Jersey Beat Music Fanzine

Jim Testa’s Favorite Albums of 2011

The Front Bottoms – The Front Bottoms (Bar None)
Feelies – Here Before (Bar None)
Cymbals Eat Guitars – Lenses Alien (Barsuk)
Smithereens – Smithereens 11 (Entertainment One Music)
Kevin Devine – Between The Concrete And Clouds (Razor & Tie)
House Boat – The Thorns of Life (Traffic Street)
Jeffrey Lewis – A Turn In The Dream-Songs (Rough Trade)
Screeching Weasel – New World Manifesto (Fat WreckChords)
Paul Simon – So Matter, So What? (Hear Music)
Roadside Graves – We Can Take Care Of Ourselves (Autumn Tone)


New Jersey’s Finest - Jersey Beat's Top 10 NJ Albums of 2011

The Front Bottoms – s/t (Bar None)
Feelies – Here Before (Bar None)
Smithereens – Smithereens 11 (Entertainment One Music)
Roadside Graves – We Can Take Care Of Ourselves (Autumn Tone)
Milwaukees – American Anthems, Vol. 2 (self released)
Val Emmich – Aide Memoire (self released)
Real Estate – Days (Domino)
Outside The Box – Bridges (self released)
The Parlor Mob – Dogs (Roadrunner)
Wyldlife –s/t (self released)
Waking Lights – s/t EP

Honorable Mention

Thursday – No Devolucion
Black Wine – Summer of Indifference
Matt Wade – Demos & D Sides
Anthony Walker – This City Won’t Sleep
Speed The Plough – Shine
I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody’s Business – Gold Rush
Theodore Grimm – Sharp Teeth, Crooked Jaws
Night Birds – The Other Side of Darkness
Stuyvesant – Fret Sounds
The Static Jacks – If You’re Young

Rock N Roll Gas Station’s Top 20 Songs of 2011

1. Jeffrey Lewis – Cult Boyfriend
2. The Nico Blues – Folk Song #2
3. Anthony Walker – The Movie Universe
4. Cymbals Eat Guitars – Rifle Eyesight (Proper Name)
5. Mikey Erg - Key Of C, Fix It, Fix It, Stop
6. Waking Lights – Everybody Wants You
7. Jack Skuller – Second Hand Smoke
8. Wyldlife – City Of Inbreds
9. Milwaukees – Victoria
l0. Ghost Pal – Retribution
11. Matt Wade – Waste Of Time
12. Stuyvesant – Clyde
13. Those Mockingbirds – Coast To Coast
14. Outside The Box – Love Is The Villain
15. The Everymen – Zeppole Ben
16. I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody’s Business – Gold Rush
17. HelloRadio – Bowery
18. Bern & The Brights - Starchild
19. Brick + Mortar – For Yellow Walls
20. Val Emmich & The Veeries – Galoshes On A Sunny Day

Noah WK

1.Screeching Weasel - First World Manifesto
2. Windowsill - S/T
3. Chixdiggit! - Safeways Here We Come
4. Screeching Weasel - Carnival Of Schadenfreude
5. Dwarves - Born Again
6. Steve Adamyk Band - Forever Won't Wait
7. Zebrassiers - Black Brainwave
8. Crusades - The Sun Is Down And The Night Is Riding In
9. House Boat - Thorns Of Life
10. Credentials - Goocher

PAUL SILVER - The Silver Lining

There’s nothing like waiting until the last minute to get something done! So here I am, on New Year’s Eve (well, the afternoon of), putting together my ten best list for 2011. Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow, I always say. This year saw the release of some extraordinary music. Not as much as last year, but still, some great stuff.

So, here are, in the order in which I wrote up reviews for them, my “top ten” albums of 2011. There has been plenty of good stuff that's come out in 2011, but these are the ones that were so good that they've found a permanent home in my iTunes and my iPod.

DEERHOOF – “Deerhoof vs. Evil” – Understated and extravagant. Smooth, yet angular. Experimental, but structured. This album is a study in dichotomy, and a great one, at that.

THE PLIMPTONS – “00’s Nostalgia with the Plimptons” - Take equal parts of the Pogues, Ska, pop-punk, doo wop, and the Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack. Mix well. Bake in Glasgow, Scotland. Sprinkle with a generous amount of humor. Serve immediately and often for lots of fun!

SCREECHING WEASEL – “First World Manifesto” – Despite Ben’s shortcomings, he’s the only one who can pull off great pop-punk with a message, while being snotty at the same time.

L’ALTRA – “Telepathic” – Lush, orchestral indie pop.

SMOKING POPES – “This is Only a Test” – Hey, it’s the Smoking Popes! I shouldn’t even have to explain myself here.

tUnE-yArDs – “w h o k i l l” This has to be my absolute number 1 favorite of the year. How can it not be? This album jumps up and down and grabs your attention. It’s so awesomely cool and different. I can’t recommend this one enough.

ART BRUT – “Brilliant! Tragic!” Good old fashioned power-pop with a punk edge and a sharp wit.

EMA – “Past Life Martyred Saints” – Achingly beautiful, you can hear the pain and desperation.

PAT JORDACHE – “Future Songs” – Unique, intense, yet laid-back. And unique.

MAN MAN – “Life Fantastic” – Indie music’s own circus freaks play an interesting blend of rock, jazz, circus music, gypsy melodies, and dance around the lunatic fringe.

CYMBALS EAT GUITARS – “Lenses Alien” – This is probably the most overlooked and under-appreciated album of the year. I loved this album even more than their debut. It replaced explosive intensity with a simmering intensity that grows and boils.

BLACK WINE – “Summer of Indifference” – Great punk music from NJ with a cool wide range.

DISAPPEARS – “Guider” – Cool European 80s style music from – huh? – Chicago.

LIPSTICK HOMICIDE / BILLY RAYGUN – Split CD – Lipstick Homicide are, hands down, one of the top pop-punk bands in the country today.

So there you have it, my “top ten” for 2011. Yes, it’s actually fourteen albums. Sorry, but it is what it is. It’s actually down from last year’s seventeen in my list. And, hey! I shouldn’t be apologizing for there being plenty of good music to choose from this year! You should be thanking me for letting you know about these! And if you haven’t already run out and bought these when I first reviewed them, shame on you! Get going! You can thank me later. is an independently published music fanzine covering punk, alternative, ska, techno and garage music, focusing on New Jersey and the Tri-State area. For the past 25 years, the Jersey Beat music fanzine has been the authority on the latest upcoming bands and a resource for all those interested in rock and roll.

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