Ten in 2010 by John Clardy

Ten in 2010: I casually asked a few associates for their best albums of the year, “10 or so with words or without.” No rules really. These compiled lists provide genuine fodder for my website during the holiday lull. They will go up when I get them, till the end of the year; which started with mine. Enjoy. (click the tag at bottom of article to read all entries).

John Clardy
City: Sacramento, CA & Fort Worth, TX
Band: TERA MELOS (Sargent House)
Also: Sometimes the drummer for guitar phenom MARNIE STERN.

Adebisi ShankThis is the Second Album of a Band Called Abebisi Shank (sargent house)
My buddies from Ireland, Adebisi Shank create uplifting instrumentals without sounding like cheese. Nice mix of sounds from bone crunching bass distortion to glitchy guitars and vocoder with great roomy drums. Stoked for them to tour the states in ’11

Zach HillFace Tat (sargent house)
Zach and his many collaborators covers lots of ground without sounding disjointed, like a great mix tape. From tight hip hop style grooves to the D-beat and beyond.

Marnie SternS/T (kill rock stars)
Marnie really let it all hang out on this one, she turned a lot of emotional adversity into great music. Her sound has continued to expand and like Adebisi Shank she makes anthemic songs while avoiding pomp.

Sarah JaffeSuburban Nature (kirkland)
Sarah’s voice is incredible but her music doesn’t rely on that as the lone strength at all. Some of my favorite engineering/production on this one, great organic sounds.

LITEIlluminate (transduction)
A dark, atmospheric instrumental ep from my good friends from Tokyo. LITE integrate synths and electronics into their sound really well and have already found a very distinctive sound without repeating themselves.

Poison Control CenterSad Sour Future (afternoon)
My favorite pop record of ’10. All four members of the band contribute songs and they all have their own personalities while being cohesive.

The Dillinger Escape PlanOption Paralysis (party smashers/seasons of mist)
What to say about DEP that hasn’t already been said… this one’s a real face melting return to form.

AlohaHome Acres (polyvinyl)
It’s sad to think that this may be the swan song of one of my favorite bands of the last 10 years… a great album and hopefully not the last one from these guys.

Man FactoryStreet Fight Round II
Man Factory keep their Street Fighter rock opera rolling and continue expanding their sound with growing arrangements and increased use of programming infused with their power pop sound. The table is set for the third act.

Blonde Redhead Penny Sparkle (4ad)
This one was a grower for me… I was initially disappointed to hear almost all programmed drums (Simone Pace is one of my favorite drummers) but the album retains the nuance heavy rhythmic brilliance that made me fall in love with this band in the first place. This band really hit their stride in ’00 and haven’t stopped evolving.