Best of 2011, So Far: In Brief

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fucked up david comes to life

Esben and the WitchViolet Cries (Matador)

Grimm’s goth-pop tales, ethereal wave edition.

Rating: 8 out of 10 hook-laden nightmares.
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Fucked UpDavid Comes to Life (Matador)

The greatest hardcore punk love story ever told.

Rating: 9 out of 10 busted bulbs
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Gang Gang DanceEye Contact (4AD)

Thru and thru a glass jar, psychedelically.

Rating: 9 out of 10 extended trip-outs
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PJ HarveyLet England Shake (Vagrant)

WWI: The gritty indie folk musical, now with more blood!

Rating: 9 out of 10 interrupting bugles
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Tim HeckerRavedeath, 1972 (Kranky)

Distorted drones, dying an elegant and gorgeously slow death.

Rating: 9 out of 10 pipe organ autopsies
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Junior BoysIt’s All True (Domino)

Dancefloor pulse meets abstract slow jam sexiness.

Rating: 8 out of 10 banana ripples
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KralliceDiotima (Profound Lore)

An epic work of black metal complexity (and melody).

Rating: 8 out of 10 inscrutable BM fonts
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LiturgyAesthethica (Thrill Jockey)

Transcendent black metal manifesto, widescreen edition.

Rating: 9 out of 10 burst beats.
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Cass McCombsWIT’S END (Domino)

McCombs pens some of his most affecting, purely melancholic songs yet.

Rating: 8 out of 10 lonely baritones
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The Pains of Being Pure At HeartBelong (Slumberland)

Alt-rock crunch collides with twee-pop wit.

Rating: 8 out of 10 rockin’ cherubs
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