My 2010 list is better than yours!


Feb 2 2011, 22:39

I'm not really that conceited, It seems I have to lure people in to read these journals anymore. Journal participation on isn't what it used to be.

I've been meaning to compile this list a few weeks ago but between full time work, full time college and a wife and kid, this hasn't been my top priority. Plus, my computer that had my 60 GB music library crashed so I didn't have access to all of the 2010 albums I have. After the tedious process of pulling my hard drive and retrieving my music, I finally got back up and going. Anyways, here's some albums I liked, some I loved and some disappointments

My 10 Favorite
(in alphabetical order)

Autolux-Transit Transit
After years of teasing us with false promises of this mystery "second album" they finally give us Transit Transit. At first I was a little disappointed with it, not really grasping the concept of their new mellower, toned down sound. I never gave up hope though that it would sink in and grow on me and I would love it, and it did. I get lost in the flow of this album from start to finish. Although a departure from the fuzzy and noisy sound that Future Perfect delivered, their newer sound is more soft and polished. Not to mention, Carla Azar is still my favorite chick drummer.

Bars of Gold-Of Gold
I know you all hate to admit it, but Bear vs.Shark is dead. There's no reunion tour of comeback album in the works. But the good news is we have Bars Of Gold. I'm not gonna sit and compare them to BVS, (though I do hear similarities in their styles). Let just relish in the fact that this is a really good album that deserves praise. Really energetic and sometimes groovin' song writing accompanied by the high-energy vocal styling of Marc Paffi. What's not to love?

Black Mountain-Wilderness Heart
Well the psychedelic, lava lamp, 70's rock loving guys (and girl) from Canada are back with another batch of goodies for your listening pleasure. I was curious to see how they'd follow up to 2008's In the Future, the album that introduced me to their retro Zeppelin/Sabbath-like song structures. This album is far more approachable than their previous releases without losing their trademarked prog-psych rock sound they're known for. I'm also a sucker for good vocal harmonies and Stephen McBean and Amber Webber prove that they do them very well.

Black Sleep of Kali-Our Slow Decay
I never even heard of these guys. I got this album on a whim bored one night cruising around the web looking for something new. This album caught my ears upon first listen. They play a blend of , , in the vein of bands like Baroness and Torche. The guitar and bass tones are thick and huge creating a wall of down-tuned heavy noise sure to piss off your parents. Their incredible drummer ties it all together with his tasty and ridiculous fills throughout the album. Add some pissed off and angry dual vocals that you can actually understand what their saying and you got a recipe for a great album. One of my favorite discoveries of the year for sure.

The Dillinger Escape Plan-Option Paralysis
I'll be honest, it has taken me quite some time to digest this latest Dillinger offering. I loved Ire Works right away and I was skeptical as hell about entertaining the idea of a new drummer when Chris Pennie left. I thought Gil Sharone stepped in and filled the spot nicely on Ire Works. But now Gil's gone and who the hell is this Billy Rymer kid? Upon further listening, and really giving it time to sink in, I think Option Paralysis dives further into a new song-writing territory while still retaining that signature Dillinger sound. Overall I think it's a more cohesive record than Ire Works and proves that they still can melt faces. Oh yeah and that Rymer kid is not so bad too (That's a YouTube link to a pretty cool drum solo).

Gifts from Enola-Gifts From Enola
I don't think this band can do any wrong. Loyal Eyes Betrayed The Mind would have made my top ten in 2006 if I had compiled a '06 list. From Fathoms narrowly missed the cut last year and probably should of been in there now that I go back and think about it. There are not too many bands around these days that get better with every release. A difficult task if you consider how good their previous releases are too. There's no way this year that their self titled masterpiece is not going to be amongst my favorites.

Intronaut-Valley Of Smoke
This album was a grower for sure. I didn't know what to think about Sacha Dunable's and Dave Timnick's new vocal style. Upon first listen I thought they went soft on me. Where's the aggro growling pissed off vocals that I'm used to? But giving my love for this band I also never gave up on this album. Every time I listened to it, the picture got clearer about where their new direction was going. The softer choral vocal singing accents their atmospheric parts to their songs better than just straight growling all of the time. The true brilliance of this album though is the combination of bassist Joe Lester and drummer Danny Walker. I've said it before, these two are the best rhythm section (bass/drums) combination in all of metal, maybe even in all of music.

Medications-Completely Removed
Here's another album that I waited for eternity to be released. Devin Ocampo, front man for the short lived DC band Faraquet, has always had a creative knack for writing catchy, math rock songs that are well thought-out and structured. After Faraquet split in 2001, 2/3 of the band went on to form Medications. 2005's Your Favorite People All In One Place was chalked full of brilliant math rock goodness. Clever song writing, noodling guitar riffs and spastic drums all wrapped up in an easy on the ears format. Completely Removed takes a lot of the mathy aspects out of the mix and focuses on a more refined song writing approach. Though I do miss the spazzy elements that Your Favorite People captured, this album is great and has earned it's place on this list.

Murder by Death-Good Morning, Magpie
I love the progression of this band, especially these last couple of releases. Their blend of , , and with Nick Cave like vocals and a cello player is really entertaining. The musicianship is great and the lyrical content of the songs makes it feel as if someone just read me a really good story. This is great drinking music. I really liked this album a lot.

Oceansize-Self Preserved While The Bodies Float Up
Oceansize have proved again why they are one of my favorite progressive bands out there. Their knack for creating beautiful ethereal-like melodies and crushing aggressive riffs is impressive. What's even more impressive is that they can blend it all together without losing the focus and sounding jumbled together like most bands do. This album has some of their heaviest work to date as well as some minimal and orchestral sounds that they're known for. This might be my favorite Oceansize record to date.

Other Greats
(not quite top 10)

Ancient Shores-The Black Engulfs The Sun
Stumbled across this while listening to Last.Fm radio one night. Awesome chaotic / band.

Black Tusk-Taste The Sin
Not as good as 2008's Passage Through Purgatory but a very good listen. Sounds an awful lot like Kylesa, which is not a bad thing.

I know a lot of people will say that this doesn't compare to Hell Songs but I find this to be their most enjoyable and approachable album. Plus I want that album art on a t-shirt, so awesome! Really good album.

The Dead Weather-Sea Of Cowards
A buddy of mine turned me on to these guys. This is my favorite Jack White project. Plus, Alison Mosshart is a total babe!

Deftones-Diamond Eyes
There are some absolutely great moments on this album. Chino's scream at the end of Royal gives me goosebumps and is probably his best scream ever, and Rocket Skates is just awesome. It was close, but just too many filler songs to crack my top ten.

East Of The Wall-Ressentiment
I was a little surprised by the addition of vocals. Their previous work was all instrumental. Nevertheless, this album is technical and heavy while still maintaining good melody and structure. Reminds me of early Intronaut at times. This band is thinking mans' metal. Really good album.

Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan-Hawk
Isobel's sweet, delicate whispering next to Mark's gruffy, strong Tom Waits-like voice is such a powerful combo. I really enjoyed this one.

Kylesa-Spiral Shadow
Here's another one close to cracking the top ten, but I felt it was a step back in their progression from Static Tensions. Again filled with a few too many filler songs. Don't get me wrong, this album is badass.

Maps & Atlases-Perch Patchwork
These guys write some really intricate, unique and complex songs. Everyone of these guys are extremely talented at their respected instrument and the musicianship is between them is truly amazing. I just think this was just a little too toned down from the sound I'm so used to these guys putting out. I really missed the mathy, funky, spastic elements they used to incorporate into their songs.

Portugal. The Man-American Ghetto
I don't know how these guys do it. It seems that they release an album every year and they're always good. You would think that the song writing would get stale and uninventive, but not from Portugal. Maybe it's that there's not too much to do up there in Alaska but to sit around and write songs. Whatever it is, these guys have figured it out. American Ghetto is well written music heavily rooted in indie rock while incorporating elements of blues, soul and folk. Truly a great listen. Believe it or not, they are already in the studio recording another album. Can't wait!

Pulled Apart By Horses-Pulled Apart By Horses
I seen this album all over the place but never gave it a listen to until just recently. I don't know why I skipped over it, or how I missed it for so long, but it is awesome. Another one of my favorite discoveries this year. Heavy, punky and quirky blended together with a "fuck yeah" attitude.

Rosetta-A Determinism Of Morality
This album has some really great atmospheric moments that really strike the right note with me and capture my attention. But often the songs kinda wander around and never build to anything. Not as good as The Galilean Satellites album but still a really good listen.

These guys really can do no wrong. As far as chill-out, mellow, studying music goes, I look no further than these guys. Any album of theirs' will do too. This one is no exception.

These guys are one of the best , bands around. This is a super good album.

Some More Good Albums

Afformance-A Glimpse To The Days That Pass

ANDROID EMPIRE-Old Bordello On The Hill Of Sold Souls

As We Draw-Lines Breaking Circles

At the Soundawn-Shifting

Band of Horses-Infinite Arms

Beyond This Point Are Monsters-Family Tree

Broken Bells-Broken Bells

Carontte-As Grey As They Said

Chopstick Suicide-Loserville


Collapse Under the Empire-The Sirens Sound

Dangers-Messy, Isn't It?

EF-Mourning Golden Morning

Enemies-We've Been Talking

Fang Island-Fang Island


Hannibal Montana-Hannibal Montana

I, Your Liege-I, Your Liege

Kings of Leon-Come Around Sundown




Maserati-Pyramid Of The Sun

No Hawaii-Snake My Charms

Norma Jean-Meridional

The Ocean-Heliocentric

Octaves-Greener Pastures

Pet Slimmers of the Year-...And The Sky Fell

The Redneck Manifesto-Friendship

Reno-The Year Of Love

Rinoa-An Age Among Them

Sleepy Sun-Fever

Tera Melos-Patagonian Rats

These Monsters-Call Me Dragon

Biggest Disappointments

Coheed and Cambria-Year Of The Black Rainbow

Hero Destroyed-Throes

Just Like Vinyl-Just Like Vinyl

Khoma-A Final Storm

Minus the Bear-Omni

Red Sparrowes-The Fear Is Excruciating, But Therein Lies The Answer

Tides of Man-Dreamhouse

Well that pretty much rounds out my year of music. A few greats, some good, some disappointments from bands I didn't expect to let me down and some new discoveries. Overall I thought this year was pretty bland for new tunes though. I can only hope for 2011 to provide a little higher caliber of releases. As always your comments (and/or disagreements) are appreciated. Cheers!


  • spikemobile

    and you're saying you seem to find stuff in my journal you've never heard of before. well, the same goes for you, tim. as far Intronaut, Rosetta, and Deftones go, i see their records of 2010 all over the place, but never really checked them out yet. and the DEP didn't really do it for me.. i'll try to check other records from your top that i think are worth my attention.. it seems like you're moving further and further away from more traditional songwriting in your faves and more and more towards the , , ... i for some reason am not really into and any of its derivatives for the last year and a half or so..

    Feb 3 2011, 10:26
  • Cosmonaut_

    From what I know you have a great list mate. A lot of stuff on here I haven't heard off. I didn't know there was any post-BvS material though, I should give that a listen. Though I should get round to BvS's first album before. Anything else you would recommend me more than anything else?

    Feb 5 2011, 19:44
  • w0bbEL

    I waited for this list since January, no lie. And yeah, it's awesome. A lot of great stuff (Rosetta, Intronaut, DEP, Bars of Gold!!!, M&A, Daughters, Deftones ....) and much stuff that I really look forward to check out. Dangers should be a lot higher, though. That record rules so much.

    Feb 6 2011, 11:49
  • irishtim

    @Cosmonaut; yeah, BvS first album is a must. I think Terrorhawk is a much better album but some of my favorite BvS songs are on that first one. Victor! Fix The Sun is another band very BvS-like if you're looking for something new. @w0bbel; there was some pretty good stuff this year. I did like that Dangers album but I got it kinda late in the year. I do like it but I need to listen to it more.

    Feb 6 2011, 19:46
  • Kieran0411

    Great list mate. Stupid last/fm ruined everything with the broken/lack of journal system. 4 comments? 2-3 years ago you'd have 20+ by now. Just thought to look see if u'd done yours yet, and here it is. Will be checking out a few of these i didnt get round to, especially Autolux as i've had it on my hard drive since halfway through last year but never got round to it!. Overall i thought 2010 kinda sucked, but when i looked back thru to do my list i was surprised how much quality there was... overall splendid list my good man, here's to some good music for 2011, seems to be looking good so far!

    Feb 16 2011, 8:49
  • riclmnopp

    How is Broken Bells so low on the list? Just because some bands are to mainstream doesn't mean they shouldn't make the list. Ray Lamontagne had a decent album this year, Arcade Fires album was bad either, and The Black Keys had a rockin album this year. But i do say it's a damn good list for Non Mainstream albums. Beach House and The Nationals had some decent albums this year as well.

    Feb 21 2011, 23:48
  • riclmnopp

    Mumford & Sons and Band of Horses, had a great albums as well. But yeah 2010 didn't have that many great albums.

    Feb 27 2011, 1:52
  • riclmnopp

    I did just notice Band Of Horses, but just like Broken Bells, it's pretty low on the list. I'm really surprised you have Broken Bells so low. ???? I did notice a eels album came out 2010, but i haven't heard it.

    Feb 27 2011, 1:55
  • irishtim

    @riclmnopp: I did like the Broken Bells and Band of Horses albums but they weren't standouts for me. I listened to the Broken Bells album a lot, but it got a little stale after a while. I'm really starting to get into Band of Horses lately. You're right, both of those albums probably should've been a little higher up on the list. I didn't get around to the Eels album either. They're hit & miss with me though. I really enjoy their older work more than the new stuff.

    Feb 27 2011, 2:29
  • FelipeSah

    Nice, gonna give some of these a listen

    Mar 1 2011, 1:11
  • xVictimOfADownx

    great list with a lot of great diversity!

    Ott 9 2011, 17:00
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