Well it would appear that 2011 is coming to an end. With that said, it’s time for a “Best Of…” Broken Headphones 2011 edition.
There were a ton of amazing releases throughout the year as well as live shows that I was able to attend. Below is just a various list of bands that caught my attention, be it a recording or live show, over the past 12 months.
I should add that some of my favorite releases were from local Akron/Cleveland acts. I am not just dropping their names because we are pals or anything, they all worked hard and put out some excellent releases. If you have not heard of any of them, you really should check them out.
I may have missed a band here or there, but the following were the ones that stood out over the rest.
Albums of the Year:
Seahaven – Winter Forever
*Hands down this is one of my favorite albums to drop this year. They just have this indie punk rock sound that is ever so likable – trust me on this. The first time I listened to it, I was hooked. I see big things happening with this band in the near future.
Nothington – Borrowed Time
*This is another album I favored over the rest this year. Catchy lyrics layered over wholesome punk rock is what this album is all about. To make matters even better, they kick ass live. They are coming back to Cleveland next month and I can not wait to see them again. Listening to this band brings me band to the punk rock 90s I grew up on.
All Dinosaurs – Paranoid Indigenous
*So maybe the music was released in 2010, but the LP dropped this past Spring so I consider it a 2011 release. This Cleveland act is beyond fun to listen to plus they put on one of the best live shows ever. They are funny, quote 80s movies and are in it for the fun. It helps they are also all super cool dudes. If you are a Cleveland native, you should already know how amazing this band is.
Dave Hause – Resolutions
*I was a little late checking this album out as it was released in early 2011, but am glad I did not pass it up. Hause (The Loved Ones) is an amazing musician and proves it in this killer solo release. With help from his friends, he put together one hell of a release. Do me a favor, if you like music, listen to this.
Living With Lions – Holy Shit
*Words can not really describe how impressed I was when I heard these guys. All I know is I will have this album playing regularly for a long long time.
Deer Tick – Divine Providence
*The boys in Deer Tick changed it up a bit and put forth a bitching rock album that I really dug.
Dawes – Nothing Is Wrong
*Oh Dawes…you’ve done it again. What a solid release. You guys are on your way to being huge. Keep it up.
Those Darlins – Screws Get Loose
*The girls and Lynwood dropped a impressive follow-up to their debut this year and I adore it. Still kicking around the country-punk attitude, the foursome toyed with a more indie / garage rock sound and did a fine job doing so.
Old Man Markley – Guts n’ Teeth
*This self-proclaimed “New Grass” band was one of the more fun releases I had have the pleasure of checking out this year. I can not wait to see what happens next with these guys and gals.
Banner Pilot – Heart Beats Pacific
*Impressive release by a great punk rock band. They need to play Cleveland soon.
White Wives – Happeners
*This was the surprise release of the year for me. Featuring members of Anti-Flag, this album is far from a pop-punk rock album. On the lines of indie rock, White Wives needs to be heard.
A.A. Bondy – Believers
*This guy really outdid himself. You really have to check it out for yourself to realize why I appreciate it so much. It’s a really beautiful release to listen to.
Bon Iver – Bon Iver
*Not normally something I would listen to, but holy shit – it rules.
The Black Keys – El Camino
*Yeah yeah yeah… The former Akron, OH boys once again put out a release I admit I love. I do not love the fact that the next time they hit Cleveland, they will be playing an arena. It is safe to say they made it big time. Let’s hope they don’t screw it up.
Signals Midwest – Latitudes & Longitudes
*And yet another local act. These guys are a big deal though…to me at least. The dropped a really good record. For serious.
EPs of the year:
Luther – Siblings & Sevens
*Folk / Punk / Rock awesomeness. I was caught off guard by this band. They rule. Sadly they had to cancel their Cleveland show after the band was involved in an accident in Chicago. Luckily no one was seriously injured. I can not wait for their full-length to drop.
Harvey Pekar – Thirty Ghosts
*Dear Harvey Pekar (the band), thank you for existing.
Worship This! – Demo
*I normally do not mention bands that I am really good friends with the members, but I adore this band. That’s all I have to say about that.
Two Hand Fools – Believeland
*These guys better get signed in 2012 or else I am going to fight someone. Another Cleveland act with plenty of talent.
Cherry Cola Champions – EP