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Friday, December 31, 2010

Lou's Top 20 of 2010, Part 3

Here's the third in a four-part series revealing my choices for the Top 20 records of 2010. Feel free to submit your own list to purgegeeks@gmail.com and I'll strongly consider posting it.

6.) The Henry Clay People - Somewhere On the Golden Coast (TBD)

The fact that straight-up rock 'n' roll isn't en vogue is well-illustrated by the fact that this platter of classic rock redux sounds so unique in today's musical landscape. These Angelinos' driving, hooky anthems bring to mind the Replacements or an amped-up Pavement, with strong nods to the Velvet Underground on a couple more subdued numbers.

7.) Futurebirds - Hampton's Lullaby (Autumn Tone)

This Georgia band's debut full-length combines soulful Band-esque vocals and authentic pedal steel/mandolin/banjo touches with decidedly non-traditional guitar distortion and propulsive drums that all equally complement a cascade of driving melodies from start to finish. Few bands have come up with such an adventurous concoction, though the late, lamented Canyon does come to mind.

8.) Woods - At Echo Lake (Woodsist)

I'm evidently behind the curve in getting into this band and haven't really had the chance to delve into their back catalog, but I like what I hear on this release a lot. There is a whole melange of '60s/'70s country/folk/psych/pop influences at play here, from Simon & Garfunkel on "Pick Up," to sunshine pop on "Suffering Season," to Neil Young on "Time Fading Lines," to the Airplane on "I Was Gone," all beautifully enveloped in lo-fi fuzz.

9.) Donovan Quinn & the 13th Month - Your Wicked Man (Soft Abuse)

A familiar voice from Skygreen Leopards' addled country-rock, Quinn similarly deconstructs the singer-songwriter here, winding up about where Leonard Cohen meets Syd Barrett. Or maybe just where Tom Waits would have if he had quit smoking early on. It's hard to say which element of this record is more satisfying: the evidently great craftsmanship or the delightfully cracked delivery.

10.) Hudson Bell - Out of the Clouds (St. Ives)

San Franciscan Bell unleashes aching vocal hooks and distorted guitar noise in a combination that can only be described as Young-ian and echoes more contemporary touchstones like Pavement and the Mountain Goats. A couple instrumental tracks do meander a bit, but the heartfelt, acoustic "Into the Morning" offers yet more evidence of Bell's talent for well-honed songcraft.


Anonymous ingrid said...

nice on woods. they are incapable of disappointing.

12:11 PM  

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