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“Dolby’s Top 10 Tracks Apr. – Jun. 2018”

10 Greber – “Prophetic” (Cemetery Preston)
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“Prophetic” gets the nod from Cambridge, Ontario’s Greber for sheer tenacity alone — at the beginning the grind-metal theme seems simple enough but it’s just the way they plow ahead with it as a drums-bass duo each on vocals that jettisons this thing into rock overdrive. Cemetery Preston is the band’s second album.
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9 Haley Heynderickx – “Worth it” (I Need to Start a Garden)
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Portland’s Haley Heynderickx is a full-album queen with a real flair for “bossy” — her seven-minute mid-album epic “Worth it” undergoes many phases both in mood (it’s always changing tempo sort of like The Velvet Underground’s “Heroin”) and also in disposition and technique, with her plea to her lover to “Put me in a box / And call me anything you like”, which sort of reminded me of Liz Phair’s song “Canary” in which she speaks of similar fears of artistic and gender-related confinement.
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8 Nubya Garcia – “Source” (When We Are)
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Good God, those DRUMS! Femi Koleoso is basically revamping our conception of the drummer’s capability before our very ears with these mind-bogglingly lithe and polyrhythmic spews all over Garcia’s excellent band, which features her on saxaphone but an exemplary jazz guitar solo on this number too.
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7 The Moondoggies – “Underground (A Love Sleeps Deep)” (A Love Sleeps Deep)
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There is certainly not a bad song on The Moondoggies’ fourth album the psych-rock informant A Love Sleeps Deep… this happens to be one they performed this year on Live at KEXP, easily the best KEXP performance I’ve ever seen or heard, capping off the album in semi-title-track form and in swaggering hippie moxie, like a Band of Horses who are little less, uh, skittish to get the he** out of the Northwest.
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6 Erika Wennerstrom – “Extraordinary Love” (Sweet Unknown)
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Every time I hear this album now I’m falling more thoroughly in love with it, with its American classic rock spirit and its signature Heartless Bastards country twang. I could have picked any one but I chose this anthemic selection with its incessant chorus “I want to feel extraordinary love”, which reminded me a lot of Neil Young’s “I’ve got the will to love” chorus.
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5 The Garden – “Stallion” (Mirror Might Steal Your Charm)
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The Garden to me hark back to a time when hard-edged indie rock was still exciting (think Jesus Lizard, Liars, any band influence by Flipper), and the hardcore-punk opener of this year’s excellent Mirror Might Steal Your Charm, in its two-minute length and 30-second metal-machine intro, is certainly refreshing in the face of all this long-winded, bombastic metal we all suffer through on a regular basis.
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4 Moodie Black – “Freedom” (Lucas Acid)
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Haha… ok… I have no idea what kind of music this is other than that it’s “rap” and to be honest I listen to so much music I don’t even remember what initially caused me to put Moodie Black on this list (I initially had album opener “Vanowen” pegged)… I hear a programmed beat and a deep, treated heavy metal guitar rolling out these slow, lazy power chords in booming volume, and this sketchy figure Moodie Black in the background, as if trying to fight through the jungle of sound to make his pedestrian little voice heard, which is sort of symbolic of life itself, you might say.
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3 Don Muro – “Blues Tune” (Off We Go: More Synth Pop from 1970-1979)
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This might be a bit of a stretch, throwing on there this recording which was actually made in the ’70s (and has finally seen light of day in LP form by way of Bloomington, Indiana’s Flannelgraph Records)… I dunno I guess I operate by unorthodox means sometimes, either that or I’m just hypnotized by this Cubist disaster we hear here before our ears of spliced, arhythmic sounds taking cancerous and psychotic shapes before congealing into this bad rhythm, giving way to like if Weezer covered Aha on synth sans vocals, playing with harmonies in lofty ways, while they were at it.
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2 Wooden Shjips – “Red Line” (V.)
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EERIE. This Bay Area band Wooden Shjips are just eerie, like the stately psych-rock of Scotland’s Junip or the textural rock epics of Mhostly Ghostly, plotting down these methodical classic rock tunes before pulverizing them with little sonic journeys, like the spliced string/bagpipe-sounding interlude on this particular tune here.
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1 Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks – “Kite” (Sparkle Hard)
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To bespeak the general excitement attachable to this song, on my last listen I had this weird thing happening where in my mind I kept changing my mind as to whether this were a defining STEPHEN MALKMUS career moment or a defining JICKS career moment — the answer is probably that it’s both, easily the funkiest thing they’ve ever done, ushering in commanding lyrics which “stop making sense” with the best of ‘em to see things devolve into an epic dueling guitar solo very suggestive of Malkmus’ recent inclusion on Day of the Dead.

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