- The Young, Voyagers of Legend At a time when the idea of indie rock sounding “fearless” seemed dihareah-ish, it seemed so contrived….well, these guys made this fuggin record. Fugazi and GBV and the non-Singles Soundtrack’s solo Westerberg have birthed their first true hybrid clone. And the guitar obliques are neither “math” nor “rockist.” I better plop down the $19 for this on vinyl before I remain tied to my Emusic version past the point of acceptability.
- Parting Gifts, Strychnine DandelionGreg Cartwright’s Reigning Sound has rocketed to the top of my new, post-y’all’ternative cosmos: but y’all know that already. ‘Point is, his work with female vocalists from the ‘Ettes here is solid, generic tabs of Vitamin Gum. Years aren’t complete without Greg Cartwright’s music, anymore.
- Midlake, The Courage of Others this is what it sounds like when the blokes who’ve accidentally made a blog-b’loved album become the band that they always meant to be, and, as it turns out, that’s neither what les blogs or their early fans wanted. Fleetwood Mac and Shirley Collins and Pentangle and, still, Radiohead live in this weird druid garden. The playing is exquisite, but all the songs could be 30 seconds shorter(: but only if they really wanted to be.)
- The Walkmen, Lisbon What’s to love about the good-but-not-great alb’s of great bands for which you have alarmingly real and alarmingly unreal expectations? I dunno. There are some standout tracks on this, particularly the ones that were built off of a rhythym guitar/snare drum thing. I still think Hamilton Whosis’ lyrics are among the few in the world that don’t give me buttpiss, but their overarching, yawning-not-yawping disposition is both a blessing and a curse, here.
- Drive-by Truckers, The Big To-Do
I wonder who sells-eth more records-eth, the Walkmen or the Truckers? As we move from the subtle and tasteful to the tacky and tasty, let’s understand that Patterson Hood knows what he wants to do and does it: Springsteen Gothic on Faces-y beds of present tense-y, situational “class” hog maws. The guitar tones on this alb are great and some of the hooks just hook you like a buttonhook should work on your coat, you coat-racked son of a fuck. Of course they went on tour with Tom Petty: who should, you?
- Oneohtrix Point Never, Returnal I spend a lot of time reading/writing theory, so it’s only appropriate that every year I come to champion at least one purveyor of post-ambient digi-shards, right? Non? Oui! If you were floating in an isolated space capsule while being irregularly thudded by a giant, industrial-sized electric mixer simultaneously, in the manner of a Catholic saint…? Well sir, this cd could be your sonuvabitch.
- Thee Oh Sees, Warm Slime If it wasn’t reading/writing we were doing, and intead we were all having some kinda party and/or working on a shed together,this is the alb from this list that I’d most likely pin on the toynetable. The Mamas and the Papas and White Light/White Heat have once again been reconstituted to save our sonic lives. There was too much reverb in 2010, but Thee Oh Sees get a pass.
- Personal and the Pizzas, Raw Pie So many godlike riffs, and the dude decided to spend ’em all on Fonzie/Ramones aesthetics and ‘zabra talk? I applaud that, and so doing I surprise even m’self.