6. “Hallucinations” by The Raveonettes
“Hallucinations” is quick and dirty, a fuzzed-out three-minute run with upbeat choruses and a dropdown verse that puts the whole thing on pause before taking off again in a tangle of squealing guitar strings. Who knew the Danes could rock so hard?
7. “Be My Girl” by Smith Westerns
Smith Westerns were just a trio of high school kids when they released their eponymous full-length in 2009. That fact makes the group’s garage-influenced sound all the more authentic, with tracks like “Be My Girl” hinting at a distinct lack of technical expertise. Of course, expertise is vastly overrated, and it doesn’t take a trained ear to know these gents write some damn fine rock numbers.
“The Sun Goes All Around” plays like something out of a weird alternate reality where analog never died. You can almost hear the vinyl crackling.
8. “Outta My Mind” by The King Khan & BBQ Show
The King Khan & BBQ Show are what The Black Keys would be if they were somehow even more raw and uninhibited, and if they had developed an early obsession with doo-wop. The result often makes for difficult listening, and KK&BS can be hard to follow at times. But on tracks like “Outta My Mind” the group focuses its efforts and puts on a hell of a show.
9. “The Sun Goes All Around” by Thee Oh Sees
There’s a certain degree of whimsy surrounding Thee Oh Sees, and it comes out in full force on “The Sun Goes All Around.” High-pitched vocals over crunchy, down-tuned guitar make for an ear-pleasing combination that plays like something out of a weird alternate reality where analog never died. You can almost hear the vinyl crackling in the background.
10. “Parted Ways” by Heartless Bastards
While Heartless Bastards draw comparisons to The Black Keys, the group offers up a notably cleaner sound than their blues-loving colleagues. Front woman Erika Wennerstrom delivers breathy vocals that carry loud and clear over coarse guitar work and driving beats. “Parted Ways” is the kind of song you put on at the start of a soon-to-be epic road trip, preferably while driving along the waterfront in a 1969 Buick Electra convertible.