Sunday, December 1, 2019

2019 The Albums: League of Their Own


This award started long before the site was even a thought, in one publication, radio show or another. Since 2000, I have handed out a "League of Their Own" Award to an album that is made by an artist who is the most forward thinking, open minded, revolutionary musician out there today. Their accomplishments in the past 12 months have either resurrected a sound, broke down walls and created new frontiers or have totally reinvented a genre all together. The choices for "League of Their Own" have become more than just the best album of the year but the most important record to be released at that time. 

In the past winners have included: 

2000 - Radiohead - Kid A 
2001 - The Strokes - Is This It? 
2002 - NERD - In Search of... 
2003 - The White Stripes - Elephant 
2004 - The Killers - Hot Fuss 
2005 - The Mars Volta - Francis the Mute 
2006 - TV On The Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain 
2007 - Kanye West Graduation 
2008 - Santogold / Santigold
2009 - Mastodon - Crack the Skye 
2010 - Gorillaz - Plastic Beach 
2011 - Bjork - Biophilia 
2012 - Flying Lotus - Until The Quiet Comes 
2013 -  Arcade Fire - Reflektor
2014 - Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2  
2015 - Kamasi Washington - The Epic 
2016 - David Bowie - Blackstar 
2017 - Kendrick Lamar - DAMN
2018 - Richard Russell - Everything is Recorded

...and now to add to the growing list is a band that is constantly putting forth various efforts that blow away both fans and critics. They break all the rules of what conventional rock and roll should be and what heavy metal should be and what psychedelic should be and as we enter an age where we move away from labels and genres, they are the perfect takers of this award. Ladies and Gentlemen, the 2019 League of Their Own winner is...

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - Infest the Rats Nest

Since forming 9 years ago, this Australian seven-piece has released 15 albums including two this year and each record is like a star in the sky -- far different than the one next to it. Most bands do not even make 15 albums during their entire career. Earlier in 2019, the band gave us the psychedelic prog album, Fishing for Fishes, then months later they followed it up with the abrasive and diabolical Infest the Rats Nest. This album hands down might be the heavy metal album of the year for us and many others and it comes from a band who do not wish to identify with any one type of sound. While it might always be quantity of music for King Gizzard it also means quality and if they keep going at the pace they are, the sky is the limit.