All Get Out

Nobody Likes A Quitter

Bad Timing Records

24

Coming off the heels of an exciting reunion and a tasteful 12″, All Get Out are in their prime on Nobody Likes A Quitter. Led by a rejuvenated Nathan Hussey, the new album feels much like a mid-2000s-punk revival, with introspective and quirky lyrics paired with stripped-back instrumentation and to-the-point delivery. Hussey brings his usual blend of shouty indie-punk vocals alongside a falsetto tone, delivering them in a tonal range most would be jealous of. It’s as straightforward of a comeback as you can imagine, although not idyllic by any means – certainly there have been troubles and traumas within, or lyrics like “nobody ever knows my name” and “do people still listen to Movement?”. Nevertheless, Nobody Likes A Quitter is compassionate and endearing, surely a noteworthy follow-up to their 2011 cult classic The Season.

▶ Listen here: Bandcamp

G.H.

Housebound Demigod

Modern Love

23

Housebound Demigod is the debut album from enigmatic producer G.H., released through well-acclaimed underground electronics label Modern Love. It’s quite hard to describe this one – a harsh blend of concrète techno with drone, black metal, and Autechre-esque textures mixed in. Using only a drum machine, guitar, and pedals, Housebound Demigod captures bleak and desolate scenes within a brackish brutalist landscape. The dry feedback and tortured wails of his guitar do the album much more justice than one could imagine – sculpted to a sound that’s unlike anything before. Tracks like the marvellously coarse “Screamin’ Demon Pickups” or the messed-up “Packhorse” offer quite the unusual experience, even for hardened listeners. It’s not an easily digestible album, that’s for sure; it’s one of those creations you need to sit alone with to contemplate properly. Surely one of the most demanding listens you’ll hear this year.

▶ Listen here: Youtube (Unofficial)

Every Time I Die

Low Teens

Epitaph

22

Every Time I Die are one of the most recognisable mainstays in contemporary metalcore, and for a reason. Albums like Ex Lives and The Big Dirty are classics in their scene, and it’s no wonder the announcement of their biggest and loudest album yet, Low Teens, was met to much applause. This is ETID’s eighth album, latest in a long lineage, and there was a lot of expectations for many fans coming into it. Thankfully, it delivered, and it did it with passion and copious amounts of sheer raw energy. Low Teens practically gushes talent, with killer riffs and arguably the most dynamic vocals of any ETID release in the catalog. Mixing together a heavy hardcore influence with math and metalcore, it’s hard not to nod your head or play air-guitar along. There’s never a wasted moment in its 13-song tracklength, and Low Teens should satisfy any ETID fan.

▶ Listen here: Youtube

Anthony Green

Pixie Queen

Memory Music

21

Anthony Green is a man working magic. He’s kept up incredible, groundbreaking output ever since the early-2000s, and his work with Circa Survive is unparalleled. Additionally, he’s had numerous solo outputs under his real name – most notably 2008’s Avalon. Green’s latest production, Pixie Queen, solidifies itself as the best solo material he’s ever released. Produced by Will Yip (now a household name in the scene), it’s adventurous, fearless, and above all – unmistakably Green. His trademark vocals contour the album alongside magical guitar progressions, with a brutally honest introspection into his own life. It’s an album about love, nostalgia, hope for the future, and overcoming addiction… and Green has many stories to tell within. Whether it be the reflective glow of “A Reason To Stay” or slow ballad “Will It Be”, on Pixie Queen Green reflects on himself and his relationships with an honest, positive outlook.

▶ Listen here: Bandcamp

Pinegrove

Cardinal

Run For Cover Records

20

I am so happy for Pinegrove’s success this year. With their signing to Run For Cover Records and release of their newest LP, Cardinal, they blew up to proportions that they’d never expected. It seems like their quirky brand of folky-emo rock really hits a chord with listeners – it’s a very homely, comforting, special sound they produce. Vocalist and guitarist Evan Stephens Hall paints his emotions onto the album with broad strokes, crafting an intimate album centred around friendship, memories, and a desire to find where “home” is. Sewing together twangy folk rhythms with expressive vocals and subtle synthesizers, Cardinal is a caring and loving album with an emotional, cry-on-your-shoulder feel woven deep within.

▶ Listen here: Bandcamp

Saosin

Along The Shadow

Epitaph

19

If this year was anyone’s, it would be Anthony Green’s. Before releasing his previously mentioned solo album Pixie Queen, he reunited with old-time friends and collaborators Saosin to produce their first studio album together, and it’s absolutely fantastic. Green is exactly what made Saosin’s earlier work so special – all material without Green felt like it was missing something. Along The Shadow is a perfect blend of Green’s clean and rough vocals, fervent and wild, blending heartfelt melodic punk with brooding metalcore. The spark is back, baby, and Green is the fire lighting the matches. With a new Circa Survive album coming in 2017, and with Along The Shadow reviving Saosin to their full strength, he’s been having one hell of a time.

▶ Listen here: Youtube

Modern Baseball

Holy Ghost

Run For Cover Records

18

Modern Baseball are an emo-revival band notable for touring with large acts like Brand New, The Front Bottoms, and The Wonder Years; as well as their 2014 LP You’re Gonna Miss It All which broke them out into the big-leagues. With their messy brand of pop-punk they’ve gathered quite the following. I was never a huge fan of their first two records, they’re not quite my pace – but Holy Ghost breaks that cycle. Written in halves by the two singers of the band, the third LP is much more polished and professional than anything recorded previously. It’s thematically transformative, a reflection on the evolution of the band and the people within, and is a hell of a lot more mature than their sophomore record. Really, I’m just glad I could finally connect with Modern Baseball – Holy Ghost is a refined approach towards unfamiliar territory by an evolving band.

▶ Listen here: Bandcamp

Beach Slang

A Loud Bash Of Teenage Feelings

Polyvinyl

17

Beach Slang are heralds of new-age punk music. With their 2 excellent EPs and their fantastic breakout 2015 debut The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us, they’ve been making music at breakneck pace. 2016 brought on their second album, the communal A Loud Bash Of Teenage Feelings, a record based loosely around stories from kids turned on to Beach Slang from their first album. Frontman and songwriter James Alex says it well: “I’m not that young kid anymore, but I used to be.” The songs are loosely autobiographical as a result, but primarily removed from himself – “There was something really cool about documenting someone else’s life, but seeing myself in it.” A Loud Bash is quite energetic and rowdy, with even more raw punk energy than Beach Slang’s debut. Whether the band will continue on this road is hard to know, especially with recent roster shakeups – but Alex is sure to continue making contemplative punk in some way or another.

▶ Listen here: Bandcamp

Tiny Moving Parts

Celebration

Triple Crown Records

16

Tiny Moving Parts, being a member of the midwest emo scene, grew themselves to great heights with their prior two albums. This Couch Is Long And Full Of Friendship is a delightfully messy, noodly album full of young, raw emotions promising something great. Pleasant Living represented growth, although still stuck itself within similar elements of their first LP. Celebrate, fittingly, is the culmination of progress – a band finding their sound and playing it triumphantly. It’s much louder and sure of itself than Pleasant Living was, with the two vocalists sharing space and providing vocals of a degree not before reached. There’s a duality in the album’s themes, too – with an overall focus on optimism. In the words of vocalist/guitarist Dylan Mattheisen: “s*** goes wrong and you can either be bummed out about it, or you can accept it”.

▶ Listen here: Bandcamp

Silent Planet

Everything Was Sound

Solid State Records

15

There’s a great overarching sense of fear in Silent Planet’s second album Everything Was Sound. The thirteen songs on the album span a spectrum of dire mental illnesses, societal faults, and general uneasiness – intricately built like a finely crafted novel. Within the heavy metalcore instrumentation lies tangled meaning and especially urgent messages, arranged like multiple morbid autobiographies. “Psychescape” is written with dual vocalists and dual mindsets, narrating a character suffering from schizophrenia. “Understanding Love As Loss” describes the hopelessness behind suicide, “Panic Room” narrates the experiences of soldiers suffering PTSD whom have shared their stories with the band. In general, Everything Was Sound is sad and macabre, but above all else, overwhelmingly human. Our human condition is one full of existential taboos and topics often ignored by ones not suffering, and Silent Planet brings these stories into the light.

▶ Listen here: Bandcamp

True Widow

AVVOLGERE

Relapse Records

14

True Widow’s newest album, AVVOLGERE, perfectly blends the dark, cacophonous sounds of doom metal with the fuzz, vocals, and infectious rhythms of shoegaze. AVVOLGERE is mastered perfectly, with pounding drums setting the background for some seriously fuzzed-out guitars and excellently floating vocals. Throughout all of this are oddly catchy bass licks, progressions, and lyrical motifs – truly expanding upon all their previous records, True Widow crafted their most wondrous album yet. The entire album is full of slow-burning bangers like “Back Shredder”, “F.W.T.S.L.T.M.”, and “Entheogen”, an incredible balance of the light and the dark elements of metal and punk. What a gorgeously bleak record AVVOLGERE is, from its hellish album art to its sludge-dripping distortion.

▶ Listen here: Bandcamp

Basement

Promise Everything

Run For Cover Records

13

Following the “indefinite hiatus” of Basement after their 2012 LP Colourmeinkindness, it was uncertain when we would hear new material. The band, in the later portion of this hiatus, put out a very short 7″ and hinted towards a third LP in the future… and, in January of 2016, Promise Everything arrived. Working across the Atlantic Ocean, without sharing physical space or time zones, Basement managed to create their absolute best record in their discography, by far. There’s an unstoppable moving force on this record, with non-stop rhythms and pulsing guitar rhythms set to lead vocalist Andrew Fisher’s syrupy voice. Standout tracks “Hanging Around” and “Aquasun” provide quite the punch, with satisfyingly sweet melodies and pleasing guitar tones. Hell if I know how they pulled this off, with all the limitations that they had, but they really pulled out all the stops with Promise Everything.

▶ Listen here: Bandcamp