New Bomb Turks, "Double Marlon"
Garage punks out of Columbus, OH, the New Bomb Turks exploded (heh!) onto the scene with their brand of aggressive rock, and they kept it rockin' for a while. However, they did eventually fell off, and this EP (Beruhren Meiner Affe, "Touching My Monkey") is kind of where the dividing line is. It's a perfectly good five songs of their Stooges-esque stuff, but after this, it seemed like the were just kind of tired.
Thou, "Lord Of This World"
Thou released a couple of albums this year, with this coming from A Primer Of Holy Words, a covers record of them doing a bunch of their favorite songs. In this case, it's a pretty faithful rendition of the Black Sabbath classic tune. It thumps seriously hard, as you'd hope from a sludge band paying tribute to the originator of their genre.
Public Enemy, "World Tour Sessions"
There's A Poison Goin' On... was something of a return to form for Public Enemy, in a lot of ways the closest they had come to capturing their peak form in several albums. It still doesn't quite have the same energy or revolutionary feeling, of course, but it's a solid listen.
The Queers, "Ben Weasel"
Yes, it's a Queers song about Ben Weasel. Yes, that's as insular as it sounds. Yes, that's actually a really solid Ben Weasel impression.
De La Soul, "All Good"
Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump was supposed to be a comeback for De La Soul, the first in a planned trilogy of records that were supposed to show that De La Soul could evolve with the times. It ends up being kind of a muddled mess, with few high points, and is easily their worst record. It's not terrible, just far below their standard, and surprisingly uninspired for such a great band.