It’s crazy that 2017 is coming to an end already. I feel like I always seem to say that around this time of the year, but it’s true.
It feels like it was just yesterday that I turned into a 40 year old. Let me tell you, that was kind of a big change for me and I might have sulked about it for 7-8 months.
More importantly, my wife and I welcomed our amazing, chill little daughter to the world in July. She is the coolest, but don’t tell my son I said that.
Clearly dadage life takes up most of my time these days and this blog is not what it used to be, but I still try to crank out reviews and whatnot when I can because I love it.
I may be busy with life, but I am always listening to music and have checked out tons of albums by amazing bands and artists. Where I wish I could review everything that I have come across, I simply have to pick and choose when I can.
It’s been a tradition of sorts for me to do a Best Of post, and there is nothing I would rather do that share with you some of my favorite releases of 2017. So, without further delay…[well maybe some as I am trying to narrow this down to just 20, but who am I kidding??? Edit: I might have added to this best of list a few times now…]
I ‘m super proud to say that four of my favorite releases in 2017 are all Cleveland bands so they obviously need to be mentioned first:
Heart & Lung – You Wanna Know the Truth?
This is the album that caught me by complete surprise. My pal told me to check them out and I did and I loved this entire pop punk jam of an album to the point that I still listen to it almost daily. If I was able to sign them and put out a record, I would have already. This band has so much potential to be huge.
Heart Attack Man – The Manson Family
Words can really not express how great this album is. It’s punk, it’s grunge, it’s good, and it’s comprised of great folk. Do not sleep on this one.
Two Hand Fools – Falling In / Falling Out
I was lucky enough to hear this album over the summer and was beyond blown away by how amazing it was. It is seriously the best thing the band has done so far and I adore it from start to finish. This is one of Cleveland’s best bands if you ask me.
Warbrides – Regrets
Oh man this album rips…
Of course there were others too…
Iron Chic – You Can’t Stay Here
Do I really need to even say anything? This album is damn near perfect.
Smith Street Band – More Scared of You Than You Are of Me
These Aussies have put out one of my favorite albums of the year. I loved how catchy, fun, and overly personal it was. I still have intentions on getting one of the lyrics off this album tattooed on me. I also need to buy the damn record already for my collection.
Propagandhi – Victory Lap
It should say a lot how politically charged this album was from a Canadian band about the US mess we are in. I really adore this album from start to finish. It’s damn perfect.
Hot Water Music – Never Going Back
The more I listened to this album, the more I appreciated it. It is a wiser, more mature release by this iconic punk band.
Scorpios – Scorpios Vol. 2
When Joey Cape told me in an interview that Scorpios might just return and someone with the initials C.C. would take over where Sly left off, I was beyond stoked and instantly knew it was Chris Cresswell. This is one of the albums this year that everyone needs to just give a chance.
Demons – Embrace Wolf
I just found out about these guys from a good friend recently and I have listened to their debut release almost daily since. This band packs a severe punch with their post-hardcore greatness.
Ho99o9 – United States of Horror
Hardcore punk mixed with hip hop? Yes please. This album was beyond insane. Death Grips ain’t got nothing on these dudes.
Frank Carter and the Rattle Snakes – Modern Ruin
I miss Gallows so much, but what Frank Carter and crew released has me happy that he still puts himself out there for everyone to hear. This is more of a rock album but it’s so rad.
Sweet Apple – Sing the Night in Sorrow
I was not sold on my first listen, but after a few more I realized I should have paid more attention the first time. Remarkable release by some amazing musicians.
Anti-Flag – American Fall
I do not really care with anyone thinks here, Anti-Flag released a political, poignant album that everyone who has a clue needs to check out. They have perfected their sound so much on this album.
The Flatliners – Inviting Light
Upon first listen I was not totally sold on the band tapping their brakes compared to previous releases, but the more and more listened to it, the more and more I appreciated what they had to offer. This really is a hell of an album.
Fred Thomas – Changer
This man can do no wrong. I love his style and uniqueness and the fact he gets excited about my Instagram posts every once in a while. His latest release just hit me as it encompassed change.
Body Count – Bloodlust
Back in ’93, I was a huge Body Count fan. I am sure I can still recite most of the lyrics off their debut. After that first album, I just never got into them the same. Then Bloodlust came out and once again they have grabbed my attention. Ice T, Ernie C, and crew really delivered a heavy ass album with plenty of special guests.
Menzingers – After the Party
I feel like every album they release I am putting it on my best of list, but hey, it rules and deserves to be noted.
Ride – Weather Diaries
This album is incredible from start to finish. I honestly was not expecting this seeing how the band hadn’t released material in over 20 years. Clearly I am dumb for thinking that.
A Giant Dog – Toy
This band is straight up insane and I love the hell out of them for that.
Lil Peep – Come Over When You’re Sober (Part One)
I was strangely fascinated with this kid and his emo rap to the point that I was listening to this album almost daily. I could not stand some of the topics he was singing about and just felt like I was too old to even admit I was listening, but I loved the music and his overall singing style. Sadly he OD’d last month so the world will never know how big he could have gotten. I really felt this kid had so much talent.
Tim Barry – High On 95
Once again this man has taken his honest music and beat up all the emotions inside of me. Working class hero musician with storytelling abilities like none other.
Quicksand – Interiors
I honestly was not anticipating this release to be as good as it is. I hate to be that guy, but I was not impressed with the couple of tracks the band released prior to the album. Little did I know they were just puzzle pieces to a killer album.
Iron Reagan – Crossover Ministry
So much thrash goodness here. Also, best album cover too.
Needles // Pins – Good Night, Tomorrow
I am thinking that a lot of people might not have hear of these guys here in the states, but you can change that. This punk rock group released a great album. Note to self: Buy the LP already!
The Electric Grandmother – Cancelled.
There is no way I was going to overlook this concept album by two very close friends of mine. Even if they are too good to play a Cleveland show, I love them dearly and am amazed with Cancelled. It’s the best thing they have done to date in my opinion.
- Choke Up – Stormy Blue
- Bad Cop/Bad Cop – Warriors
- Shedders – Dangerous Jumps
- Rancid – Trouble Maker
- Gorillaz – Humanz
- The Afghan Whigs – In Spades
- Me First and the Gimme Gimmes – Rake It In: The Greatestest Hits
- Ethan Danial Davidson – Crows
- No Use For A Name – Rarities Vol. 1: The Covers
- Stutter Steps – Floored
- Western Addiction – Tremulous
- Cloud Nothings – Life Without Sound
- Japandroids – Near To the Wild Heart of Life
- Swingin’ Utters – Drowning in the Sea, Rising with the Sun: Best of Swingin’ Utters
- TSOL – The Trigger Complex
- Greg Graffin – Millport
- Powerflo – Powerflo
- Quicksand – Interiors
- Beck – Colors
As always, this was fun to take some time and think about all the great releases that came out over the past year. I probably could have put even more up here, but the ones listed (along with the honorable mentions) are the ones that impacted me the most.
I’m glad I did not sunset this site as I actually thought about over the summer. I’m going on 10 years now and after careful thought have no intentions of closing shop anytime soon.
A big you to all the bands and the great PRs who have even thought of asking me to check something new out. I am sorry I can not always get the review out, but I promise you, I listen to just about everything that is sent my way.
Thank you to you if you are reading this for checking out my site. Whether you are new or visit often, I appreciate you for checking me out. Without you, this site would be meaningless.
Happy Holidays to you and yours and all that jazz.