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Best of 2010: Steve Oliva

Today’s ‘best of 2010’ list comes from Steve Oliva of The Dry Heathens.

10) The Extra Lens – “Undercard”

Perhaps, sometime off in the distant future, John Darnielle will release a record that I don’t love.  I fucking doubt it, though.

Choice cut: “How I Left the Ministry”

9) Last Year’s Men – “Sunny Down Snuff”

This is my favorite garage record of the year.  Super hooky, super skuzzy, super fucking great four chord rock and roll.  I love these kids and I love this band and I love this record.

Choice cut: “Spilled”

8) Phosphorescent – “Here’s To Taking It Easy”

What a fucking COOL record.  At times pissed off, sad, joyous and boastful, this is just an awesome pop-rock record, with a dash of alt-country thrown in for good measure, about girls, getting drunk, and trying to figure out life.  Relatable.

Choice cut: “Tell Me Baby (Have You Had Enough)”

7) The Love Language – “Libraries”

If “Heart to Tell” doesn’t make you sing and dance like a preteen girl at a slumber party, then you and I aren’t going to be friends.  The best pure pop tune on this, and maybe any, record this year.  Stu also, however, made sure to wedge in a bit of the mournful lo-fi majesty that made his debut such a hit with “Wilmont,” another absolutely stunning song.

Choice cut: “Wilmont”

6) Superchunk – “Majesty Shredding”

New Superchunk record?  Fuck and yes.  Find me a two-word chorus as catchy as that in “Crossed Wires.”  I fucking dare you.

Choice cut: “My Gap Feels Weird”

5) No Age – “Everything in Between”

This is one of those rare records that I was really REALLY excited about both before and after its release.  This one’s a little more reined in than “Nouns,” but not in a detrimental way.  The tracks are a little poppier, sure, but that noisy No Age weirdness is still pervasive.  Basically, this band just keeps getting better at what they do.

Choice cut: “Fever Dreaming”

4) Veelee – “The Future Sight”

Dear Matt Park and Ginger Wagg: I heart you.  Local record of the year, for my money.  And “Animal Dreams,” all six and a half minutes of it, is perfect.

Choice cut: “Animal Dreams”

3) The Tallest Man on Earth – “The Wild Hunt”

There’s not a song on this record that I couldn’t listen to every day from now until forever.  “The Wild Hunt” is a very simple album, admittedly: intricate acoustic guitar lines, clever songcraft, and (for the most part) excellent lyrics.  Funny that this formula, when held to strictly, can still produce a compelling, powerful record.

Choice cut: “The Drying of the Lawns”

2) Titus Andronicus – “The Monitor”

What a mighty, angry, triumphant, brilliant record we have here.  A solid hour of the sounds of being young and pissed off.  I suppose there might be folks to whom this is not appealing.  By all means, let me know if you are one of them.  And then we will fight.

Choice cut: “Theme from ‘Cheers’”

1) Fang Island – “Fang Island”

It would be very difficult for me to tell you how much I love this record.  Good God, it is everything I want from rock and roll: loud guitars, huge choruses, minimal vocals, fucking hooks galore, and just fun, fun, fun.  I’ve listened to it, on average, probably once every two days since the spring.  Not tired of it.  Not even a little bit.  This one’s a winner.

Choice cut: “Sideswiper”