10. Masked Intruder - Masked Intruder (Red Scare/Fat Wreck Chords)
I'm a sucker for a good pop-punk record and I haven't fallen this head over heels in love with a band in the genre since the Unlovables or Teenage Bottlerocket. So, Masked Intruder has a gimmick of being four dudes in balaclavas (wonder how they feel about Pussy Riot publicizing and copping that look or maybe their next album will see them stalking the two members who remain in prison?) who dedicated an album to stalking, breaking in and...well, everything just short of raping the ladies they are psychotically in love with. Doesn't sound so cheery and poppy does it? Well, what works in the bands favor with their creeptastic schtick is that a. it is the logical conclusion of the "oh woe is me, can't the girl see I love her so intensely so she'll come running back into my savior like arms of trust and warmth because I couldn't possibly have ever been such a schizoid asshole to drive her away because she came to realize that she's dating a self-deprecating version of Marky Mark from the movie Fear" high school misunderstanding of love bullshit propagated by dudes in their mid-20's for most of the early 90's pop-punk scene (at least the songs dedicated to girls...I'm looking at you Chixdiggit!) and b. this album is like putting an amalgam of the Queers and the aforementioned Canadian Ramones-enthusiasts in the form of an earworm into your earhole. Imagine if Nerf Herder had written all their albums in the key of "Sorry" but waaaaaaaay poppier and you've got the right idea. This is a seriously infectious album that is almost impossible to get out of your head. I'm looking forward to what they come up with next but, y'know, at some point they're going to mine the whole gimmick into the ground and have to figure something else out. Unless, they wanna snag my aforementioned idea for an album about stalking and being in love with the ladies of Pussy Riot. I'd be into that.
I wanted to include a song that was more indicative of the album than my favorite from the record, which is this one.
9. Future of the Left - The Plot Against Common Sense (Extra Mile Recordings)
Yup, the band that supplied my favorite album of 2009, the amazing Travels with Myself and Another, is back on the list again with their follow up to that modern classic. I realize the band might very well never top that record but that certainly doesn't mean they've run out of gas. The Plot Against Common Sense contains all the acerbic wit, middle finger raising and righteous shit-talking you would expect from a band featuring Andy "Falco" Falkous of the legendary Mclusky. It isn't nearly as musically abrasive as the last album but is way more vitriolic lyrically and I think that combination work brilliantly for the bed. The most ear-splitting aggressive song on the album ("Robocop 4 - Fuck Off Robocop") cannot compare to the pure disgust and hatred poured into the lyrics of something like "Sorry Dad, I was Late for the Riots." Oh, and let's not forget that Falco totally FUCKING NUKED the assholes at Pitchfork over their shitty review of the album which includes this Pulitzer-worthy line, "As for the cover, well, there's a penguin on it you stupid cunt."
8. Dan Sartain - Too Tough to Live (One Little Indian)
Dan Sartain usually works in in rockabilly (albeit in the same weird, sketchy schism also populated by the Reverend Beat Man and for some reason has described himself as the "poor man's Chris Isaak) but for his latest, and by far my favorite of his, record he has gone into full-blown Ramones overdose mode and it's glorious. Still lo-fi and still ripping off the album names of classic punk records when he feels the need, the scrawniest, strongest jawed motherfucker to probably ever come out of Alabama totally blew me away the first time I put this record on. He is the man who wrote one of my favorite songs of the previous decade, after all but I didn't expect anything this straight-forward, floor stomping and so woefully short. Sometimes, the "Keep It Simple Stupid" axiom for rock 'n' roll is best followed and this album is a perfect fucking example of it.
7. Cudzoo and the Faggettes - Daddy Issues (DrugFrontRecords)
Total late in the year listen/dark horse that hasn't left my stereo since I first heard the title track on Bubblefum Fuzz. Just gonna re-post what I put up on the first edition of The Friday Five:
Let's move onto the complete opposite side of the spectrum. Cudzoo and Faggettes have released two albums of gleefully offensive, utterly tactless and absolutely fanfuckingtastic barrages of punked up, glammed out, girl group styled comedic sleaze. That's a compliment. Think Shannon and the Clams with better production values and a meaner sense of humor. These ladies better be featured in the next Jon Water's movie or else that man has really lost his taste for trash culture. I get a lot of personal feelings that come up when I listen to this album (well, mainly the track "You Taste Like Intervention" which could've been the soundtrack to my entire 20's and especially the most fucked up, abusive, self-destructive and soul crushing relationship I've ever been in that almost closed those years out and if a song can make me laugh about that horror it's got to be great) but mainly what sticks with me most is the type of self-deprecating feminist humor that would make the readership of Jezebel lose their collective hive-minds. "Daddy Issues" aside, there is a fucking song on here called "Roofies" which treats that malady as a positive! Here's how the song ends, with a nice soliloquy, post roofie rape: "I love you soooo much, I'm gonna get your dried up umbilical chord nub, stick it in my vagina, incubate it for nine loooong months, birth it, raise it for 18 years, then fuck the SHIT out of you again!" Heartwarming.
6. Ty Segall - Twins (Drag City)
Dude released three KICK-ASS albums this year and doesn't show any signs of letting up. Before I begin my rhapsody over his motherfucking stellar 2012 output watch this guy SLAY on his first late night TV performance.
First there was the collaboration with White Fence (aka Tim Presley) called Hair, that was like a cohesive Thee Oh Sees record but made more commercially appreciable and appealing. It's a great collaboration that I got to witness live when I caught Ty and Tim at Walter's a few months ago. Then came Slaughterhouse, released under the new name the Ty Segall Band that was just a monster of noise and distortion. It's fantastic. I got to fully dive into the album when I was taken from my old job in inventory and required to schlep heavy ass carts of pissed sheets and other various forms of dirty linen to and fro which gave me plenty of time to hit the repeat button on my iPhone. And if something can really smack me in the face more than the foul stench of a dying cancer patients rancid feces left to fester by a shift of nurses who don't think it's their burden to deal with, then that's something impressive. But his real triumph this year, and the last record he released, was called Twins and easily features the absolute best song Segall has written in his prolific career (placed below). It might be the main reason I rank it over Slaughterhouse. This came in second to my eventual pick for "Song of the Year." (Court picked it as her Numero Uno, if that says anything about my wife). Ty Segall and his cult of fans are growing larger by the day. That's a good thing. Awesome music shouldn't be reserved for the Cool Kids Club but instead shared by everyone and if Ty Segall and his success is any indication then hopefully mainstream media and music writers will be forced to throw more praise on this unique and incredibly gifted garage punk master and his peers.
Part two will be up hopefully by the weekend, folks. Now back to making sure my wife gets over the cold she caught in New Orleans. Top five is next along with 7", live show, local record and more!