Top Tens for 2021: The Barman of The I-94 Bar
The Barman’s Best Albums of 2021, in reverse order of release.
1. Back For More – The On and Ons (Citadel)
Perfect rocking powerpop from Australia’s most consistent exponents of the art. If you haven’t heard them yet, shame. Start here and track backwards.
2. Snake Pit Therapy – Sonny Vincent (Svart)
New York punk’s (almost) last man standing bounces back with his best-sounding and arguable most well-rounded album ever. Sonny has been hidden in plain sight for the many for far too long.
3. You’re Class, I’m Trash – The Monsters (Voodoo Rhythm)
Beat-Man and his buddies have made trash an art form like few others before them. This record should make a junkie of you.
4. Comfort To Me – Amyl and the Sniffers (ATO Records)
The Kids Are Alright.
5. Do The Understanding - Ron S. Peno and The Superstitions (self released)
Wow. The best of four albums to dates by Ron's "other" band and it is stunning. Peno has never sung better, the songs are tremendous and what e4lse do you need to hear before you buy it? It's here.
6. Space Travels – Sonic Garage (self released)
A touching and raw album that establishes that this band from Sydney’s Northern Beaches deserves to be known further afield. Picks up where the Circus Chaplains left off.
7. Pop – Simon Chainsaw (Bad Apple)
Ex-Vanilla Chainsaw Simon continues to turn out the sort of records that would have been all over the Australian underground charts in the ‘80s and early ‘90s. Rocking with a pop heart.
8. Strange Flash – Studio & Live ’78-81' – Lipstick Killers (Grown Up Wrong!)
Criminally ignored outside their inner Sydney haunts at the dawn of the ‘80s, this comprehensive collection of studio, demo and live tracks puts their greatness on show. Give the same treatment to Doctor Stone, Mr Compiler Dave Laing!
9. “…there’s pretty things in Palookaville…” - Pat Todd & The Rankoutsiders (Hound Gawd!)
Ex-Lazy Cowgirls singer Pat Todd is a living legend and his current band deserves the same status. An album full of wide-scope, cinematic takes on life delivered by an articulate, rocking band.
10. One More Drink – The Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs (Dead Beat Records)
Punk-Pop Rock Overdose. Age has not wearied them, nor have their members’ many commitments II'm looking at frontman Frank Meyer) condemned. A sound from Los Angeles-via-Detroit.
11. Caveman Logic – The Limit (Svart)
If heavy makes you happy, try here. Members of Testors, the Stooges and Pentagram.
12. Born in the Suburbs – Suburban Urchins (Aeroplane Records)
Surprise package from Melbourne via the garages of Tasmania. Unapologetically good garage rock. Excellent songs, played well.
13. Detroit Stories – Alice Cooper (Ear Music)
The man needs no introduction and this takes him back to his roots. It’s only docked a point for reprising so many tracks already released into the wild via the “Breadcrumbs” EP.
14. Destiny Street Complete – Richard Hell and the Voidoids (Omnivore)
The definitive package of Richard Hell’s second and severely underrated Voidoids album. it comes in more variants than COVID (original, a re-make, re-mastered and demos) with exhaustive liners. The last word.
Honorable mentions (not listed because they’re not albums):
H-Bomb b/w Supersonic Hero - Jupiter 5 (I-94 Bar Records)
EP2 Electric Boogaloo – The Owen Guns (Riot Records)
Free Dirt CD single – Looch Lewis (Nebraska)
Loathing, Self And Others EP – Moot (self released)
Tags: top ten, barman, richard hell, on and ons, simon chainsaw, pat todd, lipstick killers, amyl and the sniffers, streetwalkin' cheetahs, sonny vincent, jupiter 5, suburban urchins, the monsters
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