The Best Of 2010

  1. Boyz & Girl Boyz & Girl  What else? 
  2. Bigott This Is The Beginning Of A Beautiful Friendship  I sure hope so! Spain had a great year, Bigott being the greatest. Some have said he’s the Spanish Tom Waits, and I guess that gets the persona across, but I can only put Swordfishtrombones on so many consecutive times before I start itching for some energy. I can let Bigott play all day. Other notable yet completely unrelated Spanish acts this year were Aias, Betunizer, La Tumba de Nicolas Cage, Ulises Lima, Delorean, and Joseba Irazoki from the Basqueland. 
  3. Dangers Messy, Isn’t It?  It sure is! Okay enough of that. Dangers is like modern SoCal hardcore in a neat little bundle, that then spat that image and tore said bundle to many little pieces of uniform hatred of shittiness that is modern SoCal hardcore. So that’s a roundabout way of saying they write smart, potent songs and lyrics and play them loudly and with some excellence. 
  4. Suckers Wild Smile  I know nothing about this band. I purposely didn’t look them up right now so I could still say that. I don’t know where they’re from, or how old they are, or why there is a baboon on their album cover. But regardless, this album caught on sometime recently, and has stayed fairly close to the front-ish part of my memory since. 
  5. Masshysteri Masshysteri  There you are, Sweden! It’s been a while! No. 5, tsk tsk, how unproductive of you. Where has Logh been? Anyway, this album is great. A short and bang-up job. Wonderful addition to whatever punk in the new millennium can be called. (Sort of unfair, Sweden put out some wonderful things this year: Dungen, The Radio Dept., The Tallest Man On Earth, Junip, et cetera.)
  6. Captain, We’re Sinking! It’s A Trap.  First EP on the list. Emotional, strained melodic punk rock. So good. 
  7. The Walkmen Lisbon  I didn’t really like “Angela Surf City”, and then it got stuck in my head, and then I realized well of course I like it, it’s the Walkmen. The rest of the album I loved more or less before the second listen, and a cool Interface session plus cool Etsy-edition packaging made this release super great. You just can’t beat the Walkmen sometimes, or most of the time. 
  8. Universe Passenger  Folks from Ghost Mice + post-hardcore = something I made a point of getting rather quickly. It turned out sounding much different but well better than I had thought it would. They twiddle with some different structures in there too, which helps put some space between it and every other post-hardcore album I have. It’s like worldly post-hardcore. 
  9. Small Bones Small Bones  Holy yes! Here’s my under-20 album for 2010. I wish I could remember who, but some other blogger called this a Top 10 contender way earlier this year, and they were quite right. Female-fronted N’awlins rawk, what. 
  10. Weird Korea No Art // No Trade  Here’s the Bandcamp winner for 2010. A great EP, don’t know much about them. Download it
  11. The Austerity Program Backsliders and Apostates Will Burn  I put this one off for a long time. I loved Black Madonna, especially since I’d won a copy in their email contest, so when they announced this year they’d be doing much the same for this EP I was excited. Unfortunately I was also very lazy, and not too talented (still applicable) in the remixing department, so didn’t bother to enter into what turned out to be a long and unwieldy process. Whatever, I eventually found the EP (and the remixes) and the duo seemed to change up there game a bit, so much so that at first I literally sat back in surprise at the first track, but the very same that ended up on my 2010 songs list.
  12. Red Dons Fake Meets Failure  Portland. This is the first I’d heard of Red Dons, but I’ve since gotten hold of their older material, all of which is enjoyable. Mid-paced punk with Arabic lettering on their album covers instead of snotty kids.
  13. Grabass Charlestons / Toys That Kill Split  Yeah, what? This turned out great. I didn’t even know Toys That Kill were still around. And, honestly, I’d stopped finding Grabass listenable after their last few 7″s. Everything on this split is great though, including the Onion Flavored Rings and Joy Division covers.
  14. BLK JKS Zol!  I wanted to like them at first, and kind of did, but they just never sounded quite right. Well on this EP it seems they tapped into a little more traditional culture––whatever that means in a place as repeatedly subjugated as South Africa––and settled into their sound. More traditional, at least, than Die Antwoord. 
  15. White Lung It’s The Evil  Another under-20 rager.
  16. The Soft Pack The Soft Pack  The Muslims became the Soft Pack and signed to Kemado and did some big things but they never changed their sound an ounce and that’s a good thing. Not the most original of recordings, but here’s prayers for getting this out of your head anytime soon. 
  17. Reaching Away Push Away The Moon  This is what the Pine became. This is better than the Pine. 
  18. Whirl Distressor  Their little 2-song cassette had potential but was waaaaaay under-recorded and held back at that. Those plus five more got the full treatment here, and you know it’s what Whirl was playing in their heads all along. A really good first proper release. 
  19. Sun Hotel Coast  Just like the above, Sun Hotel came to me first in the form of a submission. Who ever knew these things could not only be good, but AWESOME. It’s hard to shake some obvious references that can be made to Sun Hotel, but standing on their own they hold up just as well. Another swamp band, and damn proud of it.
  20. Double Dagger More  There was a Double Dagger lull for a few months, but I came back to it and loved it again. Really intelligent post-punk full of new things. 
  21. Old Loaves Bad Prawns  Three songs from New Zealand dudes somehow related to Neon Bastard. Both are good. These are better. Heavy. Makes me think of New Brutalism +
    Lords, or something. Download it.
  22. End Of A Year You Are Beneath Me  Yup, it’s good.
  23. Moonhearts Moonhearts  There’s some backstory here about dropping a Charlie & The to become just the Moonhearts, and it has something to do with the best decision these guys have made. Such a good album.
  24. Gods And Queens Untitled 2  Crunchy, like nuts in your mouth.
  25. Young Offenders Leader Of The Followers  More happy punk along the Red Dons, Small Bones, Autistic Youth (not listed) lines. This year definitely had a theme.
  26. The Weakerthans Live At Burton Cummings Theatre  A great live album. 
  27. Wild Nothing Gemini  He also released an EP very recently called Golden Haze. The material doesn’t stray far, but what is there can definitely contend for one of the better shoegaze/dream pop artists since its resurrection. 
  28. Nerve City Sleepwalker EP  This was a strange one. I love the presentation of it, the art and title, and can listen to it often, but it’s often well after I’ve listened to it that I think of it or hum the songs and wonder what the hell they’re from. Well recorded, but very lo-fi; hypnotic field rock? Maybe.
  29. Portugal. The Man American Ghetto  Their last two albums were eh, but Portugal made this one right! So happy about this. Like they weren’t trying to do anything special this time, and just sat around writing songs they liked instead. 
  30. Buyer’s Remorse A Thorough Analysis  Part of the Vitriol camp. Fun local hardcore. 

Other Highlights:

  • Whoa Hunx – saw them play once, murder a little restaurant dining room, then they moved on and drummer-boy Jon went on to La Sera among other things. 
  • Deranged Records – For real: Brutal Knights, Give, Male Nurses, Young Offenders, Burning Love, Bloody Gears, Red Dons, White Lung, Vicious Cycle, Statues. I think Pale Blue Dot from Vicious Cycle is the only non-2010 one on there, and there’s a lot more than I left out. What an awesome release history for one year. 
  • Comeback Kid – SHREDS! Who knew. 
  • Year of the S/T – Boyz & Girl, Masshysteri, Small Bones, Moonhearts, Hostage Calm, Acid Tiger, Soft Pack, Sed Non Satiata, Sinaloa, Sleepies, RVIVR, et cetera.
  • Darker My Love – at the FYF Fan Appreciation Show they opened with 5 new songs, all jaw-droppingly entertaining and in the same progressive vein they worked through albums 1 and 2 . . . 

Bottom 5:
  • . . . but somehow managed to leave out when they recorded Alive As You Are. Now, it’s grown on me, and watching the Live Buzz session was fun, but if I wanted to listen to the Dead/Beatles (and I don’t) than that’s what I’d do. It’s not that the album is terrible, nor that it’s a complete rip of anything, nor that that would matter because most everything is a completely rip these days, nor that THAT matters because sometimes complete rips are great too. It’s just that, they played these great new songs live, and I don’t know where they went. I’m sure the are actually what’s on the album, but I never would have made the connection otherwise. 
  • Lights Out Asia – I don’t know, I just wish I could like it more.
  • Clockcleaner – again with the branching out, and that’s all fine and dandy, but what the poot, Clockcleaner? Should’ve put you on the Joy Division tribute. Snap.
  • Comadre feat. Ghostlimb – wait, wait!! It’s still a great track! The whole mix is fun, especially for a free mixtape by a screamo band. It’s just, when you see Comadre and Ghostlimb working on the same track, two of my favorite rager bands and vocalists, you expect a total rager. 
  • The Octagon artwork – look:

Not of ’10:
  • Hard Girls Hello (2009)  Shouldn’t have missed this one last year!
  • Victor! Fix The Sun Retractable Claws (2007)  Where in the hoot did this come from? The Midwest? What the heck man, this stuff needs to be reported ASAP. Ultimate city-cycling album ever. 
  • Uzbeks Demo (2009)  Awesome little demo from some Israelis. 
  • Social Circkle (2007-09)  Another band I overlooked. 
  • Pile Jerk Routine (2009)  They had an album this year too, Magic Isn’t Real, but I got them both at the same time and have only taken to the first so far. 
The Best Of 2010 MIX will be up shortly, in the coming weeks at least. Excitement.

One thought on “The Best Of 2010

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