I know what you’re thinking: this is a beer and movies blog…and while that may be true, you simply can’t deny that music and beer go together even better than movies and brew. Plus, this is my blog, so I can bend the rules like an uncaring god.
So, what makes 2013 so extra-special? The fact that so many remarkable bands have made a triumphant return after enormous gaps in releases. It’s almost creepy…
(One major caveat: being of a certain age group helps tremendously in ones enjoyment of these albums as most of the acts that make this list are cult items for people over thirty. There are no Ke$ha, Skrillex or Nicki Minaj albums…just hearing those three names all in a row made me throw up in my mouth quite a bit.)
DEPECHE MODE – DELTA MACHINE
Over four years since their last album Sounds of the Universe, DM’s latest is perhaps their strongest effort in 15 years. To continue making listenable albums after over 30 years is impressive — making great ones is miraculous.
BOARDS OF CANADA – TOMORROWS HARVEST
Seven excruciating years since their last EP and eight years since the most recent full-length, Scottish duo Boards of Canada have decided to finally grace our ears with more haunting, transcendent and flat-out beautiful ambient-leaning electronica. This is a band that takes cult-like fandom to an entirely higher level: people have practically formed religions based on their cryptic samples, song titles and imagery.
SKINNY PUPPY – WEAPON
Sure, it’s only been two years since their last album, the somewhat underwhelming Handover, but in many ways it’s incredible that a new album arrives at all. Having broken up in 1996 and finally re-uniting in 2000 (and releasing a record in 2004), Skinny Puppy not only endured the death of keyboardist Dwayne Goettel but the divergent solo careers of both remaining founding members (Ogre and cEvin Key). Add to the magic that their latest release is easily the best thing they’ve done in 20 years and fans are almost beyond elated.
DAFT PUNK – RANDOM ACCESS MEMORIES
You’d have to be living in a cave – underwater – in Antarctica — to have missed the hype surrounding the return of the biggest dance act on the planet. Over eight years have transpired since Human After All, and fours years since any live performances. Factor in that the new record is a complete transformation featuring shitloads of noteworthy guest artists and you’ve got near hysteria. It also helps considerably that the LP is damned good.
DAVID BOWIE – THE NEXT DAY
It’s David Fucking Bowie. It’s been a decade since he put out anything. He almost DIED. Yes, this is a big damn deal.
MY BLOODY VALENTINE – MBV
Umm…TWENTY-THREE YEARS since the landmark, world-changing last album. Is that some kind of world record for gaps after a wildly successful LP? This album has been on “most-anticipated” lists nearly every year in that expanse of time — until people had abandoned all hope. And *poof*, out it comes. And it’s lovely, to say the least.
Now, if Aphex Twin would break his 12 year hiatus, this year will go down as the greatest since the invention of the beer can.