Flush It Friday: Ghosts of List-mas Past… Again!
Oh baby baby, those Toilet ov Hell 2023 end-of-year lists are nigh. You can almost smell their [insert litany of gross odours used to describe death metal riffs here] wafting like a seductive, fingery mist, drawing you to the cooling pie on the window sill that is our collective adoration for all things Kim Dracula. Actually, if you like Kim Dracula, I’d ask you to kindly take your schnozz elsewhere and try to steal someone else’s strawberry rhubarb pie. (Is this metaphor sufficiently dead yet? You get it, right? Our lists are fun and seductive like a pie in a cartoon except that the alluring smell is a list of terms Carcass found in a medical dictionary and that Kim Dracula sucks rotten eggs? Can I move on now?)
As promised after last week’s Flush, I’m going to visit another previous year-end list of mine, going back to the Year of Our Spear 2021. Let’s see how I did?
Atræ Bilis, Apexapien: No complaints here. Though I believe there was some handwringing over Apexapien compared to its predecessor and the audacious slate of releases from Transcending Obscurity that year, this is the kind of album that, while you might not listen to it every month, you still love it when you do return to it. We’re off to a ripping start!
Every Time I Die, Radical: Whew, okay. I don’t regret including Radical on my list, because I certainly listened to it as much as if not more than any other album on my list. I can’t tell you how many dog walks around Lewisburg, PA, I took in 2021 that I wasn’t reliving the halcyon days of ETID’s early releases and being in high school and all that good stuff. Plus. Plus! Most of this album rules and still rules. As we know, the band would more or less immediately fall apart after this album and subsequently start two separate incredibly supbar bands in the wake. I stand by it!
Deafheaven, Infinite Granite: In 2021, I wrote, “When I look back on 2021, I’ll remember few things as fondly as gushing over this record with Black Metal Porkins as we both fell deeper in love with it with each subsequent listen.” Unfortunately, life in 2022 and 2023 meant that the last thing I think about when it comes to 2021 is Infinite Granite. It also doesn’t help that I probably haven’t listened to it since 2022, and even then… I still miss BMP, though. This pick was of its moment but lacked staying power. Though maybe I should revisit it this weekend.
Turnstile, Turnstile Love Connection EP: We all know what happened after Turnstile’s breakout year of 2021. Late Night appearances, Taco Bell commercials, stadium tours, the irruption of hardcore into the pop music world. Some people are mad about it. Some people celebrate it. “Holiday” is still an absolutely fucking banger, and the whole TLC music video is worth rewatching over and over. I knew what I was doing including this one.
One Step Closer, This Place You Know: I don’t regret including this beautiful melodic hardcore album from the young upstarts. I regret not driving to Wilkes-Barre to see them play with Atlanta’s own Slow Fire Pistol. “To all of this I say (I say) / my life is not the same this way / (But I think) that I’ll wish you just the best / I’ll wave.” Those lyrics feel like a premonition two years removed. Goosebumps.
Li Yilei, OF: This feels too cute by half to have included this album, but goddamn is my description of this record not worth inclusion: “This is not an ambient album with sprawling, spacious soundscapes; rather, OF is brief clippings of a lush aviary of warm electronics interspliced with natural recordings. OF flits from branch to branch, from mood to mood, landing for a mere moment of grace and respite before taking off again only to find something new yet just as rewarding.” I’ll go ahead and pat myself on the back for that one.
Lingua Ignota, Sinner Get Ready: Sometimes when I’m in a particular mood on a particular evening, I’ll sit on my patio put on “Many Hands” and just stare into treeline. Nothing has changed my mind that “Many Hands” is a compositional and emotional masterpiece. It’s so transcendent I almost forget how good the rest of Sinner Get Ready is. The Reverend is experimenting with new forms (sort of), but maybe that’s what happens when you reach an apotheosis of form.
TWIABP, Illusory Walls: Just another trophy for the greatest active emo band on the planet. I can’t listen to them without weeping. Seeing them this summer was, as always, magical. All of my love to David Bello. May we all be so tender and vulnerable. I basically fucked nailed my list in 2021.
Fiddlehead, Between the Richness: Seriously, I nailed this list. The best thing Fiddlehead had released thus far; a defining moment in Pat Flynn’s illustrious career. “Are you out? I know you are down, but are you out?” We might be down, but we’re not out. That’s for damn sure!
Boss Keloid, Family the Smiling Thrush: I loved this record in 2021. I loved it so much I maybe even overplayed it. I can’t say I’ve gone back to it often in the last two years, but I’m here listening to “Cecil Succulent” and just wishing I could see this band live. I’m listening to “Cecil Succulent” and thinking about how much better this band is than Baroness. I’m listening to “Cecil Succulent” and thinking those first two Big Business albums really are damn near perfect. I’m listening to “Cecil Succulent” and wondering how many more times I might listen to it today.
2021 had its difficulties but was an otherwise immensely exciting year for me. Aside from a couple picks that seem so indebted to that year and that didn’t have the terminal velocity to launch themselves into the future, I’m thrilled with what I’ve assembled. I miss you, Lewisburg!
Time to fuckin’ flush.
Megachiles went slummin’ in the dungeons again. Darest thou follow?!
Say Shalom to Ch’ahom as Emester makes their return to the Bowl for a great review!
Joe n Jordan actually talked about things they liked on this week’s episode. God forbid!
Engulf is fuckin’ back, and you need to get with the program. Fortunately Spear has an exclusive premiere for the first single.
Goods. Bads. Uglies. Share ’em all below! You are my sunshine, Toileteers. Be well. Be well.