Last year in my year end round up of my favorite singles I wrote how the 7 inch single seemed to be coming back into favor. This year it went over the top. There seemed to be labels popping out of the woodwork who’s main mission was to gather up the best songs and put them out on vinyl. To reflect the bumper crop of singles I’ve expanded the year end singles count down to 40. Like Casey Kasem use to do, we’re gonna count them down. I don’t think we’ll be doing any long distance dedications, but keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars. Here are numbers 31 through 40.
Seattle’s Intelligence turned me on to these guys by covering their first single Pony People on their new album Fake Surfers. Wounded Lion put out two singles this year in preparation for their full length on ITR next year and this was my favorite of the two. It was the b-side Wyld Parrot that clinched it. Belting out lines like “I’m asparagus special” over a gritty bass line reminds me of Ian McCulloch going all nutty back in the day with his vegetable hallucinations. C-C-Cucumber, C-C-Cabbage, C-C-Cauliflower!
Is there such a thing as Caribbean punk rock? Puerto Rico’s Davila 666 say hell ya. This kind of sounds like some weird combination of the Partridge Family, the Sonics and Dara Puspita, but sung in Spanish. They released an album last year on ITR, and put out another single this year on Douchemaster, but it was this one from HoZac that made me sit up and take note of these guys,
mp3: Sabes Que Quiero
If the Ramones were from New Jersey and sang about Pizza, Personal and Pizza’s tread the line between parody and great power pop. Brass Knuckles is the latter. They’ve probably figured out that there are only so many songs you can write about pizza, and they’ve moved on to tougher subjects like Brass Knuckles. This single comes with two versions of that song, because once just isn’t enough.
Some purists will probably poo-poo this single as being too poppy and beneath their holier than thou dissonant listening habits. I see it more of a carrot and the stick. The Sic Alps are saying, yeah we can sound like Spoon and rock your socks off, now follow us down this rabbit hole. Sweetening the pot and the rabbit hole is a cover of Donovan’s Superlungs My Supergirl on the B-side.
mp3: L Mansion
Kind of sounding like the Crystal Stilts, though a bit more poppy. The Spectrals are a one man band from the UK with a pension for Phil Spector and girl groups. Obviously not pushing the envelope, but Leave Me Be is two and a half minutes of washed out pop bliss.
Sarah records reincarnated on the west coast of the US of A. Maria are certainly carrying that torch, and the jangle of these three songs on this single will leave you with a smile on your face. The A-side is melodrama set to twee, while the two b-sides are impeccable indiepop toe tappers that don’t come around very often any more.
Not quite Sam Cook, but for indie rockers these guys are damn soulful. This was one of three singles this duo from Denton, Texas would put out this year. They say that this band is just a stop gap between bands, but man I hope they decide to make it a full time gig.
A song about a tube of cream found on the front seat of a car that causes death. It’s a strange story song that is masked by the fact that it’s so catchy. Sonny Smith has been making solo records, writing stories and making short films for the better part of a decade but he just came to my attention this year. Trainspotters may be interested to know he’s enlisted the help of Kelley Stoltz and Shayde Sartin and Tim Cohen from the Fresh & Onlys on this record.
The west coast answer to Real Estate. I can’t help but think if Olympia had as many bloggers as New York these guys would be much bigger. No matter, the west coast has better surf than the east coast and Desolation Wilderness prove it.
Take yourself back to 1989 and think Angelo Badalmenti, David Lynch, Julie Cruise, Twin Peaks and a bunch of reverb and bit more grit and you’ve got the Trailer Trash Traceys. Candy Girl is as the kids say these days, a blissed out jam.
mp3: Candy Girl