Sometimes I think I'm getting too old to listen to music.
First, we'll give an honorable mention to The Warriors for putting out See How You Are. I didn't even listen to that album at all. But I did listen to Beyond the Music, one of their last ones, a shitload and that album is awesome. Totally been meaning to check out their latest lol.
Second honorable mention goes to Chamberlain, easily one of my all time favorite bands. And one of the all time best bands ever, and that's a fact. They put out a seven inch this year or last, and I think it featured a couple new songs. After singer David Moore dabbled in VH1 style adult contemporary, which was surprisingly good, he decided to reform Chamberlain - wise move. The band is packed with talented musicians and David Moore's singing is top notch, but his lyrics are just fantastic. Wow.
Shit and I just forgot, one of my friends put out a new album with his band, Cutman. I haven't heard the entire thing, but they dropped a new song a couple months ago, and it was dope. Burly post hardcore Gainesville punk rock bearded-sounding awesome. Sick drumming, bros.
Top 7 or so of 2011:
7. Hate Eternal - Phoenix Amongst the Ashes
This is an album that I listened to a lot, but couldn't really pick out a song from this album, verses any of their other albums. But I think that's more a product of the CONSTANT FUCKING UNRELENTING BLASTING AND BRUTALITY. When Haunting Abound came out six months ago, I was all kinds of amped - it smoked. Then the album came out, I downloaded, enjoyed, but haven't really thought much else about it. In fact, I picked up their earlier album, used, The Fury & The Flames, which has just a crushing production.
7. Exhumed - All Guts, No Glory
Another album I've spent a lot of time with, but haven't really digested. When I put it on at work, my output goes way up. So I guess this album makes the cut purely because I listened to it more than others lol. I'm not a huge goregrind/deathgrind fan, but as a fan of heavy metal in general, it's hard not to like this gem.
7. Woe – Quietly, Undramatically remix
Again, this came out in 2010, but got a sweet remix in 2011, so we're counting it! Angry, vicious black metal with fantastic musicianship, a furious punk rock edge and beautiful cover art. The title track is one of the best songs I've heard all year; it is a perfect summation of all the greatness contained within. And speaking of the title, there is nothing quiet or undramatic about how awesome this album is. If you're not all that familiar with black metal, much like myself, this is about as good a place to start as any.
6. Terror – Keepers of the Faith
OK, this actually came out in late 2010, but they re-released it last month. So considering the shitty year in music, this counts as a 2011 release! You probably already know who Terror is, and after their last album, you may have written them off as a once great band that devolved into fast, thrashy hardcore with the angriest vocals ever. Turns out, you'd be right and wrong. Frontman Scott Vogel presents a bunch more super-pissed songs that PUMP ME UP SO FURIOUSLY. While the last album had more filler, this album just cranks up the rage for each song, leaving you with one, maybe two actual filler songs. Songs like Stick Tight, Return to Strength and The Struggle were written for the pit. And check the old school punk rock vibe I get on You're Caught. I think they switched guitar players since the last album, and while dude is still cranking out the thrashy riffs, these tend to be more memorable, in turn really helping the songs stick in your head. PISSED.
5. Adele – 21
Adele, your pretty face don't match those nasty ass fake fingernails you sometimes sport. My attention was caught by Rolling in the Deep, and the rest is history. She put together a fantastic album of, I don't know, soul-pop? But not that Amy Winehouse shit, nah, Adele can actually sing. And she does. And then she does some more. You've heard her radio hits and you can rest assured that the rest of the album is equally as fantastic. A very mellow cover of The Cure's Lovesong was a nice touch. Lol at the bonus "live" Someone Like You track that sounds EXACTLY like the album cut.
4. Screeching Weasel - First World Manifesto
Ben Weasel punched a chick. And SW put out their first new album in a bunch of years. And not surprisingly, it sounds just like a Screeching Weasel album, which, just in case you're wondering, is a good thing. Mr. Weasel hasn't lost a beat, or a boxing match, and cranks out the Ramonesy pop punk tunes just the way we want him to. You know, I've always liked Ben Weasel; dude writes a catchy ass song, he's witty as hell and never really gives a crap what anybody else thinks. And if he keeps putting out fantastic albums like this, he can beat on all the slores he wants.
3. Strung Out - Top Contenders
Strung Out can do no wrong. They put out a "best of" album this year, and as expected, every song is great. But they went a little further - they remixed each of the songs. And they sound awesome. Fucking awesome. Even included are a couple (three) new songs, that sound just like they were cut during the Agents of the Underground sessions - poppier and more melodic. The song selection is pretty good, with the playlist reading like a live set list. Of course when you've been a band for 20 years or something, your greatest hits isn't going to please everybody. You know you didn't even have to ask: they kick things off with Firecracker and end it with Matchbox. Great songs, great band - one of my all time favorites.
2. Trapped Under Ice - Big Kiss Goodnight
This album smokes. Easily the hardest thing I've heard all year. If you have any interest in modern hardcore and wore out your Terror records, TUI is the band you need to hear. Building on their NYHC-by-way-of-Baltimore sound, they've added progressive flourishes without being, well, pussy. Clean vocals find their way into a few songs, but we're not talking arena-rock choruses, nah, just enough to remind you of the dude from Leeway, then they get back to the beatdown. They lyrics are surprisingly introspective, while still retaining their trademark tough as nails aesthetic. Very few bands make such hard music so catchy. Get this now.
1. Mariachi el Bronx - II
This is a mariachi album. As far as I know, it's traditional mariachi music. See, The Bronx is a punk band from LA that decided to complement their live sets with acoustic sets. But they thought that was boring, so they did mariachi sets instead. I guess the response was positive enough for them to put out an entire Mariachi album. Then they put out this one. Having never listened to mariachi music before, I was quite taken aback by how catchy and awesome this is. They obviously incorporate the pop sensibilities from their main band, and I think that's what really makes this a winner. Each song by itself is great; in the context of an entire album, this could be the soundtrack to a Quentin Tarantino film. Fantastic all around.