When this album was released is, I think, the only debate within the Reviler family. I’m in the “it was this decade” camp, and therefore it resides at the top of any list I will create. Garage rock perfection. Where the fuck did these guys go and how do we get them back?
Uranium Club – Human Exploration
The first, and best, album that this outstanding band cranked out. Tightly wound & sarcastic, it is the kind of recrord that make you want to rip the light fixtures out of the ceiling. If you get a chance to see one of their rare local shows, move heaven and earth to make it happen.
Toki Wright and Big Cats! – Pangaea
I will admit this one was on my half decade best-of list and looking back to refresh my memory made me return to it recently. It still holds up and was a good reminder to myself (and now you!) about how great of a record this was. Excited to know they are back making music again.
Brute Heart – Lonely Heart
A band that seemed to be able to explore sonic areas that shouldn’t be possible with their minimal (bass, viola and drums) tools. Every album they put out is worth your time, but Lonely Heart was the record that has stuck with me most. Wish they’d get back together!
Vampire Hands & Daughters of the Sun – Skull Judge split 12”
Kind of cheating on this one because, while I love this release, I picked it mostly to make sure to give love to two of my favorite bands while only taking one spot. This is a beautiful record of bruised psychedelicia, and a great entrance point for two of the most creative and exciting bands who unfortunately faded away earlier this decade. (Like Brute Heart, we’d love to have them back!)
Dua – Nūr
A newer album but it was such a breath of fresh air that I’m confident it will be as exciting of a debut in five years as it has been over the last couple of years. Can’t wait to see where they go next.
Food Pyramid – S/T trilogy
Three albums from the formerly-local kosmische group that still expand my brain when I drop the cassettes into the player. One foot in the heady past and one foot that was exploring the next wave of electronic music. Timeless stuff. (Also check out all their work and also Beat Detectives & 555 projects that came out of ashes of Food Pyramid)
Andrew Broder / Crescent Moon
Two of the most consistent artists on the scene came together in 2015 for what I think is still a criminally underrated EP. Broder continues to be all over the map as he explores literally every corner of electronic music (and indie rock with Fog and Cloak Ox…), while Crescent Moon continues to be a north star of the local rap scene. If he is rapping on a record, it is worth your time. This record shows the power of two immensely creative artists giving it their all.
Astralblak – Seeds
I was torn between this LP, their debut What’s the Price and their amazing Covers EP, but in general I wanted to salute the band who changed names mid-decade (formerly Zuluzuluu) but stayed one of the most engaging and exciting local bands. Also don’t sleep on all of their solo projects, from Greg Grease’s gritty storytelling to mmyykk and Proper T exploring the lush synth side of funk.
Real Numbers – Wordless Wonder
If we had a best songs of the decade list I would include “Frank Infatuation” at the top of that list, but since we don’t I’m going to drop this album here. Don’t get me wrong, the whole album is solid, but “Frank Infatuation” is one of those songs that gets me every single time I hear it.
Best live/improv projects: Marijuana Deathsqauds & American Cream
I wanted to give a special shout out to two groups that made solid albums (esp AC’s Nathan and MDS’s Crazy Master) but mostly lived in my brain from their constantly evolving live shows that I saw as many times as I could over the 2010s. Both bands are firmly in the “I’ve seen more times than I can count” category and yet every time I see them on a bill I do my best to make it out because I know it will be worth my time.