The top mp3s have gone through many incarnations since the beginning of Consequence of Sound in 2007. What used to be an exhaustive roundup of all the singles, remixes, covers, and undiscovered gems emailed to us any given week evolved into a compilation whittled down to our 10 favorite new songs. For 2013, we’re again changing up the format with the hope of giving our selections some added weight. We’re still posting about our 10 favorite songs, but they’ll be ordered in quality from 10-1. Who takes home #1 this week? You’ll have to click ‘Next’ to find out.
10. Man Or Astro-Man? – “Communication Breakdown Pt. II”
If they’ve proven anything in their intermittently active 30-plus years, it’s that Man or Astro-Man? are not afraid of embracing a theme (or punctuated band names), thriving in the outer space motif. The sci-fi fascination continues on “Communication Breakdown Pt. II”, wobbly guitars playing in the reverb-drenched space, heavy bass and pounding drums acting as the warp drive. While Major Tom and ground control had their communication issues, but frontman Star Crush (aka Brian Causey) doesn’t seem to be getting any assistance: “I radiate, you disintegrate / Keeps breaking up, do you respond?” Like surfing through a blackhole, the track will bend your mind but in a totally tubular way. This is the second cut from Defcon…5…4…3…2…1, the Alabamans’ first new album in 12 years. -Adam Kivel
9. ASG – “Blood Drive”
In its never-ending search for top-shelf sludge metal, Relapse Records traveled east to North Carolina, to unearth ASG. The latest member of the Relapse roster, this quartet fits nicely alongside labelmates Baroness and Royal Thunder. All three unleash floods of downtuned riffage, but ASG puts the spotlight on its frontman, Jason Shi. With a voice born for metal, Shi curls his high-pitched melodies around chugging chords and guitar lines. All this is showcased on “Blood Drive”, the title track from the band’s debut album (out May 28th), which sounds like Rob Halford fronting The Sword. -Jon Hadusek
8. Sic Alps – “Biz Bag”
While the deep, diverse San Fran scene has been getting major buzz the last two years thanks to breakout performances from the likes of Ty Segall and Mikal Cronin, Sic Alps have been holding down their garage since 2006, garnering an appropriately large following in both their native city and from fuzz psych aficionados at large. Continuing on the path of their scrubbed yet no less wild self-titled album from last year, new tune “Biz Bag” locks into step and gives frontman Mike Donovan room to strut. Though a rabid guitar solo threatens to rip free of its surroundings, the Alps manage to keep the groove going. This and two other tracks will be released as the She’s On Top 12″ through Drag City on May 21st. Stream it over at Pitchfork. –Adam Kivel