Top 10 Best albums that are somewhat punk
1. Descendents – Hyperfaccium Spazzinate
Question: have Descendents ever made a bad record? Answer: no. This one is just as awesome as we’ve come to expect. They found the perfect formula for a complete punk rock record in every facet.
2. Touché Amoré – stage 4
Touché Amoré has always been a very fascinating band. I remember when reviewing their first EP that I had no clue whatsoever to make of it. I do know what to make of ‘Stage 4’ though. It is not a fascinating album. Instead, it’s gut wrenching, harsh and eye opening. It’s painful and blissful at the same time. It is probably one of the most brutally honest and beautifully blunt albums I have ever heard.
3. Bouncing Souls - Simplicity
Who would’ve thought they’d actually make one of their best albums ever after almost three decades? Well, maybe I did. Having George Rebelo on drums sure added something of a spark.
4. Planes Mistaken For Stars – Prey
Another very a-typical record by a very a-typical band … Planes Mistaken For Stars never cared too much about genres, or boundaries. They just make records. This one sounds like a depressing trip through America’s wasteland, fuelled by whisky and brawls. What’s not to love?
5. Oathbreaker – Rheia
Don’t you love getting uncomfortable while listening to music? Sometimes I sure do. ‘Rheia’ does just that. It’s epic. Heavy, heavy-hearted and haunting.
6. Face to face – Protection
If those first four songs would be on one EP, it’d be the best punk rock EP in the history of punk rock EP’s. This album is the vintage face to face we fell in love with back in 1996.
7. Ship thieves - No Anchor
People may accuse me of having a man-crush on Chris Wollard. Maybe they’re right. Or maybe I’m just one very savvy music critic who simply hears that Chris Wollard does not make bad music. Ever.
8. The hotelier – Goodness
I couldn’t get into their first album. I could get into this one. It’s probably one of the best “emo” records in a long while. Not that I would know, since I tend to avoid most “emo” things. But this one stuck. Like a piece of clothing on an annoying piece of Velcro where it has no business whatsoever …
9. White Lung - Paradise
It was almost weird to hear White Lung come up with songs like ‘Hungry’. It’s so poppy and clean and less heavy or aggressive. Music-wise, that is. Lyrically, they’re still as offensive and dark and harsh. Anyway, White Lung seems to be doing just fine working towards a more pop-oriented sound.
10. Modern Baseball – Holy Ghost
Okay, so I lied about that whole “avoiding emo”-thing. Wait, is Modern Baseball emo? Ugh, who cares anyway? This is one very, very good album. Hell, it actually kept PUP, Nothing and Pulley out of my top 10. But hey, now they got an honorable mention. Isn’t that nice? Those two opening tracks have that awesome, punked-up Weakerthans vibe that just pulls you in for the next 25 minutes of warm, musical cuddles and sob stories.
Top 3 Best punk songs from albums that didn’t make it into my Top 10
1. Mean Jeans – Nite vision
Holy shit, this is a power pop punk song you just can’t get tired of. Well, maybe you can, if you’d be Darryl from ‘The Walking Dead’ and you’d have to listen to it 24-7, like he had to with that ‘Easy Street’-thing. Poor Darryl.
2. Bleached – Keep on keeping on
Songs don’t often come as catchy as this one. It ranks high in my all-time list of “first track on an album”. Definitely.
3. Muncie Girls – Learn in school
I think it’s safe to say 2016 was the year the world fell in love with Muncie Girls. ‘Learn in School’ is a gem of an indie punk song. If you don’t agree, you haven’t heard that chorus. Just listen to that chorus, man. Listen. And if you still don’t like it, go listen to ‘Respect’, because it’s also brilliant.
Top 3 ‘non-punk-but-who-cares’-records of the year
1. BadBadNotGood - IV
I like jazz, sometimes. So what? These dudes make really cool music and they have that dude from Future Islands singing a song in the album. It’s hip to tell your friends you listen to it, and you can entertain your parents with it because “it’s jazz”. They’ll tell you they like it better than “that other crap you play, what with all the shouting and the guitars and the profanities”.
2. Chvrches – Every Open Eye
Yes, I adore Chvrches. Big time. You should too. It’s cuddly party music. Have you ever seen ‘em live? They should be even bigger than they are.
3. Mountain Dust – Nine Years
I just had to include this record somewhere on any list. You may or may not have heard from Mountain Dust, but this record is simply what Graveyard should’ve sounded like after they did that brilliant ‘Hisingen Blues’ album. This is heavier, cooler and definitely way Canadianer. That’s not a word, I know.