Useless ID’s Yotam Ben Horin tells us about his favorite albums of 2021
Earlier this year, Israeli skate punk vets Useless ID released a "best-of" called Most Useless Songs on Fat Wreck Chords, featuring over 20 years of material, including two new songs (order yours). With the year coming to a close, we asked Useless ID vocalist Yotam Ben Horin what his favorite albums of 2021 were, and he made a list that includes Turnstile, Descendents, Clairo, The Last Gang (which he worked on during pre-production), and more. Read on to see his picks and what he had to say about each one...
Turnstile - Glow On
In a time where New York Hardcore is a hard style to be original in, Turnstile take it to the next level and they’re not even from New York. I loved some releases by their other bands Angel Du$t and Trapped Under Ice but I never fully got into Turnstile until this release right here which shows a broader palette used for what they achieved with GLOW ON.
The Wildhearts - 21st Century Love Songs
A bit late to The Wildhearts game, I actually discovered them only last year and what a treat it was when they dropped this bomb, I hear some Motorhead influences as well as Big Drill Car and Doughboys. This album is a perfect mix in styles of heavy UK riffing accompanied by huge singalong choruses.
Clairo - Sling
When you cite Elliott Smith as one of your influences, I’ll definitely listen. Clairo’s album is not flashy or overproduced in any way, very simplistic, beautiful and with honest lyrics. After seeing her perform alone with her acoustic guitar on Jimmy Fallon, I knew that I had to check her album out. This album also takes a few listens, it’s one of those. Fun Fact: We slept over producer Jack Antonoff’s house back in the '90s when he was a wide eyed kid and put up a show for Useless ID in New Jersey.
Down By Law - Lonely Town
I used to listen to All Scratched Up so much back in the day and loved it. I haven’t paid much attention to the releases since but Lonely Town is a great addition to their catalog, I had it on repeat all summer long. The vibe is there, Sam’s guitar parts are very well thought out and interesting and you can never go wrong with Dave Smalley’s vocals, taken in consideration that he sang on a Dag Nasty record that changed my life.
Weezer - Van Weezer
Weezer have put out too many records til now and I feel it’s a hit or miss when you’re releasing so much, but with Van Weezer I feel that they hit a feel good summer album -- more like a summer of ’82 album with all the hard rock influences they are drawing from while still keeping the strong melodies and big choruses in tact.
The Last Gang - Noise Noise Noise
Fat Mike hit me up about producing The Last Gang shortly in late 2019, once we got to work on preproduction it was all done remotely as I was stuck in Israel and eventually the band moved on to work with Fat Mike on the rest of the songs. When I finally heard title track “Noise Noise Noise” I thought the production and recording was great and was happy to know they used my original changes as well as some other songs on the album.
Descendents - 9th & Walnut
Other than being mentors and friends, Descendents are some of the best people around. When I heard that they’re releasing songs that predated their first record, I couldn’t wait to hear what they were up to. Bill and Milo did a great job in bringing these songs to life and making use of the year while we’re all anxiously waiting to hear the follow up to Hypercaffium Spazzinate. These songs send me back to a more simpler time but they don’t sound outdated and actually resonate wonderfully with the time we’re living in right now.