SIMGE’s Best Of 2010 Lists: Artists Pick Em’ (Part 2)

I give you the second edition of Artists Pick Em’, this time featuring Eddie Soles of Almost There (the band that produced the #1 and #4 records on SIMGE’s list of top 12 EPs of the year), and Damion DeStefano of Tango Machina, one of the most powerful live bands in the area.  Enjoy.

Eddie Soles of Almost There Picks His Top Six

6) The Wild Trapeze by Brandon Boyd

“Speaking of lists of “Top…..ANYTHING”, Brandon Boyd is one of my favorite singers ever. He’s a great artist in any niche you can throw him into, and that’s something that I really appreciate. The music realm seems to be littered with people who want to be rockstars but have little concern for being artists. Boyd is a definite exception here. To have almost 20 years under your belt of great music with a band like Incubus, and to still have enough creative outlet to release a solo album that can still hold it’s own, is a very impressive feat.”

5) Omni by Minus The Bear

“I’d like to say first of all that “Omni” is not at all my favorite MTB album. I think that I share a common fondness amongst other MTB fans (including my musical counterparts) in saying that “Menos El Oso” is a top notch album and is above comparison to any of their others. That being said, MTB is still an incredible band and this album still earns the right to be acknowledged. These are my go to guys for their lyrical imagery, and their ridiculously odd and intricate musical arrangements. Omni is a bit more polished and stripped down than previous albums, but is a super catchy album and they certainly show an interest in keeping things fresh.”

4) Resistance by Muse

“The album came out last year, but there have been a few singles released in 2010 off of this album. It wasn’t until watching these guys perform on TV that I realized how great this band was. Playing in a 3-piece band, I have such an appreciation for others who carry on the torch. The amount of sound that these dudes produce is seriously impressive. So much so that I occasionally question the authenticity of it…..only because it’s that good. In my book, these guys can do no wrong.”

3. Brand New Eyes by Paramore

“I’ve been hooked on Hailey Williams’ voice ever since I heard “Misery Business” in ’08. “Riot!” was on of my favorite albums for a while, and what I love about “Brand New Eyes” is that they’ve really grown as a band in the year and a half since “Riot!” came out. It may be lacking some of those pop hooks that are all over their last LP but they really make up for it with great writing and a good effort in breaking away from their comfort zone. Some bands try to take a different direction on their albums after having success, but don’t really have direction at all. That being said, they’ve certainly proven themselves.”

2. Act III by Deer Hunter

“This album actually came out halfway through last year, but i only discovered it about 4 or 5 months ago. I’m a huge sucker for musical arrangements and harmonies, and TDH does it flawlessly. Their sound seems to draw from an entire century of musicial predecessors but somehow is totally original. It’s a really inspiring album.”

1) The Young Giant’s self titled release

“I think this is number one for me because I was literally just introduced to these guys last week and I can’t stop listening to them. They aren’t my usual form of musical expression either so it’s especially catching to me that I’m digging on these guys. They remind me of a lot of some hipster bands that I’ve heard over the past couple years that, while having some positive attributes, seem to fall drastically short of their potential. YTG may be the first band of this make that I’ve actually wanted to go back and listen to again after trying them out.”

Tango Machina’s Damion DeStefano Goes For 10

10) Spark by Alain Johannes

“It’s truly an awe-inspiring work, considering the circumstances behind its being recorded. This is real emotion, honest heartbreak and recovery in the form of music. You can stop recording songs about break ups now, everyone else.”

9) Mondo Cane by Mike Patton

“I waited two years for this album. Every track is wonderfully arranged, and I promise you don’t need to have an appreciation for 50’s Italian pop to dig how cool literally everything about this record is.”

8) Option Paralysis by Dillinger Escape Plan

“Not quite as good as Ire Works, but goddamn are there some good tracks. “Gold Teeth On A Bum”. Go do it.”

7) Brothers by The Black Keys

“I got mildly stoked when I heard Brothers was up for like, five Grammies, thinking maybe there was hope for the committee this year. Then I found out that nightmare of a Train song was up for its own Grammy, and that song was so awful that I forgot everything else I’d ever pondered in my life. Seriously though, Brothers is really rad, and “Everlasting Light” is still a really good track despite copping so much from ‘Make It Wit Chu.'”

6) Plastic Beach by Gorillaz


5) Born And Thrown On A Hook by Drink Up Buttercup

“This album deserves far more praise than it will likely receive this year. DUB’s first full-length is about the closest thing to an audio snapshot of this tremendous band’s live performance as one could hope for. Great from start to finish, Born And Thrown On A Hook contains all the hits. They have hits. To me they’re hits.”

4) Hurley by Weezer

Hurley had the unfortunate task of living up to Pinkerton, thanks to a number of critics unfairly comparing it to the latter (favorably) prior to the album’s release. This album is nothing like Pinkerton, so anyone going into it expecting that is doing themselves a disservice. An obvious (and tremendous) improvement over the abominable Raditude, the first half of this album is far better than anyone realizes. It would have ranked higher if not for the somewhat flat second half. And that bullshit Coldplay cover. Can we all agree that Coldplay sucks yet? Seriously, have they reached that Milli Vanilli/Limp Bizkit level, where the world collectively admits they were wrong?”


3) Mini Mansions self-titled release

“If Elliott Smith joined The Beatles and they collectively decided to only record music for carnivals, Mini Mansions would show up and tell them to go fuck themselves. Having seen them open for Them Crooked Vultures last fall, I thought I knew what I was getting into when I first put this record on, but I was in no way prepared for just how good it would be.”

2) My Beautiful Dark Fantasy by Kanye West

“I had a really rough time putting this at number 2, but to be fair, every critic in the world has already called this album of the year, so no big deal. Kanye’s definitive masterpiece, with some of the best production and sense of melody in ANY genre. And I don’t care if it’s a single, “Runaway” is one of the best songs to be recorded in the last decade. That’s reality.”

1) Savages by The Gay Blades

“This is hands down the best rock n’ roll record to come out this year. I was really conflicted between this and Kanye’s album for the number one spot, but in terms of longevity, I’m sure I’ll still be listening to in 10 years. So Savages is the choice. Somehow The Blades managed to construct the perfect sophomore LP, which in and of itself is an amazing feat, but one that’s even more impressive when you realize they had to follow up the phenomenal Ghosts. Virtually every song is a genre unto itself, and I can’t imagine any other band in the year 2010 putting together something so diverse, eclectic, and unique. Seriously though, enough of my textual hand-job. I’ll leave it with a “well done guys.””


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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