Thursday, December 23, 2010

Underappreciated Albums That Rocked 2010

Hey, in 2010 music got some of its wrath back. Thanks entirely to my relentless push for relentless, the music world picked up the pace and the delicacy declined, the preciousness plummeted and the hush got hammered!

Of course my work here in the dark is never done. Wherever there's a band who throw their everything into their music to minimal recognition, I'll be there, yellin'. Wherever some slackasses are getting praised for their cheekbones, I'll be there, spittn' nails. I'll be in the way the critics yell when they're mad - I'll be in the way fans laugh when they're find something new but old under the sun. An' where flesh and blood people are making music for themselves and those around them, I'll be there too.

So, in that slightly Steinbeckish spirit, here is my list of sixteen albums by artists that didn't get to live off that fatta the lan' this year but maybe should have:

(All band name links go directly to MySpace for your listening pleasure.)

1) Mother's Children: That's Who
Frenzied Canadian power-pop-punk.

2) Jesse Malin: Love it To Life
Punk survivor Malin rocks like hell.

3) Peachfuzz: Everything Takes Forever
Like Jawbreaker meets the Replacements.

4) Steve Adymyk Band: S/T
More of that power-poppin' punk rock that's gonna go over a storm in Spain and be ignored elsewhere.

5) Sugar Stems: Sweet Sounds of..
If Blondie had been on the C86 comp!

6) Jason & The Scorchers: Halcyon Times
J & S rock like a hurricane in a trailer park.

7) The Roman Line: Morning Portraits.
This blazing roots-punk album came out in December '09 but it's this year's well-deserving anachronism.

8) Tim Barry: 28th & Stonewall
Off-the-grid punk-folk.

9) Chumbawamba: ABCDEFG
With the disco and the punk gone it's just the folk that remains.

10) David Dondero; Zero With a Bullet
The Dylan-was-a-Punk album of the year.

11) Piney Gir: Jesus Wept
Spaghetti-country-punk-gospel-pop born in a thunderstorm.

12) Gaslight Anthem American Slang
Made some of the Cool Lists but never got its rockin'

13) John Moreland: Things I Can't Control
Both punk and country work best in a dingy bar-room, here's a band that could rock either room .

14) Young Evils: Enchanted Chapel
Not a Mini-Pops Misfits but melodic indie-pop like Beat Happening with more pre-Beatles pop and less post-punk rock.

15) Cyanide Pills
Deliriously retro bubble-punk, like The Dammed City Rollers!

16) Young Veins Take a Vacation
Sure it's a mite ridiculous for the young alum's of Panic at the Disco! to make an album redolent of all things Beatles, Kinks and Beach Boys but it still a joyous work.

All that music listening and I still don't even recognize all the artists on the Big Name best-of-the-year lists! Like so many other list-compilers, I've only heard what broke through into my little bubble. So if you want to let your own bubble expand, thou mayest.

As Good 'Ol Charlie Brown requests below, some SUPPORT, in the form of comments that detail what made YOUR list of under-appreciated albums would be great.

Best Songs of the year list will be coming after Christmas!


  1. Cool list. I've only heard about 4 or 5 of the albums on this list, but that's enough to let me know that you're probably right on target with most of the rest of them.

  2. Thanks, it's a little more folk/country-ish this year but I'm pretty cyclical in my taste so I assume it was just a good year in that department and it's not just my aging ears...

    Speaking of lists, I was reminded by yours to make sure to get something from the last Houseboat 7" onto my best songs list!

  3. I just don't get the Gaslight Anthem.

  4. Gaslight Anthem = Suck, as far as I'm concerned, but I'm letting Jeff go on that one.

    The House Boat 7" is friggin' awesome.

  5. Thanks Jeffen.

    YOu put up a lot of stuff I hadn't heard yet. One of the things that sucked is that ever since I moved up to Alaska my exposure to new music has gone downhill: therefore, I appreciate the list. SOme great stuff on here that I will definitely be buying.

    One that I would add to it is Best Coast album. Great reverby 60's pop update. I really like it a lot. Especially "When I Am With You."


  6. Hey Jeffen

    Some of these albums are familiar.I will investigate the others.

    I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


  7. Nazz/BB
    I've had it bad for GA since their first album but my tastes do tend towards the wimpier side of punk, so what can i say?

    Always glad to inspire people to buy new albums.
    Hey, that IS a good Best coast song.

    Let us know which ones you're inspired to pick up.
    Have a great Xmas!

  8. Nice to see the Sugar Stems on the list. I took a chance on this after seeing it in a local record store clearance bin and had a blast listening to it.

  9. I really, really like the Steve Adamyk band...I FOught For The USA is a great song. Thanks for the heads up.

    I must make my way through the other stuff as well.


    P.S. I have always been into the wimpier side of punk myself. I remember when I first got into punk (before I found it) I liked thrash metal (this was in the late 80's)- especially the aggression and loud guitars, but I was missing the hooks. I also loved 60's pop (and still do), and thought how great it would be if thrash metal and 60's pop combined.....and then I discovered bands like The Descendents and The Hard-Ons. So yeah, I like the wimpier side of punk myself.

    Food and girls- what else is there to write songs about? :)

  10. Great list. Some stuff i've been enjoying all year, Young Veins, Cyanide Pills, and some stuff here that i'm just discovering today like Mother's Children and Sugar Stems, so looks like I'm still gettin' Christmas presents.

  11. Steve
    Sugar Stems are great!

    Glad you liked the Steve A. it's a great record.

    P.S. You musical origins sounds like a cross between my own (with the pop-punk) and regular reader CallPastorJerkface who is OBSESSED with thrash metal in a way one such as I cannot understand.

    Mr. Sauve
    Glad to add what I hope will be some new fodder for future Modcasts.

  12. Really digging that Sugar Stems. Haven't heard of them before, but will be checking them out later today. Thanks!!

  13. Only band I' heard of on the list is The Gaslight Anthem and to read from others that they suck really makes me feel out of it. Thanks guys.

  14. Oops, have to add Jesse Malin, Jason and the Scorchers and Chumbawumba to the list of the bands I've hard of, so maybe not that out of it.

  15. Kouzen
    I think I've probably got more people to listen to the SS then any other new band this year!

    Hey adding to what you know is what we're all about here, so I hope you found a new band to listen to (and no matter what the naysayers say GR rock!)

  16. CallPastorJerkfaceJanuary 4, 2011 at 10:33 AM

    It's a beautiful thing to hear the ghosts of rock & roll past (The Kinks, Soul Asylum, 77' thru 80' power pop/punk, etc.) haunt Christmas 2010. So far I only own The Young Veins but Cyanide Pills and John Moreland look like they may be fixin' to make it into my collection.

  17. CPB
    Glad you liked the John Moreland, he's a man who deserves his own obsessive following.


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