Todd Tricknee's Year End Shit

      Well, it turned out to be the year of the 7" - who da thunk? And shit, I didn't even hear a buncha shit (like the kickass Fee Fi Fo Fums, which I just heard today via an mpg some nice person sent over) everybody else is drooling over, so my loaded Top 30 of 2004 could probably become a Top 50 by 2008. Albums are another story - fulla riches in 2003, a strain to find 10-15 this year. A quick glance at my album list basically confirms what the drooling pissbags say about Terminal-Boredom being a "garage" site, but thems the ones I listened to the most, so I ain't gonna fib.
      Like every other year, the rules are that no releases by bands Trick Knee is associated with can be included, but you all know I like 'em if I spend money on 'em. I'm also staying away from reissues, because there were too many for me to comment intelligently on, and all live shows I saw were dwarfed by the mighty Chicago Blackout. And listen, dorks - I made my best guess as to what was "officially" released in 2004, so I don't want any guff. Here goes...

Top 2 (no order):
These two albums are the only truly GREAT ones I heard this year - no reservations at all. ITR takes the cake again.
* The Hunches "Hobo Sunrise" (In the Red) - It seems as though the only band that could top "Yes. No. Shut It." this year is the one that produced it in the first place. A couple more releases like this and we're talking LEGENDARY.
* Reigning Sound "Too Much Guitar" (In the Red) - Greg is simply THE elite songwriter of our generation (well, MY generation...get yer own legend, shortpants), and this is as good a set as he's produced in years. What more could you ask for?
The Next 10:
1. Black Time "Blackout" (Concrete Life) - I don't really hear Crime like everybody else, but it is a roughshod blender-mix of everything from VU to Pussy Galore, so there are probably some Crimestuffs in there, too. A definite grower that's slowly climbed the list as the year's gone by.
2. Black Lips "We Did Not Know The Forest Spirit Made The Flowers Grow" (Bomp) - I think I like every new Black Lips release more than the previous one, meaning a straight-through classic ought to be coming our way any year now.
3. Sores "Play 6 Songs of Despair and Frustration" 12" (Borox) - Tuneless, droning scuzz which is so hypnotic that I can't take it off my turntable, even though I can't really pinpoint exactly why I like it so much.
4. The Lids "S/T" (Rip Off) - The Lids play simple, charming, and catchy early/mid period Rip Off rock, and while I know it's now vogueish to make fun of Greg and his label, I have to admit that this sound, done right, is one of my favorites. The Lids do it right.
5. Lost Sounds - Future Touch 12" ep (In the Red) - I like this ep better than the "S/T" album, but they're close to interchangeable if you wanna bitch about me putting a short(ened) player on the list.
6. The Gris Gris "S/T" (Birdman) - This album is nowhere near as good as they come off live, but Greg'spsych-noise-drone still works marvelously on the best tunes.
7. Ponys "Laced With Romance" (In the Red) - I liked this a lot when I got it, but haven't gone back to it too often. I'm not sure why, as I always dig the Ponys when they're spinning around on the record thinger. The best 6-7 songs are straight-up great, but it's sorta spotty overall.
8. Mr. Airplane Man "C'mon DJ" (Sympathy for the Record Industry) - I like this way more than I ever expected. Only docked because most of my favorite tunes are the covers, but the originals aren't slouches or anything.
9. Coachwhips "Bangers vs. Fuckers" (Narnack) - Another record that I like a lot while it's spinning, but rarely reach for. How did Lastname describe them? The Oblivians fist-fucking Le Shok while Eric poops in his hand and beams about how clever he is? That sounds about right.
10. Clorox Girls "S/T" (Smart Guy Records) - Some amazing songs (like "Virgin Suicide" and "Vietnam") try real darn hard to make up for (OK) filler. Up the consistancy a bit, and this one flies up the charts.

10 REALLY FUCKING GREAT singles (seriously):
1. Tokyo Electron "Make Me Bleed" 7" (Solid Sex Lovie Doll) - It was EXTREMELY hard to pick against the next seven releases, but Ryan Wong brought back the Reatards/Persuaders golden age with a vengeance on this puppy, and it was a needed trouser-kick.
2. Headache City 7" "Knee Jerk Reaction" (Shit Sandwich) - No one's really nailed a description of these fools, which has to count for something. Catchy as hell, and I like it as much today as the first time I spun it.
3&4. Real Losers - Don't Leave Me Now (Bancroft) / Real Losers "Go Nutzoid!" (Wrench) - These fog-breathers will stay on my good side as long as they can single-handedly revive (dead ol' dog) Rip Off punk trash with this much elan. Plus....The Hand!!!
5&6&7. Fatals (P-Trash/Yakisakana/Nasty Product) - More greatness, three whole records worth! France is happenin' right now, for some strange reason. All three of these records explode with the best/worst production I've heard in ages.
8. Blank Its "Johnny's Tongue" (Band Its Records) - Urinals-style minimalistic punk. If the B-Side were as great as "Johnny's Tongue," this possibly would have taken the cake.
9. MC Monkey and Ape With Attitude ""Human Zoo Pts. 1 + 2" (Kryptonite) - Token no-fi primitive retard record of the year. Stupid as fuck, entertaining as hell.
10. Tunnel of Love "Time (Don't You Pass Me By)" (Tapes Records) - I don't own it (and I can't find it), but a couple spins at the Lastname mansion convinced me that this blown-out/fucked up noisepunk record is a true winner.

1. A-Frames "Complications" (S-S Records) - Another A-Frames winner. My pick's the B-Side. Nobody does the "robotic" thing like 'em.
2. Feelers "Fuhrers New Miniskirt" (Death By Noise) - Crappy production knocks this out of the top 10, but I hear this issue will be resolved by the time the eagerly-awaited album hits the shelves.
3. Clorox Girls "S/T" (Jonny Cat Records) - I like the sloppier/crappier sounding recording/mix on this better than the one on the LP, and a couple songs on here really do nail that "Born Innocent" vibe like nobody else.
4. Miss Alex White/Chris Playboy (Missle X Records) - The B-Side is great, non-generic (sorta) garage that displays real dynamics and depth. The A-Side is also very good.
5. Kill-A-Watts "New Things"(Goodbye Boozy) - Sad that this is likely a swan song, but Ryan's already assembled another unit, so don't fret, Bubba. "New Things" sounds a lot like the Kids.
6. The Deadly Snakes "I Can't Sleep at Night" 2x7" - Probably the best trad-garage unit going, and the songwriting continues elevation. They've made up for that disappointing sophomore LP and then some.
7. Holy Shit! "What the Fuck?" (Dingus) - I've heard more good hardcore this year than any I can remember, and this is the pick of my litter.
8. MOTO "Spiral Slouch" (Shit Sandwich) - I like when Paul whistles and shit. Four tunes that are impossible to get out of your head, which is a good thing no matter what "Filthy" Rich tries to tell ya'.
9. The Suspicions "We're All Wrong" (Nerve Wracking Records) - I couldn't tell you the first thing about this band, but since they sorta recall The Trend and write some catchy-ass tunes roughed up by dirty production and perfectly-sloppy musicianship, I guess I couldn't care less who they are.
10. Brainbombs "The Grinder" (Ken Rock) - Welcome back! Pounding and hateful riff-drone done up the way it should be.

10 GOOD singles:
1. Reigning Sound "If You Can't Bring Christmas Home" (Norton) - Even Greg's novelty stuff packs more weight than most respected labels' entire back catalogue.
2. The Sores "Wormwood" (Kryptonite) - Not quite as good as the LP, but probably a nice way to wiggle yer way in if'n you be scared.
3. The Nazis From Mars "American Express Dream" (Subway Star Records) - The vocal numbers are cool and all, but "Space Surf" is the true monster, sounding like Spacemen 3's "Suicide" throwing down with some surf. Hmmm...
4&5. Tyrades "I am Homicide" (Shit Sandwich)/ Tyrades "Incarcerated" (Die Slaughterhaus) - I seem to be alone in that I like the album a bit better than these singles, but they're still excellent examples of jagged & nasty art-core.
6. Mr. California and the Green Buddies "Violent Corpse" (Trash Heap Records) - Second place in the no-fi primitive retard record of the year sweepstakes. Think "stupid" and then jump on your head a few times.
7. Sagger "Black Market Body Parts" (Cass) - This one seems to have snuck by a lot of people (including myself, until very recently), but it's more lowdown art-sludge from Skullrider and crew, and it's as good as anything they've released.
8. Radio Beats "Blow You Up" (Big Neck) - There's nothing even remotely original about this record. I can't justify it intellectually, but I'm always impressed by their high-energy-level take on the Devil Dogs + Rip Off sound.
9. The Grabbies "Live Raw Punk Shits" (Proud to be Idiot Records) - Simply hilarious early-sounding hardcore punk. I liked one of the studio ones better, but I couldn't figure out what year it came out, so this will have to do.
10. Krunchies "Interrobang" (Criminal IQ) - Another hardcore band gets stuck with the "garage" tag just because they keep the "wrong" company. Amanda's voice is one of the most abrasive instruments I've ever heard. I'll bet the next release crushes this one, but if you hate it, you hate punk rock. And I wouldn't blame you, but hey - I never grew up.

     So what does that prove? Nothing, as usual. I would, however, recommend scouring the local singles bins, because no one's pressing big runs anymore. Hopefully some of the great bands which debuted this year (Fatals, Blank Its, Headache City) can translate it over to the long playing format. As usual, you can check out a lot of 'em up close and personal-like at the Blackout. See you there!