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The List

5 albums that rock

Unlike my contemporaries here at the office, I don't actively seek out new music. Sometimes something comes along that I like, but I tend to lean toward older works. So instead of reviewing new stuff (though some may be new), I'm writing my take on the last five albums I have purchased.

Good or bad, hope you enjoy.

X: "Los Angeles"(1980)

'50s rock-a-billy meets '80s punk. The album is laden with hooks that snag your brain pan and force you to blurt out the lyrics "Johny Hit and Run Paulene," and "Get out. Get out. Get out. Get out." The male and female duo lead vocalists add a depth to the punk style that isn't often there.

BEST USED FOR: Road trips and other repetitive activities, like heart surgery.

Pig Destroyer: '"Book Burner" (2012)

Machine gun paced hardcore fronted by infectious guitar riffs. Gravely, distorted vocals belting out dark, subversive lyrics. Underneath lives a group of extraordinary musicians laying out your youth in brutal, aggressive, beautiful angst. Best hardcore album of the decade, certainly the purest form.

BEST USED FOR: Weightlifting, hand to hand combat, bathing in the blood of your enemies.

Shellac: "Dude, Incredible"(2014)

Shellac-ians have been waiting 7 years for a follow-up to their last record, and here it is. Fans will like it, but it's wholly forgettable. Frontman Steve Albini is a master tech and the quality of the sound and instrumentation doesn't lack. It sounds like an Albini record and that's what his fans want, just nothing to sink your teeth into.

BEST USED FOR: Disdaining the American pop rock conglomerate. 

The Afghan Whigs: “Gentlemen at 21” (2014)

This was a reissue of the 1993 album. Dark and seductive, this album feels like the soundtrack to the film noir movement of the '40s. Beneath the layer of well crafted, catchy songs lies a disturbing presence. A shadowy, hidden agenda that puts the listener on alert and makes one feel uneasy.

BEST USED FOR: Sitting in a dark room pining and plotting.

Queens of the Stone Age: “Queens of the Stone Age” (1998)

This is the debut album from QOTSA. (If you haven’t picked up their “Like Clockwork” album from 2013, do it now, work or art.) This is a wonderful rock album. Like some unholy union between '90s grunge and big '70s classic rock. A little too even keeled for my QOTSA liking, but I like music that quickens my heart rate. 

BEST USED FOR: Running that 5K.

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