TOP 10 ALBUMS OF 2010 PART 1 (6 – 10)

Posted: December 27, 2010 in Uncategorized
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 10. TILTWHEEL – “The High Hate Us” (ADD Records)

 Thought this San Diego pop punk band has been anything but prolific in their 15 year existence (one prior LP, a few singles, and singles compilation), Tiltwheel has earned quite the cult following over that time. It is also fair to say that if Tiltwheel didn’t exist, a good amount of the No Idea Records “beardo-punk” bands would never have struck a chord. Finally, after a decade, Tiltwheel released their sophomore LP and it is the best pop punk album of the year!


Since the mid 1980’s Jesse Malin has been putting out top-notch rock n’ roll records via one incarnation or another.  After cutting his teeth as a child prodigy in the New York City hardcore scene, he ventured into the glam punk direction with D Generation. Though they became the torch bearers of  the genre created by The New York Dolls, Johnny Thunders, and The Dictators, D-Gen only put out three albums before calling it quite in 1999. Shortly afterwards, Malin scrapped his next full band project, Bellvue, and embarked on a solo career. Now, after four LP’s, a live album, and two ep’s under the solo moniker, Malin has released the debut LP from the St. Mark’s Social.  With a sound somewhere in between the abrasive, yet catchy punk of his D-Gen days and the Westerberg influences of his solo material, “Love It To Life” contains the catchiest rock n’ roll song of 2010, All the Way From Moscow.

8. GRINDERMAN – “2” (Anti)

If you have been living in a cave (ha ha ha ha get it?) for the past few years, Grinderman is the current audio assault from the man himself, Nick Cave.  Seeing as the four members of Grinderman comprise the entire current line up of the Bad Seeds, you can basically know what you can expect. Let me rephrase that ; you know what sort of madness to expect. How it manifests, though, is anything but predictable. Electro, blues, punk, hard rock and even freakin’ stadium rock elements are all present on “2”. Thoroughly annihilating the stale concept of genre divisions, Cave and crew bring you a set of songs that can be describes as epic, chaotic, abrasive, and catchy ; yes catchy as all hell.

7.  FAKE PROBLEMS – “Real Ghosts Caught On Tape” (Side One Dummy)

The second of three Side One Dummy albums on my best of 2010 list, “Real Ghosts Caught On Tape” is the third LP from Florida’s Fake Problems. Originally started in 2006 by Chris Farren as a one man side project, Fake Problems has evolved into a full-fledged four member band. On “Real Ghosts”, this expansion has progressed to an even more full capacity with the addition of strings and a horn section on a handful of the tracks. While the basic pop punk roots are still evident, the songs on “Real Ghosts” display an incredible progress as far as songwriting abilities go. Often times, Farren’s vocal style comes extremely close to having the ability to be mistaken for Ted Leo. In fact, despite the Against Me and Gaslight Anthem comparisons Fake Problems get, I would have to say they share far more of a similarity to Ted Leo’s Pharamcists than either of those bands; and that is just fine in my book.  Overall, “Real Ghosts”  is one of the easiest albums of 2010 to take in from front to back and then over again. The hooks are huge, the musicianship is tight, and the songs are top notch.

6. RYAN BINGHAM AND THE DEAD HORSES – “Junky Star” (Lost Highway)

Anyone who saw Jeff Bridges lay down the performance of his great career in the 2009 film Crazy Heart also were introduced to Ryan Bingham, the mastermind behind the movie’s heartbreaking theme song, The Weary Kind.  Though the movie’s success yielded a giant leap in his mainstream popularity, Bingham has been recording tunes and touring constantly since 2006. After a self released debut album in 2006, Lost Highway signed Bingham and his band The Dead Horses to a contract the following year. The band’s debut for the label , 2007’s Mescalito, was an alt country masterpiece that yielded critical and fan acclaim alike. In 2008, Bingham and the Horses released Roadhouse Sun. It was shortly after this that Bingham was approached by T Bone Burnett with an offer to participate in Crazy Heart’s soundtrack. This proved to be a breakout moment in the singer/songwriter’s career as The Weary Kind earned him an Academy Award , a Golden Globe Award, and an AMA award in 2010. The momentum continued after the release of  “Junky Star”; the album hit number 8 on the Billboard Rock Charts and peaked all the way at number 2 on the Billboard Country Charts.

……check back tomorrow for numbers 1-5 !

  1. W says:

    That Ryan Bingham album is good and Jesse Malin’s always good for a kick, though I’ve not heard this new album yet. Good selection. W.

  2. gormanbechard says:

    Great list thus far. Nice to see there are people who still like rock!

    Check out my top ten at:

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