Throughout December CHIRP Radio presents its members’ top albums of 2010. The next list is from CHIRP Radio DJ Chesney.
(Click here to get the complete list of CHIRP Radio members’ picks.)
In alphabetical order…
Backyard Babies – Them XX (Versity Rights) BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
Sweden’s long-running glam/punk staalwarts commemorate their 20th anniversary with an extravagantly packaged 3CD/1DVD/120 page 10X10 hard-covered collection, spanning the band’s entire career from their 1994 debut Diesel and Power to their excellent 2009 self-titled release. A massive collection of hard-to-find B-sides/live tracks/remixes, a complete video anthology, an excellent 80 minute documentary, and over 300 photos from this Swedish Grammy-winning band that just can’t seem to make a dent in the American market.
Blessure Grave – Judged by Twelve, Carried by Six (Alien8) BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
Bizarre and menacing electro/gothic rock from California that could’ve just as easily been released in 1983 as 2010. A release that would fit comfortably between your Bauhaus, Joy Division and early Sisters of Mercy albums. Sadly, it appears the band called it quits in November after only two years.
Grinderman – Grinderman 2 (Mute) BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
Mr. Nick Cave steps away from the piano, picks up the guitar, and lets loose some of the gnarliest punk-infused blues (blues-infused punk?) since…well, Grinderman’s 2007 debut. Cave and three fellow Bad Seeds prove that their first album was no fluke, and that Grinderman can indeed stand on it’s own four legs. Also of note: Nick Cave’s excellent novel ‘The Death of Bunny Munro’, released in 2009.
The Jim Jones Review – Burning Your House Down (Punk Rock Blues) BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
The 2nd full-length release by former Thee Hypnotics frontman/lunatic Jim Jones is (somewhat) more controlled than their 2008 self-titled debut, but no less visceral. A howling slab of raging garage punk & soul, delivered with the intensity of a young Jerry Lee Lewis jamming with members of the New Bomb Turks and Zen Guerilla. One of most blazing live acts on the circuit, to boot.
Killing Joke – Absolute Dissent (Spinefarm) BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
Killing Joke’s fourteenth album (!) and their first since 1982’s Revelations to feature the original line-up (Jaz Coleman, Geordie Walker, Youth, and Paul Ferguson) is the perfect mix of 2006’s Hosannas from the Basement of Hell and 1996’s Democracy (and maybe a touch of 1994’s Pandemonium), along with the cerebral lashings one has come to expect from the band. Truly a band that has not only refused to mellow with age, but have become more agitated and outspoken over their 30+ year career.
Kylesa – Spiral Shadow (Season of Mist) BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
If one were to pinpoint the exact location bewteen Neurosis, The Melvins, Sonic Youth, and Baroness, that area would likely be Savannah GA’s Kylesa. Their fifth full-length release is the band’s third to utilize their thunderous two-drummer attack, and guitaris Phillip Cope’s production is absolutely top-notch and leaves no riff unappreciated.
Negative Approach – Live at the Double Door (Chicago IL); Sunday, October 10, 2010.
Every so often a show comes along that reminds me of why I do this. I had been waiting upwards 20 years to see Detroit’s hardcore legends; not only did they not disappoint, they blew my expectations clear out of the water. Frontman John Brannon is still one of the most ferocious and maniacal frontmen of the past 25 years, and the band as a whole did everything absolutely note-perfect: no talk, all action. Inspiring.
Swans – My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to The Sky (Young God) BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
After a 12 year hiatus and a half-dozen albums with Angels of Light (among other countless projects), Swans mainman Michael Gira brings one of the most groundbreaking and influencial bands of the past 30 years back in full force (don’t you dare call it a ‘reunion’, Gira warns), and the results are predictably levelling. Gira’s creative output over the past 3 decades is absolutely mind-blowing in its consistency, and this album ranks with some of his finest work. Also of note: if you haven’t yet read Gira’s hard-o-find 1995 collection The Consumer, hunt down a copy ASAP.
Triptykon – Eparistera Daimones (Century Media) BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
The debut full-length from former Celtic Frost mainman Thomas G. Warrior’s latest musical endeavor is a logical extension of CF’s 2006 epic Monotheist: a monsterous wall of all-encompassing, cavernous noise that stretches out over 9 songs and 80+ minutes. A dense, sprawling album that rewards heavily with repeated listenings.
Umberto – From the Grave (Permanent) BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
The debut release from sometime Expo-70 collaborator Matt Hill is the classic ‘soundtrack for a film that doesn’t exist’, and that film happens to be a late 70’s Italian zombie gorefest. Sinister analog synth grooves that call to mind Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci’s darkest moments. The soundtrack to the greatest horror movie I’ve never seen.