The 1O Best local releases of 2O11
Faceman Self-Titled – Independent
The album that made FaceMan take off his mask is a self-deprecating, introspective analysis of the man behind the mask. With so much personal material on the table from the songs, hiding behind a mask seemed to be a futile attempt at anonymity.
Houses Winter EP – Independent
The final installment in the group’s seasonal EP series presents some of the group’s most screaming numbers. The two-part song “Witches!” is the definite highlight but, quite frankly, the entire series is near-flawless.
Snake Rattle Rattle Snake Sineater – Greater Than Collective
After two years of accolades and EPs it was no surprise that Snake Rattle Rattle Snake’s debut LP would crush, and crush it did. The psychedelic post-punk and dance rock album is equal parts rager and ambient melody.
Ryan Dart The Shift – Rayview Records
The album Jeff Bridges should have released is right here. Aw-shucks Southern storytelling that will make you man-up in life, but also make you tear up a bit for your family.
Whiskey Blanket No Object – Independent
Mixing classical instrumentation into hip-hop may seem like just a gimmick, but it’s one that works very well for Boulder’s Whiskey Blanket. It’s hip-hop with a smart twist, and the genre could use more twists like it.
Strangebyrds Self-Titled – Independent
Like lost tracks from a Whiskeytown recording session, the duo of Cari Minor and Ray Smith couples boozy country rock with sincere singer/songwriter material — which is not a stretch for Minor, who has taken home a couple of Telluride Bluegrass troubador prizes.
Jonah Wisneski Lights – Independent
Coming off like a mix tape, due to the varying genres he tackles and the wealth of guests that appear on the disc, Wisneski’s solo debut reveals a ‘musician’s musician’ who flawlessly plays multiple styles.
Bare Bones Self-titled – Independent
So artsy that the band could almost be hung on the wall in a gallery, the folky, alt-country Denver band is just as beautiful for the notes that they do play as for the notes that they avoid in their stark approach.
Rose Hill drive Americana – Slow and Shirley
Everyone knows Rose Hill can play Zeppelin — well. But this album has them shedding their classic rock sound for a more contemporary approach that comes across like a Jack White-influenced album.
Mosey West Vaca Money – Independent
A great debut EP from the solid Fort Collins Americana band Mosey West comes off like a collection of Uncle Tupelo songs, and the disc’s standout track “Cold Prediction” sounds like a lost Neil Young song.