Valley View Music
Valley View Music

Adolescents – Adolescents

It’s difficult to put into words what makes this album so great. In terms of verbiage, it doesn’t look so unique on paper – fast hi-hat and ride cymbal hits, dual-harmonized guitar harmonies, both trademarks of that OC hardcore sound; fast melodic hardcore music mostly consisting of distorted power chords with a vocal style somewhere between carrying a melody and yelling.

T.S.O.L. – Dance With Me

T.S.O.L.’s Dance With Me finds the band halfway between transitioning from their hardcore punk roots to full-on deathrock. It may come off as the band having a slight identity crisis – the band often oscillates between straight early-’80’s SoCal hardcore punk and being legit progenitors of the deathrock sub-genre, but it isn’t a half-hearted attempt.

Fear – The Record

Fear were the promise for a genre that never fully reached its potential: Fear can play their instruments; Lee Ving can actually sing; the lyrics are offensive. Even (or especially) by today’s standards; there’s a lot of variety; the recording sounds good. Fear proved you can make interesting music built around a framework of hardcore punk.

Kanye West – Yeezus

Right off the bat, one is stricken by the abrasiveness of the synth parts, the distorted drums, and the abrupt shifts in sound and style. This album sounds like commercial appeal was one of the last things on Ye’s mind. A truly bold move for such a high-profile artist.

U.S. Girls – In A Poem Unlimited

In A Poem Unlimited, loosely built around a framework of experimental electro-pop, covers an astonishing amount of ground during the course of its 11 tracks. The album frequently steps outside even these loose bounds though, drawing direct influence from several decades of musical movements.