Destruction Unit – Void and Deep Trip (Jolly Dreams Records and Sacred Bones Records)
Destruction Unit started off as a side project for Reatards members Ryan Rousseau and the late Jay Reatard. With the addition of Jesco Aurelius ( ex Pigeon Religion/Avon Ladies) this band has become a whole new beast. Deep Trip and Void are great companion pieces for one looking to reach unexplored spaces of the mind or even the collective human psyche. I don’t know what would happen if members of Bauhaus, Spacemen 3, Hawkwind, and Black Flag got into a bloody street fight but it may sound like Destruction Unit. I have seen them play three times this year and each performance is perfectly chaotic, transcendental, and cathartic. Fuck Chvrches, fuck Vampire Weekend and fuck Daft Punk. Destruction Unit is the best band of 2013.
Chelsea Wolfe – Pain Is Beauty (Sargent House)
Chelsea Wolfe makes painfully beautiful music, hence the title of her latest effort, Pain Is Beauty. Wolfe finds strength in darkness on this wonderfully composed album which mixes the organic, the electronic, and the cryptic esoteric knowledge that shapes her world view. She will be doing an upcoming tour in the coming month with Queens of the Stone Age and I can only see bright things coming out of her dark and smoky gothic conquest.
Fuck You Pay Me – Demo Tape (self released)
Fuck You Pay Me in the brainchild of Cleveland DIY punk veteran Tony Erba. He has played in many heralded bands including Face Value, H100s, 9 Shocks Terror, and Gordon Solie Motherfuckers. Erba takes his confrontational spirit to a new level with FYPM and their brand of sincere old school hardcore. The lyrics are honest and the licks are fast. This is music that makes one want to smash a folding chair over their enemies head. Midwestern angst at it’s finest.
Pleasure Leftists – Self Titled (Deranged Records)
Pleasure Leftists new Self Titled album contains two tracks that were released in 7 inch format earlier this year and three new songs as well. It would be unfair to compare singer Haley Morris to Siouxsie Sioux because it almost seems redundant at this point and she is a powerful vocalist all in her own but the nods are definitely there when it comes to the styling’s of Pleasure Leftists. They hail from gloomy Cleveland instead of gloomy England and do post-punk that would not be unfit for Factory Records if this were released thirty years earlier. However, this isn’t pure goth worship. These songs are bringing an intangible freshness to the table. Bassist Steve Pfeffer has played in Cleveland outfits such as 9 Shocks Terror and Homostupids while guitarist Kevin Jaworski was also a wild strummer in 9 Shocks during a tenure that lasted a few years Pick up this album before it goes out of print.
Merchandise – Totale Nite (Night People)
I am putting this album on my end of the year list due in strength to the song “Anxiety’s Door”. This borders on Smiths worship while being eerily better than a lot of The Smiths’ output. I know that is a bold statement but this song is just that damn magical. The swapping of acoustic and amplified guitars, the psychedelic lo-fi lushness, this is just untouchable stuff. The rest of the album isn’t so bad either.
-David Saint Timbercrest
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