this, for better or worse, is how I spent it. And given how much fun I’ve had putting this list together I’m leaning towards, “for better.”
Part 3 of a 20 part rundown of my favourite tracks of 2015
When he’s not busy expanding the already intimidatingly large Self Defense Family discography or drawing comics Pat Kindlon can be found writing from the point of view of assholes and lowlifes as frontman of Drug Church. And it might just be the best thing he does. Reflecting anxieties and worries by embodying them he’s often screaming from the point of view of the worst the world has to offer, juxtaposing weary irony with high energy punk rock fury.
In the case of Aging Jerk it’s the internet commenter, passing judgement in the glow of the laptop screen with an inflated sense of entitlement. It’s the pendulum of hyperbole swinging between, “I give it one outta five,” and “[it’s] a blessing from on high.” It’s the often repeated banalities that lie at the end of so many user reviews, “would watch again,” “was worth my time.” It’s a shopping list of cliched film criticisms posted online by the kind of person who feels the need to have an opinion on everything and let everyone know what they think at all times.
The amidst a full bore post-hardcore guitar crescendo he boils cinema down to; “something to pass some hours/something to eat your day.” A cynical reduction, perhaps, but one anyone who’s spent any time staring at the offerings of their local Cineworld recently will likely sigh and agree with. Listening to Drug Church you get the feeling Kindlon isn’t satisfied by much in life. But he expresses his dissatisfaction with such a precise ear for the douchebags he summons and inhabits, a nice line in pith and a piercing, righteous yell that it makes for a pretty satisfying listen.
Taking us up to a nice round 100 tracks (and around 10 hours worth of music) for the year I present to you the 4th and final installment of Wanton Playlistery for 2015. It was compiled during a period in which I was giving myself a headache trying to decide what should and shouldn’t make my Record of the Year list, a time in which I’m forced to listen to so much music I forget what I actually like, if I like anything, and start to wonder what the point of this whole music thing is anyway, and why is there so much of it, and who could possibly listen to enough of it to pass any kind of judgement on what is and isn’t worthy, and does it actually mean anything I mean after all it’s just a series of vibrations in the air being interpreted by strange mechanisms inside our heads and how can anyone possibly praise or criticise the air and our ability or inability to parse what it means or is intended to mean and when did run out of coffee and oh god please make it stop..
Somewhere in all of that I decided these 25 tracks were worthy of more attention. Is it any wonder I ended up selecting an electronica backing to a Leonard Nimoy reading of a Ray Bradbury story alongside some all out gone instrumental Swedish psych rock, a cut from a concept hip-hop record about a pair of janitors at a Ballard-esque housing complex and the terrifying final part of Wrekmester Harmonies’ Night of Your Ascension which probably makes no sense in isolation? It’s a strange time which called for a strange soundtrack. It’s been a great year in music, albeit one with few towering achievements. It’s instead been crammed full of minor masterpieces and strange and wonderful detours into rich little musical hinterlands. Did any of it mean anything? Well, there’s at least 100 tracks that meant something to me on WD now ready for anyone with the inclination to listen to. Maybe some of them will mean something to somebody else too.