Nu Rave Brain Wave Top 10 Albums, Top 5 EPs, and Top 5 7″s of 2011:
Top 5 7″ of 2011:
05 Bitch Prefect – 7″ (RIP Society Records)
This is really breezy and effortless pop songs done in the best kind of way from Aussie upstarts Bitch Prefect.
04 The Growlers – Gay Thoughts 7″ (Everloving Records)
It wouldn’t be a NRBW list without a mention of the Growlers, but despite having the mp3s of this record for months before the Record Store Day exclusive release, I still waited for over an hour at Origami Vinyl to buy a copy. So, I guess it’s pretty good.
03 Brown Brogues – Don’t Touch My Hair 7″ (Suffering Jukebox)
Brown Brogues are undoubtably one of my favorite discoveries of this year and this is probably like the best anthem written this year that I’m aware of.
02 Catholic Spray/Assassins88//TV Colours – Split 7″ (XVIII Records)
I would’ve bought this record for Catholic Spray’s sinister, weird garage punk rippers, but the collaboration of hands down two of the best bands in the world the Australian super fuzzed out, stunningly catchy team of Assassins 88 and Dream Damage label mates TV Colours is absolutely astounding.
01 TV Colours / Assassins 88 – Split 7″ (Dream Damage Records)
That’s right, Dream Damage’s split between these two Aussie bands is the greatest piece of wax I bought this year. Both TV Colours jams have been replayed over and over to the billionth power, they’re both sonic fuzz bombs that are so ridiculously catchy and perfect for the gym (this is a compliment, btw). The exact same goes for Assassins 88 side. I just find it hard to fault a single thing either band does.
top 10 EPs of 2011:
05 Bummer High – Lost Highway (Green Burrito Records)
I fell immediately in love with Bummer High‘s Lost Highway, and it’s not all due to the fact that it was released on a label called Green Burrito. Their whimsical, twangin’, psych-country-garage is absolutely wonderful and if you like fellow Canadian brethren Demon’s Claws, Dead Ghosts, or Indian Wars, this is for you.
04 Toto & The Bad Eggs – Wallet Droppin’ (PNKSLM Recordings)
The closest thing to a garage-punk supergroup that the UK is going to see for probably quite some time, Toto & The Bad Eggs contains members of Sex Beet, Jerry Tropicano and Brown Brogues who each take my personal favorite parts of the music they make in their original bands and bring it to this EP. Obviously, it’s pretty special.
03 Ghost Outfit – Young Ghosts EP (Self Released)
Haven’t been able to stop listening to this Ghost Outfit EP since it’s been given to me, which I think was 2010, but fuck it, it’s so good it deserves a place on my 2011 list as well. Not only do they make weird and haunting noisy songs, but they also make expert pop songs.
02 The Bell Peppers – Cooking With The Bell Peppers (Self Released)
This fine Manchester duo put out the best self-released EP that showcases their slicked-back, cry-baby garage-blues-r’n'b in the most effortless and just straight up fucking cool way ever. I would buy at least three copies if this was released on any format.
01 The Growlers/Thee Ludds 12″ Split (Palmist Records)
Although the Growlers songs were technically not new in 2011, I think it’s a testament that they hold up so strongly to even a fan as well versed in their catalogue as I am — their beach goth, drip-drop-drip, swamp stomps have always sounded incredibly fresh and illuminating and the UK should feel lucky to have this released for them. Thee Ludds frenzied astral-psych-punk pulls strongly from the same 60s references as the Growlers but makes it new like a bucket of water to the face. In a good way.
Die Jungen – $
Carnivores – Chandelier EP
Ty Segall – Ty Rex
Cosmonauts – New Psychic Denim EP
Thee Oh Sees/Total Control Split EP
Top 10 LPs of 2011
I’m not angry when people talk about wealth, but maybe that’s because the best advice I ever received is surround yourself with wealth.
09 Royal Headache – S/T (XVIII Records)
This record literally came out of nowhere and really hit me hard. I hope I always have a soft spot for succinct, groovy power pop with soulful vocals. The buzzwords I had to use to describe Australia’s Royal Headache are grotesque, but this album is incredible.
08 Mind Spiders – The Mind Spiders (Dirtnap Records)
Denton, TX’s salvation, Mind Spiders, put this record out in the early portion of the year, but their brand of fast and loose garage rock filled with quick hits, the catchiest song you’ve ever heard (Don’t Let Her Go) and a ballad. This is a whip-smart garage punk record.
07 Cosmonauts – S/T (Permanent Records)
Cosmonauts are one of the most underrated bands to come out of the Burger scene, and this LP is filled with buzzing psychedelic, ramshackle punk punk, and rhythm ‘n 12 bar blues jams all jumbled together and vomited back up into the form of this excellent, excellent record.
06 The Castillians – Show Your Teeth (Cold Rice Records)
A long-awaited debut collection of 100% hits from the UK’s most underrated garage band, The Castillians, as strong as any I’ve heard this year.
05 Shannon & The Clams – Sleep Talk (1-2-3-4 Go! Records)
I have the biggest love for Shannon of Shannon & the Clams, and this album is a beautiful dose of weird, wild 50s doo-wop garage-pop that while awesome, always seems (for me at least) to take the back seat to Shannon’s incredible voice. But then again, I could listen to hear sing the Wikipedia for Grizzly Bear and it would actually make it worth listening to.
04 School Knights – All Dawgz Go 2 Heaven (Dracula Horse)
I have fallen in love with everything that School Knights have ever done, and I’m not ashamed of that. Although half of these songs had already been released on Rush SK EP, they sound as fresh as ever and the new jams (previously heard by my ears only live) prove that they’re one of the best bands that I’m aware of. Their balls-to-the-wall attitude live, their use of absolutely infectuous riffs, drum slammage and heavy use of reverb is flat out perfect on this album.
03 Mellowhype – BlackenedWhite (Fat Possum)
The best rap album that was released (or, um, reissued) was hands down MellowHype. I’ve always found Hodgy Beats to be the most fascinating member and best rapper in OF, his work with LeftBrain is engaging, thoughtful and most importantly catchy as balls.
02 Bass Drum of Death – GB City (Fat Possum)
This album is an undeniable ass-slaying ripper from start to finish. If it’s not tailor made to be played as loud as possible, with heads banging, I don’t know what it’s for. I do know that each jam could be a stand-alone single. It’s effortless, catchy, and punk as fuck.
01 The Babies – The Babies (Shrimper Records)
It’s hard to write a sentence about why this Babies record is my favorite, but it’s a collection of horrendously underrated treasure pop gems that jangle, fuzz and snap with fervent wildness and a little bit of Americana seen through a garage rock kaleidoscope. It’s not certainly not a faultless record but it’s gotten better with a year of listening behind me.
The Beets – Stay Home
Black Lips – Arabia Mountain
Pangea – Living Dummy
The Strange Boys – Live Music
Diarrhea Planet – Loose Jewels
TRMRS – Sea Change
Cumstain – Why Don’t You Kill Yourself Scumbag Your Mother Wont Miss U
Monster Rally – Coral
Dirty Beaches – Badlands
Hunx & His Punx – Too Young To Be In Love