Subrosa: More Constant Than the Gods
dude. How do I even start with this, or, as I attempt to explain the other night at a party after two drinks, "Uh, well it's like uh PJ Harvey doing doom metal like uh something really heavy but like estrogen heavy not testosterone heavy and uh violins like Godspeed You! Black Emperor and uh they're from Salt Lake City and yeah uh some of the band members are Mormon or something and uh, it really is the best album I've heard this year." Political, emotional, those damn beautiful violins and harmonies and deep sorrow and long songs and pretty much when people call my show going "WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT IT SOUNDED AMAZING" it's usually this band. Even if you don't like metal, give this a listen.
Throwing Muses : Purgatory/Paradise
I still need to actually pick this up, and given its two-album, bits-and-pieces structure it's not quite that solid halfblast of awesome sugary grungy fury like the 2003 reunion, but Kristin can't seem to put out a bad album, and there's a lot of awesome on here, as her voice gets lower and the catharsis hits in different places.
Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood - Black Pudding
I didn't bother with Lanegan's album of standards because standards are boring, but this is a good chill bluesy late night record, good and sparse with that voice and that acoustic guitar.
Palms - (self-titled)
So the Deftones came out with White Pony when I was in high school and the lyrics were creepy and they were one of the few of that batch of late-90's nu-metal bands that had a little more going on with their washes of shoegazey crunch and Moreno's high sweet croon, and I've always loved the sonics of Isis even if the vocals weren't so much my thing. I wish this record had a little more crunch but it's a beautiful listen.
I really like this song on this album, never got huge into Russian Circles or Chelsea Wolfe more from neglect than anything else but this is gorgeous. I'll have to listen to the whole thing, just haven't yet.
Also, Tomahawk, because all of the guys in this band are in bands I really like, and there's a couple cuts off here that are awesome in that curmudgeonly my-alt-rock-can-beat-up-your-alt-rock way.