Failure — Top 15 Alternative Albums of This Decade
Mon, 15 Jun 2015 17:24:36
We countdown the best alternative albums of the past 10 years and explore the meaning of the genre...
The word "Alternative" has been passed down through multiple generations of music now, and it's continuously changed. In the most classic sense, we think of it as the Generation X grunge forbearers like Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Nirvana, and everybody else from the iconic Seattle scene. At the same time, Pixies were alternative, and they came from Boston—same thing with Jane's Addiction and Red Hot Chili Peppers, both hailing from Los Angeles. Of course, we can't forget Melvins from Washington even though they sounded different from the general scene associated with their home state. Nowadays, what is alternative? Radio and the industry will tell you it's the folk pop we typically hear on "Alternative" stations. However, where are the guitars?
Truth be told, they haven't gone anywhere. Moreover, there have been some truly monumental "Alternative" albums this past decade—even this year. Most of these will even be widely regarded as classics someday. We wanted to highlight and countdown the Top 15 Alternative Albums of this Decade. They've got the hallmarks of the genre's timeless work, which we all still crank today. Some of these will be from quite recognizable names and others will be from people who still aren't afraid to keep a guitar handy when they're breaking the mold. The point is that Alternative music in the classic sense is stilling being made, and we wanted to spotlight that—even with some gems out this year! As a note, we are counting albums releases since June 2005 to keep in line with the exact decade.
11. Failure – The Heart Is A Monster
Failure will finally get their due with The Heart Is A Monster. The group's first offering since 1996's landmark Fantastic Planet drops June 30, 2015 through INresidence—the INgrooves Music Group artist services division. It's as if they've been a thinly veiled secret in the history of alternative rock. You'll often other hear musicians speak of the band and their brilliance. Or, if you're a fan of A Perfect Circle, then you might've even take a second listen after that stunning "The Nurse Who Loved Me" cover back on 2003's Thirteenth Step—as this writer did. Truth is, Failure's influence has been all over the current scene. Strains of their patented space rock punctuate work by everyone from Interpol to Paramore and Thirty Seconds To Mars. Now, The Heart Is A Monster is certainly a worthy successor to Fantastic Planet and the next chapter that diehards have been waiting for, but it's even more than that.
The group's new album feels like a natural progression and evolution. The trio—Ken Andrews [lead vocals, guitar, bass, programming, mixing, mastering], Greg Edwards [guitar, bass, keyboards], and Kellii Scott [drums, percussion]—make intergalactic melodies gorgeously palatable on the likes of "Counterfeit Sky." At the same time, the woozy wonder of "A.M. Amnesia" remains as a chilling as it does comforting.
Listen to "Hot Traveler"
Listen to "Mulholland Drive"
See the other artists and albums on our Top 15 Alternative Albums of This Decade feature!
See our First Reaction to Failure's 'The Heart Is A Monster'.
'The Heart Is A Monster' by Failure is released June 30, 2015 through INresidence.