Sal’s Top Ten Records of 2010

1.         Superchunk – Majesty Shredding – Hard rocking indie-pop legends come back from a nine year hiatus with arguably their best record yet.

2.       Neil Young – Le Noize – Veteran iconoclast starts his 6th decade as a recording artist with his most committed batch of songs in a very long time.

3.       Hold Steady – Heaven is Whenever – Their 5th full-length finds this Brooklyn band more powerful than ever and Craig Finn continuing to evolve as both a singer and lyricist.

4.       Torche – Songs for Singles EP – Heavy Metal with hooks and brains and heart.

5.       Hotrats – Turn Ons – A throwaway covers record by two thirds of now defunct Supergrass that is as pleasurable a listen as any record this year.

6.       Figgs – The Man Who Fights Himself – What I initially suspected to be stop-gap measure by these veteran rockers has grown in my estimation to be one of their most accomplished and mature (in a good way) records yet.

7.       Ted Leo & the Pharmacists – The Brutalist Bricks – Like the Hold Steady, Ted Leo has reached a point in his career where he can stop worrying about defining himself and concentrate on perfecting his craft. Artful, bittersweet pop-punk.

8.       Maserati – Pyramid of the Sun – Instrumental rock as hypnotic and mesmerizing as anything I heard all year.

9.       Spoon – Transference – Only songs this solid can hold up to the type of bare bones arrangements Spoon continues to perfect.

10.   Ryan Adams – Orion – Hyperactive multi-hyphenate songwriter composes his ‘Sci-Fi Metal Rock Opera’ and stumbles upon his best batch of songs in many a year.  A damn fine joke

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Sal Cannestra is a New York City native who relocated to Philadelphia in 2006.  He has been writing about rock’n’roll music since 1984 for various publications.  He also plays in the bands The Gerunds ( and The Thirteen (

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