Some more things which were wonderful last year:
John Carpenter – “Wraith”
On an album that’s all about pushing his signature sound to its breaking point, “Wraith” has Carpenter’s most coherent throughline. Like many of Lost Themes‘ tracks, it’s broken down into distinct movements–three for this one–which almost could be standalone pieces. The first builds to a nice, false crescendo, the second dies down, Pixies-style, to make way for a cacophony of synths and guitars crashing down on you in the finale.
Gabrielle Aplin – “Sweet Nothing”
Was there anything else this year as infectious as that chorus?
The Weeknd – “The Hills”
There’s a nice, relentless bass to this thing. It underscores the vocal rhythms, expressing a frustrated, single-minded pursuit, getting tangled in conflicting desires on its way to nowhere good.
Sheer Mag – “Fan the Flames”
Pure mosh pit music. Violent riffs echoing off some rickety metallic surfaces as everyone jams together to flail and scream about all the shit life hurled their way. It’s the bliss you can, if only for a moment, let out your frustrations with a room full of sweaty strangers.
Also Liked: Murder By Death – “Send Me Home”, Taylor Swift – “Style”, Ennio Morricone – “L’Ultima Diligenza di Red Rock, N“, Rihanna (ft. Kanye West and Paul McCartney) (WoodysProduce Remix) – “FourFive Seconds”
Brandon Graham, Emma Rios and friends got together to make a monthly anthology mag. Devoted mainly to day-to-day worries in various detailed, lived-in futures–from the intimate coffeeshop discussions of Rios’ “I.D.” (pictured above) to the spacious urban landscapes of Ludroe’s skater-themed “Dagger Proof Mummy” and beyond–Island works exceptionally as an example of where conversations within the comics world (specifically about what voices are heard) can take us. More importantly, it’s an outlet for several, distinct talents to show themselves raw and undiluted.
Copra: Round One and Round Two (Michel Fiffe)
Handsomely packaged reprints of Michel Fiffe’s love letter to 80s anti-hero comics. Fiffe’s relentless momentum and Steranko pop art touches match perfectly with his tale of black ops maniacs tangling with God Mode weaponry. The breadcrumb trail the squad follows in their revenge trip inevitably lead to collisions with henchmen, cyborg bounty hunters, aliens, and hyper-ambitious bureaucrats. Each confrontation driven by ulterior (if not, arcane) motives, resulting in chaotic violence punctuated by cosmos-altering madness, represented to human perception by warped proportions and abstract color smears.
Also Liked: Stray Bullets: Sunshine and Roses (David Lapham), Pretty Deadly (Emma Rios, Kelly Sue DeConnick), Providence (Jacen Burrows, Alan Moore), A Train Called Love (Mark Dos Santos, Garth Ennis), Ragnarok (Walter Simonson), Godzilla in Hell (Various), The Rook (Paul Gulacy, Steven Grant), Agent 8 (Katie Skelly)