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Best of 2006

C. W. Gramstadt "cgramstadt"
 
The Trials Of Van Occupanther
The Trials Of Van Occupanther
"The band named after where most of my tee-offs end up released an excellent sophomore album full of spooked melody and 70s louche charm. Well above par (9)"
Film School
Film School
"There aren't enough bands who post-rock the Interpol Division sound afterall! The quality and energy is irrestible and though derivative to an extent the guitars swoon like Kitchens of Distinction (9)"
I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass
I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass
"...if you disagree with me on this one. How often is an album by scene veterans hailed as their best yet? For once the critics are right - sprawling krautrock workouts contrasted by heartbreakers 8.75"
The Eraser
The Eraser
"Fans of latter day Radiohead like myself will love these introspective thoughtful songs garnished with electronic precision. Nice one A Kid (8.75)"
American V: A Hundred Highways
American V: A Hundred Highways
"For once a posthumous release that enhances a discography. Dead good. (8.75)"
Dreamt For Light Years In The Belly Of A Mountain
Dreamt For Light Years In The Belly Of A Mountain
"Linkous links up with Dangermouse but the template is unchanged -  gut-wrenching, tear-jerking (insert other body part and verb combo) loveliness (8.75)"
Let's Kill The Summer
Let's Kill The Summer
"Autumnal hazy acoustic charm from highly under-rated songwriter. Fans of The Clientele need apply (8.75)"
Writer's Block
Writer's Block
"....definitely not in evidence here. Tunes so good everyone from the old plumber to the young folk could whistle them (8.5)"
Everything All The Time
Everything All The Time
"From the same aural stable as My Morning Jacket - this is a fine collection of neil young-influenced indie rock (8.5)"
Departure
Departure
"Ex Six by Seven men in Shoegaze (that wonderful genre)'s finest release of the year. MBV by way of Broken Social Scene by ex Six by Seven man (8.5)"
Trompe L?Oeil
Trompe L?Oeil
"Oh Canada...how many good independent bands can hail from your bosom. Great sounding jerky rock sung in Canadian french for extra pretentious points! (8.5)"
Violence And Birdsong
Violence And Birdsong
"Like the album title richly evokes an album of contrast - The abrasive but deep rolling rhythmic elements of Underworld contrasts with Radiohead esque melodies. Works very well actually. (8.25)"
Howling Bells
Howling Bells
"Keep yer ears pealed if you like well-produced femme-rock reminiscent of Pj Harvey at her better form (8.25)"
Yellow House
Yellow House
"Grizzly Bear from the Animal Collective has plenty of Warp-ed hazy honey on offer here (8.25)"
Avalanche
Avalanche
"....of B-sides and out-takes from the Illinois sessions. This guy is such a "name your kid after him" provoking legend. Can't believe these were left on the chopping floor (8.25)"
The Year Of The Leopard
The Year Of The Leopard
"No spot-changing here. More rural, rustic acoustic delights - perfect for those long walks followed by cider by the log-fire...oh that's just me (8.25)"
Puzzles Like You
Puzzles Like You
"More Byrds-ian and Fanclub esque than anything Halstead has put his name to. This is no slow dive in form though. Reliably good. (8.25)"
Crane Wife
Crane Wife
"Even Lillith would approve.....(8.25)"
Ideal Lives
Ideal Lives
"Mature and melodic offerign from Fugazi influenced threepiece (8.25)"
Citrus
Citrus
"Not the best year for shoegazers but this MBV/Lush/Slowdive influenced affair is fruity enough for sure (8.25)"
Seawards
Seawards
"They sound like a Death Metal band on paper but on digital file they resemble EITS, State River Widening and instrumental rock's elite. Insert cover/book analogy (8)"
Halos And Lassos
Halos And Lassos
"...just below Sufjan but pipping Danielson in the "unusual left-field Christian folkies" award..For angels and cowboys (8)"
Gang Of Losers
Gang Of Losers
"Instead of some weak title-related pun I should do a link to the photo of the Sobell Squad...erm only kidding my dears..more good Canadian indie-pop (8)"
Black Sheep Boy Appendix
Black Sheep Boy Appendix
"Superb companion piece to last year's masterpiece (8)"
Nine Times That Same Song
Nine Times That Same Song
"....which is a good thing for other fans of Scandi-girl-pop with a punky edge (8)"