Prawn - Kingfisher
This is a modern emo/post-rock masterpiece that adds the cherry on top to an already formidable and hiccup-less discography. The second track, "First As Tragedy, Second As Farce", is my favorite song of the year so far. "Dialect of..." and "Thalassa" are superb as well.
Gameday Regulars/Guerrilla Monsoon - split 7"
Park - Jacob The Rabbit
One of my favorite rocking emo bands from the early 00's has triumphantly returned after an 8-year break. They mostly picked up right where they left off, although I would say this is more rocking and technical than their last album. At 3 tracks, it's such a dick-tease, hopefully to be followed by another full-length. It's probably also worth mentioning that it's a concept EP with an accompanying short story that's way less wack than that sounds. I usually don't have any patience for/interest in such things, but I definitely found more meaning in the music the first time after having read the well-written and intriguing story. The leadoff track "Lepus Fugam" is the standout for me.
Dikembe - Mediumship
Much like tour mates Weatherbox's latest, I was really looking forward to this....and was really let down here as well. I only like about half of this, but the second track, "Hood Rat Messiah" is so good that it warrants this being posted here. Overall the energy level has been turned way way down and the 90's alterna-radio worship has become too prominent for my tastes. I sincerely hope you enjoy it more than I do overall. The re-worked version of "Donuts In A Six Speed" (previously released on 7") is another highlight.
Braid - No Coast
I wasn't too terribly impressed by the first full-length in 16 years from these emo codgers, but overall it's a solid,enjoyable listen that probably won't go above an honorable mention for me. The fact that both tracks from their split with Balance & Composure are on this was a bit disappointing, but there are enough new tracks to make it worth your while if you've ever been a fan.
My Iron Lung - Relief
This one's for any fans of (old) Pianos Become The Teeth and other emo-influenced screamy post-hardcore. Although he was only used as the studio drummer and is not a member of the band, ex-Such Gold drummer Devan Bentley gets loose all over this, and it's cool to hear one of my all-time favorite drummers kill a different style from what I'm used to hearing him play.
Since I'm shooting for brevity (for once), and since you should know by now what type of hip-hop I like (that ol' boom-bap) and that I don't stray outside those lines, I'm pretty much just going to highlight songs (if any) for the following hip-hop releases.
EdO. G. - After All These Years
"Da Anthem", "Make Music", and "Two Turntables & A Mic" (produced by Pete Rock).
Cormega & Large Professor - Mega Philosophy
"Industry" (a lyrical and conceptual grand slam) and "Honorable (ft. Raekwon".
Statik Selektah - What Goes Around
You almost literally can't go wrong here. All good except 1-2 tracks.
Souls of Mischief & Adrian Younge - There Is Only Now
Concept/storytelling album, basically an audio movie. Zero bad songs, and a rare-form Busta Rhymes.
Fel Sweetenberg - The Invisible Garden
All solid, no huge standouts.
CJ Fly - Thee Way Eye See It
Pro Era member. FREE download. Go for "FlintroCK", "Ernee", "Loco Motives", or "Side (ft. Buckshot)".
NehruvianDOOM - NehruvianDOOM
MF Doom does the beats and a couple verses, and young Bishop Nehru handles the rest. Pretty solid throughout.
That's all for now, folks. Check for me again in early January! Thanks for reading, and please let me know if you find anything you like. I love bonding with people through music!