This time you will have to put up with a slightly longer post. How else am I supposed to say something about the past ten years? So much has changed, my taste in music has become broader again after having been very narrow. The kinds of music that are featured on Record Turnover have also become more encompassing, but looking back, it stands clear that there’s been a lot of garage, psych, powerpop and punk. The 2010s has definitely been the decade of pop-punk.
What prompts this walk down memory lane, aparts from the year being 2019? Well my friend Gustav, who’s 20s have coincided exactly with this decade had asked me to list my favourite songs/records from the decade for his birthday. It proved quite a daunting task, that resulted in a Spotify playlist. But unfortunately a lot of my favourite songs from this era, especially 2010-2013, aren’t on Spotify, simply because DIY labels didn’t care about streaming back then. And then of course, there are the artists that actively take a stance against Spotify and big corporations – such as Molly Nilsson.
Speaking of DIY labels, there are a few labels that deserve a shoutout for having consistently delivered top quality music for (in some cases more than) 10 years. Among those that are still going, I’m thinking of In the Red,
Castle Face, Trouble In Mind, Goodbye Boozy, Aarght!, RIP Society, Born Bad, Slovenly, Goner and of course Anti Fade. The latter has to a large extent shaped the sound of the 10s, at least in my world. Although there are other Australian labels among the ones I just mentioned, it is Anti Fade that made sure that aussie bands are completely dominating the guitar-based music scene worldwide.
I’ve deliberately left Fuzz City of the list, and any band Matthew Melton was in (Bare Wires, Warm Soda, The Rejects, Snake Flower 2, Nectarine Pie, the solo stuff). He turned out to be a creep. And record labels have removed his music from streaming services as well. Gone and forgotten.
And then of course there are the labels that were all the rage a few years ago but have given up or just fallen into oblivion. Who could have made it through 2010-2012 without Tic Tac Totally, whose every release was positively life-affirming? And HoZac, Dirtnap, Florida’s Dying, Art Fag, Italian Beach Babes, Southpaw, Agitated… the list could go on. And here in Sweden, Push My Buttons have been keeping the (freak) flag flying.
Once I started making lists, I ended up with enough non-streaming material to fill out two mixes, so here is the first part. In part 2 you will get to hear some of the tunes that really defined the decade. But let’s start a tad more mellowly.
21 Woollen Kits – Out of Whack
22 Teen Sheikhs – Germs
23 Moonhearts – I Said
24 Cocktails – Let It Come Down (demo)
25 Molly Nilsson – About Somebody
26 Terry & Louie – She Loves Him
27 Paul Messis – Time Will Tell
28 Beachniks – Coney Island
29 The Flips – Sooner Than Later
30 Chain Letters – Bad Reflection
31 Thee Goochi Boiz – Dilletante
32 Baby Ghosts – Ghost Girlfriend
33 Manic Attracts – Feels Like I’m Dead
34 Running – Reclaimed Would
35 The Flip Tops – Lock Me Up
36 Sticks n Stones – Is It You?
37 Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys – Plastic Tears
38 Gestapo Khazi – Open House
39 Myelin Sheaths – Chemistry Lessons
40 The Mallard – I Listen to the Lyrics Last
The Teen Sheiks track is from that legendary untitled compilation on Italian Beach Babes, which suggested London was actually becoming a great city for music again. It was meant to be on their debut album, which symbolically never happened. And we forgot all about London again. The Cocktails track is the demo version of the track that later appeared on their 2nd EP. This version is so much better though. None of them are on Spotify.
Paul Messis’ music would have been the companion piece to my diary, if I’d kept one in the intervening years. This was the 45 that started everything, got me talking to him and kind of realising we might be soul mates. It’s been interesting following his career, his label Market Square, and the general ups and downs of life that we’ve all been through since 2010.
The night I saw Beachniks on a rooftop in 2010 is still one of the best nights in my memory, even if I don’t exactly remember the whole night. I remember having a crush on Emily Curtin, being at an afterparty in Captured Tracks head honcho Mike Sniper’s apartment where J.B. was living at the time, discussing death metal with the boys in Sea Lions. What more do you need?
The Flips, why does no one talk about them? Two perfect 45s that deserve more than just a mention. Same with Manic Attracts, one of many bands that were supplied with brilliant artwork by C.M. Ruiz, another ghost of the past decade. Running and Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys are two of the most recent bands that made the cut. And Myelin Sheaths get a gold star for having the loudest mastered song in the mix.
The photo in the cover image is of Swedish band Poppets, whom I saw at the long since gone Debaser in Malmö in 2010. The place were it all happened during those years. A few weeks ago I saw them again, supporting Death Valley Girls. They’ve always been there, always sounded the same. Only this year I saw them in Gothenburg, which is now the musical centre of Sweden.