Chris Gray's 10 Favorite Houston Records of 2013
10. Born Liars, Show Some Couth
Photo by Mark C. Austin Bill Fool of Born Liars
Show Some Couth has yet to make its way to iTunes, no doubt because those Apple prudes are still trying to figure out what to do with its filthy cover. The garagers' first (and loudest) album since 2010's Fast Songs Is All We Know, Couth is rude, lewd and anything but its title. Just like you'd expect.
9. Nosaprise, Book of the Dead Vol. 1
Nosa's first rap LP since 2010's Horseshoes and Hand Grenades splices Evil Dead 2 dialogue among tributes to several departed rappers (Tupac, Biggie, ODB, Gang Starr's Guru). Conceived as a way to cope with losing several people close to him, it's also a skeleton key to how one of Houston's most underrated MCs developed his unique style.
8. Second Lovers, New Mexico EP
Sharpening Second Lovers' auspicious 2012 debut Wishers, Dreamers and Liars, New Mexico displays front man Nick Morales' rapid Americana progress and loses nothing by being only two songs long. Lindsey Buckingham would be proud of tuneful kiss-off "Alright"... and that's the B-side!
7. American Fangs, American Fangs
Vampire mileage may vary, but American Fangs is the tightest and cleanest-sounding Houston rock album in a while. Twirling propulsive pop hooks, guitar-spray choruses and no small amount of B-boy bragging, it crunches and soars.
6. Trudy Lynn, Royal Oaks Blues Cafe
Probably better known abroad than in her hometown, the Fifth Ward native does Houston proud with a set of high-spirited R&B that goes from the high-class joints to the honky-tonks in style. Whether forthright ("Confessin' the Blues"), seething ("Every Side of Lonesome") or ribald ("Whip It Into Jelly"), Miss Lynn is never half-assed. Best listen to what she says.
5. Bang Bangz, Red City
Bang Bangz capture the dreamy electronica spirit of the dubiously named indie subgenre "chillwave," but leave out the exasperating affectations. What's left on debut LP Red City is bewitching nocturnal pop that beckons, soothes and seduces.
List continues on the next page.