Continuing today, and culminating with REVERBERATIONS number one album of the year on December 31st (if my math is right), we’ll be counting down the top twenty-five records of 2011. I’m referring to this countdown as Twenty-five Faves because I have no pretenses about telling you what’s “best.” Sure, I think my taste is better than yours. But nobody died and made me Lester Bangs. And Lester could be arrogant, but I kind of think he would come down on the favorite side of the fave/best dichotomy. His criticism was nothing if not personal.
I've reviewed the majority of these selections. In the event that I have I'll simply recycle the original reviews, sometimes with a little new commentary. If it's a selection I haven't reviewed previously, I will dash off a new, brief, introductory review just for perspective.
This year, like most in recent memory, saw the release of several scraggly-ass garage-grunge-punk-pop records (hyphens, no charge) - new releases from mainstays like Ty Segall, newcomers like Hanni El Khatib, download only entries from fixtures such as Reigning Sound and King Khan (a sign, albeit an ironic one, of the times) – heck, the admittedly loosely construed genre even spew forth reissues and anthologies from the Reatards, Lost Sounds and the aforesaid Mr. Segall, a sure sign of, uh, maturity.
All of them were pretty good, but none resonated from bang one to final decay as records like Reigning Sounds’ Time Bomb High School or King Khan and BBQ Show’s debut had in years past. For me the best representatives of the idiom are those records that have an appeal that preaches beyond the converted. In 2011, one album has kept insinuating itself, despite my initial dismissal; that album is GB City the distortion-saturated opus from Oxford, Mississippi’s Bass Drum of Death on Fat Possum Records.