We still haven’t forgiven the sullen Elias Bender Rønnenfelt for giving us one of the shittiest interviews ever, but that doesn’t change the fact that Coalition is the most rampageous piece of punk rock we’ve heard this year.
Pour Tha Martini (E One)
What do you get when Ghostface Killah of the Wu-Tang Clan and Sheek Louch of D-Block team up? For the answer, pour the martini, beeyotch, and then crank up this synth-soaked blast of old-school righteousness.
Saint Nicholas (Independent)
He sounds as white as mcenroe, but that doesn’t make Ill Tone any less engaging on the mike, as the MC earns extra points for starting things off with "I don’t give a fucking fuck what people think of me anymore".
Landscape-scorching old-school hardcore from a Vancouver assault unit that plays punk the way God originally intended. Which is to say, the Casualties are a far more valid reference point than Green Day.
Light of Age (Independent)
The kinetic live-wire art-punk of late-’70s England gets updated for the modern indie nation—the best thing being that it’s hard to tell whether this is an unearthed artifact or this week’s hot new thing.
A Broken Heart (Turnstile)
Start off the new year by being kicked to the curb? From the sounds of this acoustic, paisley-country weeper, Christopher Owens feels your pain. Now crack open the Jack.
Atoms for Peace
Judge, Jury and Executioner (XL)
With Thom Yorke mewling—uh, singing— and Nigel Godrich in the producer’s chair, you would be justified in assuming this sounds like a Radiohead song. And that’s exactly what it does sound like, for better or worse.
Mackenzie Scott delivers a devastating meditation on things that remain unspoken between lovers. When she sings "Everything hurts, but it’s fine, it’s fine/Happens all the time", you’ll be reaching for the Kleenex.
Tom Waits and Keith Richards
The two men with the most ravaged throats (and craggy faces) in show business croak out a version of the old Missouri River song, sounding for all the world like a pair of drunken old longshoremen.
Ruminants (Badman Recording Co.)
If you woke up in one of those goddamned good moods today, the always depressing Lisa Germano will set things right with a sweet little ditty all about how she wishes she had four stomachs. Or something like that.
Where Are We Now? (Iso/Columbia)
The supposedly retired rock icon makes an unexpected return with an atmospheric ballad about his Berlin days. The melody is simple but the song seems to gain depth with each listen. Welcome back, Ziggy. Stay a while, won’t you?