2016 has been weird, Bowie’s dead and Trump’s president. A lot of my favourite bands disappointed me, other bands I thought were just ok, surprised me. Here’s this year’s picks for best music:
Top 10 LPs of 2016
10. Joyce Manor – Cody
Another album of their trademark viral contagious pop-punk. Nothing groundbreaking, but solid.
9. Hobo Lord – Sweaty Already
Hobo Lord’s new album reminds me of NoMeansNo’s ‘All Roads Lead to Ausfahrt’, good stuff.
8. Dogjaw – S/T
I compared their last album to Pinkerton, this one is more like Maladroit. Here we have having metal riffs sprinkled on top of thickly layered power chords and feelings. They also released demos of the tracks before the album release (just like Maladroit). Not quite as good as last time (for me), but not to be missed.
7. Pseudo – Renovations
We got to play a show with these guys this year. Nice guys, great album; reminds me of Flatliners or the Gamits.
6. Get Dead – Honesty Lives Elsewhere
This band is like if Swinging’ Utters only played acoustic (or I guess like Filthy Thieving Bastards). This is their best album, start here.
5. Pure Disgust – S/T
A bunch of teenagers from DC making some hardcore, sound familiar? The guy’s voice sounds like more years of cigarettes and pain than he’s been alive to suffer.
4. Martha – Blisters In The Pit Of My Heart
Martha delivers another dose of their infectious but dignified pop-punk.
3. Jeff Rosenstock – Worry
There’s been a lot of hype behind this one, but I think in this case it’s well deserved. I was never really into Bomb the Music Industry, but this album has no filler and kinda reminds me of the Front Bottoms.
2. The Murderburgers – The 12 Habits Of Highly Defective People
Murderburgers started out being the Scottish version of Teenage Bottlerocket. In 2012 they perfected this formula with ‘How To Ruin Your Life’. Through a process of growing and experimenting, they found out how to sound like themselves. If Jawbreaker is a thinking man’s Greenday, Murderburgers are a recovering man’s Greenday. Gimmick free 90s punk with brutally honest lyrics.
1. White Lung – Paradise
With the last 3 albums it would seem White Lung had explored all the territory they had charted, boxing them in. Au contraire! In lieu of relentlesss d-beats and screamin’ of their past efforts, their pedal magic guitar work advances into some kind of punk-techno fusion. Tracks like ‘Dead Weight’ and ‘Narcoleptic’ channel their past album’s frenetic energy, ‘Hungry’ and ‘Below’ slow it down to the Smiths. White Lung reinvent themselves without severing the link to the past, and win 2016.
Top 10 EPs of 2016
10. Guttermouth – New Car Smell
After 10 years of nothing, pop-punk legends, Guttermouth put out 2 new EPs. This is the better of the two
9. Prince – S/T
Different from the recently deceased artist formerly known, this Texas fuzz-pop tastes like Toys That Kill at their best.
8. Dragged In – EP 2
Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger than EP 1.
7. G.L.O.S.S. – Trans Day of Revenge
Starts out ripping with ‘Give Violence a Chance’ and ‘Out From The Desk’, but doesn’t quite live up to the memorability of last year’s demo. They called it quits this year, glad I got to catch their show a few times.
6. Youth Avoiders – Spare Parts
Youth Avoiders are back with their brand of catchy fuzzy hardcore. They do a good job keeping the songs distinct enough to stand out, but never making them pretentious, unenergetic, or boring.
5. NOi!SE – Dull the Pain
One of the more promising Oi! band in the last few years. Their songs have unique sense of simplicity that never lacks depth and passion. They also put out an album this year, but I think EPs work better with this band.
4. Sheer Mag – III
A strange combo of SHIBGBs style basement punk mixed with unashamed pop, the pickles and peanut butter of music I suppose.
3. The Brokedowns / Direct Hit – Making a Midwestern
The Brokedowns are the reason this makes the list for me (no offence Direct Hit). They deliver 2 of their best songs to date + 1 Toys That Kill cover! Can’t wait for another album.
2. The Holy Mess – Trash Age
The last ever release from Alkaline Trio on Prozac. 2 Great songs, 1 ok song. I’m gonna miss this band.
1. Dead To Me – I Wanna Die in Los Angeles
Best living punk band returns with their old singer. First two songs are classic DTM, the last song is a structureless masterpiece on par with Bohemian Rhapsody.
2017 is looking good (musically, shitty politically) with releases coming from Capital Youth, Vultures United, and (maybe) Propagandhi. Also, we’re gonna put out a new album early next year! more info coming soon…
To new beginnings!