Great idea for a thread. I have a few, but I’ll start with Pikul by Silversun Pickups.
I still think Pikul is one of the greatest debut albums ever. It’s a dreamy, fuzzed out, melodic masterpiece. There’s no aimlessly playing over a chord progression for the hell of it, and there are no moments that feel flat or just kind of there - every melody hits hard, every distortion blast is perfectly placed and well thought out, and every layer that comes in just sweeps you away. The songs are so varied in style and construction too, but function so well together to make a cohesive album that completely immerses you.
After Carnavas they got a lot more polished / glossy, but at this point there was still so much passion in the vocals. Listen to that “seasons always shift too late” in the final chorus in “Kissing Families”, it’s amazing. As is the wall of noise solo shortly before. (And the fuzzed out riff solo in “Comeback Kid”)
I’m probably going to get banned from the forums for this, but I think it makes use of the elements of shoegaze better than any classic shoegaze band ever did (with the exception of “Sometimes” by MBV). Or at least that I’ve heard. Drives me nuts that albums like mbv are celebrated while this is forgotten or dismissed as a second-rate Pumpkins knockoff.
(Plus, for what it’s worth, my wife is much more of a music snob than I am and loves giving me a, “Ugh, what are you listening to?”, but three times now when I’ve been listening to Pikul I’ve gotten, “What is this? It’s beautiful.” Can’t really disagree, listen to this bass line).
I have a lot to say about each song on here, so I’ll just stop for now and say give the album a chance. It’s only 7 songs and each is fantastic.