[SKOA Presents] The 25 Best Albums of 2010: 10-6

10. Maps & Atlases - Perch Patchwork [Buy CD | Vinyl]

Intricate fretwork paired with Dave Davison’s unique and intriguing voice Maps & Atlases full length debut showed a growth from their previous EP releases. Tracks like “Living Decorations” had you at the first drum beat, and by the second play of the album you’d be singing along to the chorus of ‘Pigeon” and “The Charm”. The opening track on the album starts with a harmony sang by Dave, Shiraz Dada, Chris Hainey and Erin Elders and sets the pace for the album and as the album progresses the lyricism is a wonder to behold and has elements we can all relate to on some level or another. This album manages to put together intricate guitar lines and Daves voice perfectly in a way that will have you constantly dipping your toes back in for another listen. The album ends with the band doing an a capella which fades into nothingness. A beautiful ending to a stunning debut with the last lyrics being “we will take what we can get”, and that boys is two huge thumbs up from me. - Shey

9. Tobacco - Maniac Meat [Buy CD | Vinyl]

Tobacco's Maniac Meat is one of the most unique albums of the year. If you have ever followed the band Black Moth Super Rainbow you learn  to expect the unusual but beautiful and MM does just that with it's horrifying synths and beautiful melodies. With stand out tracks like the heavy distortion opener "Constellation Dirtbike Head", "Mexican Icecream", "Sweatmother" and the two Beck features "Fresh Hex" and "Grape Aerosmith", MM has a lot to offer to more than just the average BMSR/Tobacco fan. The diversity in this album crosses multiple genres in a way that can warm the hearts of indie, electronic, hip hop or psychedelic music fan. - Kibbe & Rocko

8. Broken Bells - Broken Bells [Buy CD | Vinyl]

After all the controversy swirling around Dark Night Of The Soul last year, this Danger Mouse project with The Shins' James Mercer is nothing but a drama-free delight. After working together on "Insane Lullaby" for DNOTS, the two teamed up to create this dreamy upbeat record. As ethereal as this album is overall, it still manages to pack a big punch. It also must be said that this record wouldn't be what it is without either member, with the vocal stylings of James Mercer and the elegant production by Danger Mouse. In addition to being a beautiful sounding record, it must be said that the limited edition deluxe packaging for this album went above and beyond the call of duty complete with music box-like effect where a Broken Bells song would begin playing if the package was opened. This is from packaging to playing on your speakers an incredible experience. - Kibbe

7. Darwin Deez - Darwin Deez 

It’s only been a year since this New York indie band even appeared in the on the music scene, and that was in the UK! But, despite that, the release of their debut album Darwin Deez back in May created an unbelievable amount of popularity for the band around the world. It’s no question that they deserve the popularity they’ve received, due to the fact that the band has managed to capture a wonderfully unique middle ground between rock and electronica that is so damn catchy it’s just impossible not to keep listening. Pulling the strengths from both genres, the minimalist sounds that Darwin Deez produces are strikingly simple and effortless, so much so that it is extremely difficult not to find yourself alone singing “Up in the Clouds,” “Constellations,” or any of the other eight songs on the album. With such a strong debut, there’s no doubt in my mind that Darwin Deez is only going to get bigger and better. - Adrian

6./Tied For 5. Black Keys - Brothers [Buy CD | Vinyl]

What a year Dan and Patrick have had with their sixth full length studio album,  now has the whole world interested in this highly talented duo. Brothers is a masterclass in garage rock, barn riffage and playful lyrics about wayward girls. Album opener “Everlasting Light” starts slower than you might expect, yet eases you into the what is to be a journey through Dan’s guitar skills and fret work paired with Patrick’s retro drum beats. Together the result is just magnificent. “Sinister Kid” ensues with a grunt from Auerbach and you can’t help but shake your hips to each and everyone of these tracks. Sexiness and mojo wrapped into a neat little package and titled Brothers! It gains more love each time you play it and once the needle reaches the end of the record you want to return it to side one immediately and begin again. The love for this album is still growing and I’m howlin’ for this album on a regular basis. That’s why it has a place in our top 10. - Shey