It's about time we tossed up this Top 10 list as it was compiled a coupla months back. Lazy, busy and all of the other excuses that you can think of....so here we go, in no particular order, as it really doesn't matter if you're number 1 or number 10 on this list, to paraphrase Teenage Head, fuck the rest, this is the best...or at least the best that we crossed paths with from 2010...
The Walnut Kids....Can't Stand 'Em 7" on Going Gaga Records. Ya, we played the shit outta this one on RadioWW this year and deservedly so. These guys toss in powerpop licks, garage noises, punk sounds and mix it all together with a batch of hooks that just don't let go! A near perfect hunk of vinyl! Disappointment of the year for me was The Walnut Kids cancelling their Dec show at Call The Office opening for Glen Matlock...car trouble they said. More likely Mr. Matlock sabotaging them cause they were stealing his show! We did get to see The Walnut Kids once this past summer opening for Paul Collins at the sadly defunct Moon Over Marin, but the sound didn't do this band justice. They'll be back and i'll have my dancing shoes on!
Mother's Children....That's Who...on Going Gaga Records...Yep, another one on Going Gaga Records, that fine label outta Ottawa which is where Mother's Children call home. First listen i wasn't that impressed with this longplayer, but man, it sure grew on me the second and every spin since! The only comparison that comes to mind is The Real Kids, back when they were in their prime and some of their records involved that repeated listen to get it. And when i got this record, those songs got stuck in my noggin' every listen! They've also got a really cool single that came out before this LP that is essential!
Sonic Avenues...s/t...on Going Gaga Records...In hockey terms, this would be a hat trick for the folks at Going Gaga Records but for Sonic Avenues this is their first longplayer and it rocks from beginning to end! Non-stop power pop of the finest blend as these guys shed their total 60's sound and move towards the late 70's era with only the finest 60's influences remaining! Got to see these guys in London this past spring and they sound even better live! Watch out for the Pointed Sticks!
Nick Curran....Reform School Girl....Eclecto Groove Records...I found this one in the CHRW toss out bin and it looked kind of interesting with the tattooed blonde and the tough looking guitar player on the front cover. Figgered it'd be some kinda modern rbilly or major label sigh co billy. But NO!!!! Nothing prepared me for this onslaught of primal late 50's rock'n'roll, rhythm and blues, and total screaming attack on the senses! This is the real deal jack! If our hero Lux was alive, this would put a shit eating grin on his face! It's that FUCKING good!! And it only gets better every listen!
catl...With The Lord For Cowards You Will Find No Place...Folk Brand Records. Our favourite fucked blues duo outta Toronto return as a 3 piece and sound even better than their first LP! The newly added keyboards and extra vocals create an almost Memphis blues sound to give this combo even more depth! And get Jim Diamond involved and you know everything is gonna turn out right audio wise. Final track 'Workin' Man's Soul' just slays me everytime i hear it!!
Angry Dragons...s/t 7" EP ...Transistor 66 Records....Garage punk with girls singing and playing, Darren Merinuk artwork, pink vinyl...what more can you ask for!!! My all time fave Winnipeg combo!!
Marvelous Beauhunks...Do Not Resuscitate...self released CD...Recorded way back in the early 90's and finally released on a CD for all of us that didn't catch the MB's the first time around, and to coincide with a 10 year reunion this past year. Way cool mix of powerpop, mod and garage sounds in which the songs are well put together and exude hooks and energy! A real treat and i really don't know how we missed these guys back in the day!! Repeated listens of this one have certainly made up for that oversight!
Rock'n'Roll Monkey and The Robots...Do What The Bees Do....Rock'n'Roll Monkey Records...This is one of those releases that sneaks up on you and grabs you and doesn't let go. An instant party CD that'll get you up and dancing before you even know what's hit you! And this is at least the 3rd release from this mystery band!
The Fine Print...s/t....self released. Local combo that caught me by surprise with their perfect sonic blend of Kinks, Zombies and Yardbirds type sounds. Lotsa tight harmonies that bring out the powerpop elements of these songs and these guys can recreate this sound live!! Catch them if you can!
Instead of a 10th release, there were some live shows we caught this past year that should be mentioned. The first and foremost was The Fleshtones at This Ain't Hollywood this past August. These guys rocked out like they were 18 again and we all ate it up and danced a storm! Easily the best live band in the world!!!
And some of us waited over 30 years to finally see Paul Collins Beat here in London this past August. Throw an army of powerpop bands on the bill; Mother's Children, Walnut Kids, The 905's and Oily Birds and you've got a show that many of us are still talking about!
And another stacked show that blew me away was The White Wires, Sonic Avenues, Rocket Reducers and Lonesome Ghost back in March.
And the show that caught me by total surprise, The Baketones at The Black Shire Pub in late August. These guys were total cavemen on stage as they destroyed equipment and each other all the while delivering a pounding garage stomp from beyond....they had opened for The Fleshtones a coupla days prior to playing here so they may have picked up a few tricks! A band you gotta see!
And now back to your regular programming....