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2002 Review – Albums #130-121

Posted by July 27th, 2003 No Comments »

2002 Year-in-Review
Albums #130 -121

By Matt Ashworth and Carlo Lynch
130. All Relationships Are Doomed to Fail – Meat Purveyors (Bloodshot)
Perhaps Austin’s Meat Purveyors should have given their fantastically-sarcastic 2002 album a parenthetical title of some sort. (Unless You Just Don’t Give a Shit Either Way) and (Or Make You Miserable and Unfulfilled) seem like fitting candidates for the most part. These cats obviously have a dry sense of humor that comes through in their songwriting. Musically they employ more traditional bluegrass than most of their label mates, and to good measure. The Meat Purveyor’s also hold a special place in our hearts because their last album, More Songs About Buildings and Cows, was included in the first promo package we ever received from what has been become one of our favorite labels on the planet, Bloodshot Records out of Chicago.

2002 Year-in-Review
Albums #130 -121

By Matt Ashworth and Carlo Lynch

130. All Relationships Are Doomed to Fail – Meat Purveyors (Bloodshot)
Perhaps Austin’s Meat Purveyors should have given their fantastically-sarcastic 2002 album a parenthetical title of some sort. (Unless You Just Don’t Give a Shit Either Way) and (Or Make You Miserable and Unfulfilled) seem like fitting candidates for the most part. These cats obviously have a dry sense of humor that comes through in their songwriting. Musically they employ more traditional bluegrass than most of their label mates, and to good measure. The Meat Purveyor’s also hold a special place in our hearts because their last album, More Songs About Buildings and Cows, was included in the first promo package we ever received from what has been become one of our favorite labels on the planet, Bloodshot Records out of Chicago.

129. On Top – Rye Coalition (Tiger Style)
Rye Coalition seem like they’re pretty nice guys. Drummer-turned-bassist Dave Leto voted in our 2002 artists poll, and just a year later his band’s heavy-rock album On Top made the list outright. Check these guys out if you like loud music that kicks ass.

128. Heathen Chemistry – Oasis (Sony)
We’ve always loved those sweet and tender Gallagher brothers despite all their bickering and other annoying-rock-star-tendencies, and last year’s Heathen Chemistry added a few more classics to Oasis’ canon of “sing-along-with-your-mates-while-you-raise-your-pint-in-the-air-to-nothing-much-in-particular brand of classic Britrock.

127. OOOH! – The Mekons (Quarterstick)
The Mekons are an important and talented band worthy of the legend that surrounds their career. If you don’t know who they are then you are stupid and don’t know anything.

126. They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top – Liars (Mute)
“Can You Hear Us?” asked another New York City band as their 2002 debut began. Loud and clear, your friendly reviewer answers. Other than the half hour drag of a track at the end of the album, this is an upbeat rocker. As 80’s kids start taking over rock n’ roll, it seems clap tracks, synth lines and danceable beats are becoming the new cool in punk. We always rued this inevitability with mild hatred and intense skepticism, but bands like The Liars, The Faint and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have warmed us up to the concept of dancey punk.

125. Cobblestone Runway – Ron Sexsmith (Nettwerk Records)
Ron Sexsmith is a Canadian singer/songwriter guy who runs in the same circles as Blue Rodeo (who, of course, are a Canadian band who run in the same circles as Ron Sexsmith.) Cobblestone Runway is his first album with Steve Earle producing and it features one of the most optimistic, if bittersweet, love songs we’ve heard in a long time (“God in them Hills.”) Also notable, if somewhat tangential, is that Ron called his first band “The Uncool,” which is pretty darn cool.

124. Jerusalem – Steve Earle (Artemis)
Speaking of Steve Earle, the second toughest and most talented man in country and roots rock while Johnny Cash still walks the earth, has gone from ballsy country to stripped-down punk to Beatlesque pop and back again several times during his illustrious career, and Jerusalem is another fine addition to his catalogue.

123. Sarah Shannon – Sarah Shannon (Casa Recording Co)
Former Velocity Girl lead Sarah Shannon’s debut solo plate saw her songwriting skills grow up enough to rival her acclaimed vocals, which has resulted in a goddess-worship-like reaction by two of the boys here at Nada.

122. We Are the Boggs We Are – The Boggs (Arena Rock)
While its novelty and pretense eventually wore it down, the press and hipster fans sure worshipped the first album by The Boggs last year. Old-fashioned country and bluegrass sounds collide with NYC attitude to great effect, most notably on Whiskey and Rye.

121. Advisory Committee – Mirah (K Records)
Mirah wouldn’t really need to put out two great albums over the course of three years to get ahead in this world; she’d get far just being four foot ten and cute as a button. But she did. And her voice and songs are so incredible that when I first saw her perform in my former hometown (and hers) of Olympia, Wash., I thought to myself “as soon as Mirah’s get’s a new crush, this guy she’s playing with is SOL.” That guy actually turned out to be Phil Elvrum from critically-revered Microphones, with whom Mirah has continued to collaborate and has matured into one of the most heralded acts in indie rock. For the record, I still think he’s out of his league. Mirah’s just that great.

See #’s 150 – 141
See #’s 140 – 131


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