I don’t know about Katie, but this year was strange for me. Incredible highs like getting engaged, moving into my own place, and dealing with book release coupled with a couple with celebrity deaths that actually touched me as well as the election that did not go the way I wanted it to.
WITH ALL THAT SAID: The few releases that I came across this year were mostly fantastic. Yes: Deftones released that abomination that was Gore, but new Radiohead made up for it.
All links for bands go to the full reviews (with the exception of Radiohead & Deerhoof), so please read what I have to say in full through those links. On the actual review, you will find links to the Bandcamp account for the band in question. There you can stream the entire album in all its glory.
This is my top ten of the year. I probably missed out on something amazing, so please let me know in the comments. WITHOUT FURTHER DELAY!
10. Radiohead — A Moon Shaped Pool (no link I’m sorry)
I initially did not have this album in my recommendations. It was sold to me as the greatest thing Radiohead have ever done and I disagree completely. Upon re-listening to the album while I was perusing my collection in preparation for this list, I realized I was sold this album under false pretences: it’s not the greatest Radiohead, but it is very good. Very atmospheric and incredibly well put together, the album has a way to catch you off-guard, which results in you singing along to every melody and hook. Barely belonging on this list still, in being I am not totally sold on it and it is one of the least punk things you can find in modern pop-rock culture. Still, it stands strong in the number 10 position.
9. Deerhoof — Magic (full album)
I’m closer to punk with this release…
THAT’S A LIE!
If you know Deerhoof, you know why I say it’s closer to punk. To the uneducated, this band comes off as a hot mess initially, and then you cannot help but love it. They find a way to destroy any preconceived notions as to what music is. They will fit melodies that do not match any technical part of the other instrumentation (tempo, key, signature) and find a way to make it the catchiest thing you will ever hear. It’s not fair. Squeaky vocals and strange ideas make this album different, at the very least.
8. Fall of Troy — OK
I did a video review for this album near its release and lied.
Lied is a harsh term in this case, more was gravely mistaken. 401K is a fantastic song, but calling it my favourite was lazy. Really, there is not a bad song on the album, but 401K is not my favourite: by far. Being the first song on the album AND the promo song, it was already in my head. It has a great intro (when the organic instruments kick in) and that made it stick out at the time. Eight-months-later I can honestly ixnay that as my favourite from the album. Inside Out has my ear and my heart.
7. 1971 — Burning Bridges Before They’re Crossed
I love this band. I love this sound. Putting this EP on my top-of-the-year list was a no-brainer. Huge noise, beautiful crescendos, and incredible sound keeps me coming back to their sound on a close-to-daily bases. Reccomended for anyone into the Winnipeg punk scene and a classic sound.
6. Mad Trapper — Know Fear
Yes: this is a single. However, I will state that, if the rest of the upcoming material is this good, it will be a fantastic next bit for this brutal metal band. Heavy, driving, and dirty. This single hit every box I have when it comes to metal and heavy music in general. Also a great video, which makes it easy to share with the world.
5. Mundy’s Bay — Hope You’re Fine
This is pretty much a CDS, but it holds the record of being one of my “Most Listened To” of the year. 80’s throwback without being corny. The music video stands as one of my personal favourites of the year. These two songs on this album are perfect, in my books.
4. Pluum — Superstar Feelings
I have the strangest infatuation with this band. They remind me of a, what I consider, better time in music. They are raw, harsh, and hard. They are also beautiful, tender, and delicate. Please, do yourself a favour: at least listen to this album and love every minute of it.
3. Stayce — Huck Dunter
This is exactly what I wanted from a punk album. It is timeless. It hits hard. It is perfect. If you cannot tell by that intro, it was VERY close to being album of the year for me. It was barely topped by two others.
2. Respire — Gravity & Grace
This album caught me off guard. Rarely have I found something so completely what I was looking for. Huge, beautiful, hideous, and grimy as hell. Fantastic fantastic fantastic.Anyway, enough of me gushing. Like I said in my review, they kind of sound like Horse the Band. I know they have heard that comparison before, but it is so easy to make to have people understand. They also remind me of a heavier Do Make Say Think (if you know that fantastic instrumental Toronto band) with vocals. Almost made my top of the year.
1. Die Hexe — Die Hexe
I CALLED IT. The first thought I had back in January when I received this album was that it was going to be on my top, if not THE top, of my list this year. Then, back in May, I proclaimed it again. I tried, so fucking hard, to prove myself wrong. This album is just so damned good. GUSH GUSH GUSH GUSH go listen to it and buy it and love it and then call me an idiot for showing you something so life changing GUSH GUSH GUSH GUSH.
This will be my last update of the year. Do you have a release coming out early 2017 that you want some coverage of? Please, send us a message with a BandCamp link and we’ll see what we can do!