SIMGE’s 2011 Best Of Lists…Artists Pick Em: Damion Destefano of Tango Machina

The Monroe, NJ Garage-Punk three-piece Tango Machina is currently recording its long awaited and greatly anticipated debut EP for which a name has not been given, although it has been stated by the outfit’s bass plucker, Damion DeStefano, and concurred by the band’s front-man, Paul Caffrey, that the title will be Jamie Foxx themed…SIMGE’s best guess: Steamin’ Willie Beamen.  The group recently dropped a new demo of its former single “The Combination Is Explosive,” which can heard below alongside DeStafano’s picks for Top Albums and EPs of 2011.

Damion’s Top 5 Albums Of 2011:

5. Tactical by World Under Blood

This album has been in limbo since 2006, and for all of those years of anticipation and waiting, Tactical does not disappoint. I’m not a big death metal guy, but the melody-minded song structures, combined with the expectedly classic riffs, make this album’s long gestation well worth it.

4. Murder The Mountains by Red Fang

The rare sophomore release that perfectly compliments the debut. I haven’t been crazy about Mastodon’s new material since Crack The Skye, and Red Fang has thankfully filled that void, picked up the flag, and re-stitched it in their image. And holy shit are their music videos awesome.

3. Out Of Love by Mister Heavenly

I guess I was pretty big on the retro/50’s flavor this year, because this album hooked me hard. The guitar driven stomper “Bronx Sniper” (regardless of its obvious similarities to “Southern Man”) serves as a closed-fisted welcome to the world of “Doom Wop”, only for the rest of the album to sweet talk the listener’s bruised body right back into its embrace. Everything Nick Diamonds does is awesome, so that should be enough of an endorsement.

2. Honkey Kong by Boots Electric

This album is incredibly misleading, in the best possible way. Who would have expected the Fabulous Weapon’s first solo album to include, along with its boot shakin’ dance tracks and glimmers of high voltage rock n’ roll, a full-on masters course on 1950’s pop songwriting? Not me, but holy shit did he ever pull it off, on tracks like “Dreams Tonight” and “No Fun”.

1. This Is Our Science by Astronautalis

Easily my most eagerly anticipated album of the year, and it shattered all of my expectations. Everything about this album is executed brilliantly, from the production and composition to Andy’s exploration of more personal subject matter in the lyrics. I dare anyone to really listen to “Secrets On Our Lips” late night at high volume and not feel something.

Continue reading for Damion’s Top 5 EPs of 2011…

Damion’s Top 5 EPs Of 2011:

5. I’m leaving my fifth spot open, because as of the deadline for this list, The Gay Blades haven’t released their new EP yet, which is dropping with the vinyl release of their first album Ghosts. Having heard early versions of most the material, it might easily take my number one spot for EP’s. If it doesn’t release by the end of the year, the self-titled debut from Black Cowgirl goes here.

                                          4. Hidden Faces by Daniel Davies

A strong solo debut from Daniel Davies, I’m stoked to see how this band sounds live. The Robert Plant-esque vocals are consistently on point, and it’s very cool to hear Jess Margera playing material so different from his usual style. This project is supposed to do a fair bit of touring in 2012, so I suggest everyone get this EP now to prepare.

                       3. Dimes In Their Dimples by The Nighty Nite

The new project from one of my all-time favorite producers and musicians John Congleton, The Nighty Nite’s debut picks up right where The pAper chAse left off, and does so seamlessly. Congleton’s latest work is just as eerie as ever, retaining his trademark dissonant tones, hauntingly beautiful vocal melodies, and lyrics straight from the mind of a psychopath.

                                                2. Damn Son by Kid Is Qual

They may be our pals, but this EP would have made my list regardless. Damn Son is a perfect 6-track representation of the band and their unique sound, one that both amalgamates and defies genres all at once. BASS.

1. Polymers Are Forever by Future Of The Left

One of my favorite bands, this EP serves as an appetizer for their 3rd full length album (releasing in early 2012), and they’ve succeeded masterfully in leaving me wanting more. This is the debut of their new 4-piece incarnation, and the final track “destroywhitchurch.com” alone proves that they are as scathing, sarcastic, and aggressive as ever. Cop this shit immediately.

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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