Best of 2010 - Mikexdude's picks (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Best of 2010

Mikexdude's picks (2010)

staff picks

mikexdude is a staff reviewer for - ed.


In 2010, I slept on the couch of the illustrious Scott Brown, I endured the sudden death of a friend, and strangely enough, I didn't listen to much new music as I would have liked. On this list, I hope you find something good on here that you haven't heard of before; if not, then that means you're awesome.



Elvis Costello: National Ransom

Hear Music

When the King isn't penning Grade-A rock 'n' roll, it's usually because he's too busy crafting elaborate and appreciative celebrations for his infinite list of influences. If I've learned anything from Mr. MacManus, it's the importance of homage.


Nobunny: First Blood


First Blood is a barrage–one immediately infectious garage pop jam after immediately infectious garage pop gem. Shit will never leave your head, but why would you want it to?



Square of Opposition

1994! is a presumably sloppy post-hardcore two-piece from PA. Their sophomore hardly-a-full-length, FCKYRHEAD, has an intriguing depth to it that brings the guitars up front, while the sing-alongs linger in your head like a distant, childhood memory.


Alkaline Trio: This Addiction

Heart & Skull / Epitaph

While Agony & Irony seemed to me like an exhausting battle between two different creative directions, This Addiction thrives on cooperation. Call me a Trio apologist, but "Off the Map" and "Eating Me Alive" are easily some of the best material the band has ever written.


Everyone Everywhere: Everyone Everywhere

Tiny Engines

I'm glad more bands listen to the Promise Ring: You can still noodle on your guitar, be obscure, pretentious, moody and conceptual–etc. etc.–while still writing an actual song. But whatever, I have bigger fish to fry.


Make Do and Mend: End Measured Mile

Paper + Plastick / Panic

End Measured Mile is the exact moment when your high school girlfriend finally decided to put out after all those years of waiting. That's for you, Anthony Dye.


Dead Mechanical: Addict Rhythms

Traffic Street / Toxic Pop

Sure, Baltimore has a lot of sweet hardcore bands, but what about Dead Mechanical? Without shoving the hooks down your throat, Dead Mechanical produces the most underrated punk rock record of the year. It's effortless.


The Wonder Years: The Upsides

No Sleep

The Upsides is a collection of uplifting and nostalgia-inducing tunes. It reminds me of all those "gateway" bands that were around when I was getting into punk, except with...talent. In a nutshell, it's just got ridiculous amounts of playability.


Stephen Egerton: The Seven Degrees of Stephen Egerton

Paper + Plastick

Egerton executes brilliant, jagged and quirky patterns and progressions over a mind-boggling cast. Yeah, a lot of the vocalists may not live up to their pedigree; however, my personal guitar hero delivers 110%.


Hostage Calm: Hostage Calm

Run for Cover

Hostage Calm's self-titled isn't necessarily relevant, nor is it irrelevant. And it most certainly isn't the sound *you* wanted to hear from them: This is a true don't-give-a-fuck record. It will ignite you like Change Is a Sound, yet it spins as smoothly as My Aim Is True.



Frodus: Soundlab 1


Leave it to the old men to show us how it's done.


Vaccine: Human Hatred


EP, full-length, whatever–this record is a rager.


GIVE: Boots of Faith


Maryland's own seems to know Washington, D.C. like the back of their hand. This band has the potential to "give" End of a Year a real run for their money.


Sacred Love: Dividing Lines


A perfect mix of nineties and eighties hardcore: catchy, fast, and progressive.


The Riot Before: Rebellion; Off with Their Heads: In Desolation; Praise: Growing.Changing.Healing. EP; End of a Year: You Are Beneath Me; Nails: Unsilent Death; We Were Skeletons: We Were Skeletons; Castevet: The Echo & The Light; Black Breath: Heavy Breathing; OFF!: First Four EPs


  • Capital
  • Pulling Teeth
  • Polar Bear Club