Features Music Scene Point Blank's Favorites: Year End (2009)

Music: Scene Point Blank's Favorites: Year End (2009)

With 2009 well and truly over, it's time to look back over a turbulent year and see what was good (and what wasn't) in the world of music. Below is Scene Point Blank's top 30 record list of 2009, split into two halves for your viewing convenience. On the third page are our individual staff lists which make up this list, and the fourth page contains our traditional graphs and statistics about this year's winners, SPB's content, and more.

SPB's Top 30 Records of 2009: 30-16

30. Silversun Pickups - Swoon (Dangerbird)

The band hasn't gone in a terribly different direction on their sophomore album, but they've taken the sound they had on Carnavas and made it a lot stronger. They're still exploring those sounds from the early 90's, only relying more on hooks and choruses rather than building an atmosphere, and it surprisingly works a lot better for them. They've also added a lot more interesting elements to give their sound a little more depth and substance. Swoon is the most enjoyable album Silversun Pickups have released to date, and one of the best of the year. (Corey)

29. Mos Def - The Ecstatic (Downtown)

With his fourth LP, The Ecstatic, Mos Def continued his dominance in the world of hip-hop. Rather than take the easy way out, Mos Def has challenged himself to release musically and lyrically unique hip-hop, something many of his peers fail to do on a regular basis. The Ecstatic easily ranks amongst the top hip-hop records of 2009. (Michael)

28. All Teeth - I am Losing (High Fidelity)

If there is a hardcore band that is flying under the radar right now, it is All Teeth. This hardcore band from the Bay Area delivers absolutely blistering hardcore that is packed with anger, frustration, and lots of piss and vinegar. If you want an album that will floor you like the first time you heard Background Music then you will want to pick this up. (Michael)

27. Ghostlimb/Fischer - Split (Vitriol/Great Plains)

I hadn't heard either band prior to this split, but now I'm a fan of both. Fischer is a very promising emo band and Ghostlimb might be my favorite hardcore band right now. I have no idea why, but they sound completely different than any other band I've heard. Both bands exhibit brilliant guitar work on this split. (Mario)

26. Isis - Wavering Radiant (Ipecac)

Wavering Radiant is one more great Isis album. This outfit has come a long way during what is becoming a lengthy period of activity for the band, and this album is an excellent addition to their discography. A few changes in their normal record making methodologies has given listeners a hell of an album in which to delve. (Bob)

25. Khanate - Clean Hands Go Foul (Hydra Head/Daymare)

I am still trying to process this album months after it impacted on all our psyches, Clean Hands Go Foul is Khanate as unsettling as they ever were having seemingly found new ways to exact sonic terror on listeners. Do not listen to this alone and in the dark. You might not be killed by something that these four songs will conjure up by their unholy racket, but you might just be psychologically scarred for the rest of your life. Again, all of us that say that we enjoy this album must need therapy. (Bob)

24. Shook Ones - The Unquotable A.M.H. (Paper + Plastick)

Shook Ones may still get criticism for being "the clones of Kid Dynamite" but I think this record might break them away from that label. The more "poppy" approach they took on The Unquotable A.M.H. will pay off in the long run if they continue to progress while still keeping that intensity and ferocity that they have maintained as a band. Those who were worried about Shook Ones losing any power or momentum will be gladly mistaken once they hear this record. (Corey)

23. DOOM - Born Like This (Lex)

All things considered, this is a solid album, certainly better than most rap you'd find out there. Born Like This lacks any homerun hits, but even its weakest points are quite tolerable - this album is a demonstration of consistency. Born Like This is a slight disappointment when compared to DOOM's previous work, but it's good enough to confirm that he's still one of the best. (Mario)

22. Sunn 0))) - Monoliths & Dimensions (Southern Lord)

Sunn 0))) delivers the goods with Monoliths & Dimensions and in some respects reinvent themselves with the release without falling into some cliché or parody of the group in the process, which in today's continually business like market is more apt to happen than not. This album also seems to be one of their more accessible efforts and could be a weird sort of gateway record for some people to the rest of their discography. Whatever the case may be, this is definitely a memorable release for the band on many levels. (Bob)

21. The Mountain Goats - The Life And The World To Come (4AD)

John Darnielle is widely considered one of the foremost songwriters in indie and folk rock. There is an obvious reason for this and when you listen to this album it will be obvious. When someone sings overly personal words in a public forum usually it comes off somewhat awkward but with Darnielle it flows and pulls you in. Inspired by a metalhead reading the bible in a hotel room on tour this has all the shades of a literal reading of the bible but the lessons are put into current implications. This is a wonderful album with overly emotional implications. (Jon)

20. Strike Anywhere - Iron Front (Bridge Nine)

After releasing the slightly polished Dead FM in 2006, Strike Anywhere returned with what might be their most focused, complete full-length effort to date. Politically and socially aware lyrics dominate the lyrical front while the band offers up a fine mix of fast-paced punk and energetic melodic hardcore. (Michael)

19. Mother of Mercy - III (Six Feet Under)

The sleeper hit of my year, III is a fast and unrelenting record that continues to surprise me with its raw precision and force. Coming from the ashes of underrated Pennsylvanians Let Down, Mother of Mercy reminds me that hardcore can still be tinged without being a crossover disaster. Every detail sounds perfectly placed, from the spot-on drum fills to the subtlety of "Cadence," an ominous interlude shoved right in the middle of the album. (Campbell)

18. Chuck Ragan - Gold Country (Side One Dummy)

Dude. It's Chuck Ragan. Everything this man does is done with heart, soul, integrity, and honesty. We should all aspire to such things. (Zach)

17. Gallows - Grey Britain (Warner Bros.)

They may be the most press-hyped band to come out of the U.K. ever but their sophomore effort proves they deserve it all. Grey Britain is a dark, brooding, destructive hardcore masterpiece. It may not have been my top rated album, but I definitely jammed this record more than any other in 2009. (Michael)

16. Dinosaur Jr. - Farm (Jagjaguwar)

As a Dinosaur Jr. fan, I was pretty impressed by this album. It definitely captures their old noisy rock sound, while still managing to be fresh and interesting. Even after reuniting years down the line, this band has still got it. (Mark)

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Words by the SPB team on Oct. 17, 2010, 4:18 a.m.

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