For the last few years, the task of making a Best Music list has become a trickier prospect. I’m notionally open to listen to anything; I like to dabble in other people’s recommendations, try to hear what they’re hearing or find merit or craft in things that aren’t for me. But by December, it’s difficult to narrow down to a list that encompasses juggernaut pop stars, mid-career veterans, and relative unknowns. All can be great, and all deserve some accolades. But they’re operating with different goals and aiming for different audiences.
I don’t think anyone would confuse me for being a true metal or hardcore guy. Though, I do dabble: So much of the music I listen to and see live in concert borders into those worlds, and every day I find a new band that takes me further into this realm of music. I’m attracted to the in-your-face assault of droning feedback and screaming guitar distortion. Maybe it’s the immediacy of a band filling a room with noisy bliss, and seeing them thrash around on stage (and sometimes in the crowd) with furious, fist-pumping anthems. Or maybe there’s been a boom lately of new young bands doing this stuff in a new way. Who knows. Column A. Meet Column B.