The Best Shit of 2010

Well, it is the end of the year. This, of course, means it is time to pretend my opinions matter, and compile my best of list for 2010.

Obviously, this list is my favourite stuff of the year. You may disagree with it (I like that I am typing this warning when, honestly, no one actually reads this thing [save that one dude, maybe]). So, yeah.

On with the show, motherfuckers.

TOP 10 FULL LENGTHS (in no particular order):

2) Blunt Mechanic – “World Record”
3) Off With Their Heads – “In Desolation”
4) Snowing – “I Could Do Whatever I Wanted If I Wanted
5) Grown Ups – “More Songs”
6) Castevet – “The Echo & The Light
7) Best Coast – “Crazy For You”
8) Iron Chic – “Not Like This”
9) The Dum Dum Girls – ” I Will Be”
10) Alkaline Trio – “This Addiction”

TOP 7 INCHES AND EPS (in no particular order):

1) The Get Up Kids – “Simple Science”
2) The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die – “Formlessness”
3) Lemuria – “Chautauqua County”

STUFF THAT WAS ALSO PRETTY AWESOME (but, not “top 10” awesome)
1) Candy Hearts – “Ripped Up Jeans & Silly Dreams”
2) The Gaslight Anthem – “American Slang”
3) Mi Ami – “Steal Your Face”
4) Shinobu – “Exhaustive, Exhaustive”
5) Grass Widow – “Past Time”
6) The Thermals – “Personal Life”
7) Japandroids – “No Singles”
8) Bars Of Gold – “Of Gold”
9) Sundowner – “We Chase The Waves”
10) MGMT – “Congratulations”

One record missing from all lists is “Ghosts On The Boardwalk” by The Bouncing Souls. The reason that it is not included is because, while it came out in January of 2010, it is just all the songs from their monthly 7″ series in 2009. As such, it was on my 2009 list as the series, and would be poor form to include it this year again. Though, yes, it is totally awesome.

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So, that is the list. More reviews coming this week, as we wrap up 2010.

REVIEW: Blunt Mechanic – "World Record"

Blunt Mechanic is the new project for Ben Barnett, of Kind Of Like Spitting. I am, basically, a giant fanboy for Kind Of Like Spitting. They have been at the top of my chart for the past 2 years now. All the songs he did with that project are high on my list of favourite shit ever. When I heard he had a new project, I was pretty fucking stoked.

So, as expected, this record is out on Barsuk Records. Per the label site, “both band and album tip heavy on the riffaged hooks and light on the darkness; big on the thumbs up — no time for the thumbs down.” This is pretty accurate. A lot has happened since Kind Of Like Spitting called it a day in 2006.

This album is pretty low-fi. My main complaint is that, musically, most of it sounds pretty similar to the more full band Kind Of Like Spitting stuff (circa One Hundred Dollar Room and the split with Lemuria). There is nothing wrong with this, but it does not grab me as much initially as those recordings did.

But, yeah, it is pretty poppy sounding for the most part. A little garagey at times. Weird psychedelic vocal harmonies at other times. A few acoustic jams even. This record is fucking all over the place.”Aluminum And Light” stands out as a great example of the psychedelic influence. “Our First Brains” has a very country feel to it. Mostly due to the guitar riff and drum beat. It is also my favourite track on the album. Fast, catchy, and will stay stuck in your fucking head for days.

Of the more Kind Of Like Spitting sounding stuff “Is Or Isn’t All The Same” and “Pop Song” stand out. However, even though they seems kind of melancholy, they have a more positive feeling to them than Kind Of Like Spitting did.

As far as things I do not dig that much, “Enough” goes on for about seven minutes. Usually that is a skip for me. I understand the experimental nature of this record, but a lot can be said for the 3 minute song.

I feel bad for spending most of the review talking about Kind Of Like Spitting, but, it had to happen. Ben Barnett makes very particular music. This would be on the same level of trying to write a Hey Mercedes review without mentioning Braid. That shit is hard to do.

In the end, I will give this a 4 out of 5. This will undoubtedly end up on my end of year “best of” list. And if anyone gets a mix from me anytime soon, odds are some song from this record will end up on it. I implore you to pick this shit up, yo.

Album and order page @ Barsuk Records