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

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. 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 I’m going to publish a different editor’s Top 10 albums of 2010 list for you to praise, completely disagree with, or just outright ignore.

Today’s list comes from Dying Scene news writer Liza Eckert. You can check out her picks for the 10 Best Albums of 2010 right here.

Honestly, I spent a lot of 2010 getting reacquainted with old bands I’d forgotten about and newly acquainted with older bands I somehow missed the first time around, so putting together a list of new albums is tough. There are some fantastic records that are new to me but have actually been out for five or ten years. Luckily a lot of these older bands released new stuff in 2010 as well (thanks for helping a lady out).

I discovered a lot of these albums thanks to live shows. I went to a LOT of concerts this year. I can’t help it, I live in New York – everyone plays here. I could wallpaper my bathroom with ticket stubs – but again, I live in New York, so my bathroom isn’t very big. Anyway, it’s been great because I’ve discovered some bands I might not have known about otherwise. (Psssst, if you’re in New York and looking for shows, check out the NYC Punk meet-up group.)

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10. Less Than Jake – “The TV/EP”

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Yes, that’s right. I’m putting an 11-minute-long EP of television jingles on my top ten list. If for no reason other than the sheer joy my inner 10-year-old gets hearing a punk/ska version of the “Animaniacs” theme. Besides, they’re the only good thing to come out of Gainesville, FL, unless you count Tim Tebow’s tears.

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9. The Thermals – “Personal Life”

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I’m sure someone’s going to tell me The Thermals aren’t a punk band. I guess they’d be right; they’re an indie rock band with distinct punk influences. Whatever you want to call them, they’re excellent. This isn’t even my favorite of their releases (I’m partial to 2004’s “Fuckin’ A”), but they continue to master the themed album, and here they take on love. Which might incite less rage than previous takedowns of death, religion and politics, but is no less enjoyable. Just a little sweeter and cleaner.

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8. Smoke or Fire – “The Speakeasy”

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This is a band I had never heard of before seeing them live. In October I was on a concert-coverage marathon while under the influence of the worst cold I’ve had in a long time. Luckily I dragged my disease-riddled body to the Fat Wreck Chords CMJ showcase, where I was introduced to Smoke or Fire (as well as Teenage Bottlerocket, but they didn’t release anything this year). I won’t say they cured me, but they definitely made me forget my phlegmy misery for a little while. I know, that’s gross. But I mean it as a compliment.

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7. Sick of it All – “Based on a True Story”

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There isn’t actually a whole lot to be said here. This is simply a really good album. Saw them over the summer, and even though I spent most of the concert removing the sweaty hair of the girl in front of me from my arm (ponytails are your friends, my long-haired sisters in punk), it was a ridiculously great show. A quality New York hardcore band, still going strong.

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6. The Flatliners – “Cavalcade”

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I actually just listened to this for the first time this week because I noticed a few other DS staffers had it on their top 10 lists. They know what they’re talking about, clearly, because it’s great. So I’ll vouch for my fellow bloggers’ ability to recommend an album worth checking out. Also, I’ll add myself to the list of people telling you to get your hands on it.

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5. Devil’s Brigade – “Devil’s Brigade”

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Rancid’s Matt Freeman moves to the upright bass for this psychobilly side project, which also features Tim Armstrong on guitar (album only, not live, or at least not when they played in NYC). Fun fact number one: some of the songs supposedly come from a musical that Armstrong had been writing about the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. Fun fact number two: if you see them live, ask nicely and Freeman might play “Axiom.”

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4. GBH – “Perfume and Piss”

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One of the old bands that I only recently discovered. I saw the British punk legends last summer and it was excellent. I woke the next day with the bruises to prove it. This album, their first on Hellcat, is solid, though I’ll always have a soft spot for the old song “Big Women.” Because, you know, I am one.

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3. The Bouncing Souls – “Ghosts on the Boardwalk”

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Some of the songs on this album actually came out in 2009, on four different colored vinyl 7″ EPs in honor of the Souls’ 20th anniversary (maroon, blue, green and white if you were wondering). Like any band that lasts a long time, you can hear how they’ve grown musically, and they’ve managed to do it without sucking.

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2. Bad Religion – “The Dissent of Man”

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BR has been on my brain a lot the last couple of months. I went to all three of their 30th anniversary shows in NYC (why yes, it was as awesome as it sounds) and then I read Greg Graffin’s book “Anarchy Evolution.” You’d think after 30 years they’d be boring and have nothing new to say, but that’s just not the case. Their 15th album is really, really good.

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1. OFF! – “The First Four EPs”

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I got to see their first NYC show during the CMJ fest this year. The show was awesome, and this album is fantastic. The band is so good that a friend of mine (drunkenly) announced he was starting a Kickstarter fund dedicated to keeping Keith Morris alive forever. I know. Just go listen to it.



2 Comments

  1. ghostcountry
    Ghost Country12/22/2010 10:33 AM | Permalink

    Your list was awesome! I specially agree with The Thermals. Those dudes don’t get enough love, not even from me (they’re on my top 20, not top 10).

    A little thing though, two things that are also kick ass about Gainsville:

    The Fest
    Hot Water Music

  2. lizaeckert
    Liza12/22/2010 11:43 AM | Permalink

    Thanks! I forgot Hot Water Music is from FL, too. I just have to include some Gator-hate whenever I can.

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