When you gather a group of sad bastard malcontents, like we have done here at 9B, you can’t expect that they’ll agree on everything. In past tears some albums stood out enough to take the top spot all on their own but last year there were just so many amazing albums that the crew couldn’t agree on a single album. I made a call and narrowed it down to two. So without further ado I present 9 Bullets album(s) of the year for 2014:
By: Charles Hale
What makes the self-titled debut of Arlo McKinley & The Lonesome Sound the Nine Bullets album of thetheir Bandcamp page year for 2014? A little bit of everything. One of the missions of Nine Bullets is to bring high-quality music to more people. Outside of Cincinnati there probably wasn’t a lot of people listening to this beautifully sad record before we ran our review. NB had a relationship with Sarah from the Lonesome Sound thanks to her work with Alone At 3AM and when this record was finished she sent it to AutopsyIV. His ears were pleased and excited and he shared the record, first with the other writers here and then with our readers. We like to think that started a snowball.
This Damn Town
What strikes me most about this album is how complete it is, how well it rests within itself. This ten songs complement each other on the way to creating a mood, a mood many of us here at Nine Bullets are drawn to. Sad but beautiful, contemplative yet well spoken, down but far from out. These songs are highlighted by the sound of a well-worn fiddle and instantly hum-able choruses. It is clear these are the first ten songs that these musicians wrote nor are they the first ten recorded. It takes patience to create an album so complete, so self-aware but unconscious.
Sad Country Song
If you haven’t taken the time to delve into this record there is no better day than today. Go over to their Bandcamp page and pick yourself up a copy.
By: Romeo Sid Vicious
A lot of people were put off by this album, the production is jarring, the music is loud and in your face, and the lyrics aren’t designed to make you comfortbale, but in my opinion this was the most important album released in 2104. From the first notes of this album it is apparent that these kids are out to start an argument about the current state of affairs in the US and especially the Southern states. Whether he’s referencing the Occupy Movement or Alabama’s ridiculous HB 56 there is a thread to Lee’s lyrics and it’s that the time for conversation has passed and now it’s time for an argument.
We Dare Defend Our Rights
In person Lee is a soft but well spoken as well as one of the most humble people I’ve ever met. If you had never seen him and met him on the street you would never guess that he spends his nights on stage perfomring some of the most lyrically aggressive songs around. Before a show you might catch glimpse of him walking around with a gallon of water talking to the fans, genuinely happy to see every one at the show. Then the album comes to life on stage with Lee and the rest of the band putting every bit as much energy in to the show as you feel when you put on this record. Watching them live is almost a religious experience and it’s obvious that each and every one of them believes in what they are doing.
The Kudzu and the Concrete
This record is full of life, anger, and energy. It is, at its heart, a protest record and at the same time it’s the sort of record that you put on and can no longer sit still. The energy is contagious and I’ve watched it work its magic on even my youngest kids, who aren’t old enough to understand the frustration and anger in the lyrics or the struggles described. On this record Lee Bains is the incarnation of the angry young man and it’s an absolutely beautiful thing to behold! If you don’t already own a copy of Dereconstructed you can pick it up on SubPop’s MegaMart.
There are still a couple of top lists coming your way and I’ll personally be catching up on some albums I missed from last year. I’d like to thank all of you for supporting 9 Bullets and I know each and every one of us on staff is looking forward to regaling you with new music and our opinions on it.