Top 10 Albums of 2010

As the 2010 year comes to a close, we (by we, I mean me) here at Ryan’s Rock Show have compiled a list of essential releases that are must-haves for any music enthusiast. After days of shifting through past news posts, re-listening to countless records, and filtering out bullshit bands, I’ve narrowed down all the releases covered on this site throughout 2010 to the top 10 best albums of the year. A side note to readers, while writing this article I made it a point NOT to view other top albums lists, to assure objectiveness and eliminate outside influence. This list does not focus on a particular scene or genre, and was not consciously influenced by factors associated with social merit. All feedback is encouraged ( Happy New Year, people! And now back to my sauerkraut.


10. Intronaut
Valley of Smoke

(Century Media)

If Intronaut’s Valley of Smoke isn’t on your top 10 list, you may as well be lame like Poison, or Ke$ha for that matter. Cleverly crafted bass lines, dissonant guitar riffs, odd time signatures — oh yeah, Tool bassist Justin Chancellor even makes a guest musical appearance. Undoubtedly one of the most promising releases of the year.


09. Red Sparowes
The Fear Is Excruciating, But Therein Lies The Answer

(Sargent House)

I’ve said this once, and I’ll say it again: listening to Red Sparowes will give the hair on your arms a massive boner. The instrumental quintet need not vocals to get their point across, the 43 minute offering is cooler than watching Aldous Huxley seduce a nun convent on acid. Well maybe not that cool, but the album is quite the soundtrack. Highly recommended with a side of Grand Daddy Purp.

08. The Chariot
Long Live

(Good Fight)

The Envelope Pusher of the Year award goes to The Chariot for their album, Long Live. Harsh, sporadic, insert any synonym for “fuck yeah” — the album is a breath of fresh air for a music community polluted with mediocre deathcore and Hot Topic eyeliner. The track “David De La Hoz” — ouch dude, you’ll get more than a paper cut.


07. Orbs
Asleep Next To Science

(Equal Vision)

In an interview I did with Orbs in August, I said that this record would most likely hit my top albums list of the year. Members of Between The Buried and Me, Fear Before, and Cradle of Filth have created an oddly entertaining mix of atmosphere, piano, and heavy melodies. And since no one gave a shit in summer, let’s try again: there’s a really cool interview with Orbs that I think you should watch here.

06. The Sword
Warp Riders


Just when I thought my narcissism couldn’t get more out of control, The Sword’s Warp Riders inflates my arrogance like Oedipus’ mum dilates his pupils. There’s a song on the disc called “The Chronomancer I: Hubris”; when listening while driving it’ll make you feel like you’re George Jung doing lines of coke with Penelope Cruz. You know, like “disco shit, pure as the driven snow.” Mothers beware.


05. Levi/Werstler
Avalanche of Worms

(Magna Carta)

Daath’s self-titled record was a solid release this year, but Eyal Levi and Emil Werstler’s Levi/Werstler project rocks the effing Casbah times ten. An instrumental offering, Avalanche of Worms is the combination of spontaneity and genuinity. In fact, they actually started mixing the effort before tracking was even finished. The outing is a must-hear disc for those overwhelmed with anything that falls under the categories of boring, processed, or lame.

04. The Dillinger Escape Plan
Option Paralysis

(Party Smasher/Season of Mist)

Did you know the average American is exposed to over 3000 advertising messages per day? Half are shitty bands. Dillinger couldn’t have said it better naming their album Option Paralysis; there ARE too many damn options, man. Paper, plastic, environmentally friendly Kroger bag? Fuck if I know! But what I do know, Option Paralysis is an essential 2010 release for any iPod. Two reason why Dillinger is a heavyweight band: they kill live and they scorch posers.


03. Daughters

(Hydra Head)

If I had the Daughters album back in grade school, you best believe I would have shoved it in Monsignor’s face. Nasty, abrasive, raunchy are attractive qualities that comprise this record. Not to mention, vocalist Alexis Marshall clearly doesn’t give a fuck — a trait I wholeheartedly admire in musicians. People that dislike the band tend to bitch about the vocals, but fuck those turkeys, this disc shakes the scene, son! “The First Supper”, put THAT song in your tabernacle and smoke it.


02. Deftones
Diamond Eyes


I hate the saying of how wine gets better with age, but if Deftones was a brand of wine, even Napa Valley elites (and Maynard) would drool for another sip. Somehow Deftones continue to reinvent the reinvented wheel, and push the boundaries of heavy music. That Deftones shirt I bought in the 5th grade? Fuck yeah I still rock it.



01. My Own Private Alaska

(I Am Recordings)

Classical piano topped with hardcore vocals, like someone just put a giraffe to the electric chair? Oui, oui. Producer Ross Robinson’s latest gem, France’s My Own Private Alaska, didn’t get much press coverage with their debut effort Amen, but it tops the Ryan’s Rock Show list. Deadly screams and piano work that sounds like Yanni on an mushroom trip — this album is the most refreshing record of the year. And if you’ve ever wondered what sound a giraffe makes, pretty sure it’s “MOPA, MOPA.”