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#10 The Joy Formidable - A Balloon Called Moaning
This record really took me by surprise. A great mix of straight ahead punk as in the standout track "Cradle", layered indie rock and 90's style alternative at its best. This band's next release is going to wake more than a few people up. All too short at 8 tracks, can't wait
to hear what's next.
#9 Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
I'm sure this is on many a top ten this year but Winn Butler and crew have created a gorgeous musical journey that gets richer with each subsequent listen.
#8 Against Me! - White Crosses
Say what you will about the Butcher Vig production, at the heart of this record are big sing along chorus', heartfelt lyrics and the welcomed addition of Franz Nicolay on the keys that really round this out into one of the most harmonically interesting Against Me! records to date.
#7 None More Black - Icons
These guys did us all a favor by getting back together. After watching them play a few tracks from "Icons" at this years Generic Insight Radio fest in Brooklyn, I was excited to hear this full production. And is it full. It's loud, angular, memorable and difficult (in a good way) all at the same time.
#6 RVIVR - Dirty Water EP
Just listen to the first track, "Seethin" and you'll understand why this band is making basement kids happy as Fuck this year.
#5 Nightmares For A Week - Don't Die
Just squeaking in before the end of the year, these guys are writing some of the best rock songs to come along in a crowded field. Thank you punknews.org webstream for letting me replay this endlessly.
#4 Smoke or Fire - The Speakeasy
It's no secret that I'm a big fan of what these guys are doing. 2007's "This Sinking Ship" upped the stakes with killer hooks and a great Matt Allison production, so I was stoked to hear they were going back to that formula, and it sure doesn't disappoint.
#3 Make Do and Mend - End Measured Mile
This record has been so hyped and delivers on all of it. James Carroll owns the vocal booth on this one, and can I say, biggest guitars ever? This was one I took the time to really listen to closely over a few days because it sequences like one larger piece, and with each listen, its gets stuck with you. Rad release all around. Paper and Plastick can't seem to lose right now.
#2 RVIVR - LP
So RVIVR is on the list twice, but can you blame me? LP is so good start to finish; catchy, raw, unique and memorable. The dual vocals, and Matt Canino patented guitar parts were all I needed to be sold on this. Oh, and the best build and release I've heard in ages on "Change On Me". Bedroom finger pointing: check.
#1 Iron Chic - Not Like This
Best album hands down. Not gonna disect it, just go buy it, NOW!