Monday, December 27, 2010

Top 5 Records of 2010

Quite aside and removed from the annus horriblis that was 2010 for most ,   the rock world saw some moments of pure fried gold pass through it's silky essence  in this year of recession , snow and  dear god save us , the fucking X-Factor. So in the spirit of showing that 2010 was not all doom and gloom , here's five records  , in no particular order , that made  all at BAN a little less bastardly and kinder to small children for  , well ,a day.

(Disclaimer - These are a personal selection , and are definitely open for debate , just drop us a line on Thanks :)

1- Shrinebuilder-'Shrinebuilder'
Possibly one of the most anticipated stoner/doom releases of the year , the debut album from supergroup Shrinebuilder , which features Wino ( The Obsessed/ St.Vitus/about a billion more) , Scott Kelly ( Neurosis) , Dale Crover( Melvins) and Al Cisneros  ( Sleep/Om) , was even better than we could have expected , sounding less like a 'supergroup' style clash of egos and more like the work of four men genuinely in love with the music they play  . The album is only five songs long , and yet feels like an epic , with a deep warm groove mined to perfection ,that simultaneously acknowledges its creator's rich legacy while creating something new and unique .If not quite the sum of its(incredible) parts , it comes damn close .

2 - Speedking- 'Cause and Effect' 
A mere eight(!) years in the making  , the debut album from County Monaghan rockers Speedking was definitely a case of  time well spent , and the album was among the strongest to come out of  our fair isle this year . Pleasingly old school in its construction , but yet packing a vicious bite to it's iron clad riffage , 'Cause and Effect'  is a triumph of musicianship and more importantly , great songwriting . Let's just hope it's not eight years until the next one!

3- Hero In Error- 'The  High Point Of New Lows'
Ok so more of an EP per se , but still , there's no denying that 2010 was the year Hero In Error made a real claim to being one of the most exciting new bands in Ireland  , or dare I say it , anywhere ,with 'THPONL' , a gloriously  demented  blend of stunning technical chops , blistering metalcore riffage and good old fashioned metallic finesse and power . From the anthemic 'Port in the storm '  , to the majestic  'Trees That Mourn Their Leaves'  , each track is a  belter , and let's just say this : if you haven't had the chance to take in  a HIE live show yet , you are missing out on one of the most dementedly energetic and powerful outfits patrolling the metal/hardcore wastes around.

4- Kylesa- 'Spiral Shadow'
Let's be honest ,Kylesa's last album 'Static Tensions' was a classic , and  was always going to be almost impossible to follow up . So ,instead of trying to , the Savannah,Georgia noiseniks simply tore up their own rulebook and instead crafted one of  the year's most beguiling  records .Tempering their tar thick riffola with pop hooks('Don't Look Back') , psychedelic curveballs ( ' Crowded Road' ' Spiral Shadow') and the obligatory shout along riff led monster ( 'Tired Climb') , 'Spiral Shadow' showed a new side to Kylesa  , one that showed there was so much more to the quintet than just juggernaut riffing and having two drummers.

5-Cancer Bats- 'Bears .Mayors , Scraps and Bones' 
Proving hearteningly that sometimes hard work , writing kick ass tunes and being nice blokes to boot might actually get you somewhere someday, Cancer Bats' third full length effort was their biggest to date , and saw them play to sell-out crowds , and enjoy some long overdue airplay , due in no small part to THAT cover
. To put it mildly, 'Bears .Mayors , Scraps and Bones' is AWESOME ,the sound of four men simply plugging in and rocking out  , with two fingers to rock charts and endorsement deals, from the doomy  gutpunch of opener ' Sleep This Away' ,to the punk rock maelstrom of 'We are the Undead' to  the bluesy ,lurching  'Raised Right' and ,ok ok , 'that' cover , 'Bears Mayors . . . ' rocks ,plain and simple , and that's why it 's on this list.

Honourable Mentions-
High On Fire- 'Snakes for the Divine'
People of The Monolith- 'No Hand To Comfort You'
Torche- 'Songs For Singles' 
Adebisi Shank- ' This is the second album of a band called Adebisi Shank'
The Sword - 'Warp Riders'

- Stephen O ' Connor . Bornagainnihilist

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