It’s that time of the year again folks where I share with you the bands and albums that caught my attention throughout the year.
Sure, my reviewing is infrequent these days, may not make total sense or even be read by many for that matter, but I can tell you that I am listening to as much music as possible daily.
If my memory serves me correct, this will be my 10th Best Of post. Sitting back and just thinking that this blog has been around for 10 years now completely floors me. Thanks to anyone who’s ever stopped by to see what’s good. Here’s to however many more years I decide to keep this going.
With that said, happy holidays and here is my list in no particular order:
Timeshares – Out There EP
-Easily one of my most played EPs of the year. I was obsessed with it for weeks and was caught off guard in a good way by it. I can not wait for their next full-length now. Loving their rejuvenated sound.
Strung Out – Blackout the Sky EP
-Not going to lie. I was not stoked at all to hear Strung Out was going to do an acoustic album. I do not know why I even doubted that they would not have done something amazing. This EP was amazing and showed a completely different side to one of the best bands out there.
Spells – Loose Change Vol. 1
-Ok so this is a collection of early out of print tunes by the Colorado punk party rockers, but this was my first taste of the band after somehow missing out of them for all these years. I caught them touring with Off With Their Heads earlier this year and turned into an instant fan.
Curtail – All Your Luck
-This is probably one of the best releases that came out this year that you may have not heard about. I could sit here and talk about it for hours, but I will leave it to you and check it out. Just think 90s alt rock mixed with 00s emo/post-hardcore goodness.
Laura Jane Grace & the Devouring Mothers – Brought to Rot
-This was the most punk rock album to come out all year. Laura Jane Grace is sincere as she talks about her current dwelling and overall situation without holding back. I was overly impressed with this one.
Turnstile – Time & Space
-An amazing hardcore release that really is so much more once you get sucked into it. It really is a genius album to listen to especially with some 80s punk and R&B moments tossed in for the hell of it (just listen to “I Don’t Wanna Be Blind”). Certainly happy I stumbled on these guys.
Light Years – Afterlife
-Hands down, this is one of the best pop punk albums to come out this year. I knew it was going to be good, but I did not realize it was going to be that good.
Face To Face – Hold Fast (Acoustic Sessions)
-This album has turned me into an even bigger Face To Face fan. I feared hearing it because I really did not want to hear a punk band play acoustic renditions of their songs, but man, I was so wrong to doubt them. They reinvented their songs in the best way possible.
The Interrupters – Fight The Good Fight
-Two-toned, punk fueled, and amazing throughout. There’s a reason why Tim Armstrong produced this album.
The Ruen Brothers – All My Shades of Blue
-This album was like listening to The Gaslight Anthem team up with Roy Orbison to score a Wes Anderson flick. I adore these guys and hope to hell I can see them live one day. This was the album that complete caught me by surprise this year and fell in love with.
Spanish Love Songs – Schmaltz
-This album is like the energy of The Menzingers + the emotion of MakeWar. The band clearly has matured into something incredible and this release proves it. Do not sit on this one.
Red City Radio – SkyTigers EP
-This is the best thing this band has ever done. There was just this certain amount of gallant confidence throughout. The song “SkyTigers” proved that to me over and over.
Johnny La Rock – Gold Codes
-I was drunk in Vegas earlier this year and admitted Gold Codes was an album of the year for me. La Rock is a hidden gem in Cleveland that the world really should get to know some.
Bar Stool Preachers – Grazie Governo
-Working class and bad ass all in one album. These guys rule. It’s like Dropkick Murphys if they were a ska band.
Mad Caddies – Punk Rocksteady
-Taking punk rock songs and putting their own reggae style to it was just a brilliant idea. This covers album was done right and received well by this listener.
Restorations – LP5000
-Yeah, this was one of my favorite releases this year. This band can do no wrong and I appreciated their maturing lyrics more than ever. Seeming them live finally this year was also an added bonus.
Four Fists – 6666
-This collaboration between P.O.S. and Astronautics completely slays. This rap duo really dropped an impressive album complete with plenty of punk references and beats guaranteed to get stuck in your head for days.
Vessel of Light – Woodshed
-This album takes everything great about Danzig, White Zombie, and even old Alice in Chains and puts them all together for a solid listen. Super impressed with this one.
Frank Turner – Be More Kind
-Everyone needs to listen to this album, especially “Be More Kind”. I am fairly sure it will make your day if not a better person. Frank Turner is one talented mo-fo.
Lucero – Among The Ghosts
-I love this album mostly for the band embracing where life has taken them over the years. They have not lost their style one bit and for that I thank them. This has turned into one of my favorite Lucero releases.
Thanks for reading and happy holidays!