SIMGE’s Top 25 Songs Of 2011 (25-1)

25. “Lek Mik Im Arsch” by ICP (feat. Jeff The Brotherhood)

This Jack White production is proof that the Bohemian Bluesman is infallible, in the sense that every project he touches turns to gold, or, at least, attains a level of respectability said musical venture may not warrant. What other producer would allow Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope to enter his/her humble dwellings to riff on the literal interpretation of Motzart’s “Leck Mich Im Arsch,” which translates to “Lick me in the arse.” The answer is: not another musical technician alive, for fear of irreparable damage to one’s reputation. White stared career suicide in the face and enlisted Jeff The Brotherhood to chop block that son of bitch below the knee, in turn concocting one of SIMGE’s favorites of 2011.

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24. “Under Cover Of Darkness” by The Strokes

The hipster elite refused to recognize The Strokes lead single from the group’s anxiously awaited fourth full-length release Angles, a catastrophic dud other than this tune, as the best song on the 10-track collection, which is somewhat surprising (No it isn’t) considering I’d place at the top of Garage-Rock revivalist’s entire catalogue. This tale of stagnant affection is the best song penned by Julian Casablancas and the crew since Is This It and arguably can trump every track on that debut.

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23. “Hello Hello” by Thomas Wesley Stern

Thomas Wesley Stern’s “Hello, Hello,” from the outfit’s debut EP Hope Folk, is minimalist Folk music at the genre’s absolute finest, showcasing the Jackson, NJ four-man string band’s masterful quad-part harmonics, led by the banjo-play of front-man Joe Makoviecki. Look for the group’s first full-length record, American Pain, to drop sometime in January.

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22. “The Merry Barracks” by Deerhoof

Deerhoof’s 11th studio release Deerhoof vs. Evil is the best record The Flaming Lips never wrote, acting a sort of 12-track prelude to that outfit’s “Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots Part 1,” complete with wartime imagery and an experimental soundscape that suggests a female township worker by day/Japanese warrior princess by night going to work on an army of androids, pink or otherwise, no song more alluring than the multi-tempoed tune “The Merry Barracks.”

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21. “Just Kids” by The Gay Blades

On the back of the Trash-Pop duo’s sophomore full-length release Savages (2010) the New York by way of New Jersey, and vice versa, based Rock N’ Roll squadron left its rage tune pen in the holster opting to concoct a subdued handbook for the adolescent resident of a broken home titled “Just Kids.”

Continue reading for the more of SIMGE’s favorites of 2011…

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20. “I’m Not Ready Yet” by New York Rivals

New York Rivals’ “I’m Not Ready Yet” is a melodious ode to life in the big city delivered in the dirtiest of Garage-Rock wrappings, setting the tone to one of SIMGE’s favorite full-lengths of 2011 as the lead off track to the outfit’s debut full-length release.

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19. “Look At Me Now” by Chris Brown (feat. Busta Rhymes and Lil Wayne)

Actually, only two-thirds of this track are to be honored here, as Chris Brown proves to Hip-Hop heads everywhere that he’s good at one thing and one thing only… beating up Rihana. Many a late night cruises to White Castle commenced and concluded this year by skipping ahead to the 1:08 mark on “Look At Me Now” in time to catch Busta Rhymes spit the finest series of verses, sans breath, of 2011, followed by a stream of consciousness flow tossed forth by the Skate-Punk gremlin of the Rap game himself, Lil Wayne.

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18. “Lightning Strikes A Raindrop” by Accidental Seabirds

Accidental Seabirds entire debut full-length, The Snow And The Full Moon, is an enigma, with lyrical poetry focused more on intriguing word play than proposing themes, forcing the listener to dig in and find their own meaning, no song fitting this description more than the alluring “Lightning Strikes A Raindrop.”

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17. “Wreckin Bar (Ra Ra Ra)”/”Norgaard” by The Vaccines

Don’t bore us, get to the chorus, words The Vaccines live by as the English Garage-Rock outfit’s two best songs, “Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)” and “Norgaard” play out to spine shattering 3:01 span. The deeper cuts are what turned The Vaccines debut, What Else Did You Expect From The Vaccines, into one of SIMGE’s favorites of 2011, but its this pair of short lived, sing-along, rage-tunes that made me fall in love with it.

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16. “Original Source” by Senium

“Original Source” fronts a barrage of Grunge-Rock anthems found upon Senium’s debut full-length, Such Progress, recorded under the watchful eye of the legendary Steve Albini at Electrical Audio in Chicago, drawing the listener closer with a repetitive axe riff, standard 4/4 stick wielding, and a irregularly restrained delivery by front-man Andrew McNicholas, before erupting in a chaotic refrain.

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15. “Spread Your Butter” by Only Living Boy

Although the Hackettstwon, NJ three-piece Bluesififed Hard-Rock group dropped “Spread Your Butter” as a rough demo the track quickly became SIMGE’s favorite sexual innuendo-laced song about food, or, food-laced song about raunchy sex, of the year. Either way, it’s Queens Of The Stone Age-esque delivery made this track a tasty selection to feat upon.

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14. “Ice Cream” (featuring Matias Aguayo) by Battles

“Dame un helado derritiéndose” croons the Chilean born Matias Aguayo on Battles’ manic Math-Rock ballad to everyone’s favorite summertime snack “Ice Cream.” When translated the Aguayo’s lyrics mean simply “Give me melting ice,” offering very little insight into the group’s true feelings the frozen delight, but then again, Battles music has never been about words, but the chaotically alluring arrangements, landing this number on the Fifa ’12 soundtrack and ingrained in my mind.

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13. “Weight Of The World” by Shayfer James

The opening salvo to Shayfer James’ sophomore full-length collection, Counterfeit Arcade, is one that will remain upon the tongues of the New Jersey underground’s most sinful music enthusiasts for years to come.

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12. “Damn These Vampires” by The Mountain Goats

John Darnielle has been at the forefront of all fourteen of The Mountain Goats full-length records. From the early lo-fi, self-recorded, basement collections to the outfit’s most recent work All Eternals Deck, and “Damn These Vampires” is the crown jewel in this compilation of acoustic guitar-led Indie-Rock.

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11. “All Die Young” by Smith Westerns

Chicago’s own group of shoegazing adolescents dropped one of the best of albums of the year in Dye It Blonde, a 10-song assembly of T.Rex influenced, Glammed out, Garage-Rock fronted by the SIMGE favorite “All Die Young.” A morbid selection indeed, but an enthralling haze encased number nonetheless.

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10. “I Wanna Meet Dave Grohl” by Wavves

How did Wavves front-man and primary song writer Nathan Willims entice fickle critics that called his band and its brand of barbarically lo-fi, THC-laced Surf-Punk songs stale after its third full-length release, King Of The Beach (2010), was named one of the best of last year by multiple publications? He fronted a new EP, in which the group collaborated with such Indie-Rock All Stars as Best Coast and Fucked Up, named Life Sux with an ode to Dave Grohl where the vocalist proclaimed to not only want to meet the Rock superstar, but one day be him.

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9. “After All” by Shy Talkers

Shy Talkers are from New Jersey, or Boston. The three-man Pop-Rock collective may or may not still be active. The group played at The Stone Pony earlier this year…never to be heard from again, apparently. However, the band’s latest EP, Long Time Coming, remains with this overtly simplistic, yet incredibly enticing, piece of ear candy “After All.”

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8. “Video Games” by Lana Del Ray

Lizzy Grant, better known by her stage name Lana Del Rey, is an internet famous hipsteress, Springsteen disciple, and self proclaimed “Gangsta Nancy Sinatra” who utilizes a ghostly set of vocals to paint blurry polaroid photos of suburban rich kid blues, most notably, her 2011 single “Video Games,” wouldn’t be out of place on Arcade Fire’s acclaimed The Suburbs (2010).

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7. “The Unforgiving Tide” by Old Nick

“The Unforgiving Tide” resides on five track collection of demo songs released by The Woodbridge-based Ambient Indie-Rock outfit Old Nick and was recently described in SIMGE’s Top 18 EPs Of 2011 list as “The Unforgiving Tide,” a five and a half minute cruise on a treacherous body of water called love. Front-man Jay Sakong, scarred by past lovers, and led by jangling guitar chords slowed to a crawl, waxes poetic about his ever eroding emotions of the heart…then the drums kick in and the the chorus explodes as our protagonist is left numb to a new caller.”

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6. “Equestrian” by U.S. Royalty

The Washington, DC-bred Americana-Rock collective put forth an impressive debut effort this year dubbed Mirrors that’s led by a soaring single titled “Equestrian,” a soaring soundscape of Mumford & Sons-type instrumentals fronted by a repetitive acoustic guitar-play, and accentuated by electrified fret work.

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5. “Boeing 737” by The Low Anthem

The Low Anthem emerged onto the summer festival circuit in support of the Providence, Rhode Island-based Folk-Rock collective’s fourth studio full-length release Smart Flesh, an 11-song assemblage primarily recorded in an abandoned pasta sauce factory…couldn’t make that up. The group’s “Boeing 737” is a piece of brass guided poetry that recants the tale of that fateful morning in New York City that took place almost 10 and a half years ago.

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4. “January” by Matt Huston

This chilling number, appropriately titled “January,” comes from the acoustic guitar and haunting vocals of Matt Huston, a solo artist that lives just across the bridge in Langhorne, NJ. This beautifully bleak number is the cream of the songwriter’s Sundial EP, a collection of lo-fi tunes penned and recorded in the artist’s bedroom, a compilation of songs named SIMGE’s favorite EP of the year.

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3. “Silver Linings” by Green Paper

Green Paper’s “Silver Linings,” from the psychedelia-laced Pop-Rockin’ fuzz bomb’s debut full-length, Fire, holds one of SIMGE’s favorite lines from any song released this past year in which vocalist Tomm Hart croons in a nasally serenade “Last night I swear I heard the moon cry because it could not find a star to steal light from,” among impressive tempo alterations, funkified bass play, two-part harmonies, and spherical fret-work that, when put together, make for an addictive piece of music.

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2. “Flashlight” by The Front Bottoms

On The Front Bottoms self-titled debut full length, the Indie-Punk duo succsefully captured what it’s like to be a young 20-something year-old in suburbia. From the assumed poverty, to the parents that are either overbearing or non existent, and the self-doubt, loathing, and deprecation associated with it all, no song more exemplary than the opening salvo “Flashlight.”

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1. “Annie In Stereo” by Rick Barry

Rick Barry, one of Asbury’s most talented songwriters, crafts meticulously detailed musical murals painted with a palette of seductive despair, none more graphic and hauntingly beautiful than the artist’s s 2011 single “Annie In Stereo,” the lore of a love lost, and a life captured on a 90-minute mixtape.

About rote7123

Chris graduated from The College Of New Jersey in May 2011 with a Bachelor Degree in Journalism and Professional Writing, as well as a degree in Communication Studies. He has held down a position in the Asbury Park Press’ Sports Department since September of 2010 and is a contributor to the outlet's Arts & Entertainment section, and has contributed to The Aquarian Weekly all while being the sole operator of Asbury Park's premier music news outlet Speak Into My Good Eye.
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One Response to SIMGE’s Top 25 Songs Of 2011 (25-1)

  1. Joe says:

    Green Paper is ridiculously amazing.

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