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2010’s Best Rock Albums (So Far)


 t’s not quite summer, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start thinking about 2010’s best rock albums. Thus far, we’ve had a lot of different genres represented, including alt-country, indie-rock and alt-metal. Feel like you’ve missed out on the year’s strongest offerings? Catch up by scrolling down the page.

6. Eels – ‘End Times’

eels end timesPhoto courtesy Vagrant.

Eels frontman E has spent his last two albums exploring the difficulties of making love last. But unlike 2009’s Hombre LoboEnd Times is a starker, more despairing affair, filled with melancholy songs backed with only the sparest of instrumentation. As a result,End Times is a record for dark nights of the soul when it’s just you alone in bed talking to the wall.


5. Hole – ‘Nobody’s Daughter’

Photo: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images.

On the charts, Courtney Love’s comeback album may have been a bit of a flop, but on Nobody’s Daughter the Queen of Hole gets back to the blunt-force honesty and crunchy alt-rock purity of her ‘90s masterwork, Live Through This. Older but not especially wiser, Love realizes she still lives in a world dominated by men, and even if she doesn’t have any answers, she’s bound and determined to make some noise about it.

4. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – ‘Beat the Devil’s Tattoo’

black rebel motorcycle club beat the devils tattooPhoto courtesy Ink Tank.

This San Francisco trio have gone through a sonic evolution over their career, deemphasizing their early albums’ shoegazer rock for a more earthy Americana approach of late. On Beat the Devil’s Tattoo,Black Rebel Motorcycle Club decided to throw together all their influences, producing a record that’s eerie and urgent when it isn’t stark and vicious.

3. The Hold Steady – ‘Heaven Is Whenever’

hold steady heaven is wheneverPhoto courtesy Vagrant.

On the Hold Steady’s fifth studio record, frontman Craig Finn is up to his usual tricks, but with a few new wrinkles. As always, his bar-band rock is exuberant and his short-story lyrics are pitch-perfect, but the Brooklyn sextet’s sound has become both more romantic and more hard-hitting.

2. Drive-By Truckers – ‘The Big To-Do’

drive by truckers the big to doPhoto courtesy ATO.

Smart, tough, touching and raw, Drive-By Truckers’ The Big To-Do  is the perfect album for our Great Recession times. This Georgia sextet merge arena-rock, alt-country, and indie-rock into a heady brew for songs about strip-club encounters, bad jobs, murder and the casual heartbreaks that make up too much of everyday life.

1. Deftones – ‘Diamond Eyes’

deftones diamond eyesPhoto courtesy Reprise.

Can an alt-metal band be thunderously loud, poignantly emotional and ferociously original all at once? If that band is Deftones, absolutely. Inspired by longtime bassist Chi Cheng’s 2008 car accident, which left him in a coma, the California quintet have produced their most articulate and muscular record, one that channels all the highs and lows of life itself. Diamond Eyes came about because of tragedy, but Deftones figured out how to make 


May 13, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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