The Cape Buffalo: One of the most dangerous animals of 2006
Welcome USOUNDS highly anticipated Top-Ten-A-Thon for 2006. We will feature a top ten by a different staff writer every day until those fuckers run out. For the kick-off, here’s the top one viagra spam USOUNDS received this year (500+ times) which is particularly enjoyable because it’s subtle yet inspiring:
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OK! Here’s our first staff top 10 brought to you by Mary Mulholland:
10. The Long Winters Putting The Days To Bed
I almost hate John Roderick for being such a perfect indie rock front man. Not only does he have the best stage banter I’ve ever heard, he’s also written a shockingly good album of impeccable indie anthems. Every one track on this album is fit to be a single.
9. Say Hi to Your Mom Impeccable Blahs
Impeccable Blahs is an album of stellar electronic indie pop on anti-depressants from the annals of multi-instrumentalist Eric Elbogen’s brain. It’s also a concept album about vampires, which is pretty awesome.
8. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs Gold Lion
Coming out with a sophomore album after your debut has transformed you into a rock star is one of the most difficult challenges a band can face, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have set an example to aspire to. With a twinge of nostalgia and pathos, this smart, cohesive album speaks to the band’s loss of innocence.
7. The Black Angels Passover
The Black Angels have created a unique style they call American drone core, taking cues from the Velvet Underground and Vietnam-era psychadelia and anti-war sentiment. Beyond the intoxicating, spacey drone of Passover, it’s also packed with exceedingly well-crafted songs.
6. Wolfmother Dimensions
Over the course of the year, Wolfmother has fallen in and out of favor among the indie crowd. But hell, I still love this band even though liking them is no longer cool. As someone who obsessed over Led Zeppelin in high school, I appreciate the simple genius of reliving 1975. Incredible riffs, Andrew Stockdale’s high-pitched stories of unicorns and women, and the talented keyboardist/bassist Chris Ross add up to one of the most satisfying rock records of the year.
5. The Hold Steady Boys And Girls In America
I used to not like The Hold SteadyóCraig Finn’s shouting drove me crazy after a couple songsó but I fell in love with Boys and Girls In America the first time I heard it. This is triumphant rock and roll, exuberant and full of promise; the kind of music that makes me look forward to tonight, tomorrow and the next day. Finn’s story-telling chops don’t hurt.
4. Mastodon Blood Mountain
Mastodon is everything I could want in a metal band, and Blood Mountain is deliciously angry and heavy while still feeling accessible. With ass-kicking musicianship and occasionally scary death metal vocals, Blood Mountain is a work of instrumental and lyrical genius that continues to unfold its genius after each listen.
3. Hot Chip The Warning
British electro-pop quartet Hot Chip has made good on the promise of their debut LP Coming On Strong with this supremely danceable sophomore album. I’ve listened to The Warning a lot, and I’m still compelled to dance every time I do.
2. Cursive Happy Hollow
With Happy Hollow, Cursive has matured beyond its emo roots and written a dramatically comprehensive, contemporary rock opera. Dynamic and full of unabashed pathos, Tim Kasher screams about organized religion and consumerism against an orchestral backdrop of Ted Stevens’ guitar and a cast of horns.
1. The Thermals The Body The Blood The Machine
If The Thermals had merely written an album of 10 of the most infectiously catchy punk songs I’ve ever heard, it would still be a great album. But they’ve infused The Body The Blood The Machine with a righteous anger and rage against complacency that perfectly expresses the zeitgeist of our disillusioned era, and for that this album has earned my number one spot.