I was really getting pissed off at year end best of lists this year because: (A) they starting popping up in LATE NOVEMBER, and (B) EVERYONE seemed to be doing them. I was however forced to comb through an inordinate amount of them, because I was sifting through an inordinate amount of music blogs over the past month, looking for ones that would potentially review an album that I played on and released.
The main thing I noticed from these year end lists was that: (A) dirty old school death metal is going through a some kind of renaissance, and (B) almost no one (including one person who did a TOP 100 albums of 2011) was including any releases from Bay Area bands. Now it's not my opinion, it's a stone cold FACT that the Bay Area has a world class metal scene (punk scene too, duh), and we really got the cold shoulder this year, while bands from, well... ALMOST EVERYWHERE ELSE were getting their nuts fondled by the self important tastemakers of the internet kingdom.
So here I have, not only my top ten Bay Area releases list of 2011, but also a list of the most overlooked metal releases of the year, period. If you have not heard of some of these bands or releases, by all means CHECK THEM OUT. I have included links to music and external websites wherever possible.
This isn't a popularity contest (or a POOPularity contest, hence the lack of Shitty Fucker at number 11!) so the releases are in no particular order,
just kidding: they're in alphabetical order, which is a PARTICULAR
order, but has nothing to do with how much I like them. Please also take
note that I gracefully refrained from including any releases that I
performed on; this would have been a very different list otherwise, peppered liberally with Hazzard's Cure, A.N.S. and Owl releases.
20 Buck Spin
After the party time styles of Night After Night, the false start of Yellow Eyes, and the spaced out Hüsker-Mötorhead jams called Pins Of Light, I was really stoked to see Shane Baker doing some REALLY DARK vocals again. A dream come true for an old timer Dead And Gone fan such as myself. The rest of the band is great too, the icing on the cake being the cruel, biting, reptilian sound of Russ Kent's guitar.
Badr Vogu: Exitium
What is comfort food to you? Apple pie? Meatloaf? Well, comfort music in Oakland, to me, is downtuned, crusty street sludge. The East Bay does it best, and we're doing it again. Welcome Bädr Vogu, the newest purveyors of Oakland's most perfected and imitated genre. Perhaps not breaking open a vast swath of new territory, B.V. instead brings something as timeless and perennial as an afternoon fog rolling in through the Golden Gate, forlorn cranes down at the harbor, and a bum lying in his own vomit on a broken glass strewn sidewalk.