Did everyone else's 2010 kind of suck? Well, I know that mine did. Don't get me wrong, there was all kinds of good shit peppered in there too, but most of the year was just an amphetamine fueled shit storm, filled with all sorts of questionable and embarrassing behavior that I cannot really explain. Thankfully, most of that shit is over now. Plus they cleaned up all of that oil too right? So, all is right with the world again. 2010 was also a weird music listening year. Looking around my house, I have tons of records at my house from 2010, but I had a hard time figuring out what really grabbed me this year. So with that in mind, I just did a general Top Ten. Sure, there were plenty of other things out there that was into, but who can really muster up the energy to talk about ALL of it? Plus, you should really be reading the Keef Richards autobiography instead of wasting your time with my year end list anyway. This is in no particular order.
St.Dad "EP" 7” (self-released)
I'm not exactly sure why I like this so much. I guess maybe it’s because I feel like these guys sound so earnest in their wont to annoy. It's snotty, punk and funny in all the right ways for me. Evidently, these guys broke up this year. Maybe it’s for the best? I'm not 100% sure if I would be incessantly raving about these dudes if there were an LP involved. So for that, I will say, thank you guys for not potentially tarnishing the image I have of you. Here is to future projects I suppose.
Circle Pit "Bruise Constellation" LP (Siltbreeze)
There isn't a whole lot about this band that is very original, and most of the things written about them aren't very original (this person's description included). But can you imagine how hard it must be to pull off the whole "Royal Trux meets Nirvana meets Keith and Mick" vibes like Circle Pit does? They do it effortlessly with just enough grit to make it interesting. “Bruise Constellation” was easily my favorite Siltbreeze release of 2010 (still bummed about that Chickens record.)
Home Blitz "Perpetual Night" (Almost Ready Records)
Even though this 7" is only one new song and a cover, I am still glad that 2010 saw at least one Home Blitz release. “Perpetual Night” is definitely in the vein of 'Out of Phase', but it finds Mr. DiMaggio pushing even closer towards the 70s power/pop end of the spectrum. Is that a rolling piano line in there? This guy is clearly polishing up his song writing chops, and kind of makes you wonder what his next batch of songs is going to be like. So when DOES the next Home Blitz LP come out anyway?
Purling Hiss "Public Service Announcement"/"Hissteria" LPs (Woodsist/Richie)
I love Seventies rock. I love ramshackle Nineties indie rock. I also love long drawn out, self-indulgent music that you can smoke drugs or eat psychedelics to. Purling Hiss satisfies all three of those things for me. Guitar rock in the best possible way. It's nice to see that someone on the Woodsist roster can, ONE: Actually play, SHRED even, and TWO: uses tape warble to good effect, as opposed to just using it as an annoying afterthought. Eat some mushrooms and listen to this or 'Hissteria'. Total Dude Rock, without being even remotely stupid or boring, kind of like that sentence I just wrote.
UV Race "I Hate You" 7” (Fashionable Idiots)
Realistically, I would be putting 'Homo' here instead, but since that won’t legitimately get released until 2011, I will go ahead and put “I Hate You” here instead. It’s not that this is not as good, it is just a completely different thing than their forthcoming LP. With that said, I am glad “ I Hate You” exists, because it offers a shambling, “punker” counter point to the more polished and focused 'Homo'. Song explanations are still here and are as good as ever. There is garbage in my heart too Marcus.
Double Negative "Daydreamnation" LP (Sorry State Records)
Double Negative proving once again, that they are just plain better than most. HC or not. If you are on board, you know what I am talking about. If you are not, then get on dummy.
Whatever Brains "Rappers Delight II" 7" (Sorry State/Funny Not Funny)
I live in North Carolina and I'll go ahead and say it, “this is the best fucking band in the state (not that there's a whole lot of competition).” But seriously, Whatever Brains have only released one thing that I wasn't 100% in love with. Fortunately, "Rappers Delight II" was not that particular release. In fact, it might be their strongest release to date (save for 'Mt. Whatever'). Kind of tongue in cheek “weird punk” like the Teasers or Intelligence, but not quite as nasty as the former and not quite as goofy at times as the latter. Their strongest work to date, and best song title of the year (I’m well aware that EVERYONE says this, but it’s called “What Makes a Man Make “What Makes a Man Start Fires?” for crying out loud.) Here's to that new LP that they are working on, hopefully it will blow all of their previous material out of the water. The Village Sewer is overflowing and it’s gross.
The Intelligence "Males" LP (In The Red)
Even though about half of the songs on this appear somewhere else, and the weirdo bedroom vibes are almost all gone, there is still something about this one. This isn’t even CLOSE to my favorite Intelligence album, but this is the one that I will put on if I want an Intelligence album in one short 24 minute burst. If this is it for The Intelligence, I feel like this a good last hurrah, its The Intelligence, 100% bullshit free. And while that is half of the appeal of this band, economy and fidelity actually suits them well too. Here's to you Lars!
Crazy Spirit s/t 7" (Toxic State Records)
Finally, something from NYC that isn't a bunch of loft hopping fairies. Crazy Spirit are native NYC'ers that seem to be turning up on everyone's year end list. There is a good reason for that: Crazy Spirit is NASTY, UGLY and MEAN as fuck. The 7" isn't quite as good as good as the 2009 demo tape, but re-creating that murk and ferocity would have been a futile effort. Easy touch stones for this are Discharge and Germs, but there is a certain nastiness to this that is purely Crazy Spirit. This shit is pure toxic waste. This is what I wish “Class of 1984” actually sounded like. Beautiful screen printed packaging in appropriate floppy disc sleeves.
Tyvek "Nothing Fits" LP (In The Red)
What's better than Tyvek fucking around? Tyvek actually focusing. I'd be a liar if I said that the Siltbreeze LP wasn't a little disappointing, but on 'Nothing Fits', Tyvek doesn't fuck around. In around 25 minutes Tyvek prove that they are better than most bands functioning today. Not a single throwaway song on this one. I probably listened to “Kid Tut” about ten times in a row when I first got this. Very lean, very simple, totally killer. Also, the Tyvek Live record isn't as throwaway as it might seem. Almost all of 'Nothing Fits' is on there, and the songs are played with a live ferocity that is 100% fit for this group of songs. Hey, and if you get that you can support Jack White’s record label. I’m sure he needs the money.
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