Top Thirty 7″ Records of 2012 (#30-16)

7inch

It’s that time of year again folks, the time where everybody’s favorite year-end tradition comes back to haunt them – lists! Frankly, if you ask us, the year wouldn’t be the same without these things, which is why we’re bringing you our third edition of year-end wrap-ups today.

We’re going to begin with 7″ records which just may be the toughest category considering we covered over 110 unique singles throughout 2012. As you’re going through the list below, you’ll notice that each record has a rank – our ordering is representative of our anticipation for future releases from these bands in the new year, but also just as importantly, anything that we thought stood out throughout 2012. Bear that in mind as you go through! So without further ado, here goes nothin’.

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It’s tough to admit but there’s always going to be those releases that just barely missed the mark – what’s even worse is that time limits us all and we just couldn’t cover every 7″ we wanted to. Below you’ll find a short list of the singles we couldn’t fit on our list, as well as a few we just didn’t have the time to cover:

Honorable Mentions:
Protomartyr – Kings Boots 7″ (Urinal Cake Records)
Grand Trine – Bohemians 7″ (Almost Ready Records)
VVhile – VVhile is Vanity 7″ EP (Jazz Chairs/Twin Toe)
Bare Mutants – Without You 7″ (Hozac Records)
Tight Genes – Cop Again 7″ (Goodbye Boozy Records)
The Nervous Ticks – Badlands 7″ (Goodbye Boozy Records)
Mining Boom – Dining Room 7″ (Self-released)
Unwed Teenage Mothers – If You Think… 7″ (Speakertree Records)
Wobbly Lamps – Neon Tee Pee 7″ (Polyvinyl Craftsmen)
Cold Warps – Slimer 7″ (FunDog Records)

Some we missed:
Heavy Times – K-9 7″ (Windian Records)
Terry Malts – Living With the Human Race 7″ (Windian Records)
Useless Eaters – New Program 7″ (Anti Fade)
Hierophants – Bow Down to… 7″ (Anti Fade)

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30.) lonesome savages all outta love 7 ep kind turkey 2012
The Lonesome Savages – All Outta Love 7″
Label: Kind Turkey Records
B-side:
With the combination of Dead Luke and Max Elliot (formerly of Zola Jesus), the Lonesome Savages were born. Together they create these crunchy blues rock dirges, showing off that gritty, Midwestern twang that’s easy to love. Looking forward into the near year, we’ll have to see where they go next.

29.) adam widener make out 7 ep 2012 fuzz city
Adam Widener – Make Out 7″ EP
Label: Fuzz City Records
A-side:
Formerly in Bare Wires and the Zygoteens, now Widener makes pop music on his own terms. After hearing his two 7″ singles from this year, there’s no second-guessing what he’s up to. Now we wait on what comes next!

28.) the babies moonlight mile 7 woodsist 2012
The Babies – Moonlight Mile 7″
Label: Woodsist
A-side:
The Babies have come a long way to say the least. This 7″ is surely proof of that. We didn’t get a chance to cover their sophomore LP this year, but “Moonlight Mile” is a pretty good indication of what you’d be getting into. Throw in a warming and folksy B-side like “Places” and you’ve got yourself a 7″ gem.

27.) ghost of chance paddle boat 7 obscureme 2012
Ghost of Chance – Paddle Boat 7″
Label: ObscureMe Records
Track 2:
Ghost of Chance came bearing a peculiar 7″ that blended elements from both garage rock and frothy dream pop, a combination we don’t hear very often. They also mess around with rhythm and tempo mix-ups, making for sudden changes in tracks that occur within moments, requiring close, careful listening.

26.) magic shadows 2012 sunburned mind 7 under the stairs
Magic Shadows – Sunburned Mind 7″
Label: Self-released
A-side:
Hamilton, Ontario burnouts Magic Shadows dropped this 7″ with more pent-up and psyched-out aggression than thought possible to fit onto wax. Hopefully we get to hear more of these sinister ragers in 2013 because these guys aren’t messing around.

25.) wax idols schadenfreude 2012 suicide squeeze 7
Wax Idols – Schadenfreude 7″
Label: Suicide Squeeze Records
A-side:
These are easily two of Hether Fortune’s best tracks to date, leaving us ready for her sophomore LP Discipline and Desire that is due to drop early next year via Slumberland Records. We’ve been lucky enough to hear some of the new material already, but we’re still waiting for the bigger picture. Sit tight until March and we should have a better idea of what to expect.

24.) heroes and heroines 2012 two weeks 7
Heroes and Heroines – Two Weeks 7″
Label: Self-released
B-side:
For their debut 7″ Heroes and Heroines brought us their own strand of bubbly garage pop from Los Angeles. Featuring an unmatched level of innocence, the two tracks included here are about as charming and blissful as you could possibly hope for.

23.) missing monuments love you back to life hozac
Missing Monuments – Love You Back to Life 7″
Label: Hozac Records
B-side:
Clean and razor-sharp power-punk anthems dominate this particular Missing Monuments 7″. All three of these tracks feature Julien Fried’s signature shred, not to mention carefully organized pop song structure and a fun, lovable innocence.

22.) zig zags scavenger 7 mexican summer 2012
Zig Zags – Scavenger 7″
Label: Mexican Summer
A-side:
This debut Zig Zags 7″ hit us like a ton of bricks. Bringing us their sludgy punk energy from Los Angeles (and past bands like Unnatural Helpers and the Intelligence), we’re bound to hear more from them in 2013. At least that’s what we’re hoping.

21.) Lecherous Gaze bagagazo 7 who can you trust 2012
Lecherous Gaze – Bagagazo 7″
Label: Who Can You Trust? Records
A-side:
Lecherous Gaze left us a fucking monster on their debut 7″ from German label Who Can You Trust? Clocking in at over 10 minutes of heavy-guitar (and guitar-heavy!) rock and roll, there was no way to possibly forget this lethal single. Let’s hope we hear some more in the new year.

20.) king tuff wild desire 7 suicide squeeze 2012
King Tuff – Wild Desire 7″
Label: Suicide Squeeze Records
A-side:
The exhilarating qualities and guitar wizardry of “Wild Desire” would probably be enough to get this 7″ up here even without a B-side. Suicide Squeeze dropped this single just before King Tuff’s sophomore LP on Sub Pop this year, quickly leaving us all foaming at the mouth for what would eventually come next.

19.) martyr privates bless 7 bon voyage 2012
Martyr Privates – Bless 7″
Label: Bon Voyage Records
A-side:
Martyr Privates served up their debut 7″ so hot and heavy that it’ll burn you if you get too close. Harsh repetition, searing guitars and crunchy melodies go a long way to help give us hope for their future. We haven’t heard much about what it includes yet, but let’s keep our fingers crossed.

18.) pharmacy dig your grave 7 ep kind turkey 2012
The Pharmacy – Dig Your Grave 7″
Label: Kind Turkey Records
A-side:
If you’re talking solid 7-inches then you can’t forget this. Four tracks, each totally different yet still somehow cohesive from this prolific Seattle band. On top of this they had a pretty busy year, dropping both an EP and a full length on Seayou Records.

17.) red dons auslander 7 dirtnap records 2012
Red Dons – Auslander 7″
Label: Dirtnap Records
A-side:
Tight, sharp, world-ending post-punk meltdowns with just the right amount of caffeine from Portland. It’s beyond fitting for the Dirtnap label and is easily some of their best material to date. It’s not clear whether or not we’ll hear more from Red Dons in 2013, but it seems likely to happen sooner or later.

16.) plateaus do it for you 2012 hozac records 7
Plateaus – Do It For You 7″
Label: Hozac Records
A-side:
Do It For You was the much-anticipated follow up to Plateaus debut 7″ from last year. This was followed by a second single on Art Fag, which finally led to their debut LP toward the end of 2012. The LP version of these songs don’t stand a chance against the 7″ recordings, however this single still belongs on this list.

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That’s all for today. Finish the countdown by checking out Part 2 of our Top Thirty 7″ Records of 2012!

Top 25 Albums of 2011

Well, here it is. Another painstaking list regarding the top full length albums of 2011. Of all the lists we put together for you this year, this was by far the most difficult. However, if there’s one thing you should gather from this list, it’s that we had another memorable year with plenty of records that will permanently earn a spot in your memory banks.

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Honorable Mentions:

The People’s Temple – Sons of Stone LP (Hozac Records)
Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring for My Halo LP (Matador Records)
Bad Weather California – Demos & Live Takes LP (St. Ives)
Fluorescent Heights – Tourism LP (Subsuburan Recording Co.)
Various Artists – Todo Muere Volume 1 (Sacred Bones Records)
The Hussy – Cement Tomb Mind Control LP (Slow Fizz Records)
Kitchen’s Floor – Look Forward to Nothing LP (Siltbreeze Records)
Cop City/ Chill Pillars – Held Hostage on Planet Chill (Florida’s Dying)

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25.)
The Men – Leave Home LP
Label: Sacred Bones Records
Track 7:
Few other records from the year can leave you feeling as insignificant as “Leave Home.” The Men stopped at nothing in their cataclysmic approach, combining both blood-curdling screaming and blown out instrumentation from front to back. After something as massive as this, who knows what we can expect in the future.

24.)
Chain and the Gang – Music’s Not For Everyone LP
Label: K Records
Track 1:
It’s hard to say, but there probably wasn’t a record that was more overlooked than “Music’s Not For Everyone” all year. This album is a bold statement consisting of an array of musical genres and influences, not to mention just a flat-out, rockin’ good time thanks to tracks like “Detroit Music” and “(I’ve Got) Privilege.” If you bring together a large group of talented musicians, chances are they’re going to have some fun while recording – as well as leave us with some quality material.

23.)
Panda Bear – Tomboy LP
Label: Paw Tracks
Track 7:
After a slew of excellent singles and really making us wait, Panda Bear dropped “Tomboy” and left us with this oddly unique but satisfying collection of music. Considering all the build up for the record, it certainly had an initial positive response. In fact, it still does.

22.)
Mind Spiders – s/t LP
Label: Dirtnap Records
Track 7:
With one solid LP under his belt as Mind Spiders, Mark Ryan rolls into 2012 with another full-length in the works. Right now there’s no telling what the new record will hold, but chances are it will deliver where this one feel a bit short – that being said, it’s still an awesome record, but we certainly weren’t challenged enough. Let’s hope for more punches in 2012.

21.)
Cult of Youth – s/t LP
Label: Sacred Bones Records
Track 6:
We still don’t think it’s wrong to call Cult of Youth’s extreme sound “pirate-punk.” This was their first album recording as a whole band and with results like these, you’ve got to think they will give it another go at some point. Perhaps in 2012?

20.)
Far-Out Fangtooth – Pure & Disinterested LP
Label: Siltbreeze Records
Track 2:
Far-Out Fangtooth and their scuzzy post-punk grumbles and drags its feet across the floor. However it’s invigorating to the point where you don’t feel the same lazy dirge that plagues these songs. Instead you find yourself listening with curiosity to the vast, sweltering landscapes that many of these tracks supply, swearing by Far-Out Fangtooth with each monumental song that passes.

19.)
Cosmonauts – s/t LP
Label: Permanent Records
Track 3:
Cosmonauts tore it up on our charts this year and rightfully so. Their self-titled LP was only the beginning of the madness which set them up for plenty of other gems down the road. Even at this point it sounds like these rowdy Californians are just getting started. We should have a new LP sometime in 2012.

18.)
Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats – Blood Lust LP
Label: Killer Candy Records
Track 3: http://s0.wp.com/i/support/content-unavailable.png
It would be wrong to say that Uncle Acid and his Deadbeats weren’t underdogs this year. Where the hell did these guys come from? Who cares. Their patented form of doom-psych will leave you feeling threatened and vulnerable time after time due to the blistering guitars and pummeling rhythms that keep you coming back for more. With only 350 copies pressed to vinyl, I’m trying to get my hands on one just as bad as you are.

17.)
Creepoid – Horse Heaven LP
Label: Ian Records
Track 6:
Our hometown hero’s certainly had a year to remember. Through endless touring and trips to places like SXSW, they have also established a name for themselves. Looking forward into the new year, things will probably only get bigger. As a quick side note, these guys still have some big news to reveal about their debut album which they’re bound to drop soon enough.

16.)
Voyageurs – Freak Cave
Label: Self-released
Track 4:
Plagued by swirling psych guitars, crackling bass lines and plenty of lustful attitude, these southern psych-rockers took us by storm this year. Throughout “Freak Cave” these guys vary their sound from track to track, ranging from pedal-to-the-medal intensity to these slow and oozing psych drags-outs. If you missed this one during the year, now is your chance to catch up. Either way these guys are just getting started, so we can only expect more to come.

15.)
Blasted Canyons – s/t LP
Label: Castle Face Records
Track 5:
Blasted Canyons seem to have this notion of importance that comes along with their batshit complexion. The truth is, these guys are important whether they think it or not. No band but Blasted Canyons could take such obnoxious sounds and spin them into this totally relentless realm of noisy post-punk and actually make it work. Was this album just a one time deal? Let’s hope not.

14.)
TRMRS – Sea Things LP
Label: Resurrection Records
Track 11:
TRMRS have this innocence attached to their crunchy psych sound that ends up giving their album an overall messy complexion. In fact, that’s exactly what makes their songs so aggressive and memorable because they are constantly shoving sharp and shredded guitar shards down your throat. However through all the frantic madness of “Sea Things,” TRMRS never truly settle down, making them a worthy contender rolling into 2012.

13.)
Fungi Girls – Some Easy Magic LP
Label: Hozac Records
Track 4:
As a band, Fungi Girls continue to flesh out their sound while remaining consistent. “Some Easy Magic” shows us just how well they have captured the timeless wet and slippery psychedelic sound, which starts them off on a fresh foot going into 2012.

12.)
Pure X – Pleasure LP
Label: Acéphale
Track 4:
“Pleasure” was definitely one of our more anticipated albums coming into 2011. If you knew what to expect going into it, then this record was exactly what you wanted it to be. After a slew of excellent singles and an EP, Pure X came back strong and did not disappoint. Since the LP dropped they have been fairly busy, so here’s hoping for more in 2012.

11.)
Nicolas Jaar – Space is Only Noise LP
Label: Circus Company
Track 5:
Clearly Nicolas Jaar had a breakout year. That was mainly due to his debut album “Space is Only Noise.” Right now this dude is only 21 years old, is the co-founder of the Clown & Sunset label and has more releases than I have fingers (don’t forget the latest Darkside EP either). Things are just beginning to unfold for Nico, so let’s see where he takes us in 2012. It should be interesting and unpredictable to say the least.

10.)
Graves – Summr Bummr LP
Label: St. Ives
Track 2:
This was our first real encounter with Greg Olin (or Graves) but hopefully it won’t be the last. Olin dropped this diamond in the rough on the just as anonymous St. Ives label, so it’s not a surprise that this stuff didn’t really catch on. The problem with that is that it should have. With all of Olin’s warming jazz-tinged folk and sharp lyrics, this album is truly one-of-a-kind.

09.)
Heavy Times – Jacker LP
Label: Hozac Records
Track 7:
Heavy Times did just what they do best on “Jacker.” Between their raging punk spirit, sharp-as-nails guitars and a no-rules attitude there’s something new to knock you on your ass around every corner of “Jacker.” Whether it’s the pummeling “Erase the Sun” or the positive punk vibes of “Skull Hair,” Heavy Times did not let us down.

08.)
Wax Idols – No Future LP
Label: Hozac Records
Track 4:
Speaking of excellent years, Hether Fortune is another name that now makes us think she can do no wrong. Not only did she play a huge role in the Blasted Canyons LP above, but she’s literally responsible for this entire record you see here. Just about everything you hear on “No Future” was a result of Fortune slaving away in the recording studio, so before you go and say she’s riding someone else’s coattails, check your fucking facts.

07.)
White Denim – D LP
Label: Downtown Music
Track 8:
White Denim have a knack for exceeding expectation – after “Last Day of Summer” it wasn’t clear where they’d go next, but “D” just might be their most accomplished batch of music to date. The musical talent of these four men is through the roof, to which their live show just may be the most entertaining and exhilarating thing you’d see all year. It’s tough to say what we’re going to hear next, but hopefully it will come sooner than later.

06.)
Diarrhea Planet – Loose Jewels LP
Label: Infinity Cat Recordings
Track 7:
Diarrhea Planet offer up power-rock like no other. Melodic guitar shards, crashing percussion and their fist-in-air, in-your-face attitude are all elements in their propulsive sound. The positive vibes are overflowing continuously, not to mention the ridiculous army of four scorching guitars. The end result is heavily stimulated power-rock constantly driven forward by their friendly spirit and passion for the music.

05.)
Mike Adams at His Honest Weight – Oscillate Wisely
Label: St. Ives/ Flannelgraph Records
Track 6:
Who is Mike Adams? Apparently just some dude from northern Indiana. That description isn’t as fitting – it’s almost offensive – after listening to his debut record “Oscillate Wisely.” Instead of making him out to be your average Joe (which he probably wants), Adams sounds like some otherworldly musical mastermind whose bedroom pop will put all the others to shame. Every single one of these tracks are alive and breathing with rapturous energy, solidifying Mike Adams as a force to be reckoned with going into the new year. Let’s hope this isn’t all we get to hear from the guy.

04.)
Ty Segall – Goodbye Bread LP
Label: Drag City
Track 6:
At this point there’s nothing we can say about Ty Segall that hasn’t been said. The man does everything and he does it right. How can you argue with that? If Segall has any haters out there (is that possible?), that’s exactly why they hate him – because he doesn’t let the rest of us down. The best part now is that we’re left to see just where the hell he’s going to go next. Chances are it won’t be the obvious decision either – either way, you won’t have to look for Segall in 2012 because he will be prominent.

03.)
Dead Luke – Meanwhile… In the Midwest LP
Label: Moon Glyph
Track 2:
Dead Luke brings us on quite an unforgettable journey with “Meanwhile… In the Midwest.” Nobody could have predicted this above and beyond record which goes a long way to meld together psychedelic sounds and bluesy guitar rock. That being said, there’s probably a few out there that have taken a stab at this unique sound and failed miserably, but luckily for them now they have “Meanwhile… In the Midwest” to show them the ropes. It’s not clear what Dead Luke might bring for us in 2012, but if it’s anything like this we won’t know til it’s right in our face.

02.)
Natural Child – 1971 LP
Label: Infinity Cat Recordings
Track 9:
To put it simply, “1971” is one of those grower albums, which when other records wear out their welcome, this one is still shining in the corner begging you to come back to it. The record didn’t catch on nearly as well as it should have and it’s not clear why. If you didn’t get the memo while listening, these guys could probably care less too. Their care-free attitude is overshadowed by the passion they offer up in their songs, which you can hear it in both the vocals and instrumentation time and time again. In these parts it’s all about the beer, the music, the women and the weed, so fuck it. At least they have their priorities straight.

01.)
OBN IIIs – The Only and Only LP
Label: Tic Tac Totally
Track 4:
If every record could blow our face off like this one then making these lists would suck. Orville Bateman Neeley III stopped at nothing to deliver us the most rollicking, destructive and challenging record we’ve heard through 2011. Each of the twelve tracks have a mind of their own, leaving us to whimper in the dust around every new and unpredictable electrified guitar lick that rattles the very ground you walk on. Neeley has the drive and the talent to pull of such a record and with results like these he clearly wasn’t cutting us short.

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That’s going to do it for us for the year. Chances are we will resume our daily posting the second week in January, but that could always change. As always, we’re looking for contributors as well to help us in the new year. If you think you’re interested please get in touch. Thanks for another awesome year to the bands, record labels, individuals and other blogs alike that help out! You all rule!!!

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Top 10 EP’s of 2011

After another memorable holiday weekend, we are pleased to bring you the next edition of our year end wrap up. We are now focusing on the Top 10 EP’s of 2011, which will be followed by the Top 25 LP’s later this week. Thanks for viewing and be sure to stay tuned for more!

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Honorable Mentions:

Heavy Times – Too Many Dreamers EP (Dinosaur Club)
Burning Yellows/ The Whines – Palmist Split 12″ (Palmist Records)
White Denim – Takes Place in Your Work Space EP (Downtown Music)
Purling Hiss/ Puffy Areolas – Record Store Day 12″ (Permanent Records)

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10.)
The Holydrug Couple – Ancient Land EP
Label: Sacred Bones Records
Track 1:
This Chilean duo keeps a mysterious vibe hidden within their spiritual psych rock. There’s no telling what we might hear next, however if it sticks to the trend that these underground Chilean bands have been following we should have another awesome record to listen to.

09.)
Purling Hiss – Lounge Lizards EP
Label: Mexican Summer
Track 2:
Philadelphia-native Mike Polizze has been experimenting with this snarling type of acid-rock for longer than we think. His first self-titled record came out in 2009, so by now it probably makes sense that he gets better with each release he churns out. “Lounge Lizards” has no trouble sticking to that pattern.

08.)
Brain Idea – Cosmos Factory EP
Label: Mexican Summer
Track 2:
Even after the release of this EP it seems like Brain Idea are still overlooked by many. Not sure what the problem might be, but we’re certainly not on that same boat. After their debut LP and now this EP, Brain Idea seem like they’re just getting started. With their vast and twangy landscapes, there’s bound to be more up their sleeve for 2012.

07.)
White Laces – s/t EP
Label: Shdwply Records
Track 5:
White Laces and their coarse, threatening psych-rock really hit the spot earlier this year, but calling it psych-rock is just a bit too easy. It’s their invigorating wave of atmospheric guitar ambiance that makes these five songs so memorable and destructive. The end result: songs swallow you whole while keeping you aching for more of their refreshing psychedelic outbursts.

06.)
Cosmonauts – New Psychic Denim EP
Label: Burger Records
Track 1:
Cosmonauts definitely had a busy 2011. The cassette release of “New Psychic Denim” was just business as usual for both the band and the renowned Burger Records. This cassette fleshes out their discography with plenty more head-splitting garage rock plagued by their endlessly relentless psychedelic strobe textures.

05.)
Crystal Stilts – Radiant Door EP
Label: Sacred Bones Records
Track 2:
Crystal Stilts dropped this one at the tail end of 2011. The EP almost seems like the missing link between “Alight of Night” and “In Love With Oblivion” but forget about chronology. Their lush and kaleidoscopic indie-pop continues to hit a soft spot so hopefully that translates over to 2012.

04.)
Estrogen Highs – Cycles EP
Label: Safety Meeting Records
Track 7:
Of all the records we put in every one of these lists, it seems like this EP was officially the one that slipped our memory the most. Simplicity and attitude is the name of the game for these garage rockers – songs like “Kings Run Errands (For Me)” and “This Mild Delusion” will only help show the intensity that they possess.

03.)
Trust – Bulbform 12″ EP
Label: Sacred Bones Records
Track 1:
As we’ve said before, Trust took electronic music by storm this year. Their latest release on Sacred Bones is no exception. “Bulbform” continues their stunning array of dark and twisted electronic music, to the point where curiosity and impatience got the absolute best of us. Word on the street is that we should have a full-length album come February, so we’ll see what happens.

02.)
Pure X – You’re In It Now EP
Label: Acéphale Records/ Light Lodge
Track 4:
At this point it seems unlikely that this Austin trio doesn’t win over their listeners with each longing and luscious track that passes. A repress of the earliest Pure X (or Pure Ecstasy back then) single gives us just another reason to add them to our year end lists. Throw in the previously unreleased “Back Where I Began” and it’s a done deal.

01.)
Keep Shelly in Athens – Our Own Dream EP
Label: Forest Family Records
Track 1:
The thing that separates Keep Shelly in Athens from other chillwave bands is their ambition. They dropped two excellent EP’s – one right after the other – and a 7″ through 2011. That being said you can gather that they’re a busy bunch. On top of that they landed their first string of shows in the US, not to mention the fact that every one of their records sells out in the blink of an eye. If that’s not a red flag that these guys are doing something right then there’s no hope in changing your mind.

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Top Thirty 7″ Records of 2011 (part 2)

As promised, this is Part 2 of our 7″ Countdown for 2011. Just in case you missed it, you can check out Part 1 of the Countdown right here. That’s it for the week, so Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all! More Countdown lists to come next week!

(As you know, we’ve covered a ton of music this year – to be a bit more exact, we’ve covered over 150 unique 7″ singles through 2011. Now comes the hard part – the part where we sit down and file through them all and decide which of them stood out the most. Not only does this show you what we prefer here at the Styrofoam Drone, but it can also help show trends throughout the year. On top of that, it’s the best way to reacquaint yourself with the material from the beginning of the year, because admittedly, by now, those earlier gems have faded away with each new passing single that comes and goes. Please enjoy the second half of our 7″ Countdown for 2011.)

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15.)
Ketamines – Line By Line 7″
Label: Hozac Records
A-side:
It proves difficult to not fall in love with the perky spirit of “Line by Line.” There’s something about this bubble-gum psych-pop that’s right on the money with it’s optimistic vibes. Then flip the 7″ and suddenly you’re caught off guard – how did they go from sun-shine pop to these cavernous and dreary jammers? The dichotomy in their sound is excellent, showing off plenty of influences ranging in an eight-minute, three-track span. If you missed this during the year, you’re still wasting precious time.

14.)
Grass Widow – Milo Minute 7″
Label: HLR Records
B-side:
Granted only one of these songs are original tracks from Grass Widow, but that’s the beauty of this 7″. This one-of-a-kind band took it upon themselves to cover virtually unknown songs from a band like Neo Boys, to which the results are positively stunning. We’ve said it before and now we’re going to say it again, but no other band seems to be experimenting in the same fashion as Grass Widow. Add them to your radar now and you’re sure to never be let down in the future. Let’s hope for more from these girls in 2012.

13.)
OBN III’s – Mark On You 7″
Label: Tic Tac Totally
B-side:
OBN III’s had a marvelous year and this single was only the beginning of the head-banging madness. Tracks like “Mark On You” and “Heavy Heart” would eventually sound like the framework for songs on “The One and Only” LP, which simply means there’s no way to forget these tracks. Blood-boiling, angry and disgusted are just a few words you can use to describe the youthful and catastrophic punk spirit that so consistently dominates these OBN III’s records.

12.)
Nick Waterhouse – Is That Clear 7″
Label: Innovative Leisure
A-side:
Nick Waterhouse is involved in a revival of sorts that involves the timeless rhythm and blues sound. Lucky for us, he nailed every thing about it. “Is That Clear” is about as invigorating and challenging as a song could get, to the point where we’re already chomping at the bit for more. Keep an eye on Waterhouse for 2012, because if it’s anything like this it will be big.

11.)
Purity Ring/ Braids – Split 7″
Label: Fat Possum Records
B-side:
Purity Ring have been turning heads ever since their first song appeared on the blogosphere – “Belispeak” is no exception. Braids on the other hand have slowly but surely been clawing their way to the top of the pedestal. “Peach Wedding” will prove that with it’s glistening complexion and after listening you will have no trouble endorsing what they do. Either way, uniting these two on a 7″ single was a dynamite idea. This brings us to say, what could possibly be next in store for these two Canadian acts? Only time will tell.

10.)
Plateaus – Beach Coma 7″
Label: Art Fag Recordings
A-side:
Plateaus dropped their first 7″ on Art Fag Recordings this year and it appears their second is already in sight. They’re on the “coming soon” list for 7″ singles at Hozac Records, which warms our little hearts. With picture-perfect pop gems like “Beach Coma,” it’s no surprise these guys aren’t done – they have certainly earned whatever comes next. It’s almost a guarantee that we’ll have more of their snotty beach-punk come 2012.

09.)
The Dirty Nil – Fuckin’ Up Young 7″
Label: Wolfshirt Records
B-side:
This past summer there had to be at least a few stereos out there blaring these righteous jams. This Canadian trio set their sights on the gold and achieved it immensely with their debut 7″. Excellent quality sets it apart from the rest of the crumbly lo-fi filth out there, which really help this monstrous single stand out. At this point it’s hard to say what will come next, but we can only hope it’s already in the works.

08.)
Wax Idols – All Too Human 7″
Label: Hozac Records
A-side:
Hether Fortune can thank nobody but Hether Fortune for the level of quality that all of her releases on the year sustained. “All Too Human” was only the beginning, but it set her up perfectly for an even brighter future. “All Too Human” didn’t entirely reveal what Fortune could be experimenting with on upcoming projects, so once “No Future” dropped it was like taking excellence to a whole new level while smacking us all upside the head. Much like her full-length, she covered most (if not all) of the instruments herself on this single.

07.)
Cosmonauts – He Never Hit Me 7″
Label: Goodbye Boozy Records
B-side:
Much like the description floating around promises, this single is literally a psychedelic garage-rock explosion. This is mainly due to the inclusion of their flawless cover of “Little Honda” which blows this record apart at the seams. Combine that with the stomping “He Never Hit Me” and this single will leave you in tiny, bite-size pieces.

06.)
Cold Showers – Highlands 7″
Label: Mexican Summer
B-side:
Sparing a few, there’s not many other debuts from this year that were as stunning as the 7″ from Cold Showers. Songs like “Near Burn” show off their frantic energy between the hazy blasts of guitar heat, filled out by exploratory landscapes of glowing ambiance as they press on. Considering we’ve been limited to just these two songs, hopefully we’ll have something more sooner than later.

05.)
The Limiñanas – AF3458 7″
Label: SDZ Records
A-side:
Beginning with a folksy guitar twang, shortly afterward this single takes flight. The Limiñanas offered up two brand new songs here and it’s without a doubt their best two-song-tandem to date. Between the static crunch of relentless guitars, perpetually jangly rhythms and primal conga drumming, these charming French rockers gave us something to adore time and time again. Hozac Records appears to be releasing their next full length as well, so sit tight!

04.)
Sharp Ends – Broadview Pressure Test 7″
Label: Mammoth Cave Recording Co.
B-side:
Unfortunately Sharp Ends are no longer with us, but their debut 7″ lives on a bit longer thanks to this repress on Mammoth Cave. In all of our time covering singles, there might not be as 7″ record that fits the mold of consistency more than this. Four songs of absolute face-beating post-punk terrorize you and your defenseless ears for nearly fourteen minutes, breaking open a hole in the Earth’s crust before attempting to put it back together again with the broken pieces – to which the end result is a big angry “fuck it.” These guys lure you in with the raw energy of a track like “Vacant City,” only to have it explode back in your face as they spiral out into metallic oblivion.

03.)
Purity Ring – Ungirthed 7″
Label: Transparent Records
B-side:
Purity Ring is another shining example of a band who couldn’t have benefited better from their debut 7″. With that in mind, they’ve certainly earned every little bit of the praise they’ve gotten from it. Since then the electronic duo has only grown in the spotlight, but there’s still literally only three tracks out there to show for it. Each one is a glowing example, displaying flawless production quality, sweeping, malfunctioning electronics and Megan James gorgeously spectral voice. Looking forward into 2012, it’s hard to not think Purity Ring will be at the top of the ladder.

02.)
Lower Dens – Batman 7″
Label: Gnomonsong Recordings
A-side:
Considering it came out last January, it would be a shame if we forgot to include this record. But how on Earth is that possible with such a picture-perfect single? Jana Hunter and the gang laid down solid gold in these two songs, to the point where that crystal-clear guitar shrill of “Batman” will never lose it’s edge. On the flip side the steady rocking “Dear Betty Baby” evokes a totally different feeling with it’s longing vibes, culminating into a single of epic proportions that is to be taken with complete sincerity. Perfection is a word you don’t want to throw around too often, but that’s the only option “Batman” gives us.

01.)
Trust – Candy Walls 7″
Label: Sacred Bones Records
A-side:
In 2011, Canadian duo Trust took electronic music to a different level. Through their use of dark and twisted landscapes, Robert Alfons and Maya Postepski seem to be advancing down a haunting path that not many have attempted to tread in the past – and if so have failed miserably. In their creations, a descriptor like “grave-wave” has come to the forefront, showing off these sexy yet troubling undertones that keep you aching for more. “Speed, space and tears” appears to be their own depiction of their sound, which is right on the money as well. Specifically their 12″ single “Bulbform” might speak to that a little better, but still the deliciously demonic and syrupy “Candy Walls” puts Trust in a murky spot that no other band finds themselves in. There is going to be a full length sometime down the road, we just have to wait patiently for it!

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Boom! Done. Thanks to all of the bands, people and record labels involved in another year of memorable 7″ releases! Starting next week, you can expect other Countdown lists including full length albums and EPs. Just in case you missed the first half of our 7″ Countdown for 2011, you can view that right here! Enjoy the weekend and Happy Holidays to all!

Top Thirty 7″ Records of 2011 (part 1)

As you know, we’ve covered a ton of music this year – to be a bit more exact, we’ve covered over 150 unique 7″ singles through 2011.

Now comes the hard part – the part where we sit down and file through them all and decide which of them stood out the most. Not only does this show you what we prefer here at the Styrofoam Drone, but it can also help show trends throughout the year. On top of that, it’s the best way to reacquaint yourself with the material from the beginning of the year, because admittedly, by now, those earlier gems have faded away with each new passing single that comes and goes.

Much like last year, we’re going to start out by strictly covering 7″ records, our most preferred musical format. We’ve started with the Honorable Mentions list below, and then we’ll work our way up to the top spot of the year. We think we made this list about as accurately as we felt about the music through the year, so we are proud to present to you are favorite 7″ releases from the year 2011. Expect part two (records #15 to #1) to come tomorrow. Please enjoy!!!

Honorable Mentions:

It’s tough to admit but there’s always going to be those releases that just barely missed the mark. And when we say “barely” we mean it. Putting together a list like this is never easy, to the point where we were making alterations down to the wire until everything looked just right. These are the singles that just missed the cut.

Still Corners – Cuckoo 7″ (Sub Pop)
Radar Eyes – Miracle 7″ (Hozac Records)
The Eeries – Comes Alive 7″ (Evil Weevil)
Telepathe – Throw Away This 7″ (White Iris)
Les Guillotines – L’Aube 7″ (Croque Macadam)
Mondo Ray – Hypnotized 7″ (Windian Records)
Monster Rally – Deep Sea 7″ (Gold Robot Records)
Charles Albright – Weight 7″ (Permanent Records)
Apache Dropout – Radiation 7″ (Mexican Summer)
Puberty – Invitations 7″ (Telephone Explosion Records)
Bleached – Searching Through the Past 7″(Suicide Squeeze)
Keep Shelly in Athens – Hauntin’ Me 7″ (Transparent Records)
The Limiñanas – (I’ve Got) Trouble in Mind 7″ (Trouble in Mind Records)

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30.)
Real Estate – It’s Real 7″
Label: Domino Recording Co.
A-side:
It would just be wrong for us to deny Real Estate a spot on this list. Their lead single, “It’s Real,” is one of the most mindful and catchy songs that comes to mind alongside the year 2011. Gorgeous guitars ring and go with the mesmerizing flow, bringing you along for quite an enjoyable ride as you’re left with no other choice.

29.)
Night Manager – Ghost 7″
Label: Big Love Records
B-side:
Coming together with hazy guitar scuzz and minor post-punk tendencies, Night Manager definitely left us with some promise this year – and really that includes both of their singles, except on this later one they really got down to business. Caitlin Seager and her captivating voice are easily the most stunning element in these songs, creating this wobbly notion as she sways across endless waves of gritty guitar crunch. They’ve confirmed it before, so we should have a full length from these guys in due time, it’s just the wait that makes it so difficult.

28.)
Ceiling Stares/ Super Vacations – Split 7″
Label: Velocity of Sound/ Sweaters & Pearls
A-side:
There really wasn’t any other 7″ we covered this year that caught us more off guard. The Ceiling Stares account on this single in itself is enough to crack this list, so once you add in those two Super Vacation tracks it’s an obvious no-brainer. Between the intricate instrumentals of “A Tunnel Through the Air” and the straight-forward delivery of the Super Vacations, this single rocks out for the entire duration while sparing us of any bullshit whatsoever. This is truly a diamond in the rough.

27.)
Spider Fever – She’s No Saint 7″
Label: Cave Punk
A-side:
Needless to say, Spider Fever tore it up in the 7″ game this year. With one on Cave Punk and another on Hozac, there doesn’t appear to be much that’s going to stop Mario Rubalcaba and the gang. At this point we know what he’s capable of through many prolific past efforts – now we’re just waiting on a full length.

26.)
The Prefab Messiahs – Franz Kafka 7″
Label: Almost Ready Records
A-side:
A batch of resurrected songs from 1982 somehow fits perfectly into what the underground psych-punks of today would call relevant. Ridiculously high energy levels plague a song like “Franz Kafka” into blazing psychedelic coma and that’s exactly the reason this is such a frenetically memorable listen. Guitar spaz-outs are executed with so much pent up energy it hurts, leaving you in a bruised mess once the madness subsides.

25.)
Christmas Island/ Meth Teeth – Split 2×7″
Label: Sacred Bones Records
B-side:
This was a unique record just for the way it was released. The material on it is a different story. Christmas Island serve up their clean and tidy pop-rock, while Meth Teeth deliver their patented, dark and dreary style of clangorous psych-folk. Both manage to hit their own mark, to the point where Sacred Bones nailed it – “These two West Coast bands offer opposing sides of the same coin.” Nobody could have said it better.

24.)
Hungry Gayze – Roadkill 7″
Label: Florida’s Dying
A-side:
Hungry Gayze just dropped their debut 7″ on Florida’s Dying, but just as quickly we’re endorsing everything they do. Their strange take on garage rock features plenty of grit and noise, leaving us with no idea what to think is around each new corner. Unpredictably is an element that will just never get old and it’s working perfectly for Hungry Gayze. Chances are we’re going to hear more from these odd-balls come 2012.

23.)
The Whines – Shootinhead 7″
Label: Mt. St. Mtn.
B-side:
It was a good year for The Whines. They put together this one-off project on the tiny Mt. St. Mtn. label (not to mention an excellent split LP), but quality is no surprise from them as they’ve been delivering since the beginning. The morbid “Shootinhead” further proves that, while the alternate recording of “Straybird” is nothing short of awesome.

22.)
Real Numbers – Tear it in Two 7″
Label: Florida’s Dying
A-side:
Simplicity, innocence and straight up power-pop is the key for Real Numbers and it fucking works. Their UK style pop combined with their overall likeness will having you spinning these tracks again and again. Bubbly bass lines, sharp guitars and a slight overall crunch will quickly tug on your heart strings.

21.)
Krang – Speed of Tent 7″
Label: Mammoth Cave Recording Co.
B-side:
How many other bands rocked this hard while also featuring a clarinet in their line up? Absolutely none. Krang stand out for just that reason and their disgustingly heavy 7″ on Mammoth Cave is all the justification you would ever need. Howling clarinets sound literally nothing like they should, creating this haunting coo throughout both tracks which, in unison with the rest of the madness, sounds like complete and utter destruction. Not sure what else might come in the future, but we can always hope for something.

20.)
Audacity – Vape Victim 7″
Label: Goodbye Boozy Records
A-side:
These two songs from an earlier Audacity cassette tape were brought back to life thanks to Goodbye Boozy Records and this blazing 7″. Two songs barely reaching past the two minute mark contain more energy and ambition than thought possible, resulting in these two smoking tracks where the “youthful exuberance” is off the charts. Sloppy song structure, pummeling guitar shards, big surf rock chords and total unpredictability dominate these two tracks, coming off like a heated whirlwind that doesn’t even last past five minutes.

19.)
Spider Fever – Whatcha Gonna Do? 7″
Label: Hozac Records
A-side:
In regards to both Spider Fever singles, their Hozac release is much more sloppy and unkempt – their single on Cave Punk features a bit more structure and tidiness while still retaining those raw and destructive qualities. That being said, the overall sloppiness is what makes “Whatcha Gonna Do” stand out over the latter. High voltage guitar licks and the bro-ish chanting of Mario Rubalcaba would fit excellently at your next house party banger. Let’s just hope they don’t keep us waiting too long for more from Spider Fever.

18.)
Banjo or Freakout – 105 7″
Label: Memphis Industries
B-side:
We didn’t cover much from Alessio Natalizia this year besides this 7″, but it’s excellent and makes for an increasingly curious listen with each successive spin. “Dead in the Snow” is ultimately what puts this single in the spotlight, creating this notion of bliss within the chilling and icy complexions that make up such a gorgeously puzzling track. The worst part is the track was only “good” enough to be considered a B-side, go figure. But if this didn’t encapsulate the idea of a quality 7″ then it wouldn’t be here.

17.)
Something Men – Birdy Roof 7″
Label: EZPZ Records
A-side:
Hailing from the UK, Something Men dropped their debut 7″ this year and luckily we didn’t miss out. Included are two tracks of bluesy guitar shuffles dripping with attitude, not to mention endless twang to boot. Mysteriously reverberating vibes and a troubling psychedelic undertone creep along under the radar, coming out at just the right times to throw us off their trail. Something Men are definitely onto something here, but that’s exactly what their good at hiding – “something.”

16.)
Grouper – Water People 7″
Label: Ballroom Marfa
A-side:
This single from Grouper is a great example of why we put together these lists. Not only because we want to show our favorite release of the year, but to also show the diversity between music that can be considered quality. No other single on this list sounds remotely close to the jaw-dropping beauty of “Water People,” which undeniably makes this one of the most highly regarded (and impossible to obtain) singles of the year.

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See Part 2 of the 7″ Countdown for 2011 right here!

Top 25 Albums of 2010

With the year finally coming to its end, it’s time to look at our favorite full length albums from 2010. We’ve gotten all of the others out of the way (7-inches and EP’s), so there’s really no better time to cover full lengths! This will be the last list looking back on the year of 2010 from the Styrofoam Drone, and after putting these all together, there’s only one thing that becomes clear – 2010 was a damn good year for music.

Unfortunately, there were still a few other albums out there we wanted to cover, but with time restraints and things of that nature, we just couldn’t cover everything we were hoping to. Some of those albums are included on the honorable mentions, and then a few are mixed into the countdown. But without further to say or do, I present to you our favorite albums of 2010. Enjoy and have a happy new year!

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Honorable Mentions/ Late Entries:

Hans Condor – Sweat, Piss, Jizz and Blood
Nice Face – Immer Etwas
– Sharp Ends – Sharp Ends
Heavy Times – Dead
Son of Rams – Untitled LP
– Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma
Islet – Celebrate This Place
Friendo – Cold Toads
– Sun Airway – Nocturne of Exploded Crystal Chandelier
Surfer Blood – Astro Coast
White Fence – s/t LP
– Lower Dens – Twin-Hand Movement

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25.)
The Unwed Teenage Mothers – Blonde Girls
Label: Play Pinball! Records
Track 3:
The dudes at Play Pinball! Records seriously know good pop music when they hear it. While we can’t exactly condone the bands actions for being unwed teen mothers, we can at least praise them for this highly addicting slab of wax that should come with a warning label. These nine poppy-punk outbursts should keep you coming back countless times.

24.)
Vermillion Sands – s/t LP
Label: Alien Snatch! Records
Track 4:
You’d think we like this band or something. Vermillion Sands had quite a productive 2010 – they released a couple of 7″ singles, played at Gonerfest, toured parts of North America, and the culmination of all these things was due to their full length from Alien Snatch. These guys and girl were flying under the radar for awhile, but they’re finally starting to change that. As you look forward to 2011, keep the Vermillion Sands in mind. Hopefully they’ll come back to the states soon enough for some more basement shredding action as well.

23.)
Dead Luke – American Haircut
Label: Florida’s Dying
Track 2:
This is definitely the only record on this list that sounds as cloudy and depressing as multiple rainy days. Dead Luke creates quite a creepy landscape in some of these tracks, most of the time coming completely drenched in reverb with woozy, shape-shifting textures. Not too sure what we can expect from this camp in 2011, but we’re looking forward to it.

22.)
Whitesand/ Badlands – Seeding the Clouds
Label: Magnetic Ghost
Track 8:
This highly ambitious record seemingly came out of nowhere this year. Clocking in at over 50 minutes, this whole album was recorded in a 19th century cathedral converted into a recording studio. This works wonders for their mysterious and darkened sound, as each song grows and grows with so much subtlety you might not even realize it at first.

21.)
Mount Carmel – s/t LP
Label: Siltbreeze Records
Track 1:
Everything on this album has such an invigorating and authentic 60’s blues rock feel from beginning to end. Nothing else comes off this legitimate when it comes to this sort of music. In other words, it’s like this stuff came right out of the 60’s. And the fact that they’re just a three piece band definitely proves that these three dudes have some serious talent. This was by far one of the more under-appreciated records from 2010.

20.)
The Strange Boys – Be Brave
Label: In the Red Recordings
Track 3:
The Strange Boys inviting guitar twang evokes the young, wide-eyed child in every listener. Not always as energetic as their first record; they tend to do a lot more mushy, acoustic songs this time around, but it still has it’s high points. And although these guys can put on a great show, it still confuses me to this day why they wouldn’t want their live show footage on the internet. Also confusing is the simple fact that they told me to e-mail them about it but then never respond – yeah, that’s nice. Thanks Strange Boys, you are quite strange.

19.)
MYTY KONKEROR – I miss the future.
Label: Twin Lakes Records
Track 2:
After a short intro track, all the sudden your face to face with that menacingly heavy guitar chord – talk about sounding like you’re going insane. MYTY KONKEROR were hard at work putting this album together for over two years, starting back in the summer of 2008. As you can see, the patience has definitely paid off for these three responsible dudes. Keep an eye out in early 2011 for a fully legitimate repress of the record from Twin Lakes Records.

18.)
Teen Daze – Four More Years
Label: Arcade Sound Ltd.
Track 1:
Before 2010 came along, it’s not clear how many people can say they knew about Teen Daze, but there’s no way we can really prove that at this point. Possibly one of the best new artists to come along with the year 2010, we can only hope Teen Daze will continue trucking at this outstanding rate – and if you’re one of those people waiting who ordered the “Four More Years” vinyl from Arcade Sound Ltd., this Tumblr post might concern you. Uh oh.

17.)
Magic Bullets – s/t LP
Label: Mon Amie Records
Track 11:
These guys formed out in San Francisco way back in 2004, and by the time 2010 came along they were releasing their second full length album. Jangly guitars, punchy bass lines and a sunny spring time mood dominate this joyous record from start to finish. Let’s hope that Magic Bullets cook up something nice for us in 2011. Right now it’s not clear what they have planned, but there’s got to be something on their minds. We should know soon enough.

16.)
Mi Ami – Steal Your Face
Label: Thrill Jockey
Track 2:
You need to be VERY careful before diving into this second effort from Mi Ami. Coming in too quickly would most likely scare any listener away. Lead singer Daniel Martin-McCormick is immediately berating us with his completely unintelligible vocals as soon as the first song starts, hereby proving how relentless and intense this record actually is. If you can see through the ruthless yelping and the scratchy textures, you’ll discover a uniquely tribal album that is just begging for your approval.

15.)
Circle Pit – Bruise Constellation
Label: Siltbreeze Records
Track 6:
This debut album from Australia’s Circle Pit is a great set up for anything else to come down the road. There’s an obvious “I don’t give a fuck” kind of slacker attitude that comes along with most songs, and the raspy, grungy boy-girl harmonies only help reinforce their self-depreciating sound. If there’s anything else that’s bound to catch your attention here, it’s probably all the nasty guitar work. Not sure what these guys are like in a live setting, so let’s hope they decide to come around sometime soon.

14.)
Jaill – That’s How We Burn
Label: Sub Pop
Track 1:
The Jaill story is kind of an interesting one – kind of like that peculiar album art above. These guys have a ton of releases that most people aren’t even aware of, and this one here is like the culmination of everything prior. They take on a heavy indie rock approach with pop sensibilities as well as psychedelic, and they’re far from being afraid to share their love for weed and getting stoned. Now that they’ve delivered this one to us via Sub Pop, we should probably expect to hear more from Camp Jaill come 2011.

13.)
Young Adults – Black Hole
Label: Amdiscs
Track 3:
With a couple of these bands we’ve included on our year end lists, a few of them all come from a similar area in Boston. Believe it or not, they’re all key parts to a constantly growing music scene including all sorts of punk and garage rock. Young Adults just may be the premier act within the madness, and it’s proven immensely with their invigorating debut “Black Hole”. Sure, it’s still early in the game for these guys, but that makes looking into 2011 with Young Adults in mind that much more interesting. In other words – who knows what’s going to come next.

12.)
Male Bonding – Nothing Hurts
Label: Sub Pop
Track 4:
Male Bonding have been working their way around the lo-fi scene in London since at least 2008 now. Since then they’ve gained much attention and only continue to push forward. Maybe that’s from their never-slow-down, too-much-caffeine approach to the music. Thirteen brain burners cover this album from front to back, and not a single song dares to venture past the three minute mark. Now we dare you to try and not get addicted to this stuff.

11.)
Happy Birthday – s/t LP
Label: Sub Pop
Track 1:
Opening track “Girls FM” starts up with a twisted guitar hook, and there’s really no looking back afterward. Kyle Thomas and his gang created quite an enjoyable record here, and if the poppy glam of that opening track is any indication, Happy Birthday are here to stay. With the unusual “inverted tuning” of the guitar and Mr. Thomas’ undeniable pop sensibility and love for all women, we should only expect to hear more from this goofy crew from Vermont. The band has got an entertaining Twitter account as well – hence that goofy comment.

10.)
Free Energy – Stuck on Nothing
Label: DFA, Astralwerks
Track 4:
Free Energy took timeless classic rock qualities and renewed them for 2010 on their debut album. With this fresh new approach, most would probably welcome the youthful energy of this record. But then there’s probably some who find it totally corny. Let’s ignore those folks, because they don’t know what they’re missing. On top of all that, the entire album was produced by another big name from 2010 – LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy – which might be another reason Free Energy caught on so well this year.

09.)
White Denim – Last Day of Summer
Label: Self-released, not on label
Track 12:
In terms of albums coming out of nowhere from 2010, this White Denim album takes the cake. White Denim had been working on their third full length album over the past summer, and in the midst they decided to take a small pit stop. This resulted in them releasing an entire full length album with nearly 40 minutes of music, completely for free, and just for fun. Said best by the band members themselves, “This record is something we made as a little summer retreat from our ongoing work on the third full length. Many of these tunes have been bouncing around since the formation of the band back in ’06.” That’s basically the story behind these songs in a nutshell. We’re already well aware of the capabilities of White Denim, so we just need to sit tight and see what this third full length has to offer in 2011. Only problem is it just won’t come quick enough…

08.)
Warpaint – The Fool
Label: Rough Trade
Track 3:
These girls from Warpaint…let’s just say they do their own thing. Not many bands right now are experimenting with the same type of slithery psych-rock that they produce so well. It’s almost like they have their sound down to a science, and after seeing the band perform in a live setting, you will not dismiss that statement. In fact, you’ll agree so much that you’ll vow to see them every time they come to your town. If you need reassurance, or you just don’t want to believe, follow that link above and see if you agree. We really hope you do.

07.)
Dead Ghosts – s/t LP
Label: Florida’s Dying
Track 6:
These Vancouver dudes never seem to take a break. With at least three different releases in 2010 (correct me if there’s more), that appears to be an accurate statement. Dead Ghosts take their rowdy form of garage rock and mix it with a highly gratifying blues rock twang that’s just too good to ignore. Every last song on the record features some sort of guitar hook or solo, and it never fails to be as addicting and time-consuming as the last. Musically time-consuming to be specific, simply because you can’t listen to anything else while you’re playing your Dead Ghosts record on repeat. We don’t know what’s in store for 2011, so the best you can do is just keep your ears listening.

06.)
Brain Idea – The Survival Scrolls
Label: Permanent Records
Track 1:
Brain Idea may have created one of the most thought-provoking albums of 2010 with this record right here. “The Survival Scrolls” is the result of their first demo tape, which they rerecorded and completely reorganized for the purpose of this album. There’s not any specific direction you’re supposed to take when listening – you just have to sit back and let the record take you where it will. They take plenty of obscure sounds and musical genre’s and mash them up into this record, and the results are positively stunning. The most noticeable qualities you might detect first include nods to punk and psych-rock, but there’s a bunch more underlying that come and go as the record progresses – including tropical-pop gems, hazy ambiance interludes, throbbing post-punk jams, and bizarre instrumental tracks. This record has a little bit of everything, and it definitely deserves a bit more attention than it’s actually received.

05.)
Grass Widow – Past Time
Label: Kill Rock Stars
Track 3:
This female trio takes their music very seriously, and it definitely shows. Their ethereal approach can strike a soft spot at any moment, and once it does you’re not going to forget it – at that point you’ll only be begging for more. By far the most striking aspect of the Grass Widow sound comes in their singing. Each of the three girls plays their part in the singing efforts in one way or another, and the way their voices intricately weave in and out of each other is nothing short of jaw-dropping. There’s definitely something to this music that these girls are not telling us about, because no matter how hard you try, it still feels like were missing a part of the picture. As long as they keep doing their thing, I’m sure people are completely okay with that too.

04.)
Purling Hiss – Public Service Announcement
Label: Woodsist
Track 1:
Crumby tape-like quality fuzz, astounding guitars, psych-punk inflections, woozy atmospheres…they’re all part of the recipe from this musical pioneer who resides in Philadelphia. Mike Polizze fronts the wildly talented Purling Hiss, and this is their third album, but it goes against the norm in terms of the usual Purling Hiss album arrangement. Instead of brewing up the typical 10+ minute Purling Hiss song, Polizze stuck to shorter songs lengths, which definitely helps keep your attention a lot better than the earlier material. The record is a 41 minute journey through a dazed out dream land, at other times sounding like a nightmare, and other times sounding like you’re drifting through space.

03.)
Jim Bryson & the Weakerthans – The Falcon Lake Incident
Label: Kelp Records (LP), MapleMusic (CD)
Track 4:
After seeing this whole list, some people might not think this record fits in with the rest. If you’re thinking that, you’re right, because it really doesn’t. Energetic folk rock with a very slightly punky twist at times definitely characterizes this record, but the bands don’t always go for the high energy and punk vibes. After spending last January in a cabin in the middle of a -40C winter on the gorgeous Falcon Lake in Manitoba, it’s really no surprise how this album turned out. After things get that cold, you’re not always going to have that energy anymore, and that’s when those warm and cozy songs from the album come into play. With that being said, there’s really nothing better to do than curl up next to your fireplace and throw this record on, because it probably wouldn’t fit in any other situation.

02.)
Women – Public Strain
Label: Jagjaguwar
Track 11:
We lightly touched on this album this year with that bonus 7″, but we never quite covered the album as a whole. We even went to go catch Women live in concert, which is a bit ironic considering that almost three weeks later the band suffered a huge on-stage meltdown that resulted in them canceling an entire European tour. On top of that, it was said they played their last show as a full band, but that statement has yet to be confirmed, and it probably won’t be. But let’s still hope it isn’t true, because it would be a damn shame after putting out an album like this one here. They use a boat-load of harsh noise and shimmering, sand-paper guitars on this record, almost like light is directly refracting off their sound waves and bouncing around in all directions, forcing you to try and make sense of it all. With all that being said, it’s really no surprise how they acted on stage that fateful night. If you’ve listened to these songs, specifically one like “Drag Open”, the stress is beyond noticeable – it sticks out like sore thumb. This goes a long way in showing that “Public Strain” was indeed the perfect title for this record, and all that grit only shows that the band was in need of a break from touring. So keep your hopes up for Women, because we don’t want them to go anywhere. But if they do, we can at least say one thing – “Eyesore” would be the last official song of their whole discography, and as far as we’re concerned, you can’t go out on a more perfect song than that.

01.)
Titus Andronicus – The Monitor
Label: XL Recordings
Track 7:
We didn’t exactly cover this album when it came out, but did we really need to? With all the other coverage and chart-topping positions it’s earning at the end of the year and throughout the year, it’s really no surprise how far Titus Andronicus has actually came. These guys came out of nowhere with their 2008 effort “The Airing of Grievances”, and since then things have only gotten bigger and better. Things were at their biggest and best point upon the release of “The Monitor”, and now it’s a matter of what could come next. This was by far the most ambitious release from any band in all of 2010 that didn’t also come off as corny, and it’s all paying off for the boys as they sit back and watch the numbers come in. Granted, topping the charts here on the Styrofoam Drone isn’t nearly as rewarding (okay, not rewarding at all) as second overall from MTV and making the Top 10 on Pitchfork (amongst others), but we just wanted to let them know we love what they’re doing and that they should keep doing it – whatever that means, exactly. But for now, we’ll see you in 2011. Happy new year.

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Top 10 EP’s of 2010

We started with 7″ records – now we’re going to focus on EP’s. Right below are the top ten EP’s that came out over the year of 2010, as told by the Styrofoam Drone. We didn’t cover EP’s nearly as often as we covered other formats of music this year, but there were still enough so we could make this fairly decent list out of them. Not only that, but compiling these lists is a great way to look back on an entire year of music and see what caught on the most, what you forgot about, and simply what you liked best. After over a year of checking out new music, you tend to forget about some things in the middle of all the madness. The end of the year is the time to let those releases you forgot about shine. So here you have it, our top ten EP’s of 2010:

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A good place to start would be the list of Honorable Mentions. While the EP’s included on this were still highlights from the year, they didn’t quite register like the rest of the EP’s below in the countdown. Here goes nothing:

Son of Rams – Frolics in the Pink EP
Girls Names – Don’t Let Me In EP
Monster Rally – s/t EP
Ghost Mall – Goons EP
Kurt Vile – Square Shells EP
Weed – DC Hope EP

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10.)
Top Surprise – Everything Must Go EP
Label: Pug Records
Track 3:
Top Surprise hail from Brazil, and they don’t beat around the bush. Alarmingly loud and possibly headache inducing, these songs sound as concentrated as can be. Not too sure what can expect from 2011, but there’s bound to be something.

09.)
The Samps – The Samps EP
Label: Mexican Summer
Track 2:
This one-off project (?) from the sometimes-guitarist of Ariel Pinks Haunted Graffiti totally came out of nowhere this year and forced you to get up and dance – no matter how much they insisted they had no idea what they were doing. The only question is whether or not we’re gonna hear more of these hazy acid-induced dance beats come 2011.

08.)
Banned Books – Man Maker EP
Label: Stumparumper
Track 4:
These fast paced freak rockers from South Jersey can go from ridiculousness to subtlety in less than three seconds. Totally dynamic and definitely jaw dropping, this frenzy of songs comes off as aggressive and rigid as possible.

07.)
Tammar – I Live Here Now EP
Label: St. Ives
Track 3:
These wobble-pop pioneers do their own unique thing out in the middle of the country in Indiana, and nobody else seems to take on their sort of experimental pop. They seem to keep quiet for the most part, but we’re still looking forward to some new material come 2011. This was also the only live EP we covered all year.

06.)
Javelin – 2 EP
Label: Thrill Jockey
Track 3:
A great year for Javelin it was. This cousinly duo released a full length on Luaka Bop and had a few EP’s released on Thrill Jockey (one which came out in 2009). This cut comes from the 2nd of their two EP’s, and it’s a scary-good kind of “in-the-club” collage that’s so rad that only Javelin could possibly achieve. The name of the track is spot-on well: Beyondcé.

05.)
Superhumanoids – Urgency EP
Label: Hit City USA
Track 1:
Later entries can certainly qualify for greatness. We covered this EP like seven days ago but it deserves a spot on this list without a doubt. Carefully constructed and focused pop songs straddling the line of electronics and instrumentation with a blissful, mysterious atmosphere means this stuff is tops. These guys appear to be in the works for something to come in 2011, so let’s keep our fingers crossed.

04.)
Games – That We Can Play EP
Label: Hippos in Tanks
Track 1:
“Strawberry Skies” on it’s own is enough send you through a loop – once it gets a firm grasp on your ears, it’s never letting go. Add in a bunch of other great futuristic dance-gems like “Shawdows in Bloom” and “Planet Party” (not to mention those killer remixes) and you’ve easily got one of our favorite EP’s of 2010.

03.)
DOOMSTAR! – Rainbow Bloodsucker EP
Label: Grandma and Grandpa Records
Track 4:
DOOMSTAR! are also part of that ever-expanding scene that is growing in Boston as we speak. These guys totally rock out with no boundaries whatsoever, and here is the ultimate proof. You see!? Do yourself a huge favor and keep an eye out for DOOMSTAR! in 2011. It’s still early on for these three guys, but they should definitely not be forgotten.

02.)
Double Dagger – Masks EP
Label: Thrill Jockey
Track 1:
This is exactly why we do the end of the year lists. Angry and pissed off, this Double Dagger EP came out awhile ago in the beginning of 2010, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be included on our list. Nolen Strals is trying to make a statement, and him and Double Dagger get their point across with more anger and frustration than any other band out there. You can feel the strain in the music and in Strals vocals from beginning to end. A near 20 minutes of angry post-punk perfection. “Sleeping With the TV On” could be one of the most thrilling and most dynamic songs from any like-minded band this year.

01.)
Twin Sister – Color Your Life EP
Label: Infinite Best Recordings
Track 6:
Twin Sister released their second EP this year, and subsequently blew up across the music universe. No other record that came out this year has the same dazed-out, dream like textures that are found from beginning to end on this splendid EP. This group of friendly Long Islanders have dug up quite a unique sound, making these guys without a doubt one of our most watched acts going into 2011. It’s not clear yet what Twin Sister will have in store for us, but if it’s anything like this wild adventure through Andrea Estella’s wacky dream-scapes, it’s bound to be killer.

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That does it for our list of EP’s. Check back in another couple days and we’ll have a list of our favorite full length albums from 2010. See ya then.

Top Thirty 7″ Records of 2010 (part 2)

Today we continue our coverage of the top thirty 7″ records of 2010. Please enjoy and Happy Holidays!
Just in case you missed Part 1 of the countdown, you can check it out right here. This covers records #30 to 16. We just don’t want any of you missing anything ;).

(As you know, we’ve covered a ton of music this year. Now comes the time at the end of the year when we take a look back at all of the things that stood out the most. For the first of the “End of the Year” lists here at the Styrofoam Drone, we’re going to strictly look at 7″ records. Throughout the year we’ve covered most of our music on 7″ format, so this should definitely be interesting to see how it all turns out. Although interesting, this was not an easy task and it took awhile to compile this list and then put it in a reasonable order. So let’s continue on with the second part of our list…)

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15.)
tooth ache. – Skin 7″
Label: Father/ Daughter Records
B-side:
Self-described as “downer-pop”, Miss Alexandria Hall definitely wasn’t pulling our legs. The morbid darkness of these two gems somehow only work their way under your skin. The acetic B-side is delicious and grueling, and it only makes you want to bob your head along to the beat.

14.)
Woven Bones – I’ve Gotta Get 7″
Label: Hardly Art
A-side:
Heavily scuzzy in a mutated kind of way, Woven Bones were going for gold on this single. The ground-shaking guitar rips while the drums crush everything in sight, leaving you wondering what the hell just happened. Andy Bones also has one of the funniest Twitter accounts out there.

13.)
Jacuzzi Boys – Bricks or Coconuts 7″
Label: Mexican Summer
B-side:
Jacuzzi Boys sound like they love having fun. This release is no exception. Just may be some of the best and most authentic garage rock you can find out there right now. Just listen to “Freakazoids” above and we’ll soon be on the same page.

12.)
Crystal Stilts – Shake the Shackles 7″
Label: Slumberland Records
A-side:
After remaining silent for awhile, Crystal Stilts suddenly came back this year with a stunning single. The two songs here give us the best look at their full-length to come in 2011. With a brooding tone and moody vocals, 2011 is looking great for the Stilts.

11.)
Wheels on Fire – Cherry Bomb 7″ EP
Label: Kind Turkey Records
A-side:
Four tracks of seriously awesome blues-influenced garage jams. Smart and witty lyrics about love and women will only make you want to listen more, probably because it’s so easy to relate to. Not sure what these guys are up to for 2011, but keep an eye out for them.

10.)
Panda Bear – Tomboy 7″
Label: Paw Tracks
A-side:
The first of four 7″ singles from this AnCo godhead meant whatever label was selling them resulted in immediate sell outs and thick wallets. Of the three that were released during 2010, this one stood out the most – including glitchy dub-pop break beats and resonating electronics that are just too difficult to ignore. This goes without saying, but look out for Panda Bear in 2011. His presence should be huge.

09.)
Pure Ecstasy – Easy 7″
Label: Light Lodge
B-side:
Warm and fuzzy with an undying anxious feel, Pure Ecstasy are definitely included on the underdogs list of 2010 – perhaps even topping it off. These songs are drowned in endless layers of grainy reverb, as they both have a calmed and relaxed vibe. Spin this 7″ and let your worries melt away into nothing.

08.)
Weed Hounds – Beach Bummed 7″
Label: Iron Pier
A-side:
Laura Catalano and her gorgeous voice are like the total opposite of the mysterious darkened vibes that come through in parts of these Weed Hounds songs. Two totally different songs make this 7″ an interesting listen, but if “Beach Bummed” doesn’t strike a soft spot on you, you’ve probably been reading the wrong blog all year. Healing but yet still somewhat haunting, look out for Weed Hounds in 2011.

07.)
Sleep ∞ Over – Outer Limits 7″
Label: Forest Family Records
A-side:
As soon as this stuff came out, people were already sure it was one of the best of the year. The songs barely get their feet wet in the ever-growing pool of chillwave, but not to any ridiculous extent. This 7″ sold out lightning fast thanks to the gospel-like, ethereal feel of the songs and the unsettling feminine pop charm. At this point we can only hope to hear something similar from these girls come 2011.

06.)
Dead Ghosts – That Old Feeling 7″
Label: Goodbye Boozy Records
A-side:
It was a great year for Vancouver’s Dead Ghosts – a live 12″ on Psychic Lunch, a smoking hot full-length from Florida’s Dying, and then there’s this 7″. “That Old Feeling” becomes an instant classic, and that twangy guitar hook is pretty much responsible for it all. Don’t get too lost in that intoxicating sea of noise either, you might never find your way out. Already proven to be a premier garage rock band, Dead Ghosts seem like they have a ton more up their sleeve for us.

05.)
Fungi Girls – Turquoise Hotel 7″
Label: Hozac Records
B-side:
These Texas boys might still be in high school (are they?), but damn did they create a hell of a single here. Two totally dynamic songs that sound like two completely different styles of music fill out both sides of the single. Bluesy guitar shuffles and spastic guitar freak outs characterize this Fungi Girls release, bringing me to say this may be one of the most consistent bands from all of 2010.

04.)
Total Slacker – Crystal Necklace 7″
Label: Impose Records
A-side:
Stop worrying about the dudes bowl cut for a second and pay attention to the music. Now do you realize how fucking awesome it is? Nobody else made a garage-psych record that was this fierce all year. Two absolutely mind-melting tracks with a raging psychedelic approach and a childish spirit make this, by far, a standout single.

03.)
Heavy Times – No Plans 7″
Label: Hozac Records
A-side:
This 7″ didn’t come out too long ago, but as far as we’re concerned, it’s nearly perfect. You can spin this thing time and time again and it just won’t get old. Heavy Times didn’t waste any effort fluffing this music up with fancy production or things of that sort, and we commend them for their awesome minimalist approach. As we pointed out in the review, there’s no rules in Heavy Times world, and there’s no room bullshit either. Just pick up your instrument and rock the fuck out, and we’ll be happy.

02.)
The Franks – Duh 7″
Label: Hit City USA
A-side:
The Franks sound comes through your speakers and hits any listener like a ton of bricks. They play music with mainly garage-rock principles, but it’s their own punky freestyle twist that comes into the mix that gets things so heated. Lead singer Jean Don’t sings with an unmatched energy as honestly as possible, at times sounding extremely hateful and self-depreciating. But don’t let that confuse you. He still manages, however, to keep that fun Franks vibe attached to the nasty things he says, whether it’s simply loading up a gun with ammo, or calling himself a crook. As he obnoxiously wails away into his microphone, you should notice that his words are increasingly entertaining, to the point where this becomes the best record to sing along with on this entire list. We’re not exactly sure what the Franks are up to these days, but it’s probably hilarious and we definitely think you should keep your eyes peeled for them in 2011.

01.)
Mind Spiders – Mind Spiders 7″
Label: Dirtnap Records
A-side:
The fact that Mind Spiders is the moniker for just one dude is kind of jaw-dropping. The fact that these four songs were created on a four track (?) in a bedroom somewhere, is still kind of jaw-dropping. Mark Ryan needs to teach a class to the rest of those “bedroom bands” out there, because he’s making music in circles around them all. He has the smarts and the integrity to make it happen, and he damn well did. We didn’t hear much other than this 7″ from Mind Spiders this year, but come this January from Dirtnap we’re definitely going to have more from this energetic garage-punk mastermind.

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Thanks for a great year in music, but we’re still not done! After Christmas expect a “Best of” EP list and LP list. And once again, in case you missed the first half of this 7-inch countdown, here’s the first part > Top 30 (part 1). And if you’re still a little bored before the holiday festivities begin, you can check out this list of the coolest album arts from the year in music of 2010.

Top Thirty 7″ Records of 2010 (part 1)

As you know, we’ve covered a ton of music this year. Now comes the time at the end of the year when we take a look back at all of the things that stood out the most. For the first of the “End of the Year” lists here at the Styrofoam Drone, we’re going to strictly look at 7″ records. Throughout the year we’ve covered most of our music on 7″ format, so this should definitely be interesting to see how it all turns out. We’ve started with the Honorable Mentions list below, and then we’ll work our way up to the top spot of the year. Expect part two (records #15 to #1) to come tomorrow.

So without further to do, we are proud to present to you our favorite 7″ singles from the year of 2010.

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A good place to start would be the list of Honorable Mentions. While the singles included on this were still highlights from the year, they didn’t quite register like the rest of the singles below in the countdown. Not only that, but it’s just way too hard to keep it limited to exactly 30 singles considering we covered over 100 unique singles this year. So here we go:

Spider Bags – Take It Easy Tonite 7″
Burnt Ones – All Night Long 7″
Jeff the Brotherhood 7″ – Mellow Out 7″
Chain and the Gang – (I’ve Got) Privilege 7″
Beach Fossils – Face It 7″
Vermillion Sands – Something Wrong 7″
The Boom Bang – Bummer Camp 7″
Party Photographers – Let the Red Lights Riot 7″
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Say No to Love 7″
Deep Sht – Weird You 7″

And right below starts coverage for the top 30 singles of 2010.

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30.)
Levek – Look on the Bright Side 7″
Label: Father/ Daughter Records
A-side:
This debut 7″ from Levek only produces hope that this Disney-loving bus-driving dude will have much more of the funky sexiness to come down the road. Fingers crossed.

29.)
Pocahaunted – Threshold 7″
Label: Not Not Fun
A-side:
The final installment to the Pocahaunted name. Rest in peace, and thanks for this last solid before finally calling it quits. Their bizarre full-length from the year is also something worth listening to.

28.)
Christmas – Metal 7″
Label: Highfives and Handshakes
B-side:
Freakishly awesome and definitely relentless, Christmas will probably scare your children. Proceed with caution!

27.)
Traps, PS – Prove It to You 7″
Label: Papermade
A-side:
Fast paced and frantic, it doesn’t get much crazier than this. Scrappy, noisy guitars and fierce energy only mean one thing: this stuff is reckless!

26.)
Brainstorm – Beast in the Sky 7″
Label: Lasercave
A-side:
This just may be the only band that we covered this year that had a tuba listed in the credits. Highly ambitious and creative while taking on an ethnic approach, Brainstorm shall please any listener willing to take the spiritual journey.

25.)
Creepoid – Yellow Life Giver 7″
Label: Phonographic Arts
A-side:
Philadelphia’s finest! With a new full length in the works for 2011, these guys (and girl!) are only gonna turn heads with their strung out and slowed dream jams. Stay tuned for more information on that in the near future…

24.)
Fungi Girls/ Indian Wars – Split 7″
Label: Psychic Lunch Records
B-side:
Texas adolescents Fungi Girls and Vancouver’s own Indian Wars paired up for this awesome split. We’ve heard a bunch from the Fungi Girls this year, so maybe it’s Indian Wars time to shine in 2011. We’ll find out soon enough.

23.)
Girlfriends – Gov’t Seizure 7″
Label: Aurora7 Records
B-side:
Bostons own surfer garage punks came out of nowhere this year and totally tore it up. Believe it or not, there’s a shit ton of awesomeness coming from Boston lately, and these guys are right in the middle of the mix. Let’s hope it sticks around for awhile.

22.)
Tennis – Baltimore 7″
Label: Underwater Peoples
B-side:
This 7″ as a whole may have gotten more attention than any other individual 7″ that came out this whole year. Or at least from everything we have covered. Shouts from the New York Times are definitely good things, and having a story to go along with your music might work better than you once thought.

21.)
Titus Andronicus/ Free Energy – Split Tour 7″
Label: XL Recordings
B-side:
Quite possibly two of the biggest bands from 2010 (see the internet) getting together on one 7″ means nothing but smiling faces, especially when they’re covering classic songs like these. Each also have the potential to put on the best live show you’ve seen all year.

20.)
First Base – She’s Boy Crazy 7″ EP
Label: Play Pinball! Records
A-side:
Characterized by one word, and one word only – POP. No other band we covered this year even comes close to the friendly, poppy, girl-loving glam of First Base. Definitely looking forward to more from these Canadian pop-rockers come 2011.

19.)
Pure Ecstasy – Voices 7″
Label: Acéphale
B-side:
Your favorite psyched-out haze rockers of 2010. Not sure if they even have a full length planned or anything of the sort for 2011, but let’s hope so. They also just may be one of 2010’s most under-appreciated bands.

18.)
Dunes – Old Souls 7″
Label: Art Fag
B-side:
Creeping up from the darker parts of your dream come Dunes. These obscure and dreamy jams will hypnotize you until you’re playing them over and over again. The only problem is you can never quite put your finger on what makes them so great.

17.)
Rare Grooves – Cause for Concern 7″
Label: Papermade
A-side:
It was a good year for Papermade Records. Punky vocals and a tropical island guitar vibe definitely make this release unique. Mike Watt’s bass playing is a whole different story. Totally awesome and totally unexpected.

16.)
Girls Names/ Brilliant Colors – Split 7″
Label: Slumberland Records (US), Tough Love (UK)
A-side:
A killer split by two killer bands. Brilliant Colors and Girls Names might not seem ideal to be paired up on a 7″, but they quickly prove that statement wrong. Two A-side worthy tracks with the most significant difference being the singers of each band.

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Part two of the Top Thirty 7″ Records of 2010 will be here tomorrow. This covers record #15 and so on. Stay tuned! See part two of the countdown right here!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE STYROFOAM DRONE!

Hello all. In case people were not aware, today the Styrofoam Drone is officially one year old. So much has changed and so much has happened since the first day this blog has started, and since I’m bored, let’s go take a look back through the year and see just how much everything has changed. Along with that, we’ll look at some of what made this year so special as well.

The Styrofoam Drone came into existence on December 17th, 2009.
THIS was the first post ever made
– The funny thing is, this right here wasn’t our original blog. THIS WAS.
– That’s right, I originally started with a Blogspot blog, but I moved to WordPress a day later. I forget why. All in all, I think it was a good choice.

Before making this post:
– There were 290 unique posts on the Drone this year (and still more to come)
– There were 434 comments on posts from this year
– We have covered 11 different categories of musical formats
– We have used 106 different tags to put on music of all genre’s
– Our busiest day resulted in 619 blog hits, happening on Oct. 16th from this post about Panda Bear
– Overall, since Dec. 17th, 2009, the Drone has seen 74,549 total viewers, and I hope this will only continue to grow thanks to all yr support

Other things that took place throughout the year include…
A look back on the year of 2009…
Every show from the year can be found right here, and every video from any show can be found right here
– And how about that day I gave out a bunch of free record downloads? That was actually my birthday. Believe it or not, I still have a ton of them to share with you…

– Don’t forget that post about Record Store Day 2010, that subsequently happened after the (original) busiest day on this blog…
– I speak of nothing other than our feature on Pitchfork that happened last April after a Titus Andronicus show in Philadelphia.
– It was cool to see that video get some viral love
– And who could forget the Drone sponsored VERMILLION SANDS SHOW that took place at the Drone Duplex in Philadelphia? Here’s two other posts about the show – one and two
– See both of the show posters we made here and here

– And how about that chunk of time I spent reviewing for Indiescreet?
– Believe it or not, one of those posts actually (indirectly) ended up on The Guardian in the UK
– And I still think it’s funny that Insound used our review of the Tennis Baltimore 7″ for their description of the record on Insound
– Oh, and please don’t forget to check the cover of our “magazine”

– How could you forget the StyroDrone Guestmix we put together for the Tropical Daze Blog? You can still download that comp. RIGHT HERE – and here’s the original post introducing it.
– There was that day we spent with DOOMSTAR!
– And we were also lucky enough to catch this once in a lifetime event
– Make that TWO once in a lifetime events
– Make that THREE.  In terms of reuniting, I guess this is a once in a lifetime event as well (noticing this now – what a great year for band revival!)

So as far as special moments on the blog go, I think that’s about it. Anything else I come across or remember I will certainly add to this list. Now it’s time for me to thank everybody out there reading this one more time, because without all of you, none of the stuff above would have happened. I want to thank you all for making it a hell of a fun year, (friends and family alike, you know who you are) and I hope you’ll continue to come back. Some things you should be looking forward to now include: the best 7″ records of 2010, the best full lengths of 2010, a few more posts of new music before 2011 is here, and a highly exclusive post about Philly’s own CREEPOID regarding their forthcoming full length album, which will include video and some other goodies…until then, I must say “see you tomorrow”.

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THANK YOU ALL!