DS Staff Picks – 10 best albums of 2010 (Ricky)

Well, another year is drawing to a close. People are gearing up for the holidays and it’s almost time to start creating your New Year’s resolution list. Mine looks something like this: Move out of parents’ basement, Start wearing pants, Get a real job… But before we begin looking to the future, let’s employ a different kind of list to help us appreciate the past. You know what I’m talking about. Yep, a Top Ten list! Each day for the next couple weeks I’m going to publish a different Top 10 albums of 2010 list for you to praise, completely disagree with, or just outright ignore.

Today’s list comes from Dying Scene review writer/news editor Ricky Castanedo and you can check out his picks for the 10 Best Albums of 2010 right here.

Hey everyone, my name is Ricky but you might know me better on this site as Ghost Country. I’m incredibly bad at end of year speeches so I’ll keep it nice and short, concise and practical. Thank you Dying Scene, especially Johnny X, for letting me join the DS Team. Thank you to you, the reader, for taking time out of your busy lives to read what we have to say about punk music. Thank you to the bands, who even given the deplorable state of the music biz these days still manage to tour, sell shirts, write albums and generally stay awesome, this site would obviously be nothing without you. So, here’s to welcoming in a busy (but positive) year for the underground music scene so that here at Dying Scene we have even more awesome things to write to you about; typos and all. Thanks.

Honorable Metions (In no particular order): Against Me!’s “White Crosses”, Trophy Scars “Darkness, Oh Hell”, Dillinger Escape Plan “Option Paralysis”, Fake Problems “Real Ghosts Caught On Tape”, Go Rydell “The Golden Age”, Off With Their Heads “In Desolation”, Iron Chic “Not Like This”, Cancer Bats “Bears, Mayors, Scraps and Bones”, Cursive “Mama, I’m Swollen” and Young Livers “Of Misery And Toil”.

And here are my favourite releases of 2010. Drum roll to yourself, if you please:

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10 – Murder By Death – “Good Morning, Magpie”

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There isn’t a band out there like Murder By Death anymore. These guys just keep churning out solid release after solid release and “Good Morning, Magpie” is no exception. Taking a step back from the electric guitars and settling for mellower, acoustic oriented sound, this is a great album to sit back with a glass of whiskey to and enjoy the summer breeze or the warmth of a fire.

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9 – La Dispute/Touche Amore and Touche Amore/Make Do And Mend – Split

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Normally, I’m hesitant about putting splits on end of year lists. Working with a smaller amount of songs just makes releasing something incredible that much easier; but I had to for these guys. La Dispute, Make Do And Mend and Touche Amore are all fairly new in the hardcore pool but are already making big waves with their own blends of devastating and angular music. These splits are a perfect example of what’s right with “emotional music” these days and showcases three of the most interesting bands who are making it happen. Yes, I know these are two separate releases. I don’t care.

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8- The Sainte Catherines – “Fire Works”

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This album reminds me of basement shows, of going to the dingiest parts of my native Mexico just to catch a good good band live. It reminds me of what is awesome about this genre and about the sacrifice the bands make to put out this kind of music. It’s addictive, simple, honest, fun, bittersweet and personal, and the best set of songs ever written by these great men. “Fire Works” fucking rocks.

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7- Crime In Stereo – “I was Trying To Describe You To Someone”

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It’s a fucking shame these dudes broke up when they did. While “The Troubled Stateside” was a nearly perfect hardcore album, “I Was Trying To Describe You To Someone” is a perfect Crime In Stereo album. Their ability to blend an enormous amount of influences make this releases an exceptionally rewarding listen and it’s easily the best music the band ever penned. At least they went out with a bang.

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6- The Chariot – “Long Live”

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I dare you to find a hardcore band as innovative and violent as The Chariot. I assure you, it’s nearly impossible. I used to like these guys when I was younger and I was listening to a whole bunch of bad metalcore but The Chariot are so much more than just another run-of-the-mill metal/ hardcore band. Being one of the only bands that capture their explosive and energetic live shows on record is more than most bands in the genre can say these days. Long Live, indeed.

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5- The Menzingers – “Chamberlain Waits”

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The Menzingers are awesome and their latest full-length “Chamberlain Waits” must have spent at least a solid month on constant rotation as I did my daily transiting across Vancouver. Also, “I Was Born” has to be the catchiest song written this year. I’ll sing it to you one day, you’ll see.

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4- Flatliners – “Cavalcade”

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While many hated the Flatliners change of pace with “The Great Awake” I fully welcomed it. When “Cavalcade” followed suit I was more than just stoked. Chris Creswell has one of the best voices in punk rock and it truly shines on this album. The Flatliners are still young and have already made it very far and truth be told I feel they’re going to go much, much farther. They’re also exceptional live.

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3- None More Black – “Icons”

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Okay, this one is easy. It’s the return of None More Black! C’mon, guys. Let’s be reasonable. The day these men came back to the music world it all became just a little brighter. “Icons” is one of the best comeback albums I’ve ever heard and truly a step in the right direction for Shevchuk and co.

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2- Make Do And Mend – “End Measured Mile”

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Make Do And Mend came out of nowhere and exploded into the scene with what is likely to be the best emotional punk rock since Hot Water Music’s “The New What’s Next”. Seriously, there’s nothing these dudes have done that has disappointed me in their short existence. “End Measured Mile” is a prime example of well-written, intelligent punk rock.

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1- End Of A Year – “You Are Beneath Me”

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I hated End Of A Year. I really did. I didn’t like their split with Shook Ones nor their split with Red Tape Parade nor their full-length “Sincerely,” but I decided to give “You Are Beneath Me” a go since it got the attention of hardcore label, Deathwish Inc. Somewhere inside my head, their sound suddenly clicked and I quickly grew to love this album. Really love it. It even opened up my once deluded head to their previous releases.  Now, I love End of A Year. “You Are Beneath Me” is a unique and beautiful release.



2 Comments

  1. PW12/15/2010 7:21 PM | Permalink

    Whutz up man?!!

    Like your choice of The Sainte Catherines, None More Black and The Flatliners. Against Me! could’ve made the cut. Some cool albums I liked this year that weren’t on your list were:

    Authority Zero – Stories Of Survival — AZ is a solid, somewhat underrated band.

    Bad Religion – The Dissent Of Man — BR is always a top 10!!

    Born To Lose – Dreams Of Kids — BTL is a band that is constantly growing on me.

    The Black Pacific – Self-titled — I’m a huge Pennywise fan and Jim shows he can definitely stand on his own on this album.

    Flatfoot 56 – Black Thorn — The Dying Scene actually got me into this band. Thanx dudes!!!

    Four Year Strong – Enemy Of The World — Gotz to give love to my MA homies!!

    The Gaslight Anthem – American Slang — Not sure if i’d consider them punk but a great band and a great album.

    Lungs – The Two Chief World System — Another band TDS turned me on to.

    Smoke Or Fire – The Speakeasy — Super stoked to see these guys come out with a new album. Been a long time fan.

    Story Of The Year – The Constant — At times a little poppy for my liking but they rock just hard enough to keep me intrigued.

    Street Dogs – Self – titled — McColgan is punk royalty and Dorchester is close enough to my home too!!

    Tim Barry – 28th & Stonewall – Great beer chuggin’ music!

    Tony Sly – 12 Song Program — Love No Use and T. Sly can write melodic tunes with the best of them.

    Tumbledown – Empty Bottle — Mike Herrera seems like the hardest working dude in the industry!! MxPx, Arthur, The Cootees and Tumbledown!!! Who would’ve thought that a Christian punker would sing so much about the booze!!!

    There ya go…
    A few more albums that made 2010 a memorable year.

    Thanks Ricky C. and the rest of The Dying Scene for keeping us all informed of the goings on in the punk world!!

    PW.

  2. ghostcountry
    Ghost Country12/17/2010 10:22 AM | Permalink

    Hey PW! Thanks for checking out my list, man! and thank you for keeping up with Dying Scene.

    I agree with a lot of the albums you mentioned (Speakeasy. Dissent of Man, Stories of Survival, American Slang), but you’d be surprised how truly limiting it is to write a top 10 list.

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