December 22, 2010

Top 10 Portland Albums from 2010

It was a great year to be a music fan in Portland. Between the local shows and buzzing national bands touring through town, every night there were multiple concerts I wanted to see. Even more impressive was the abundance of fantastic local albums. This list could have easily been a top 20 and that still would have left off a couple bands I like. However, these 10 stood out as the albums I loved the best and played the most often.

1. Hillstomp - Darker The Night (QC Review)

A two-man wrecking crew that pounds and sweats out the blues with hypnotic guitar riffs, 5-gallon buckets and a country-mile of duct tape.

2. Portugal. The Man - American Ghetto (QC Review)

A funky haze drifts over the album, riding moody psychedelic grooves into hook-laden choruses.

3. Pure Country Gold - Tough Tuesday (QC Review)

A howling and thumping blues punk duo that drag tired blues structures out to the garage to feed them amphetamines and drown them in cheap beer.

4. The Thermals - Personal Life

Consistently making the best pop punk album you’ll hear each year.

5. I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch In The House - Sounds Of Dying (QC Review)

The moan and squall of a harmonica plays foil to charging guitar riffs. Combined with shredded vocals and a pounding drum, it all whips up into a wild batch of rock n' roll.

6. Horse Feathers - Thistled Spring

Gorgeous and delicate melodies, vocals just above a whisper. Perfectly accompanies Portland's seemingly endless cold, gray winter days, and apparently ballet.

7. Boy Eats Drum Machine - Hoop + Wire (QC Review)

Their bouncing hooks and electronic island beats make me smile every time.

8. Blitzen Trapper - Destroyer Of The Void

Mellower than I initially hoped, but the lush harmonies and lyrics about wild and murderous characters won me over.

9. McDougall - Our New Histories (QC Review)

A folk-singing hurricane of a one-man band, pounding out the bottom end on a kick drum and high hat as he powerfully strums his guitar.

10. Guidance Counselor - Guidance Counselor (QC Review)

Sure-to-wake-your-neighbors, dance-beat fiasco tracks with wall-shakin' drums and spastic vocals.


awmercy said...

There were so many good albums I had to leave off this list. My next 5 would probably be: High Violets' Cinema, Menomena's Mines, Mimicking Birds self-titled debut, Nick Jaina's A Bird In The Opera House, and Sassparilla's Ramshackle.