Oh hey guys, what's up?! I haven't updated this humble blog in a minute because real life intervened, and a new big-time job and all kinds of cool shit just kinda happened. Now it's February and everyone is surely sick of all those best of 2010 lists and ready to move on, right? Well, if I learned anything, it's that I'm gonna keep the list to ten next time. Holy crap! This list turned into a full-time job, and ended up being seven pages when I was all well and done. Never again! Anyway, here's the last eight albums on the list, and if you haven't bought or illegally downloaded these records yet, what are you waiting for?!
18. Nobunny - First Blood
Man oh man, have you ever seen Nobunny live?! He straight-up wrecked Cincinnati's leading hipster nightclub Mayday back in spring, clad in a leather jacket, black BVDs, and a bunny mask that had to have been fished out of the deep recesses of a port-o-let at the corner of a construction site. The whole joint reeked like a roofer's asshole, but Nobunny still did head-first backflips off the stage and whipped the tiny crowd into ecstatic ecstasy. This LP captured the best of his disco-punk jams and even threw in a picture-perfect T. Rex rip-off called "Breathe." If you're sad, do you slide, or just breathe?! Questions!
19. Salem - King Night
Apparently, lots of rock critics and bloggers hate Salem with a passion, and maybe King Night just happened to hit me at the right time, but this record is one of the freshest, most original things I've heard in ages. Some people complain that it's a lifeless example of paint-by-numbers Fruity Loops child's play, smashing together underground rap beats and icy post-goth synth textures, but to me it sounds like a bunch of overstimulated Midwestern kids that watched too much cable television and still can't manage to figure it all out. Good gimmicks still grab my ears sometimes.
20. Vermillion Sands
The best co-optation of the relentless, early-60s Sun Records slapback echo rhythm beat in 2010 came from fucking Italy of all places, complimented by drawled, snide female vocals on a serious Nacy Sinatra tip, rude slashes of banjo melody, and jolts of simple-minded organ drone. Yeah, the self-titled debut album from Vermillion Sands is naggingly familiar in its reference points, but it totally wins thanks to a heaping dose of youthful energy and angst. "Wake Me When I Die" sounds like June Carter shacking up with a bunch of meth heads, just riding out the storm.
21. The Parting Gifts - Strychnine Dandelion
OK, so yeah, maybe one of my most highly anticipated albums of the year turned into a disappointment, but there's still a bit of success in such a noble failure! Maybe my expectations were set too high by the amazing 2009 LP Do You Want Power by The Ettes, produced by Mr. Greg Cartwight himself and full of the exciting and passionate rock n' roll noise missing from recent Reigning Sound records, but Strychnine Dandelion sounds kinda FLAT, doesn't it?! Maybe 15 perfect songs written by two songwriters at the top of their game isn't enough anymore, but even while treading water, these two still mop the floor with hundreds of mediocre bands.
22. The Jim Jones Revue - Burning Your House Down
The worst thing about this year's Jim Jones Revue LP is how good it sounds! The cranked-up LOUD sound of their earlier singles was kinda frightening, scary, and dangerous, but on this one they dial back the fury a little bit and let Mr. Jones' demented Little-Richard-on-crystal-meth yowl dominate the proceedings. What Burning Your House Down lacks in sledgehammer HOLY SHIT moments, it more than makes up for it with more energy than 95% of bands out there and a generally unsanitary vibe. The epic title track is an all-time classic.
23. Wavves - King Of The Beach
I didn't get the hype for the first Wavves album at all, and saw it as a case of people getting worked up over the layers of noise and slacker obnoxiousness that masked the fact that there just weren't any good songs underneath them. You could totally make a case that this record is so much better because of the presence of Jay Reatard's former backing band and a proper producer, but Wavves dude Nathan William comes equipped with a set of relentlessly sunny punk-pop bangers that benefit a ton from his pedigreed collaborators. "King Of The Beach" was the best pop song of the year, period. You're never gonna stop me...
24. Sleigh Bells - Treats
I didn't get into this record until December, well after everyone else was done shitting themselves all over it, but I couldn't help but like it loads. The best tracks (like "Infinity Guitars" and "Crown On The Ground") knock you on your ass with vintage, thunderous Rick Rubin-style Run DMC/Beastie Boys beats, solid-state cheesedick metal riffs, and demented, shouty cheerleader from hell vocals. Then "Rill Rill" bites Funkadelic with gusto and turns it into a stoned-out blissful jam. There ain't much else out there that sounds like Treats, and I'm sure it will get real old real fast, but in that first moment, it's like aural crack.
25. White Wires - WWII
When I first started writing about the Strange Boys back in March of last year, I was seriously fucking tired of Seattle-style grey skies infesting Cincinnati on a regular basis. One year later, nothing has really changed, and everything is as grey as a Pacific Northwest weeknight. Fuck, what I wouldn't give to go to the nearest beach for a hot minute! The second album from Canada's White Wires dropped in December and packs a serious melanin injection. Year-end lists are supposed to pack a weighty punch, but I'm fresh outta Rocky-style counterpunches. "Forget about the troubles that you're running from, let's rock rock rock n' roll summer fun." Sounds like a great idea, huh?!