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07.20.12 2009-11: Top 100 Albums From 1300+ In T 04.13.12 Lobby 2011: Top 50
08.15.11 2011 Digs01.14.11 Octopus Throne
01.06.11 Lobby 2010: Top 5001.02.11 2010 Digs
11.23.10 2010 Digs10.19.10 2010 Digs
08.30.10 2010 Digs08.04.10 2010 Digs
04.24.10 2010 Digs02.06.10 Lobby's Top 25 Of 2009
02.06.10 09 Digs01.02.10 09 Digs
12.02.09 09 Digs11.02.09 09 Digs
09.27.09 09 Digs08.14.09 09 Digs
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Lobby 2010: Top 50

A great year for music. Noty as good as last year, but still very good. Hopefully this list isn't as bad as the staff one, jk...or maybe not..
51 Total Albums
50Electric Wizard
Black Masses
Cycle of the Werewolf
Grinderman 2
12 Gauge
45Tame Impala
Dying of the Light
43Freddie Gibbs
A (2)Dope (FreEP)
42Flying Lotus
41Tera Melos
Patagonian Rats
40Hypnos 69
39An Autumn for Crippled Children
Hymner Till Undergangen
New Slaves
Quietly, Undramatically
35The Secret
Solve et Coagula
The Years
At Echo Lake
A Sufi and a Killer
31Beach House
Teen Dream
30Yellow Swans
Going Places
29City of Satellites
Machine is My Animal
28Buddy Guy
Living Proof
27Defeated Sanity
Chapters of Repugnance
26Deathspell Omega
24The Tallest Man on Earth
The Wild Hunt
23Natural Snow Buildings
The Centauri Agent
22Pantha du Prince
Black Noise
Majesty and Decay
20Gnaw Their Tongues
L Arrivee De La Terne Mort Triomphante
19Laurie Anderson
18The Howling Void
Shadows Over the Cosmos
My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky
16The Roots
How I Got Over
15Various Artists
Whom the Moon a Nightsong Sings
14Crystal Castles
Crystal Castles II
13Les Discrets
Septembre Et Ses Dernières Pensées
12Hungry Lucy
Pulse of the Earth
10Samsara Blues Experiment
Long Distance Trip

I saw this documentary about marijuana and why it hasn't been legalised in America. One of the early points made on why it was made illegal was because after WW2 America discovered that the Axis powers, had been promoting weed use in the opposition, to make for a lethargic, weary enemy, so it must be banned to prevent the US becoming flat-footed if another war broke out. Something like that anyway. But there's been a wave of Psychedelic Rock bands that have come through and attempt to fuck that all up. The movement, coming from none other than Germany and Japan (!) include Bardo Pond, Acid Mothers Temple, Colour Haze, Can, Boredoms, Ash Ra Tempel, and Flower Travellin' Band. This debut from German Psych rockers, Samsara Blues Experiment continue to create irony in the post-war weed prohibition by producing some of the best psychedelic toking music this year has to offer. Coming off as a fresh look at guitar-driven Psych Rock, Long Distance Trip is an amazing journey into epic, atmospheric riffage alongside stoner drenched haze.
All Idols Fall Before the Hammer

This album sounds absolutely awful. Which interestingly enough, is precisely why it works. Adversarial have created such an unfriendly production and nasty riffs, opening with a track, Thralls, which we thought introduced the band's sound around the 1 minute mark, until 1:50 kicked in, and a shredding guitar picked up, and the infamous drum kit was belted into action. The sound on All Idols Fall Before the Hammer is not exactly the best production, but under the layer of battering snares and filthy guitars is a collection of evil, unique DM riffs. Adversarial have created what I believe to be the best Death Metal album of the year.

I see Eve as one big mountain. It takes a while to get over, it's more of the same as it goes, and the song lengths start out long, get shorter and then longer again. However, this is not a bad thing. Sounding like one long (really long) song can get tiresome after a while, but not for Ufomammut. Eve really is one giant step into Heavy Psych which doesn't let you down for 45 minutes. While Eve does salute their Doom Metal roots, the adventure is more like an immense, stoner, space trip, acknowledging their Sludge prowess while creating badass Psychedelic riffs. It really isn't something you should listen to when sober, not in a "oh-you-can-only-enjoy-it-when-baked" sense, but in that the atmosphere really presents an environment which must be listened to while smoking to really feel what this band has created.
7Dhafer Youssef
Abu Nawas Rhapsody

The difference between my music tastes of this year and the last could definitely be a leaning towards Drone, Darkwave and Jazz music. The latter aided by several great albums by Avant-garde Jazz extraordinaire John Zorn. Although it was Tunisian multi-instrumentalist Dhafer Youssef that caught my attention with his outstanding 2010 release. Abu Nawas Rhapsody is a strange collection of songs vast in both influences and achievements. Arguably a Jazz Fusion release, the album puts piano at the forefront on mos tracks, and trials various vocal experimentations from Youssef, including haunting hollers, and emotional digitalised wails, while not ignoring the dark voice that rises and falls on several of the album's brilliant track. Imagine a male version of Soap and Skin, with Jazz overtones and made more obscure and middle eastern. I mention the middle eastern influence for World Music (as the genre is normally called) is very much present as traditional Arabic sounds are played throughout. It's not an easy listen, and few will discover its brilliance but if you do, it is well worth it.
Halcyon Digest

So there's a bunch of kids who grew up wanting to make a rock band but heard maybe only a couple Indie Rock albums and then decided that was the direction they would take. That album would sound something like this. Tracks like "Don't Cry" with its awkwardly foreboding guitar and the childish hint in "Desire Lines" create a brilliant sound. The comparisons end when looking at the professionalism of the album. Halcyon Digest is anything but immature. It is a rock album, with songs that slowly sink in to reveal themselves only once you have given up trying to enjoy it. But once this album opens up to you, there's nothing 2010 could offer that rivals the Indie rockers output. Also, why have them playing live in Melbourne on the same night as I'm seeing menomena???!?? argh
Death Is Silent

Ah yes, this album. It's the kind of thing I wish wasn't here. It's like when you arrive in a new school/country and you need to find a friend and at first you think you've got your next new bud but after a while you get some other friends, and they're cooler, and you don't really want to hang out with your old buddy anymore. This album is that buddy. Cunninlynguists' celebrated producer, Kno, is no foreigner to the Southern Hip Hop sound. He's been rapper and producer on about half a dozen CL releases, and was heavily petitioned to create a solo album from fans of QN5 (the group's label).
Introduce "Death Is Silent". For a long time, my number one album of the year. It's easy to see why. First impressions are nothing short of spectacular. Hailed as the best produced album's of the new century, the bass-lines and loops are immense, creating grounds for an album that should have been one of the best recent additions of the genre. The catch to the success of the album is the lyrics. This time round, Kno brings a mixed bag of lines. At times, it's the smirkingly gritty punchlines Kno displayed on early CL releases, and at other times, the lyrics are terribly embarrassing. Featured artists are terrific, including fellow CL members, as well as QN5 owner, Tonedeff. Give it a few spins, love it, leave it.
4U.S. Christmas
Run Thick in the Night

More times than not, when a band claims to sound like Pink Floyd, they are wrong. Take it from me, U.S. Christmas do Pink Floyd pretty friggin well. If not, more Psychedelic and Space Rock influenced, burrowing deep into your deepest recesses of the brain, to the most fragile neurons, only to be hit by a wave of sensual psychotropic riffs to melt your head into one big mess. Perhaps its not that intense, but what must be understood is that Run Thick in the Night, is a pretty fucking heavy album. Borrowing influences from Doom/Sludge Metal like Kylesa and Electric Wizard and giving it plenty of space to expand not unlike post-rock leanings. This sound is something that is far from pretty, and oozes a slow psychedelic disposition. Vocals induce feelings of energetic detachment, best exemplified by Sludge Metal band, Solstafir. But at its deepest, this album is just a collection of slow, emotional, crushing tracks laced with gorgeous folk numbers. It will be an album hard to top, and one of the best in the genre.
3Joanna Newsom
Have One on Me

Remember Joanna performing on The Tonight Show with David Letterman? While it was such a great plug for the album, as she performed "Soft As Chalk", I couldn't help feeling she was out of her element. The gorgeous voice wavering between odd attachment to the songs and startling uncomfortableness, she reminded me of a rabbit caught in headlights. It was quirky, exciting and amorphous, which often makes for great listening. And the studio album is no let-down. 3 discs of Kate Bush reminiscent chamber folk, with a perfect mix of easy listening folk tunes ('81) and slow-revealing heart aching gems (Go Long). It's an album that doesn't respect the current cultural directions, but evokes memories of lost lovers, old friends and humble days. It's in no way bold nor tries to be. But the level of grace, beauty and character on this album is impressive, and something to be celebrated.
Au Ellai

I used to fear extreme genres of Metal would compete to see who could become the biggest, heaviest, evilest, extremist, etc, til every band sounded like a parody of each other. "Au Ellai" convinces me otherwise. In the realm of Funeral Doom, here is a band that takes a step back from trying to blast your face off with an intensely heavy riff, and concentrates on constructing experimental doom metal, with incredible atmosphere and slow progressive guitar melodies. Yes, melodies. Not the kind of melody you would hear on a Megadeth album, but the slow transcending power of guitar passages given up to twenty minutes to engulf your body and infest you with a depressive doom-inspired atmosphere. "Nia Saeli a Taitalae" is the best example of this. While the song is carried on a beautiful solo, this band has in no way become easy-listening music. But give it time, and attention, and "Au Ellai" reveals itself. And when it does, you will not be disappointed.
Axioma Ethica Odini

Fuck knows how this got here. 2010 was one of those year's where you get to the end and everything is up in the air. What's gonna be number 1? Who really cares, the fact is there's a handful of albums that could've got this spot. Most surprising however, is that Ivar Bj?rnson and co managed to salvage the position with an album under the guise of "progressive metal"; a genre riddled with uninspired melodies and guitar wankery. Luckily, Enslaved knows the game well. Combining their unique Progressive direction with Black Metal influences, this Norwegian band continue to expand while worshiping their BM roots with their latest release: Axioma Ethica Odini.
It's difficult to even argue that BM inspiration still exists. The album sounds very different to their work form the 90's and the tremolo picking is seldom included, yet Grutle Kjellson is there, rasping through gritted teeth, trying very hard to convince us otherwise. It makes sense to make this album sound like it does. It isn't generic, nor elite, it simply provides the next stepping stone for a band who will be around for a bit longer. Mainstream? Maybe, but who gives a shit when it sounds this good.
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