Jeff Greenback's Best of 2005

The amount of new music (new to me, at least) I heard this year was truly overwhelming. With the multitude of resources available online for researching/hearing/buying records, you can go from reading a band’s name for the first time, to knowing their full history, to hearing a good chunk of their recorded output in a matter of an hour, with just a few clicks of a mouse. When it comes to new releases, ironically, the Internet has made certain records harder to get. If you blink your eyes now on a new record and miss a few key message board posts, you’re apt to miss out. A lot has changed since the days of mailing off a money order to Underground Medicine after receiving the mailed out updates. Where am I going with all of this? Nowhere really, it’s just interesting to see how quickly things have changed. For what it’s worth (not much), here are my picks for the best records of the past year…

Top Singles of 2005:
Honourable Mentions:
Black Lips “Hippys” (Varmint)
Digital Leather “Simulator” (Plastic Idol)
Final Solutions “My Love is Disappointing” (Shattered)
Haircuts “Haircuts Are No Fun” (Sack’o’Shit)
Hue Blanc’s Joyless Ones “Notoriety” (Trick Knee)
Monitors “Electric Knife” (Fungus Boy)

10. Popular Shapes “B-Ball Music” (White Denim/Hate the 80s)
Eerie, schitzo, art punk from a band that wasn’t around as long as they should have been. The multi coloured vinyl is the nicest looking of any record I own.
9. Black Time “Beat of the Traps” (Yakisakana)
I liked all of their releases from this year, but this ultra basic, two-song scuzz fest is my favourite.
8. Catholic Boys “Hurt to Hate” (Bancroft)
The “Actin’ Stupid” single was great, but the presence of “Temper Tantrum” on this one puts it over the top. The city of Vancouver fell in love with these guys this year, in more ways than one.
7. Sneaky Pinks “s/t” (Rubber Vomit)
If you ever want to argue that ultra simple, catchy three chord songs with trashy production will never go out of style, here’s some evidence. File alongside early Donnas, Lids, etc.
6. Tokyo Electron “Will Put a Charge in You” (Shattered)
More along the lines of last year’s SSLD single than this year’s album. Either way, another winner.
5. The Busy Signals “Love and Dust” (Douche Master)
Fast, catchy, well written songs with spot on production. Would be better without that faggy looking guy in the red shirt on the cover. 4. Knaughty Knights “Death Has Come Over Me” (Goner)
The Jack song isn’t bad, really. It just sounds that way compared to Rich’s three monster hits. I’ve yet to meet someone who doesn’t get completely giddy after hearing “Wenches of Turpentine St” for the first time.
3. Angry Angles “Crowds” (P.Trash)
The best of the many Jay Reatard releases this year. The Devo cover is ridiculously great.
2. Time Flys “The Wet Ones” (Birdman)
Pressed in 2004, but released in 2005, I think this is even better than the album. “The Wet Ones” has this brilliant weirdness to it that I can’t put my finger on and “Christine” is just a beautiful song.
1. A Frames “Police 1000” (S-S)
Two songs. Noisy, loud, tight, and sing-a-long friendly, packaged in a nice, simple sleeve. Basically, everything I ask for in a single.

Top Albums of 2005:
Honourable Mentions:
The A-Lines “You Can Touch” (Sympathy)
BBQ “Tie Your Noose” (Bomp!)
The Feelers “Learn to Hate the Feelers” (Dead Beat)
Lamps “s/t” (In the Red)
The Real Losers “Music For Funsters” (Alien Snatch/Trickknee)

10. Tunnel of Love “s/t” (ECA)
Not as much an “album” as a sonic shit-kicking. Just brutal. Plus, the best cover art of the year, by far.
9. Jeffrey Novak One Man Band “Southern Trash” (P.Trash)
Each Jeff Novak record has been better than the last. Vicious Reatards worship has never sounded so good.
8. The Rebel “Prawns” (Junior Aspirin)
The Rebel isn’t for everyone, but his knack for writing catchy, acerbic songs filtered through layers of effects and recording trickery goes unmatched by anyone else today.
7. Tokyo Electron “s/t” (Shattered)
Ryan Wong solo as Tokyo Electron and the full band Tokyo Electron present here are two totally different beasts. This isn’t as raw as the singles, and could be considered more “mature” but that doesn’t make it any less of a great record. Fantastic live band, too.
6. The Time Flys “Fly” (Birdman)
A modern day Afrika Korps? Perhaps, and based upon the new stuff I’ve heard, there’s more where this came from. Also, don’t believe the NYC haters – these guys are as fun live as the record would lead you to believe.
5. The King Khan and BBQ Show “s/t” (Goner)
There’s not much to say about this one that hasn’t already been said. Perhaps the year’s best party record.
4. Human Eye “s/t” (In the Red)
This is one of those records that’s either loved or hated. With the exception of the little bit of free jazz wanking, I love it.
3. Intelligence “Icky Baby” (In the Red)
I really liked the Popular Shapes. I really liked the earlier Intelligence records. Put those two together, and it’s no surprise that I really like this.
2. A Frames “Black Forest” (Sub Pop)
Not as good as the first album, but better than the second one. The A Frames have yet to put out anything remotely close to a bad record and I have a feeling that these guys aren’t anywhere near being done.
1. Black Lips “Let it Bloom” (In the Red)
From shambling, out of control screechers to melancholic, jangly pop songs the Black Lips are the reigning kings of making 60s garage sound fresh again. Anyone who saw them live this year knows that they are on top of their game like never before and anyone who didn’t can pick up their West Coast tour DVD to see for themselves. As a side note, I noticed that a lot of people’s moms liked this record. Mine did too.

Top Three Re-Issues of 2005:
3. Icky Boyfriends “A Love Obscence” 2xCD (Menlo Park)
Just retarded.
2. Karate Party “Black Helicopter” LP (S-S)
Not retarded at all. These guys were years ahead of their time.
1. Epicycle “Teenage Suicide” LP (Rave Up)
Retarded and poppy.

Jeff Greenback
Grandview RPO
P.O. Box 78025
Vancouver, BC
V5N 5W1