Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Best Show Ever Best of 2010

see the post below this one to listen to the show and check out the setlist.

25. THE FORECAST-The Forecast (EYEBALL)
I’m reminded of the way that the guitarist from Lightning Bolt switches one of his guitar strings with a banjo string so he can hit really intense notes. The Forecast is at their best when they work in the exact same way. Their front man is always singing med tempo and always sort of downplayed while their other singer (female) can hit really high and truly powerful notes. The Forecast has always been a band that I’ve liked but never loved. For every great song they write, they write 2 that are forgettable. Their new self-titled record is much more rounded than anything they’ve ever done and the Tom Petty influence is more apparent than ever.
24. BLACK BREATH-Heavy Breathing (SOUTHERN LORD)
There is only one question you have to ask when reviewing a thrash record: Does it rip?
This record does in fact rip. Your insurance company will not allow you to play this record in your house if your house is make of paper. Black Breath gained a large following with their demo 2 years ago. Being ex members of the band Skating Totally Rules, Everything Else Totally Sucks (s.t.r.e.e.t.s.) didn’t hurt either. Other members went on to form Pride Tiger and Bison BC. Both of which are doing well these days.
23. MONUMENT THE THIEVES-Monument to Thieves (NO SLEEP)
Any fans of the original singer of Throwdown out there? I lost my appetite for Throwdown when they switched singers and became your run of the mill tough guy hardcore band. The original singer spent some time playing guitar for 18 visions for a while. Now he’s back with that unmistakable voice playing the same style of hardcore that made Throwdown superstars in the first few years of their existence. I hereby decree that a new style of hardcore has been categorized: ChuggaFlemmy
22. GOLIWOG-Plague Allegiance (CHAINSAW)
First of all I have looked into it and they are not a racist band. For those of you who don’t know, Golliwog was a character from a book by Florence Kate Upton in the early 19th century. The character was turned into a popular doll and sold all over the commonwealth. Some people may remember one from an episode of Extras. The band Golliwog is from Slovenia and for a full disclaimer you can check out their myspace. Now that I have passed your questions/hate mail on to them I will tell you about their music. This record is great. Reminding me of the Fat Wreck Chords roster of the 90’s. They exemplify European pop punk. It’s fast and female fronted and that will always at least make me interested in listening to something.
21. DANGERS-Messy, Isn’t It (VITRIOL/CAPITAL GAMES)
If you ever asked the question “how vicious can a hardcore band…”!!! You’ve suddenly been punched in the face and sweep kicked by Dangers. I had two records to choose from this year with this level of vicious but felt I could only choose one. The other was Punch-Push /Pull which is also worth checking out. After I listened to them side to side, Dangers came out the victor. I picture their shows looking like Conan the Barbarian as drawn by Frank Frazetta wildly swinging an axe at enemies crawling up a pile of bodies to reach him.
20. OFF WITH THEIR HEADS-In Desolation (EPITAPH)
I am convinced that for at least the next 5 years I will include either a Banner Pilot or Off With Their Heads record on my best of list. OWTH have always reminded my of the Bouncing Souls without ever really sounding like them. Bassy, bombastic and fun to sing along to.
19. GREAT ST LOUIS-In Your Own Time (JUST SAY NO TO GOVERNMENT MUSIC)
Out of all the Leatherface inspired bands currently out there today, I’ve always felt The Great St Louis was the most under appreciated. Maybe because they’re from the UK where Leatherface is already king. I would suggest picking up this record if you prefer a more stripped down Lucero mixed with the Gaslight Anthem without any of the Against Me.
18. RVIVR-LP (RUMBLETOWNE)
RVIVR is an ex Latterman band which is always a good reason to check out a band. But the real revelation here is the female singer Erica(something). She makes this record. Otherwise this would just sound like any other ex Latterman band (sounds like latterman but not quite as good). She provides the accent that all of Matt Canino’s other projects have lacked.
17. STATE LOTTERY-When the Night Comes (SALINAS)
State Lottery sometimes sounds like a perfect cross between the Lawrence Arms and Saturday Looks Good to Me. This is a perfect fusion between folk and punk and better than anything your Fake Problems has ever put out. They are also sorta local.
16. GLASSES-The Ills of Life (VENDETTA)
If you want to hear the best Nirvana cover of all time then pick up this record (hint: it’s retitled). Any fans of The Swarm out there? You are now legally obligated to listen to this.
15. CRIME IN STEREO-I Was Trying To Describe You to Someone (BRIDGE 9)
Well, they’re finally dead. After years of teasing fans with a break-up (kinda like Zao used to do), Crime in stereo have finally thrown in the towel, But not before releasing 2 of the best post hardcore records of the decade. Anyone who is into Brand New’s less emo work will probably enjoy this record a lot. Check out pastepunk.com for a better review. I Was Trying To Describe You To Someone is difficult to describe to someone.
14. MASSHYSTERIE-Masshysterie (NYVAG)
Sweden is the grand canyon of punk. Their musical influences have cut the into the country as deep as the Colorado River. The Clash, Negative Approach, Nation of Ulysses and Little Richard influences are all overtly apparent across the Swedish music scene and in response I will now state that if I was to move to a different country based on music alone, it would be Sweden. All blowjobs aside, a lot of people compare them to early punk acts like the Avengers, the Mutants, or X. I see them as more of a Swedish Matt and Kim. Their guitars are so jangly and fun, a lot of times I totally forget that they’re a full band. They’re also one of the only bands from Sweden I’m aware of that actually sings in Swedish. Features ex members of (International) Noise Conspiracy, Regulations and many others.
13. GAMITS-Parts (PAPER AND PLASTIC)
It is agreed upon that the Gamits have always been one of the best pop punk bands of the past 10 years. When they broke up a few years ago, I felt it was a loss but not a great one. I enjoyed their records but never felt they’d added too much to the style. Then after a few years they return with a mindblowingly great record. It almost makes me wonder if they faked a break-up so people wouldn’t bother them while they created their masterpiece. Parts is soulful punk in a way that I haven’t heard since One Man Army broke up.
12. FLATLINERS-Cavalcade (FAT WRECK)
Melodic, emotive and vicious. The Flatliners improve in leaps from record to record. From Skapunk band, to straight ahead melodic punk band, to whatever the hell style of punk music this is….band. One more record and they may just beat Against Me at their own game. If this was 1998 they would be selling out headlining gigs in the middle of winter in downtown Detroit.
11. 500 MILES TO MEMPHIS-We’ve built up to nothing (DEEP ELM)
Please don’t dismiss this band within the first 2 minutes of listening to them. It’s different. Very different. The best way that I can describe them is by calling them Emobilly. This record truly embraces country music and retains a punk sensibility that no band has ever been able to do before, epically.
10. RUMSPRINGER-Empty Towers (TRAFFIC STREET)
There are two Rumspringer bands and neither is a ska band from Delaware. One is a duo from Los Angeles spelled Rumspringa. The other is this band, Rumspringer, from Tempe Arizona. If the 2 had a band battle like in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Rumspringa's totem would be a piece of driftwood. Rumspringer’s battle totem would be a Chimp with a crowbar. What I’m getting at is they have that childlike innocence and desire to have fun but at the same time have a crowbar that they use to hammer catchy powerful songs directly into your subconscious. Songs that I am constantly singing to pick myself up in moments of boredom. Oh, and the chimp wins the battle. He has a crowbar after all.
9. CONTINUANCE-Carry Ourselves (RISE)
For as many words that I could understand on this record, the singer may as well be an accordion. In this case that isn’t a bad thing. Rarely do I care what a band is singing about more than the way the song sounds. This is one of the most intense and urgent sounding hardcore records I have ever heard. Fast and layered melodies with shredding intensities (didn’t that used to be a show on CJAM?) that the singers incomprehensible voice only accentuate. The best Canadian release this year.
8. BALANCE AND COMPOSURE/TIGERS JAW-split (NO SLEEP)
There is nothing wrong with Tigers Jaw. Previous to this release I was not a fan. I just didn’t like their sound. Nothing wrong with that. On this release they have certainly improved in melody and production. If you like them on this split I would suggest picking up their new full length also out this year, Two Worlds, which is also good.
The main reason this split is on my list is because of Balance and Composure. Balance and Composure is the band of the future. The saviours of emo if you will. While most emo bands these days are obsessed with experimenting and finding a new sound that will set them apart, B&C have looked to the past for inspiration. Most notable early to mid ninety emo bands like Sunny Day Real Estate and Mineral with maybe a touch of Texas is the Reason for that Revelation edge. They do it better than anybody out there today. If they release a full length I have no doubt that it would be in the running for record of the year. After 3 releases this is the closest thing they’ve come to a full length.
7. BARS OF GOLD-of gold (FRICTION)
Bars of Gold comes from the remnants of Bear vs. Shark. You can certainly hear it. But with their experience and a newfound swagger you can also hear a desire to experiment with a firmly established post hardcore sound. This may possibly be Michigan’s best current band.
6. Blake-I Was Young In the 90s (NO REASON)
Everyone I play this for is instantly put off by the singer’s vocals. For those of you familiar with Revelation records roster in the 90’s will quickly compare them to The Farside albeit with a thick Italian accent. This mimicry is proven when I went to their myspace and found that their number 1 friend is a Farside fan page. If you can embrace the vocals on this record you will find extremely well constructed and deep sounding songs. For me the vocals only made them stand out from the crowd. There are few records I listened to more this year.
5. ENVY-Recitation (TEMPORARY RESIDENCE)
Envy is the Radiohead of Screamo. If Envy played a show with Radiohead and Sigur Ros, the moon would weep, inseminating the earth and birthing a race of beings made of pure energy. The beings would immediately fly to the brightest nebula in the universe and create an Eden of harmonic musical perfection. Balls.
4. PRIZZY PRIZZY PLEASE-Chroma Cannon (JOYFUL NOISE)
I just can’t pick out a guitar riff on this entire record. There are certainly guitars, but they’re played more like spastic keyboards…with saxophones. Prizzy’s previous records featured short, fast experimental songs that seem to have an idea but never grow. Not unlike Bomb the Music Industry. On Chroma Cannon, the track lengths are tripled, giving them lots of time for their ideas to bloom into full-on musical experiences. Listening will make you cooler while driving down the road. Remember to blast it at stoplights.
3. CEREMONY-Rohnert Park (BRIDGE 9)
Nothing makes me happier when a decent but run of the mill hardcore band walks through a dark alley and walks out the other side covered with blood and a look in it’s eyes that says “I will kill again”. Rohnert park is a dark, vicious, funhouse of hardcore.
2. BE MY DOPPELGANGER-no composure (IT’S ALIVE)
Easily the best pop punk record of the year. It reminds me of bands I listened to in high school. It reminds me of being in high school. It reminds me of making out with a girl for the first time and then seeing her in the hall the next day and not saying anything but you can’t help but smile and wink at each other as you pass. This is basically the soundtrack to being a punk in a small town high school with songs about drinkin beers and girls you are aware there is no future with.
1. TITUS ANDRONICUS-The Monitor (XL)
My favourite album every year tends to be the one that makes my hair stand up on end. The Battle of Hampton Road, the 14 minute long final song of the Monitor makes my hair stand up at three different points. This record has been much talked about in concept and greatness and I don’t feel like I can really say anything original, so I’m going to use my favourite quote about this record. It comes from pitchfork.com who listed this record at number ten on their best of list. I’m not really a fan of pitchfork but this is probably the most accurate thing I’ve ever read about this record: “Frontbeard Patrick Stickles bellows every lyric in a scraggly yowl, sounding like the world is crumbling around him and the only thing holding the sky up is the righteous noise from the band behind him”.



EXTRA STUFF:
Best EP- Lightnin' round-st
Best label-no sleep records (balance and composure, frontiers, monument to thieves)
Biggest disappointment-hostage calm
Best non punk record-crystal castles 2

1 comment:

  1. Regarding Prizzy Prizzy Please, they actually use NO guitars! It's all done by running their keyboard through filters.

    ReplyDelete