Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Top 10 Albums of 2010, Part 2: 5 through 1

#5 - Fake Problems - Real Ghosts Caught On Tape
(Check out my original review here)
What an unusual band. When I saw them play last week, frontman Chris Farren looked more like he should be a Justin Beiber-style tween pop star. Instead, he's playing high energy pop-ish soul punk that sounds on this album like an odd blend of Against Me! and The Gaslight Anthem (both of which are friends and occasional tour mates of the band). Fake Problems have come a long way since their folk-punk days, and are definitely a band to keep on your radar for 2011 and beyond.
Favorite track: "ADT"

#4 - The Sweet Revenge - Creatures Of Routine
(This release is available for donation from Death To False Hope Records)
(Check out my original review here)
Combining the poppier moments of Rise Against and the more anthemic moments of Strike Anywhere with the harder pop-punk of Latterman and Chinese Telephones, The Sweet Revenge are a band that I was extremely eager to put on my top 10 albums list. When I first heard Creatures Of Routine, I knew I would have to hear some very strong competition for them to be knocked out of the top 5, and that competition never came forward. I hope for nothing but the best for them in the new year, and I hope to someday see them live.
Favorite track: "Burning Pictures"

#3 - Guster - Easy Wonderful
(Check out my original review here)
A polished pop gem. That's what I called Easy Wonderful when I reviewed the album earlier this year and I stand by that now. This is one of few 2010 albums that stayed in my car's CD player for days and days at a time. After so many repeat listenings, I do take back what I said in the review about the drums. Great addition to the discography of a long running band, and my favorite of the work they've done.

#2 - Against Me! - White Crosses
(Check out my original review here)
My #2 album of the year is also the first official review I wrote for this blog. Interesting. Like Fake Problems, Against Me! started out as folk-punk before eventually ditching the acoustic guitars. Unlike Fake Problems, Against Me!'s progression unleashed a firestorm of hateful former fans. The stubbornness and closed-mindedness of those fans works against them, as they probably boycotted White Crosses and, in the process, missed out on what may be the best songs they've written. A bit more punk than the arena-rock effort of their last album, New Wave, the album rests in the delicate area between mainstream rock and punk while exploring other styles.
Favorite track: toss-up between "Because Of The Shame" and "Ache With Me"

#1 - Two Cow Garage - Sweet Saint Me
(Check out my original review here)
I'm going to be blunt: Any top 10 album list that doesn't include Two Cow Garage's Sweet Saint Me is not to be trusted. The band had the best album of 2010, as well as the best live show I've ever seen. I can't think of anything to say here that can match the album, so just go out and listen to it. Now.
Favorite track: "Lydia"

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