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100-76 | 75-51 | 50-31 | 30-11 | 10-1

75. Say Anything – In Defense of the Genre

[Myspace] // [Review]

Max Bemis released his craziest and most ambitious project only after he became decidedly less crazy. In Defense of the Genre turned a lot of preconceptions about Say Anything on their heads (the loner persona, the winding canyons of his earlier songs), but mostly the album proved that Bemis had plenty of ideas beyond how much he hated everyone and everything. While the songs were shorter and less complex, they were also devoid of bullshit, and the fact that In Defense of the Genre has less filler in twice the material than …Is a Real Boy speaks louder praise for the record than anything else. Some of Bemis’ best songs are contained within, including the triumphant, lick-heavy “Shiksa (Girlfriend)” and the longing “Plea.” – Channing Freeman

74. Isis – Panopticon

[Myspace] // [Review]

Panopticon’s opener “So Did We” contains seven lines of lyrics, and they are all sung only once throughout the track. The rest of the song is made up of some of the most hypnotizing metal put to tape, and while Isis could only seem to get it perfectly right for one album, Panopticon stands as a pinnacle of post-metal. The rest of the songs are all similar in their approach yet wholly different…

two bottles of lubiderm and a box of condoms… this displeases Marshall

Last year, Eminem saying something like “Ain’t nothin’ but a whole lot of suckin goin on in rap” would be the equivalent to Oliver Perez saying something like “gee, the Mets’ starting rotation really sucks this season.” But this year, we get “Despicable,” a fucking jaw dropping two minutes where Em tears into fucking anything he wants to regardless of if it makes sense or not. On “Not Afraid,” Em promised he’d never suck again. On “Despicable,” he proves it. Eminem spits with the crazed desperation we remember from the albums where he’d fucking choke the shit out of his wife or drive off a bridge with his pregnant girlfriend in the trunk. Only now, we’re the victims. The indiscriminate “You” he threatens and mocks over two different stolen-but-sinister beats is probably everyone who wrote him off after Encore. And if this is any indication of the quality of Recovery, we’re all fucked. Believe him when he says “Bitch I’m as bat shit as Ozzy it’s obvious you can tell I go right off the bat. No pun intended but come any closer I’ll bite off your head.” Believe him when he compares himself to Donkey Kong. Marshall’s back, bitches.

(Note: in terms of comebacks from disgraced egotistical rappers, I think it might be safe to say that Eminem reigns supreme in this honkey shit.)


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100-76 | 75-51 | 50-31 | 30-11 | 10-1

100. The Blood Brothers – Burn, Piano Island, Burn

[Myspace] // [Review]

The Blood Brothers were one of the essential post-hardcore acts that this decade has seen. Their third full-length album, …Burn, Piano Island, Burn reciprocates such praise, as its off-kilter style combines vocalists Jordan Blilie and Johnny Whitney nasally wails with unrelenting and challenging songwriting created a mixture that was unorthodox, yet accepted. With a lack of any real musical constraint, The Blood Brothers vicariously lived through different climaxes and sounds unaccustomed to many. From the bass-synth gem in “Cecilia and the Silhouette Saloon” to the overflowing emotion in “The Shame,” …Burn, Piano Island, Burn wears its heart on its sleeve, and wears it damn well. – Ryan Flatley

99. Unwound – Leaves Turn Inside You

[Myspace] // [Review]

Unwound always had a textural ear. Throughout the beginning of their career the group always managed to make excellent tone choices that put their records into a more sophisticated level of rock. Where many groups use noise and dissonance as transitional parts of their music Unwound seemed to thrive melodically in their more abrasive sections. Leaves Turn Inside You is the opus of that exploration. From the first few moments of “We Invent You” Unwound’s sound is in a different place than they have ever…

Sputnikmusic LogoHello Sputnik regulars and internet dwellers,

Sputnikmusic will be posting our Top 100 Albums of the Decade feature in the coming week and we wanted to offer up a contest opportunity in celebration of this epic feature. The challenge of the contest is to guess our Top 10 albums of the decade. To enter please navigate to our submission form. Entries are due this coming Thursday.

We are publishing this feature in three pieces in descending order. The publishing schedule for this feature is as such:

Monday: 100-76
Tuesday: 75-51
Wednesday: 50-31
Thursday: 30-11
Friday: 10-1

Good luck!



Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of June 8, 2010. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

The Acorn – No Ghost (Bella Union) {EU}
Against Me! – White Crosses (Sire/Wea) – John Hanson
Christina Aguilera – Bionic (RCA)
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffitti – Before Today (4AD Records)
Olafur Arnalds – …and They Have Escaped the Weight of Darkness (Erased Tapes)
Andy Bell [Erasure] – Non-Stop (Mute U.S.)
Blizten Trapper – Destroyer of the Voids (Sub Pop)
Ceremony – Rohnert Park (Bridge Nine Records) – Adam Thomas
Chosen Few – New World Symphony (Hieroglyphics Imperium)
Darkness – Death Squad (BATTLE CRY)
Deer Tick – The Dirt Sessions (Partisan Records)
Delorean – Subiza (Fool House)
Delta Spirit – History From Below (Rounder/Umgd)
Edge of Dawn – Anything That Gets You Through The Night (Metropolis Records)
Eisbrecher – Eiszeit (Metropolis Records)
Enemies – We’ve Been Talking (Richter Collective)
Eyes Set to Kill – Broken Frames (Suburban Noize)
The Flashbulb – Arboreal (Alphabasic)
The Ghost Inside – Returners (Mediaskare)
Grace Potter & The Nocturnals – Grace Potter & The Nocturnals (Hollywood Records)
Hanson – Shout It Out (3CG)
The Haunted – Roadkill/On The Road With The Haunted (Century Media)
Heaven Shall Burn – Invictus (Iconoclast III) (101 DISTRIBUTION)
Here We Go Magic – Pigeons (Secretly Canadian)
Hot Hot Heat – Future Beeds (Dangerbird)
Richard Ingram – Consolamentum (White Box)
Jewel – Sweet And Wild (VALORY)
Kaiser Cartel – Secret Transit (Daniel Records)
Keep of Kalessin – Reptilian (Nuclear Blast America)
Kingdom of…

One of my great regrets from this year’s Coachella was not being able to catch Swedish-American electro trio Miike Snow Sunday evening, but I wasn’t going to miss Spoon on the main stage and Phoenix’s ridiculously energetic set. God bless Los Angeles, then, for hosting four (!) separate dates by the pop uber-producers, whose only non-sold out show was the one I made it to a half-hour away in Pomona last night. I was worried that this would be the band’s weakest set coming at the tail end of more prominent shows in Hollywood, but they put on a four-hour set that might crack my Top 3 concerts of all time once my ears finally stop ringing.

Although there were still tickets available at the door, the Fox Theatre, a mid-sized theatre with a sizable balcony, was still packed almost to the brim by the time openers Canon Blue headed off and Miike Snow arrived to the tribal beat of “Cult Logic.” Along with singer Andrew Wyatt and DJs Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg, the band had enlisted another keyboardist, bassist, and drummer to put on their entirely live show. The band’s superb eponymous debut, released last summer, was a largely electronic one, but the group played everything live through what looked like some very expensive sets of synthesizer and DJ equipment. They also came out inexplicably decked in Jason-esque masks that weren’t removed until the charged wall-of-sound guitar solo that ended “Black & Blue” about halfway…

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Most people think of English as a grim shower of dullards who wouldn’t know fun if it invaded their country and brutalised its beleagured people for 800 years. And they’d be right.

Ocasionally, the English do come up with something completely amazing and it’s all we can do not to stand up and applaud.

One was hospitalised and three more have been taken in for questioning following a water fight in London’s Hyde Park that involved over 1,500 people and lasted for eight hours. The water fight was organised via Facebook and comes in the midst of a seasonal heatwave that has given rise to a unprecedented phenomenon among British youth known as a “natural tan.”

Police were so concerned by the gathering that a riot squad was summoned, while busy neighbouring thoroughfare Oxford Street was shut down completely. The assembled warriors responded in characteristic fashion by spraying police with water guns, raining them with water bombs and drunkenly trying to punch them. Thankfully, some Irish patsy caught the entire clash on video – enjoy.

In a tenuous attempt to link this awesome event to music, here’s a video of Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band performing London Calling in Hyde Park last summer:

no one man should have all that power^^

Guess who’s back with a brand new rap? Since literally becoming the “abomination of Obama’s Nation” with the whole BEST VIDEO OF ALL TIME thing, Kanye West seems to have temporarily retired from the meme-making business with “Power,” an addictive, King Crimson sampling banger with his most ridiculous lyrics yet. Choice lyrics include:

“Fuck SNL and the whole cast. Tell em Yeezy said you can kiss my whole ass. More specifically, you can kiss my asshole. I’m an asshole? You niggas got JOKES!”


“I don’t need yo pussy, bitch. I’m on my own dick.”

Kanye’s back rapping about what he raps about best: himself. And “Power” is a track that makes us realize just how much we missed Kanye West’s opinion on Kanye West during his absence.


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Over/Under: one month until a caps-lock heavy blogpost/shitfit?

I’m not as familiar as I probably should be with Japanese Instrumental Hip-Hop. Nomak and the now deceased Nujabes always seemed like the two brightest stars to emerge from the Japanese archipelago, both combining smooth beats over an even smoother mix of jazz and traditional Japanese instrumentation and melodies. With his 4th album, Dynamic Meditation Instrumental Limited, Nomak still sticks with this sound, molding his country’s past with Hip-Hop’s future. On an album full of relaxed, chilled out cuts, “The Universe” just happens to be a little bit more cool, a little bit more relaxing than the rest. It is pure Nomak.

Nomak – “The Universe”

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Sputnik regulars may be aware that, for the past few months, producers of hit Fox musical drama Glee have been holding open auditions for the planned second and third series of the show, which will go into production later this year.

Much like American Idol, which in later series saw more and more professional singers audition alongside the plebs, the public audition format has done little to deter established actors from throwing their hat in the ring.

Mitch Hewer is a reasonably well-known actor in the UK, having starred in two series of the cult show Skins and the one-and-only season of nauseating High School Musical knock-off Britannia High. Here’s Mitch’s audition tape, in which he performs Bill Withers’ ‘Lean On Me.’

Aside from the general awkwardness of performing a great song to a mediocre click track ina warehouse, Mitch is obviously, to paraphrase Randy Jackson, a bit pitchy, dawg. In a more general sense, he’s just an unremarkable singer who compensates for his obvious flaws with boyish good looks and bulging biceps. Which means he’ll probably wind up replacing Finn.

Hammock’s latest release, Chasing After Shadows… Living with the Ghosts, is a return to form from the ambient/post-rock duo. Their 2008 release, while certainly good, stripped away all of the flair and power that makes Hammock such a special group in the ambient world. As if signaling a return to form with the ellipse in the middle of the title, recalling the group’s classic album, Raising Your Voice… Trying to Stop an Echo, Hammock brings back that power with a new sense of organic growth that makes their latest quite possibly their best.

“Breathturn” is the group’s single from the album, and is accompanied with a beautiful video that you should probably watch in full-screen. The song combines the purely ambient experiments of their previous album with the beautiful, reverb-laden climaxes of their previous work.

Hammock – Breathturn from David Altobelli on Vimeo.

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Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of June 1, 2010. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Anathema – We’re Here Because We’re Here (Kscope) – Trey Spencer
Clay Aiken – Tried & True (Decca)
Born Ruffians – Say It (Warp Records)
Cherryholmes – Cherryholmes IV Common Threads (Skaggs Family)
Taio Cruz – Rokstarr (Mercury)
Dixie Chicks – Playlist: The Very Best of Dixie Chicks [Remastered] (Sony Legacy)
Four Year Strong – Enemy Of The World (I Surrender) {UK}
The Futureheads – The Chaos (Dovecote) Rudy Klapper
Future Islands – In Evening Air (Thrill Jockey) – Kiran Soderqvist
Good Old War – Good Old War (Sargent House) – Tyler Fisher
Hawthorne Heights – Skeletons (Wind-Up)
India – Unica (Top Stop Music)
Jeff Lorber Fusion – Now is the Time (Telarc)
Jack Johnson – To The Sea (Brushfire)
Lamb of God – Hourglass: The CD Anthology (Epic)
Melvins – The Bride Screamed Murder (Ipecac Recordings)
Tift Merritt – See You On The Moon (Fantasy)
Quitzow – Juice Water (+1 Records)
Setting Sun – Fantasurreal (+1 Records)
Steve Howe Trio – Travelling [Live] (HoweSound)
Uffie – Sex, Dreams and Denim Jeans (Ed Banger Records) {EU}
Paul Weller – Wake Up The Nation (Yep Roc Records)


Album Streams (please inform us of any broken links/removed streams):

Good Old War – Good Old War

Hawthorne Heights – Skeletons


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Brisbane has a lot of great bands and Nikko are one of my current favourites. Their sound has been steadily developing over the past five years, culminating in their debut album The Warm Side, released this year. Nikko’s textured sound sits somewhere between The Drones and Explosions in the Sky. “Young Liberal” is entirely instrumental and one of the best songs from one of the best Australian albums of the year so far.

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Season 9 of American Idol has finally been run and won, with Lee DeWyze emerging victorious over Crystal Bowersox. It is arguably the 2nd upset in as many seasons come the final night and one now has to seriously wonder about the voting guidelines… If one had not wondered previously.

Isn’t it Ironic, don’t you think?

Before the final decision however, there was a surprisingly entertaining 90 minutes or so with a number of left-field guest appearances. Alice Cooper, The Bee Gees and Hall & Oates were hardly predictable guests, while Christina Aguilera and Janet Jackson also added to the festivities. Furthermore, there were a couple of performers who took to the stage with the final 3 contestants and the performances were surprisingly good. Well, maybe we can exclude Lee’s song with Chicago, but Crystal & Alanis Morissette, both finalists with Joe Cocker, and Casey James with Poison’s Bret Michaels all made for an entertaining overall package.

Casey with Bret “I’m everywhere right now” Michaels.

Back to the contest, Lee firmly placed himself in serious contention on Top 3 night when he performed best when singing Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘Simple Man’ and fan favorite ‘Hallelujah’. This was pleasing since it finalized the elimination of Casey in 3rd position and also put the 2 finalists under serious pressure come the final night. At the end of my Top 3 column, I wrote the following words: “…but if I had my way; this…

Before watching the following clip of Rick K. and the Allnighters performing ZZ Top’s ‘Sharp Dressed Man,’ it’s important to bear in mind two things:

1. The singer (Rick K., I presume) is inarguably the least endearing and least charismatic frontman in wedding band history. If this group secured a gig on-board a cruise ship – and, make no mistake, that is their tragic fantasy – he would be thrown overboard within first sight of shark-infested waters.

2. While sparkly jackets and headsets might suggest both a sense of humour and an intention to move around, nothing could be further from the truth. Rick and the Allnighters transform one of the all-time classic boogie rock songs into a dirge so dull even the Melvins wouldn’t touch it. Even when they try to be fun, they’re not. In other words, if these guys are all-nighters, then you might want to consider going to bed before 11.

So why watch it then?

Struggle through the introduction and the first few bars of music, and you’ll see why. This may just be the smoking gun argument for gay marriage that nobody can ever deny. Gay marriage = more marriage, and more marriage = more of this guy.


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