The Best Songs in Dallas Music, 2010: Mind Spiders Rises Valiantly From The Ashes of The Marked Men at No. 10

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[Over the next few weeks, we'll be presenting our favorite local songs of the year, counting down from No. 25 to No. 1, one track a day. Today, we take an in-depth look at song No. 10 on the list -- and, please, feel free to click after the jump to grab a free download of the track. Also after the jump, check out songs No. 50-11 in the Top 50 list that will update as it grows...]

Out of all of the great punk bands to have been birthed in the Denton house party scene (The Riverboat Gamblers, Teenage Cool Kids, Bad Sports), perhaps none have been as revered The Marked Men, the early '00s area juggernaut co-helmed by Mark Ryan and Jeff Burke.

But Marked Men shows and records are few and far between these days. Sure, the band released Ghosts in 2009 after a three-year hiatus, but, aside from one-off reunion shows here and there, that band's largely been known in recent years as an entity of the past.

Fortunately, though, for fans for fast-moving pop-punk, this hasn't turned out to be the death knell for each of the band's contributors. Really: In early 2010, Ryan, with some help from Marked Men drummer Mike Throneberry, as well as newer Denton punk talents, such as Bad Sports' Daniel Fried and Gregory Rutherford and The Uptown Bums' Stephen Svacina, very much proved himself alive and well, releasing a four-track home recording under the name of Mind Spiders. It would turn out to be far and away the top collection of area punk songs we'd hear all year.

Bonus mp3:

Mind Spiders -- "Worlds Destroyed"

For all his punk leanings, Ryan's songwriting has always incorporated a retro pop influence into its mix, and "Worlds Destroyed," the closing take on his debut, self-titled Mind Spiders EP, might be the best display of as much. Incessantly catchy from first listen and bouncy enough to merit immediate repeated listens, the song is something of a powerhouse thanks to its onslaught of a drumbeat and the singalong coming that takes place in its refrain.

Just as impressive, though, is its production, which, like all Marked Men discs, was handled by Ryan himself, at his home. This isn't a straightforward punk recording; it's an impressively mixed wall of punk sound.

It's an offering that seems hellbent on inspiring a party. But underneath it, something else is revealed: As easily as he may identify with punk rock and all that it stands for, Ryan also deserves to be recognized as one of the top pop songcrafters around.

The Top 50 Local Songs of 2010
(Links to music videos and free song downloads available where applicable; links to streams where neither a download nor video exists.)
50. Dear Human - "Waiting"
49. Nervous Curtains - "All Yesterday's Parties"
48. Spector 45 - "Try Try Try"
47. Smile Smile - "Beg You To Stay"
46. Robert Gomez - "A Natural State"
45. Florene - "Parc Bitch"
44. Mount Righteous - "Eat Your Wife and Kiss The Barbecue"
43. The Strange Boys - "Be Brave"
42. Soft Environmental Collapse - "A Horse & Buggy Complex"
41. Deepspace5 - "Killing With Kindness"
40. Sextape -- "Lubricated Intimacy"
39. Museum Creatures - "Song ABC"
38. Ocelot - "Beating Hears"
37. Sir Silky - "The Squeeze (The Answer)"
36. Bone - "Homegurl"
35. Ishi - "Come Closer"
34. Hoyotoho - "Born Black"
33. Dorrough - "Get Big"
32. Katie Carroll - "Paper Girl"
31. Final Club - "Ruded"
30. Treal Lee & Prince Rick - "Throwed Off (Fuck Errbody)"
29. South San Gabriel - "All Night Long"
28. The Rocket Summer - "Walls"
27. Darktown Strutters - "Lucifer Rising"
26. School of Seven Bells - "Windstorm"
24. The Burning Hotels - "Austin's Birthday"
23. Doug Burr - "At The Public Dance"
22. The Flowers of God 

feat. Sarah Jaffe
feat. Sarah Jaffe

21. Dondria -- "You're The One"
20. Sundress - "Locust"
19. Blixaboy - "Lion Eyes (featuring Emil Rapstine)"
18. A.Dd+ feat. Brown of Sore Losers - "Likeamug"
17. The Secret Handshake - "Every Single Time"
16. Lalagray - "The Hard Part"
15. Sore Losers - "Free Loaders"
14. Leg Sweeper - "Sexy Weekend"
13. Midlake - "Rulers, Ruling All Things"
12. Ryan Thomas Becker - "So Speak"
11. Analog Rebellion - "You've Been Had (Machine)"

Mind Spiders -- "Worlds Destroyed"

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