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The best of the best (so far)

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One of the most fucked up things about growing up is how much faster time seems to wiz by the older you get. I remember as a kid, waiting for Christmas or my birthday seemed like a fucking eternity. But now, that stuff seems to creep up on me out of nowhere. So, believe it or not, we are already past the halfway point of 2010. It seems that just yesterday we were welcoming a new year and a new decade, when, in fact we are now 159 days into the 'new' year.

Sometimes, as the days and weeks and months speed by, one needs to stop and take an inventory of what important events have have happened in the blur of time, lest they be forgotten. Now, in June, it is time to step back and think of the best releases so far in the world of punk and hardcore for planet Earth two thousand and ten.

1. Against Me! - White Crosses (June 2010): Look, I know that complaining about Against Me! is fun, cool and seemingly easy, but to most haters' dismay, their latest album, White Crosses, is a huge album. The ten track record could quite possibly earn AM! their rightful place in the rock and roll pantheon. Sure, they could be lumped together with turds like Aerosmith or Van Halen or Journey (and also The Clash, Nirvana and Talking Heads), but White Crosses is just that big of a record. The songs are rocking, the melodies are soaring, the energy is bottom-less and the anthems all require fist pumping. Definitely the album of the (first half of the) year.

2. Grown Ups - More Songs (May 2010): Whenever I get bummed out about the state of punk music (and all music, for that matter), I just remember two bands: Good Luck and Grown Ups. The Michigan City quartet's first full-length is a fucking triumph. They combine the best elements of Sunny Day Real Estate, (Pinkerton-era) Weezer, The Get Up Kids and even old school Death Cab For Cutie to make a modern masterpiece. The album is raw, melodic, epic and inspired. If you have any pride in the Hoosier state, then you need to listen to More Songs...NOW!

3. LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening (May 18th): "Is this punk?", you may be asking yourself. Yes. The answer is 'yes'. LCD Soundsystem master-mind James Murphy is a true genius. Over the last half-decade, he has been flawlessly blending punk rock with funk, electronica and indie rock. This Is Happening, which was released three years after the phenomenal Sound of Silver, is a triumphant return to the throne for Murphy and company. If you're in the mood for a rowdy dance party, just put on some LCD Soundsystem.

James if I had the resources, I would fly a plane into his skull. Murphy
  • James "if I had the resources, I would fly a plane into his skull." Murphy

4. Good Luck - Demonstration 2010 (March 2010): I know I've already gushed about this EP in an earlier post, but this Bloomington trio seems to be unstoppable. Their debut LP, Into Lake Griffy was a catchy, noodly masterpiece. At a mere four songs, Demonstration doesn't have the impact of a full-length, but I'll be damned if those four songs aren't some of catchiest shit I've heard all year. Don't forget to download this gem of an EP and cross your fingers that the band's next album comes sooner, rather than later.

5. The Dopamines - Expect The Worse (June 2010): Okay, I'll admit it; I'm cheating. This post was supposed to be a retrospective on the first six months of the year and hear I am gushing about an album that hasn't even been released yet. But the Cincinnati pop-punk Trio's latest album is one for the history books. It's a nod to pop-punk's glorious past, but also a glimpse into the shape of pop-punk to come. Just listen to the opening track, "Public Domain" and try to tell me that it didn't make you want to do some sort of pogo dance through your living room.

Hororable Mention:
Vacation - Do The Shit Tape
Alkaline Trio - This Addiction
Prizzy Prizzy Please - Chroma Cannon
Bomb the Music Industry! - Adults!!!: Smart!!! shithammered!!! and Entertained by Nothing!!!!!!!
Gaslight Anthem - American Slang (even though it isn't out and I haven't heard it yet... just an inkling)

The Dopamines: Impending liver failure
  • The Dopamines: Impending liver failure

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