Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Year-end roundup for your "Best of 2011" lists

It's that time of year again -- when everyone's making their lists of which artists have been naughty or nice. Submitted for your consideration, here's a rundown of releases we've handled at US/THEM group throughout 2011, sorted by record label in reverse chronological order by release date.

Please get in touch if you missed out on any of these, would like to arrange interviews or if we can be of any further assistance. All MP3s and videos are cleared for posting.

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SARGENT HOUSE 2011 releases:

Boris-New Album
Artist: Boris
Album: New Album
"Spoon" (MP3)
"Flare" (MP3)

The Japanese heavy legends' third full length this year, New Album etches a new post-noise, extreme pop niche with some of their most accessible and melodic music that's equally their most subversive. Limited edition LP and CD hit independent retailers for Record Store Day on November 25th, LP/CD/Download was available everywhere on December 6th. Most recent press release.

Gangs cover
Artist: And So I Watch You From Afar
Album: Gangs
"Search:Party:Animal" (MP3)

Belfast, Northern Ireland's celebrated instrumentalists' sophomore album has been widely praised as a triumph surpassing their Choice Music Prize and XFM Album of the Year nominated 2009 debut. Released in conjunction with Dublin based "sister label" Richter Collective. Most recent press release.

RC-Empros cover
Artist: Russian Circles
Album: Empros
"Mladek" (MP3)

Being widely hailed as their heaviest album to date, the Chicago trio injects evermore slithering rhythms amid skull-crushing heft to their monolithic melodies. Empros is the sound of a band shaking the ages from its shoulders with all the brutal force of a behemoth awakened. Most recent press release.

TTNG cover
Artist: This Town Needs Guns
Album: Adventure, Stamina & Anger EP
"Adventure, Stamina & Anger" / "Mnspector Lorse" (STREAM)

The band's last recordings with singer Stuart Smith. The rest of the group is currently at work with new vocalist/guitarist Henry Tremain on a new album produced by Ed Rose (Appleseed Cast, Get Up Kids) to be released by Sargent House in 2012. Most recent press release.

Artist: Hella
Album: Tripper
"Headless" (MP3) (VIDEO)
"Self Checkout" (MP3)
"Yubacore" (MP3)

The legendary experimentalist duo's fifth album is its first new release in over four years. The Onion AV Club raves, "a return to what Hella does best: breakneck instrumentals and raw, inhuman-sounding musicianship. A-." Most recent press release.

ME-LP cover
Artist: ME & LP
Album: Chez Raymond
"La Belle Tocade" (MP3) (VIDEO)
"Bonnie Says" (MP3)

The collaborative project of celebrated musicians Matthew Embree and Lisa Papineau is a dramatically beautiful and captivating meeting of two extremely talented and versatile talents that merges into a recording that is both ethereal and cozy. Most recent press release.

Attention Please cover
Artist: Boris
Album: Attention Please
"Hope"  (MP3)

The first Boris album on which all vocals are sung by lead guitarist, Wata. Throughout, the album has a sultry, intoxicating catchiness. It's melodic without sounding pop. It's psychedelic without sounding dated. It's heavy without relying on barre chord riffs. Most recent press release.

Heavy Rocks 2011 cover
Artist: Boris
Album: Heavy Rocks
"Riot Sugar" (MP3)

Be it psychedelic metal, colossal drone, blistering punk or distortion-ravaged shoegaze, a Boris song is an exploration of sound as physical mass. The Japanese trio's classic 2002 album Heavy Rocks is a landmark of their mastery. So, it's fitting that the group's new album sharing the same title and very similar artwork to that disc, Heavy Rocks (2011) seeks to redefine "heavy" music in a culmination of the band's tireless efforts over the past two decades. Most recent press release.

Over The Sea cover
Artist: Therapies Son
Album: Over The Sea
"Touching Down" (MP3) (VIDEO)

Therapies Son quickly won fans in late 2010 when his humbly self-recorded demo of shimmering pop surfaced, catching the ears of some elite press and becoming something of an Internet sensation. Tapping into an innate gift for songwriting after the painful dissolution of a relationship, Alex Jacob crafted gorgeous, otherworldly songs which somehow managed to absorb a library's worth of the most glorious chapters in the Encyclopedia of Pop. Most recent press release.

Artist: Gypsyblood
Album: Cold In The Guestway
"Take Your Picture" (MP3) (VIDEO)
"My RKO is MIA" (MP3

Chicago's hazy, distortion-ravaged sons churn out seamless hooks with the brains of Pavement, the unassuming attitude of No Age and the blurred focus of Jesus and the Mary Chain for a debut so densely packed with potential singles it could be many other bands' greatest hits collection. Most recent press release.

Adebisi Shank cover
Artist: Adebisi Shank
Album: This is the Second Album of a Band Called Adebisi Shank
"International Dreambeat" (MP3) (VIDEO live)
"Masa" (VIDEO live)
"Genki Shank" (MP3) Ireland's multiple award-nominated breakout trio deftly merges the triumphant guitar harmonies of Fang Island with the mathematic precision of Battles, the genre-surfing playfulness of Daft Punk and churning intensity of HEALTH. Their live shows are a breathtaking combination of visceral intensity and instrumental prowess. Most recent press release.

TeraMelos coverZoo Weather cass cover
Artist: Tera Melos
Album: Zoo Weather EP + Patagonian Rats deluxe
"So Occult" (VIDEO)
"Kelly" (VIDEO)
"The Skin Surf" (VIDEO)
"Frozen Zoo" (MP3) (VIDEO)
"Kelley" (VIDEO)
"Manar The Magic" (MP3) (VIDEO)
"Frozen Zoo (Thawed Out Mix)" (VIDEO)

Sacramento genre-benders had a huge year, releasing the Zoo Weather EP and deluxe edition of the Patagonian Rats album, touring with Boris, Melt Banana, Mike Watt & The Missingmen and receiving praise from Henry Rollins, Wired, Exclaim! and more. Most recent press release.

Getting Paid cover
Artist: Zechs Marquise
Album: Getting Paid
"Getting Paid" (VIDEO)
"Static Lovers" (MP3)
"Everlasting Beacon of Light" (MP3)
"Mega Slap" (MP3)

The Mars Volta sibling band blasts back with an intensified swagger to their multifaceted psych-prog haze for their most aggressive and versatile effort to date. "Forget the Van Halens," writes MTV Tres, "if you want to know about a true musical dynasty, look no further than the Rodriguez-Lopez's! In between Omar, Marcel, and Marfred, these talented hermanos are changing the face of free-form jamming." Most recent press release.

Sin Sin Sin cover
Artist: Le Butcherettes
Album: Sin Sin Sin
"New York" (MP3) (VIDEO)
"Henry Don't Got Love" (MP3)
"I'm Getting Sick Of You" (MP3)

The L.A.-by-way-of-Mexico City garage punk trio led by vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Teri Gender Bender exploded onto the scene this year with this massive debut, earning praise from Rolling Stone, NPR, L.A. Times, Chicago Tribune, Consequence of Sound and countless others. Their jaw-dropping live shows have earned tours with Iggy & The Stooges, The Flaming Lips and Deftones as well as major festivals like Lollapalooza and Fun Fun Fun Fest. Most recent press release.

Telesterion cover
Artist: Omar Rodriguez Lopez
Album: Telesterion
"Polaridad" (Tychozorente) (VIDEO)
"Asco Que Conmueve Los Puntos Erogenos" (Xenophanes) (VIDEO)
"Agua Dulce De Pulpo" (Un Escorpion Perfumado) (VIDEO)

The extensive anthology of solo recordings by the immensely prolific Grammy Award winning recording artist Omar Rodriguez Lopez (The Mars Volta, At The Drive-In) features 37 songs (38 on the vinyl version) showcasing the variety and breadth of explorative artistry spread across his 25 (and counting) solo albums harvested for this release. Most recent press release.

MONOTREME RECORDS 2011 releases:

Silesia cover
Artist: Jeniferever
Album: Silesia
"Waifs And Strays" (MP3)
"The Beat Of Our Own Blood" (MP3) (VIDEO)
"Dover" (MP3)

Uppsala, Sweden's cult-beloved atmospheric rock group's third album is an album borne of tragic loss and motion. The album title was taken from the location at which singer/guitarist Kristofer Jönson first heard of his father's death while on tour in 2009. The album began to take shape thereafter, reflecting upon a multitude of ideas surrounding darkness and light, arrivals and departures and the constant flux of life. Most recent press release.

Artist: Fops
Album: For Centuries
"Cheater Carolina" (MP3) (VIDEO)

The Bay Area superduo featuring Thee More Shallows singer Dee Kesler and Ral Partha Vogalbacher lyricist Chadwick Donald Bidwell issued a 7-song, 43-minute mini-album extending the reach of the band's unique hybrid of krautrock and early-80s synthpop (including a thinly-veiled nod to Duran Duran's "Girls On Film"). Most recent press release.

M+A cover
Artist: M+A
Album: Things.yes
"Yes.pop" (MP3)
"Liko Lene Lisa" (MP3)
"Bam" (VIDEO)

The Italian duo's delicate and beautiful electro-acoustic pop evokes disparate comparisons to Phoenix, Postal Service, Panda Bear, Tuung, et al. Their expert balance of intimate vocals and catchy melodies with wiry glitch, thumping drums and soft acoustic instruments like glockenspiel gives their music an infectious quality. Most recent press release

Polinski cover art
Artist: Polinski
Album: Labyrinths
"Stitches" (VIDEO) (MP3)
"Tangents" (MP3)

Paul Wolinski of British electronic-infused post-rock heroes 65daysofstatic makes his solo debut under the nom-de-tune of Polinski. Throughout the album, sci-fi soundtrack moods and Daft Punk styled beat-laced anthems collide with John Carpenter-esque synths, Philip Glass style piano motifs pair up with punching rhythms, gliding melodies soar with the retro-futuristic furor of Bowie-Eno collaborations. Most recent press release

65days cover
Artist: 65daysofstatic
Album: We Were Exploding Anyway + Heavy Sky (deluxe edition)
"Crash Tactics" (MP3)
"Come To Me (feat. Robert Smith of The Cure)" (MP3)
"PX3" (MP3)

The exclusive North American deluxe edition release of British electronic-infused post-rock band 65daysofstatic features the group's most recent full length as well as the new Heavy Sky EP. The track "Come To Me" features guest vocals by fan, tour mate and legend Robert Smith of The Cure. Most recent press release.


Nocturnes cover
Artist: The Nocturnes
Album: Aokigahara
Label: Errant Child Records
"Love" (MP3)
"The Road" (MP3) (VIDEO)

Led by Red Sparowes guitarist Emma Ruth Rundle, this L.A. quartet plays a compellingly lush haze of melody that blends hints of folk, shoegaze, chamber pop, goth and post-rock all in one. Engulfing, dark and endlessly beautiful melodies wrapped up in multi-part vocal harmonies. Most recent press release

Muerta cover
Artist: The Boxing Lesson
Album: Muerta
Label: New Fortune Records
"Muerta" (VIDEO)

The popular Austin, TX psychedelic space rock band returns with an extensive mini-album of  lush electric guitar soundscapes and shimmering keyboards earning comparisons to everything from Pink Floyd to Ponytail to M83 to Jesus and the Mary Chain. Most recent press release.
Noxious Foxes cover
Artist: Noxious Foxes
Album: Légs
Label: Broth IRA
"Doth Shalt Noth" (MP3)
"Heavenly Spectacular" (MP3)

The Brooklyn, NY frenetic power-duo incorporate thick walls of looping guitar effects and intricate drum beats, peppered with synths and electric piano for a manic ride of enveloping chaos. Most recent press release

Johnny O'Donnell cover 
Artist: Johnny O'Donnell and Sacramento
Album:  Masquerade / Korean Debutante
Label: White Noise
"The Gothic Singer" (MP3) (VIDEO)
"Loose Cannons" (VIDEO)

The wildly inventive noir-pop group led by songwriter Johnny O'Donnell crafts tunes that shift and morph as if we're getting a peek into the mind of Smile-era Brian Wilson. O'Donnell is the former guitarist in avant rock band Holy Ghost Revival, who upon settling in Los Angeles was mentored by composer/producer Van Dyke Parks. Most recent press release.
ESO album cover
Artist: Empty Space Orchestra
Album: S/T
Label: Empty Space Unlimited
"New Breed of Skank" (VIDEO)
"Exit Strategy" (MP3) (VIDEO)
"Intergalactic Battle Cruiser" (MP3)
"El Viento" (MP3) (VIDEO

This Bend,OR based quintet's debut earned considerable praise for their masterful musicianship that merges elements of King Crimson, The Mars Volta, Dub Trio, Deftones, space rock, jazz and more into an intense and energetic sound of their own. Most recent press release

Zorch demo 
Artist: Zorch
Album: Demo
Label: Zorch Records
"Zut Alore" (VIDEO)

The Austin, TX hyper-kinetic keyboard/drum duo are traditionally schooled musicians creating intense, frenetic music imbued with a sense of fun. Their exceptionally precise and inventive songs often invite comparisons to Lightning Bolt, Dan Deacon, HEALTH, Adebisi Shank and Battles as well as more psychedelic/pop acts like Flaming Lips, Animal Collective and F*ck Buttons. Most recent press release.

Plans in Progress 
Artist: Robotanists
Album: Plans In Progress
Label: Overhead Records
"ON/OFF The Ledge" (MP3) (VIDEO)

Los Angeles' glamorous indie-pop group released its sophomore Danny Kalb (Beck, Karen O, Feist) produced album in early spring. It gained much critical attention, radio play and saw the band packing in crowds for their emotionally-intense shows. Frequent comparisons to Florence + The Machine, Mazzy Star and The Xx only begin to hint at their burgeoning talent. Most recent press release.

King of Limbs cover
Artist: Robotanists
Album: Does The King of Limbs in 24 Hours
Label: Overhead Records

While most Radiohead fans were still soaking in the band's new album, Robotanists reinterpreted, recorded and released their own version of The King of Limbs in its entirety, just 24 hours after its release. Many writers commented that Robotanists' version was superior to the original. Most recent press release.

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