Yes, I am a Tornado Chaser

Yes, I am a Tornado Chaser

This year’s biggest letdowns…

I thought I would kick-start my year-end music wrap by highlighting the records that weren’t exactly highlights. Every record on this list was one I exceedingly anticipated, but ultimately was disappointed by. If I step on anyone’s toes by cutting these to pieces, my apologies. As always, feel free to list your biggest stinkers (and let me know what a jack-ass I am) in the comments section.

The Dillinger Esacep Plan – Ire Works
While most Dillinger fans wrote them off after 2004’s Miss Machine, I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. I mean, most great bands put out a stinker then quickly move on to more greatness (and honestly, Miss Machine was a little rough and odd, but still about 75 percent solid), but with Ire, Dillinger dive head-first into the mediocrity of about a zillion other chugging hard rock bands all striving for airtime on KROQ (a move we should have seen coming when they toured with System of a Down a few years back.) Drag.

Modest Mouse – We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
The way all my friends were carrying on about this, you would have thought it was the second coming of rap. Fast forward six months and I’m hearing these post-coke-pre-collagen pop-rockers over the loud speaker at Whole Foods sandwiched between The Sundays and Sixpence None the Richer. I rest my case.

Animal Collective – Strawberry Jam
Riding high on the success of Feels and AC member Panda Bear’s solo record Person Pitch (both of which were EXCELLENT), Animal Collective could have reigned it in to become the crowning champs of the folk-revival scene. Instead they released this bumbling, directionless turd that looks about as awful as it sounds. They actually recycled a single from two albums ago, but forgot to make all but the most minimal of changes. Why not just re-release the single?

Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
While this isn’t necessarily a terrible record, it’s a far cry from Gimmie Fiction (and an even further cry from the amazing Kill the Moonlight.) Is it me, or was this record really boring?

Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
After trying so hard to like Arcade Fire’s records, I am finally giving up. Have you seen this band live? They might as well be a bus-load of winning lottery tickets, and yet, their records always seem like the most devoid, emotionless exercises in indie-rock grandstanding. If you need further proof, first listen to the album version of “Neon Bible” or “Wake Up” (from Funeral), then watch this. The goods don’t start for about three minutes, but be sure to watch the whole thing.